Being brave enough to look at feedback can help us improve whatever we’re doing at hand.
Using feedback to fuel growth is what drives businesses in every industry forward.
Not every company relies on customer feedback to improve their operations, and they’re missing out. You can learn so much about yourself, your customers and your company just by reviewing feedback from your most valued clients.
Let’s explore more about the significant role feedback plays in your overall marketing strategy.
Customers often want their voices heard in the form of feedback when it comes to a brand’s goods or services. Customer feedback can be a simple conversation with a manager or C-suite executive, or it could be digital feedback, where clients post reviews on platforms such as Yelp or Qype.
Believe it or not, the role of feedback becomes even more important when it concerns your marketing efforts because that feedback can influence other customers. For example, suppose a disgruntled customer leaves a review on your website.
Research shows that 79% of customers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. For your business, this could mean a lost customer due to a poor review.
There’s both positive and negative feedback that customers tend to give to the brands they’ve come to know and love. Regardless of if the feedback is positive or negative, all feedback should be treated as valuable. Positive feedback shows that you’re marketing effectively, while negative feedback shows you areas you need to improve.
Perhaps negative feedback is more valuable than positive. When someone calls you out for any wrongdoings, the entire situation becomes a pivotal learning experience for you. While it may not feel great to hear negative feedback, listening to your customer’s opinions is crucial.
Hearing and applying customer feedback allows you to:
- Measure customer satisfaction
- Value client opinions
- Create more quality customer experiences
- Use concrete data to make business decisions
- Improve your customer retention
These are only a few of the benefits of using feedback to your advantage in your business. Any business, regardless of industry, can benefit in these ways.
Creating a feedback loop ensures that feedback is constantly cycling through your business. Essentially, a feedback loop starts with the customer and the feedback they provide. Then, the next step of the process is to take that feedback to influence change in your products, services, marketing plans and more.
Feedback loops are almost more important than the feedback itself. What purpose does feedback serve if it won’t be used to improve your operations? There are multiple options on the market that allow you to gather feedback from your customers.
Below are some steps to follow when gathering feedback from customers:
- Create a survey using SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics, or Zoomerang, for example.
- Keep questions simple and to the point
- Distribute your survey via mail, email, or chatbot on your website
- Conduct phone interviews with selected customers
- Analyze feedback results and organize them in an understandable way
- Personalize responses to feedback as often as possible
Following these steps helps you to create a customer feedback loop. You can refer to this anytime you need to garner feedback from your customers about your products or services.
Applying feedback may be one of the more challenging parts of the feedback process. Thankfully, we’ll provide you with three simple steps to follow to help you apply your feedback in no time.
Trying to identify areas of growth based on the feedback you received is no walk in the park. However, you can benefit from taking the time to analyze your data, review your feedback and draw conclusions and insights based on that information.
Take a look at the feedback you’ve received and take note of any common patterns. This will help guide you as you look for areas of improvement.
Suppose you receive feedback from multiple customers saying they receive too many marketing emails a week. From there, you now know that you should dial down your email strategy and maybe up the ante in another area of your marketing strategy.
If you’re a small business owner or a digital marketer, you can rely on your skills and experience to help guide you through the application process. Trust your instincts, and if you notice specific feedback patterns, then you’re probably headed in the right direction.
After making changes to your marketing plans, the last step you want to take is to set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound). By setting a SMART goal, you’re able to measure if the feedback you applied had any positive or negative consequences. This may be one of the most important steps in the process.
How will you measure it otherwise? It’s good to ask these types of questions before implementing any major changes to your business.
Running a business and executing a marketing plan can be challenging at times. Thankfully, customer feedback can help make it a bit easier on you and your fellow employees.
If you look in the right places, customer feedback is everywhere. Using various online tools and resources can help you garner enough feedback to enact real, relevant changes within your business.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly. She was the director at a marketing agency before becoming a freelance web designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear.