Gain Customer Feedback You Can Actually Use
Posted on 05/28/2012
You’ll never know what your customers want if you don’t ask them. Sometimes getting over that first hurdle of asking is the biggest challenge. However, just asking questions may not be enough. There’s an art to gaining the feedback you seek and there is a correct way to ask your customers. Whether you’re asking them in person, through email or via direct mail, you will need to know how to generate the type of feedback that will help your company. Luckily, there are some easy ways to getting the feedback that will help your company grow.
Ask Clear Questions
It’s like you’re back in high school sitting in the class you despised most. Your teacher hands you the test and when you read the question, you have no idea what you’re being asked. Don’t be that teacher. Instead, be as precise as you can. For example, instead of asking “Did you like the product?” ask “What feature did you like best about the product?” The latter question requires more in depth analysis than simply a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.
Watch the Wording
Also, beware of how you choose to word your questions. Research professional Carey Azzara pointed out that when companies ask their clients to rate something “lower than expected” or “higher than expected,” you assume that everybody came in with the same expectations. This is never true, and it can be fixed by simply rewording your questions to be more precise.
Objection, Leading the Witness
It’s easy to let your own voice get in the way of what you’re trying to ask your customers. Since you are trying to gain feedback about something near and dear to you, it’s easy to set the questions up for positive feedback. You might ask clients about their favorite features of a new product, but you fail to ask them what they thought was flawed.
Another form of leading the customer happens when companies list a fact that portrays your company in a positive light, and then ask a question. While this seems like a good idea, you’re asking clients to make an assumption based off the information you have provided. Avoid these leading questions and other forms that could sway the feedback you receive.
Put it to Use
Now that you have all the facts you need, make sure you take the time to analyze what that means for the future of the company or the product. Customers will take notice if you implement the changes, but they will also notice if you don’t listen to what they have to say. It’s crucial for customer satisfaction that you understand what your clients want from you. If you aren’t gaining feedback anonymously, don’t be afraid to ask follow up questions if you don’t understand a response that you’ve received.