In today’s world of social media especially, consumers have a new expectation to be closer to a brand, let their voice be heard, and have a way to engage in a conversation with somebody from the brand who can actually do something to respond to their suggestions.
Does this mean your brand must be on social media to get feedback? Yes and no. While it is an excellent platform for engaging customers, there are other ways your business can seek customer feedback without directing people to a Facebook page, or relentlessly monitoring Twitter (although those are good ideas for any business).
We compiled a few ideas of how businesses can best get customer feedback in ways that actually give results.
Start with your target market first. This can be your current clients or groups of people who you have talked to prior to launching your business. Provide a free service and allow them to play around with your product or engage with your service as they would normally. Once they have had a chance to dig in deep, ask them for their feedback through a survey. This will give you the most honest results from people who actually need your solution.
For web-based companies, using programs such as Napkin Labs to create a virtual focus room allows businesses to provide a prototype to their clients who already use their product and watch how they engage with the product. This allows them to gain valuable feedback about how their target market will use new features, or which parts of their product are most valuable.
Put it on your Website – Carefully
How many times have you visited a webpage, waited for what felt like a little longer than you should for it to load, only to have a survey pop up even before you could get to the meat of what you were searching for? So many people who see this close it immediately, and many even leave the site. For a survey to work on a website, there are certain guidelines that must be followed.
First, do not put the survey on your homepage. Give a chance for the customer to engage with your content and find what they are looking for before asking for their feedback. Then, give an incentive for them to want to provide you with this feedback. Their time is valuable and when you treat it as such through an incentive, you are likely to get better results. Finally, make the survey about a benefit for them. In the long run, they want to feel confident that their feedback will be taken seriously. Tell them up front how taking the survey can help them.
Get an App to Help
Certain apps, such as AYTM (Ask Your Target Market)and uSamp are great ways to use the power of technology to determine customer opinions. These programs give you access to consumers who are willing and ready to give you feedback. You can select the consumers in your target market and the app will find them for you.
Other apps, such as Zoomerang and Survey Monkey(who recently purchased Zoomerang and are in the process of shifting all accounts over), give you options to survey a pool of consumers in your target market, as well as a way to create a survey for your existing database of users. Depending on your business goals, these apps provide multiple ways to garnish feedback.
No matter how you choose to gain feedback, the importance of engaging with your customers and giving them a voice cannot be ignored if your business wants to succeed.