How Customer Feedback Benefits Business Growth

Customers are at the centre of any business and its growth. However, some organisations are scared to reach out to their customer base for feedback, despite the fact that gathering this information is key to improving services and products. 

Customers can be reluctant to provide this information without prompting, with only 1 in 26 saying they’d tell a business about a negative experience, the rest would rather just leave. This article will explain why you should gather customer feedback and how to do it in the most effective way. 

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Why is customer feedback important? 

A recent survey of nearly 2,000 business professionals found that customer experience would be a priority for 45.9% of respondents in the next five years. This is a reflection of an ongoing trend of customers demanding a better experience alongside businesses looking to differentiate from competitors with an improved service offering.

Along with  helping businesses to stand out in a competitive online-focused marketplace; collecting and acting on customer feedback to improve the service experience has a positive impact on overall satisfaction, retention and profit levels. 

As well as being four times more likely to switch to a competitor because of a service-based problem, three out of five customers surveyed said that good customer service was key to ensuring their brand loyalty. In addition to this, 84% of businesses said that their revenues had increased thanks to improvements in their customer experience reporting. 

In short, gathering customer feedback isn’t just beneficial for the quality of service experience you offer, but for your overall bottom line too. 

What customer feedback techniques are available for business startups?

There are lots of ways business startups can collect customer feedback effectively. In fact, it’s recommended that any organisation use several feedback methods to ensure customers can communicate with you in a way that they feel most comfortable. 

For example, some customers might be more receptive over the phone, whereas others prefer to be contacted via email. Whichever method you choose, you need to make sure you’ve got consent to contact customers and use their personal information in that way. 

Some of the customer feedback techniques that business startups can use include: 

  • Phone calls: whether it’s at the end of a service call or a separate interview, asking a few questions over the phone is one of the quickest ways of gathering rich customer feedback. 
  • Emails: again, this may be as part of a series of communications or a one-off contact. To maximise their effectiveness, personalise the emails or consider providing an incentive like a prize or offer a code in return for responses. 
  • Contact forms: putting a form on your website is one of the easiest ways to collect customer feedback. Make sure it’s well signposted and that the form submissions are monitored to enable a quick and effective response. 
  • Social media: whether it’s through Instagram stories or LinkedIn polls, social media is a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of how your customers are feeling. Monitoring your social media inboxes and comments is also vital  to keeping astride of customer feedback. 
  • Website analytics: without your customers even knowing it, you can gain feedback on the effectiveness of your online and digital service. Google Analytics metrics, CRM insights and specialists tools can give you lots of helpful insights to work from.

As well as using a range of these methods to collect feedback, it’s important  that you gather customer feedback regularly and consistently across the whole customer journey. Automation and CRM tools can make this easier for businesses to manage the continuous improvement at each stage of the service experience. 

What are the benefits of customer feedback surveys? 

One of the most common ways to gather information about a service experience are customer feedback surveys. There are several examples, each of which has its own uses and benefits.

Open-ended surveys

Whether these are conducted as interviews or are text-based answer forms, they allow customers to elaborate on how they’re feeling about their service experience in their own words. Asking one or two long-form questions can provide  you with some very detailed  content to work with and improve from. 

Multiple-choice surveys 

If you want to ask customers about multiple areas of your service offering, then a multiple-choice survey might be more appropriate. This allows you to ask lots of questions that return quantitative, objective responses. 

Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys

Similarly to a pule survey for employees, CSAT surveys usually ask one question that requires respondents to answer yes, no or with a number rating e.g. ‘how satisfied were you with our service today?’ (1 is unsatisfied, 5 is very satisfied). This allows you to get a snapshot of insight into particular stages of your customer journey. 

Net promoter score (NPS) surveys

One of the most widely-used customer surveys, NPS asks customers to rate how likely they are to recommend a business, product or service out of ten. This provides a percentage of ‘detractors’ and ‘promoters’ that you can then track and compare over the long-term. 

Customer effort score (CES) surveys

This measures how much effort it takes to use a product, access a service or fix a problem through customer support. E.g. you may ask, ‘how easily was your problem solved today?’ and the customer will select their response from a number rating. Using this survey at several touchpoints will help you to deliver a seamless experience. 

Each of these surveys has its own particular uses and benefits. So, depending on the context and type of information you’re trying to gather, it may be worth using a few different types. However, whichever type of survey you’re using, ensure that you keep them short, clear and easy to use to ensure you get the best possible response. 

Then once you’ve gathered this data, you can start to analyse it in a CRM, database or spreadsheet, develop insights and take action to improve your customer service. This won’t only  help you to retain and attract more customers, but also improve your products, services and overall bottom line.

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Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.