Leadership & Strategy | June 5, 2017

Hollaback Y’all
Web Design - Man choosing happy or sad graphics for survey review

Can we get a little hollaback, y’all? Because without customer feedback, it can be difficult to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie. There’s a lot of value to customer response, but you need to understand how to use customer feedback to your advantage. Here are a few ways that you can improve your business with input from your customers.

Understand the Scope of Your Feedback

There are plenty of ways to get feedback from your customers. However, before you use it, you should consider the source. Are you looking at responses to a survey of current customers? Is your feedback from everyone who visited your website or only those who made purchases? Think about who left the feedback and how that might affect the way you use it.

For example, if all of your feedback has come from customers who have current accounts with you, their feedback won’t tell you anything about why customers leave your business. For that, you would need to survey customers who no longer have accounts with you. Before you make any major changes and use customer feedback, consider whom you’re listening to.

Share Your Feedback with Other Staff Members

Whether the feedback is negative or positive, you should share the results with your other staff members. You can use customer feedback that’s positive to boost their morale. Bad feedback can show them where they need to improve. And it can help you to brainstorm with them to develop solutions to your problems.

Identify Solutions to Customer Problems

Customer feedback can identify the weaknesses of your business. Knowing those weaknesses isn’t useful if you don’t take any action to fix it. You need to identify common issues that your customers face. Look for problems that multiple customers have complained about and make a list of the most pressing concerns.

Once you know the problems, you can use customer feedback to create solutions. Often, customers will provide solutions without even realizing it. If not, come up with your own ways to fix things. When no solution seems apparent, you can always call in outside help.

Test Your Solutions Before Implementing Them

After you have one or more solutions, you need to test them because you don’t want to make the same mistake twice. While you might be tempted to take action immediately, you need to do your due diligence to make sure your solution will actually fix the problem and won’t make things worse. Record everything while you test the solution. If you don’t notice any positive changes in your statistics, you may need to find a different solution.

Respond to Your Customers

If customers give you feedback and you ignore their responses, you might end up losing their business. You should always respond to their feedback with an appropriate message. It can be automated, but should seem personal.

It’s especially important to personally respond to a customer if you’ve made a change because of a customer’s response. After you’ve made a change, be sure to respond to customers with an email that explains the details of it. If they know that you listen to their feedback, they may be more likely to stand behind your products or services.

Improve Your Listening Skills

Listening is key! These six steps can help you become a better listener, and subsequently a better communicator.