If you aren't actively talking to your customers, you're making a huge mistake
Getting sales is the lifeblood of every business that has something to sell. If keeping the bills paid for you and your company means you have to constantly be on the lookout for your next customer, that makes it easy for you to forget about the ones you currently have. Once they’ve bought a product from you and taken it away, you no longer have a financial interest in them, and so finding out what they thought of interacting with your business can be low on your list of priorities. That’s understandable, but it’s also a mistake.
Getting feedback from customers has never been easier than it is today. We can use apps, text messages, websites, and even social media to make connections with the people who buy products and services from us, but many companies aren’t taking advantage of these open channels of communication and using them to their advantage. There are several reasons why getting feedback from each customer is important to you – so important that some journalists now believe it’s a make or break issue for a firm – and some of those reasons can actually boost your profitability. That’s why it’s worth your time to read this article.
Without getting responses from your customers, all the strategic planning you carry out is pointless. You don’t know how your customers feel about you, so you can’t truly know what they want from you in the future. You are therefore working blind, and when you’re doing that, you’re turning your customer service into a game of online slots. With mobile slots, you have no idea what might happen the next time you spin the reels; you might win a fortune, or you might get nothing at all. That’s all part of the fun of playing mobile slots, but you wouldn’t want the same random outcome from customer interaction. Treat slots as a hobby, and treat getting customer feedback as a profession, and you’ll soon reap the rewards. Here are four reasons why.
It makes customers feel valued
If someone buys from you once, you’d like to think that they’ll buy from you again. That won’t be the case if the customer gets the impression that they’re nothing but a walking wallet to you. If your customer’s relationship with you ends abruptly the moment you’ve got their money, you’re no more likely to get their business the second time around than any of your competitors, because you haven’t built a bond with them. Industry statistics suggest that returning customers usually make larger purchases than they did the first time around, so if you’re getting that second purchase, you’ll be making more money. Earn it. Reach out to them after their first interaction and invite them to complete a survey. If they give you detailed feedback, acknowledge it, and respond to any issues that they raised. If they had only good things to say, thank them and consider sending them a voucher, or any reward you’re able to provide. It’s a small thing to you, but to your customer it means their business is valued!
It boosts customer retention
You can interpret ‘retention’ one of two ways here. If you’ve sold a contractual service to a customer, retention is avoiding them cancelling that contract, or opting not to renew it. If you’ve sold them an individual product, retention is not having them return that product. If we’re not reaching out to customers after they’ve made a purchase, the first we’ll hear that they’re unhappy with what they bought from us is when they attempt to back out of the deal. By then their mind is often made up, and it’s too late to change it. If you reach out to them within a few days of making the purchase and give them the chance to raise queries, you’re also giving yourself the chance to handle objections. All you need is an email address for them, and you can schedule to send them a follow up at an appropriate point after a sale has completed. The better your retention rates are, the better your bottom line looks.
It helps you identify trends
All of your data is probably telling you that there’s nothing wrong with the products or services you offer. You may get the occasional complaint, return, or cancellation, but isolated incidents don’t indicate a trend. You’ll only become aware of trends if you’re getting detailed feedback from customers who buy from you. That trend could be anything – it could be an aspect of the product which is vulnerable to breaking or performing unsatisfactorily. It could be a customer sales agent you have who is routinely irritating or upsetting customers. Even something as trivial as the delivery method you use for your products may be causing annoyance with your customers, but if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. Identifying problems you didn’t know to existed also means you can make improvements you weren’t aware where possible.
It generates more sales
No matter how much you spend on marketing, the best source of advertising for any company, in any trade, is word of mouth. Even though advertising can be a major positive in the sale of any product, most people will ask a friend or family member for advice if they’re considering making a purchase for the first time. You can improve your chances of getting those personal recommendations by asking for them directly. When you’re sending out feedback questionnaires, be sure to include space for the names and contact details of anybody who that customer wishes to introduce to you. You could even incentivize your existing customer by offering them a small referral perk for anybody they introduce, or a discount off their next purchase. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but people love getting something for nothing, and if they’ve enjoyed their interactions with you then they have no reason not to act as an introducer for you. When they do, you now have a new customer to sell to, and even more referrals to take from them after the sale.
There are many more reasons why customer feedback is a great thing – not least the fact that it’s the only sure way of monitoring customer satisfaction – but the four points we’ve just covered illustrate that customer feedback can lead to larger second purchases, fewer losses and cancellations, free insight into best business practices, and more customers at your door. You would likely pay a business consultant thousands of dollars if they could promise you all of that – so why not save the money and put a questionnaire together today?
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