With Feedback, You Won't Backtrack
Looking for your next growth strategy for your business? Survey your clients.
This is probably one of the few appropriate cases when you should care about what people think… because these people are your clients or customers. When running a business, it’s so important to prioritize them by providing means for communication. Client satisfaction has the power to make or break your business. For that reason, you need to ensure they are happy with your products and services so they remain loyal; and so that your business continues to grow financially, in popularity, and continues to make an impact.
Advance, Advance, Advance
Client feedback surveys are your tool to growth and success because they help gauge the strengths and weaknesses of your business. By implementing them and making them a core value in your business, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Your client is paying you for your products and services, so give them an opportunity to voice their stories with feedback surveys. Plus, aren’t you curious to know how you are doing?
Consider feedback surveys the best method for your company to show them that you care. By offering them an opportunity to voice what they have to say, you’re actually doing yourself a favor, too. You’re saving time by doing a company evaluation yourself, and your clients can help you avoid future mistakes on something you should have realized before.
People's opinions are abundant and free. Your clients will usually be happy to tell you what they think! And they will come back for more if they feel that they have been heard. It is crucial to maintain a relationship with your clients by periodically asking, “How are we doing?”. It will only benefit you.
Be receptive to any feedback – good or poor – because recognition feels good, and there is always room for improvement! Yet, over 60 percent of companies – especially large ones – don’t know their clients. Even if you get mostly positive feedback, and one negative, pay attention to it because for every client who complains, there are 26 others who won’t tell you when they’re dissatisfied. A common mistake that companies make is assuming that they perfectly understand their client’s wants and needs.
Bear in mind the clear distinction between perception and reality – in a study, about 80 percent of executives thought they provided excellent service, meanwhile only eight percent of clients agreed.
This is a huge gap – and a risky one – because clients will leave if they don’t feel valued. All it takes is one unpleasant experience, and they change their entire outlook on your company. In fact, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved, negative experience.
Worst Case Scenario: Buried Treasure
Ok, let’s be real, people can be mean; sometimes they can exaggerate their poor experiences. It’s easy to take these comments to heart when you care about your company. Try not to read them as insults, but rather buried secrets to success… But it’s important to dig for this treasure quickly.
Although most successful companies do conduct client feedback surveys, many don’t act fast enough on the data. This is almost the same thing as not having them. So why would you hold back from negative feedback? Well, it’s easy to procrastinate after reading a nasty comment, but clients don’t care about your feelings, they care about theirs. By not taking action quickly enough, you are letting your clients resort to your competitors as an alternative.
Client surveys are a tool of successful company-client relationship. Treat this tool like gold, use it wisely, and act quickly on the gathered data. When customers share their story with your product or service, treat it like a lesson on how you can improve.
You might be thinking this is common sense, but it’s more compelling than you might realize. Check out these statistics if you need more proof: https://www.visioncritical.com/stats-customer-surveys/.
Final Thoughts: Survey Best Practices There are two danger zones you want to avoid when implementing your client surveys: not implementing enough, and clogging people’s email inboxes with them. Consider the following numbers:
72 percent of customers said surveys interfere with their experience of a website
80 percent of customers have abandoned a survey halfway through
52 percent said they would not spend more than three minutes filling out a survey
From 1997 to 2012, there was a steep decline of 36 percent in response rates
The above data suggests that client surveys are at risk of becoming useless. Over time, companies have begun to abuse their benefit by overusing surveys. We’ve all experienced a website with overwhelming feedback requests, or a company that sends too many emails per day. This will only cause your clients frustration. The keys are balance and relevance.
If you can, don't rely solely on electronic surveys. If you have the time and means, choose a select group of respondents to interview over the phone or in person. Maintaining the face-to-face interaction will often yield more specific, more honest feedback with the added benefit of increased brand value. If you sell a service, it's a good idea to hand off the in-person or phone surveys to someone who doesn't "own" the account. Your clients or customers usually feel more comfortable discussing problems (or potential solutions!) when the account owner is absent.
Finally, incorporate an incentive for clients to complete your survey. Remember that people are almost always pressed for time and have short attention spans. You want to be in the very center of the spectrum between not enough and too much. Pace yourself. Create a schedule – maybe once a month or quarter, or immediately after a purchase – and make it enjoyable to do! Perhaps reward survey respondents with a discount, a chance to win a gift card or sought-after gift; and make the survey fun and interactive. Be sure to have open-ended questions so they can voice their experiences.
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