Getting customer feedback is one thing. Actually putting the feedback you get from your customers to use to improve and grow your business is another. Here's how to do it.
Let's say you're having a really crummy day.
Your car makes a weird noise. Turning up the radio to drown it out isn't a great longterm solution, so you take it to your mechanic (let's call him Rusty, because all great mechanics are named Rusty). He reminds you that he diagnosed a minor engine problem last year but you didn't get it fixed because you thought Rusty was just trying to earn some extra money. Because you didn't take the repair advice he gave you, your minor engine problem has become a huge and expensive problem. Hope you like riding your bike!
So you roll on over to the grocery store to get a few things for dinner. You're craving steak, but the woman behind the meat counter warns you that a problem with the store's meat distributor means that the steak selection is bad right now. She recommends you change your plans and buy chicken instead. You opt for the steak anyway. It's tough and flavorless and you daydream about chicken while choking it down.
Before bed, your spouse mentions (again) that you've left your wet towels all over the floor (again). If you do it one more time, you can expect to sleep on the couch tomorrow. But then... whoops. You forget, and within 30 minutes of getting out of the shower, you're on your way to the living room.
You're having a bad day, and you've made mistakes. Some are minor - okay, you didn't enjoy your dinner - but others are costly and majorly annoying.
If only you had listened to all that feedback.
Feeding Into Feedback
In each of the three examples above, you were given the gift of feedback. The mechanic told you about a problem with your car, but you questioned his motives and the problem got worse. The person at the meat counter knew you were making a bad selection and made a suggestion for what you could do differently, but you ignored her. Your spouse very clearly laid out the consequences for leaving the towel on the floor again, but you didn't believe that they would really send you to the sofa.
Each of those people had information that you could have used to make the right choice, and each one tried to share it with you. The same thing happens in business. And when business owners or managers don't listen to their feedback, they damage their reputations and diminish their profits.
But who gives the feedback in business? A consultant, maybe, or your assistant managers... people who know exactly how the business is run?
The Customer Is (Almost) Always Right
Customers are your greatest asset. They're the experts on your business. They know what's going well, and they know what mistakes you're making. They can tell you what steps you should take to keep their business, and what you could do that would drive them away.
That's a hard pill to swallow for some owners and managers. They've put months, years, decades of work into building a business, and they don't think customers know anything that they don't know. They prefer to channel strict parents: "You'll do what I say, you'll eat what I serve you and you won't complain."
But customers are savvy. They know that they have choices about where they spend their money, and the rise of the Internet makes it easy to find alternatives. If your business is making mistakes and you won't fix them, those customers will jump ship.
So what's a manager to do?
Feedback: A Priceless Resource
If a business is a maze, with a huge prize at the center, customer feedback is a map. It tells you what you need to do in order to meet your business goals. If you're going in the wrong direction, customer feedback will alert you to the mistake and help you figure out how to realign.
But don't wait for your customers to come to you with their suggestions for ways you can improve your business. Go out and gather those insights, using customer service software. It helps you reach your real customers and encourages them to share their experiences with you, the business owner or manager. Whether you're a one-man band or a major corporation, the right customer service software will help you grow and improve.
Using an automated system like ReputationStacker makes it incredibly easy to gather both positive and negative feedback, both of which you can use. Not only does the system allow you to gather honest feedback from your customers, but it also includes tools that make it easy to take action on that feedback to improve your business and grow your profits
It also has the added benefit of segmenting your happy customers and getting them to post reviews on the online review sites of your choice, which leverages customer feedback in a way that helps you attract new customers.
Getting Into the Feedback Loop
Customer feedback is an invaluable resource. The customers who really use your business can tell you exactly what you should do to improve, if only you're willing to listen. Investing in customer service software is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get a leg up on the competition. Try ReputationStacker's automated system, and use its tools to grow your business in a way that your customers will love.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.