~by Haley Lynn Gray~
When learning the lessons of becoming an entrepreneur, one of the most important is how to listen to your customers’ wants and needs. Listening to your customers can transform your business, but how do you get started with what can be such a difficult lesson to learn?
Listening to your customers can be as simple as getting on Facebook or having them fill out a form for feedback to get a deeper understanding about your business. Here are 4 great ways to get constructive criticism from your customers for a better business.
Look to Social Media For Feedback. Using social media has grown exponentially in the last 5 years, and this is for all age groups! With the growth of the use of social media, so has the ease of gathering customer feedback through these platforms.
It’s easier than ever to collect customer feedback since customers have an outlet open 24/7 to give it. Social media also helps with clearing up customer concerns in real-time. This will keep them happy and help to catch and fix any problems immediately. More than ever before, we can build customer relationships through social media and maintain them with these platforms, our websites, and in our face-to-face or phone conversations.
Ask for Feedback Through Your Website & Email. Besides social media, the easiest way for customers to give input will be through your website’s contact form and/or email. Be sure that your contact area or email address on your website is clearly denoted so it is easy for them to get in touch with you. Label with a sincere phrase (i.e., more than “Leave us feedback”) to show you sincerely care about what they have to say, and you do! Have an autoresponder set up to show that you received their message or email, then follow up within 24 hours to their feedback – positive or negative – to build a strong customer relationship.
Use Customer Surveys. Surveys have been gathering feedback for decades. Though they aren’t an interactive way to gather customer information, they can still provide valuable insights on you and your business. A survey’s main purposes are to identify what you’re doing that is great, and if applicable, what you’re doing that isn’t so great. Customers can give feedback through anonymous means and can help with breaking through to those people that are otherwise too anxious to criticize or give their opinions.
Use a Combination of These Tactics. The best way to gather the most complete view of you and your business is to employ a combination of the approaches listed above. There isn’t one best method to get feedback since it’s entirely up to the customer which way they will get in touch with you with their opinions.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are gathering this information for a reason. The very worst thing to do is to ask customers for feedback and their criticism then never do anything with it. Be sure to gather the information, consider it, then employ the customers’ input into solutions to better both yourself and your business.
Meet the Author: Haley Gray
Haley works with female entrepreneurs. The only problem? Many want their business to grow so that they can make money to pay the bills, send the kids to dance lessons, and be able to spend quality time with the kids.
Haley works with her clients to create a strategy plan for their business – so that they can make enough money to spend that quality time with their family, pay for their children’s lessons, pay bills, and not worry about where the next client is coming from.
Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She offers Business Coaching, Business Plan Development and Strategy Sessions for entrepreneurs. Whether you want to get a new business off the ground, or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.
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