Believe it or not – and despite the fact that so many of us now recognise data as one of the most valuable assets a business has at its disposal – many companies continue to overlook the importance of customer feedback.
It is, in many instances, still treating like an optional extra – one that, even if it is pursued, is often put to one side and rarely explored to its full potential. This comes in spite of so much evidence pointing to the high value of curating extensive customer feedback
Microsoft recently found that around 47% of customers do not believe that brands will action the feedback they give to them, although younger consumers are more likely to feel optimistic. Right away, this tells us that a business actively seeking out their valued customers’ opinions instantly portrays themselves as a business that wants to provide the very best service possible.
So, why skip this vital step? In the B2C market, having such a heavy marketing schedule can make it hard to squeeze requests for feedback in without feeling as though they are at risk of ‘spamming’ customers – and, if they do manage to make room for it, making full use of that data is another step entirely. In the B2B market, many businesses are under the impression that their niche precludes them from needing such large stores of data.
Of course, in either case, a business stands to gain a lot from pursuing the full potential of customer feedback. Here’s why.
It Confirms What You’re Doing Right
For most business owners, the notion of sending out requests for customer feedback holds vaguely negative connotations – like an invitation to point out the shortfalls in their business. And, while not all feedback will be totally complimentary, there is plenty to be learned from data which sits in those more approving categories.
Consider a B2Be who, in an attempt to stand out, implemented their own rewards-based program for loyal customers. Despite the fact that there are many benefits to adopting a loyalty program for b2b customers – and, undoubtedly, growing sales figures and increases B2B customer loyalty will speak for themselves. However, it is impossible for any business owner to get the full picture without hearing it from the mouths of their customers.
Confirmation is, at times, as valuable as constructive criticism – and one of the simplest ways of demonstrating to an already loyal clientele that you remain committed to improving programmes, client incentives and the overall user experience.
And, Of Course, Shows Where You’re Falling Short
While it may sting the first couple of times, there is absolutely nothing wrong with receiving constructive criticism. Provided you are already making efforts to support customer retention and ensure a loyal clientele or customer-base, you will have plenty of opportunities to extract genuinely beneficial feedback from customers who have already proved their value to your brand.
Provided you can listen, take it on board and, provided it’s feasible, action it, you will not only be preparing your business for future growth, but also actively demonstrating your commitment to improving the experience for your customers, and ensuring they don’t feel the need to move on. In other words, it’s a win-win for you, and for them.
Obviously, you need to go about gathering feedback the right way but, provided you are already pursuing a B2C or B2B loyalty programme, you will have access to the ideal focus group with which your business can grow.
Interesting related article: “What does Client-Centric mean?“