You deliver an outstanding customer experience that your customers love. You may occasionally wonder—shouldn’t outstanding experiences sell themselves? Yes, but there’s a caveat. If you want to continue pulling in customers and keep them coming back, you have to set up a feedback loop. With the right tools and strategy, you’ll have a well-oiled lead-driving machine that basically runs itself.
Read on to learn how to collect customer feedback in a way that will turn out loyal customers and increase your marketing success.
What is a Customer Feedback Loop?
A customer feedback loop is a strategy designed to capitalize on customer satisfaction and keep businesses in a state of constant improvement with a customer focus. A customer feedback loop:
- Helps more people find you through the feedback (reviews) other customers give you.
- Allows you to improve your customer experience by gathering data from the people who interact most with your business.
- Shows you where your processes/products/services have room for improvement.
Businesses usually collect feedback through reviews, in-person conversations, and surveys.
With a well-designed customer feedback loop, you can improve customer relationships with a minimal time investment on your end. And the time you do invest in setting up a customer feedback loop is time well spent—you’ll be better able to retain customers and provide more personalized, high-quality service to both future and existing customers.
Reach Customers When They’re Most Engaged
A key part of collecting customer feedback is knowing when to collect it. Usually, the best time to gather feedback is immediately after a purchase or transaction, when the customer experience is fresh on your customers’ minds.
At this point, when customers are most engaged, the best thing to do is ask them to leave a review and or ask them to rate you on a scale from 1 to 10. To increase engagement, you might highlight a specific aspect of their experience with you or mention something they were particularly satisfied with.
Ways to Gather Customer Feedback
Ready to gather customer feedback and create a more positive customer experience? Here are a few ways to get started.
Net Promoter Score
One of the simplest ways to gather customer feedback is to measure your net promoter score (NPS). Your net promoter score is a market metric that usually takes the form of a single question asking customers to rate the likelihood that they would recommend your business or service to a friend.
Measuring NPS is a great way to get a feel for how willing customers are to advocate for you and can indicate whether you should ask for more feedback. Based on their response, you might then send a second text asking for clarification on what made their experience positive or negative. You can use template questions or create your own customized texts.
Customer surveys constitute an invaluable solution for businesses seeking to deliver better customer service, better understand problem areas and breakdowns in service delivery or product design and development, and improve their profitability and success.
While customer surveys can be tremendously valuable, they must be constructed in the right way in order to attain that value. Done the wrong way, your customers will be disinterested and likely not engage at all.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind if you want to create a successful customer survey:
- Keep it simple—customers are less likely to answer complicated questions.
- Keep it connected to your customer experience.
- Ask the right questions—surveys should be tied to a specific goal.
- Don’t ask too many questions at once.
- Be specific.
Nearly 60% of consumers look at online reviews at least once a week and 93% say that online reviews have an impact on their purchase decisions. With the power of online reviews growing each year, local businesses are placing more emphasis on building their online reputation.
To collect feedback through reviews, first set expectations with your customers. Let them know why reviews are important to you and tell them to expect a review invite. After their experience with you, send a text thanking them along with a link they can click to leave you a review on sites such as Google or Facebook. If you make it super simple and time it right, your reputation will build itself.
3 Tips for Gathering More Feedback
Ready to up your game and increase customer loyalty? Read on for more tips on gathering amazing customer feedback.
- Ask for specific customer feedback.
One of the biggest problems that businesses run into while collecting reviews is customers not taking the time to leave in-depth feedback. While your star rating and the total number of reviews are important in attracting the attention of online searchers, the content of your reviews is what has the most power to influence purchase decisions.
To solve this problem, we recommend encouraging customers to give you feedback on a specific aspect of your business when you ask for a review. If you’re a car dealership, you might ask about the cleanliness of the showroom or the length of the car-buying process. If you’re a home services business, you might ask about the friendliness or knowledge of your staff.
Oftentimes, the reason why your customers leave shorter feedback is that they don’t know what to write about. By asking for specific feedback, you will help your customer focus their thoughts and the result will likely be a review that’s more valuable to your business and future customers.
- Use automations.
As a small business, you don’t have the time or resources to be hands-on with every aspect of the customer journey. You might not have a support team or multiple customer success teams to focus solely on customer communication. And because timing is so crucial to getting helpful customer feedback, finding the right tools can be key.
A great way to hit customers with feedback collection at the right time is by using automation tools. Software solutions like Podium sync with point-of-sale systems to automatically ask for feedback when it’s most likely to be collected. You can even choose what percentage of your customers receive feedback requests versus review invites. By using tools that allow you to automate the feedback collecting process, you can get real-time feedback that lets you know how satisfied your customers are.
- Gather customer feedback from everyone.
It might seem like a good idea to only ask your happiest customers to review your business. We don’t recommend doing this. This method will ensure that you are always putting your best foot forward with potential customers, sure, but it also could create a false narrative about your business. If your actual customer experience doesn’t line up with the expectations created by reviews, you could have a lot of unhappy customers on your hands.
What we recommend is asking all of your customers to leave you feedback. This is the best way to ensure that your online presence is representative of the real-life experiences customers can expect to have with you. Don’t be afraid of getting a negative review every now and then. No business is perfect. Having bad reviews mixed in with your good reviews will give your online presence authenticity and it will help you know where there is room to improve.
Get Started Gathering Customer Feedback
Not all feedback tools are created equally—and not all are designed specifically for business growth.
Podium’s Customer Interaction Platform lets your business send short texts to customers asking for immediate feedback on your products and services. It gives you instant access to valuable insights and provides you with data you can use to make important improvements.
Furthermore, Podium’s customer response notifications connect you with the customer right away so you can mitigate any potential problems. Analytics help you track feedback trends over time, pinpointing what your business is doing well and where changes should be made. You can also assess patterns in your NPS (as well as other communication metrics) and monitor changes over time.
Ready to get started? Learn how Podium can help you create an amazing customer feedback loop and increase customer happiness here.