Today’s Get to Know Your Customers Day! I bet you already knew that and have something big planned to get valuable customer feedback. No? If you haven’t hopped on the feedback wagon, we’ll tell you why it’s a great idea and how to get started.
Why You Should Ask for Feedback
If you’re like the average business, you lose somewhere around 10% of your customer base to turnover every year. And you’ll never know why... unless you ask your customers. Their insights can provide valuable feedback that you can use to reduce turnover and keep more of your customer base.
When customers are unhappy, research shows that only 1 in 26 will actually complain to the company. Of those who don’t complain, as many as 91% leave the company and churn. If you’re not tapping into the feedback of unsatisfied customers, you’re losing a lot of unnecessary business.
It’s estimated that 11% of customer churn can be prevented simply by company outreach. And a whopping 67% of churn can be eliminated if the customer’s problem is solved at the first point of contact.
You probably do plenty of research about what your target market is looking for, but don’t forget to measure what your existing customers want. We know it’s much less costly to keep existing customers than to acquire new ones — it’s also a lot easier to sell into your existing base of customers than to the rest of the market. 65% of companies are able to successfully upsell to existing customers versus just 12% who can cross-sell to new customers. [Source: Huffington Post]
Tapping into what your customers’ needs are no matter how long they’ve been with you can help you to sell more into your existing customer base and give you a good idea of where to focus new product development efforts.
Now How Can You Do It?
There are plenty of ways to elicit customer feedback, and it’s easier than ever with all of today’s technology. Your feedback process can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. Here are some ideas for how to elicit feedback — whether you want to go simple or robust, you can find your groove with one of the methods below.
Keep it Simple
Send surveys to your email list. You’ve been marketing and building your email list, so why not use it? Sending out quick surveys to your customers’ emails is a surefire way to get your questions in front of them. Making your survey brief and super easy to complete will help you get the most responses possible.
Add online surveys to your website. Adding a survey right onto your website is a great way to get feedback while the customer’s experience is fresh and your business is top-of-mind. Surveys about website usability and why a customer did or didn’t make a purchase do great on your site.
Mail out paper surveys. It’s old-fashioned, but super easy to do. Sending out paper surveys is a little less common, so your business may stick out just enough to get a response. The downside is you’ll have to process all of that data by hand or enter into a program like Excel.
Give your customers a call. There’s not much simpler than picking up the phone and making a call. Written surveys are good, but being able to experience your customers’ tone and implicit meanings behind their answers will help you get higher quality feedback and a deeper level of insight.
User testing. When it comes to product, website, or app testing, there’s nothing better than live feedback from actual users while they’re using the product. With tools like UserTesting.com, you can get video feedback of a set number of real users going through a particular process that you specify (e.g. Finding your FAQ, making an online purchase, etc.)
Interviews and focus groups. The big brother of phone interviews -- in-person interviews and focus groups give you tons of useful info from a forum that’s dialogic. By letting the conversation flow, you’ll gain insights that you may never have thought to ask about.
Analytics. Actually talking to your customers is great, but some of the most valuable feedback can be hidden in their behavior. Monitoring your website analytics with a tool like Google Analytics will help you see what behaviors lead to conversion, which don’t, and identify key issues.
Social listening. Some of the best and worst things your customers have to say about your business will end up on social media. That’s why it’s absolutely key to pay attention Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else your customers may be.
Get to Getting to Know
The third Thursday of every quarter is Get to Know Your Customers Day. We celebrate it 4 times a year because being knowledgeable about your customers — their needs and wants — is a crazy huge part of successfully developing and marketing your business.
It’s an ongoing process, so set aside a little time every quarter to learn about those people who make your business float. You’ll draw invaluable insight and be better off for your efforts.