Customer feedback tools that engage and empower your customers
Getting to know your customers and how they feel about your business can drive loyalty more than any discount.
Your customers are the driving force of your business, and understanding them — what they need, what inspires them, and what they’re passionate about — can help you improve or grow your business. By asking the right customer survey questions, you can streamline your marketing efforts, tailor products and services to your customers’ needs, and build trust among your loyal customers.
"Small business owners must get into the habit of actively engaging customers," says Doug Dvorak, Founder and Managing Principal of The Sales Coaching Institute. "That starts with determining the platform and technique you want to use."
The options for surveying customers are plentiful, from in-person and phone questionnaires to email surveys and online reviews. Dvorak recommends that all small business owners use review websites, such as Angie's List and Yelp, to stay connected to customers. But that's not the only way to capture feedback from your customers. Here are a few other customer feedback tools you can use to improve your customer’s experience.
Embed a survey on your website
A brief survey on your website, embedded from a platform like SurveyMonkey, allows you to ask customers who are already engaged with your brand for feedback. You can gauge their interests and encourage brand loyalty in a few seconds with the right survey questions.
Social media surveys
Your business’s social accounts may help you tap into customer insights. On Facebook, you have the ability to promote posts to specific audiences based on their age, location, interests, and other factors using paid advertising — so you can single out your target audience to ask for feedback through polls and posts. On Twitter, you can host a “Twitter party,” by creating a hashtag and prompting your followers to tweet answers to questions with the chance to win prizes. You can learn more about your customers and their needs while simultaneously engaging them.
Mobile text messages
A 2015 Pew report found 97% of smartphone owners used text messaging at least once over the course of the study period, making it the most widely-used basic feature or app1 Leverage this popular tool by sending messages of your own. When your customers opt in to receive texts from your business, you can send alerts with information on new products and services, and links to surveys so they can provide feedback.
While digital platforms are efficient in gathering customer feedback, your business may have a customer segment that prefers pen and paper. You can have them readily available at the register, with customer bills at a restaurant, and at the entrance of your storefront. Some people find it easier to fill out surveys right away than going online at a later time. You may even consider offering an incentive for completing surveys.
Personal phone calls or emails
"This is even more powerful than gaining feedback through digital platforms because few business owners do it," Dvorak says. Many small business owners are too busy to prioritize feedback, so just imagine your customer’s delight when he or she receives a personal message from you. You may get a new, loyal customer in addition to insights about your business.
Once you have compiled customer responses, it’s imperative that you analyze the feedback and take action to build trust amongst your customers.