The accessibility and convenience provided by social media channels and websites enabled new ways for customers to provide feedback. Customers can now freely express their opinions and tell the world their experiences in doing business with a brand.
As a business owner, you have to ask yourself, “How can you improve customer experience when you ignore the feedback consumers provide?” User feedback, whether positive or negative, should be given equal importance if you want your business to grow.
The Cost of Ignoring User Feedback
Many companies provide feedback forms on their websites, social media pages and email campaigns. However, they fail to give importance to consumers who take time formulating their responses, which is worse than having no way to send feedback at all.
Companies often disregard the importance of customer feedback because they think it has little to do with increasing profits and stimulating growth. They couldn’t be further from the truth because the fact of the matter is, when you ignore feedback, you allow little room for improvement.
According to the 2017 Customer Service Barometer conducted by American Express, a number of items prove that the quality of customer service greatly affects business performance:
- Americans tell more people about their bad experiences compared to the number of people they share their good experiences with after doing business with a brand.
- Thirty-three percent (33%) of the survey participants said they’ll consider dealing with another business after experiencing poor customer service.
- More than 50% of the respondents said they’ve ditched their purchase plans because of bad customer service.
That’s not all. In research conducted by NewVoiceMedia, they found out that US businesses are losing around $62 billion a year due to bad customer experiences. The figure has been increasing since 2013, and this trend will continue if businesses don’t address the issue seriously.
Imagine the gravity of these situations and how it can greatly affect customer retention and lead conversions. You’ll surely be building a bad reputation for your business if you keep ignoring these issues. And as we all know, no one wants to deal with a business that’s brought a lot of headache to their customers.
But how else will you know about these hitches in your business if you don’t evaluate customer feedback?
Importance of Customer Feedback
Knowing how customers feel when they do business with you can go a long way. Here are other advantages of using customer feedback to empower business growth:
1. Assess customer satisfaction.
A basic rating system can give you a general idea of how your business is doing in their perspectives. One of the most popular metrics for gauging customer satisfaction is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). It is a simple tool that can give you a general idea of how likely your brand is to be recommended to your customers’ friends.
Hiring the service of a mystery shopping and market research service provider like SeeLevel HX can help with interpreting customer experience data. They have experts who are equipped with the right tools that help them provide actionable insights that you can use to improve business performance.
2. Know how your products and services are doing.
Businesses usually conduct a lot of research before launching a new product or service to the market. Projections are made as well as potential risks involved in launching planned offers. Still, no matter how convincing these predictions are, they’re just imaginary numbers that are yet to be proven by customer response.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve created the most flawless product out there. If people don’t want it, it’s a failure. Remember, it’s their opinion that matters and not yours.
Customer insight will give you the actual data you need to prove whether your assumptions about your new product are true or not. Either way, it gives you an opportunity to further improve your offers and ensure you’re satisfying the needs of your target audience.
3. Improve business-to-customer (B2C) relationships.
People appreciate it when they’re valued by businesses. This especially holds true when it comes to B2C relationships. This is because companies deal with thousands of consumers every day, yet they take the time and spend the effort responding to each customer.
Asking for customer feedback, regardless if it’s positive or negative, shows that you want to listen to what your audience has to say. This shows that you’re not in business solely for dough. Your primary concern is to solve their problems and give them the best value for their money.
By valuing customer opinions, you make them feel involved in your business decisions. Hearing out the voice of the customer and taking their suggestions into consideration helps improve retention and brand loyalty. Customers wouldn’t think about switching to another brand when you give them the attention they need.
Evolving into a customer-centric company is what you should be aiming for, and the only way to do this is to put customer feedback on the top of your list of concerns.
4. Offer a unique customer experience.
Nowadays, the competition is not just about how fast you can release new products to the market, but more on how you provide customer service. By providing the best customer experience, you give your business an edge over the competition.
According to the 2017 Customer Service Barometer, 70% of consumers are willing to spend an average of 21% more just to receive better customer experience.
How will you give them the best customer experience if you don’t know what they like and dislike about your service? The best and most accurate way to get this is by getting customer feedback.
Customer feedback allows you to quickly address any dissatisfaction concerning your brand. Allowing people to see your commitment to brand improvement increases the chance of retaining their trust in your services.
5. Gain essential user feedback in product reviews.
People don’t give much weight on what ‘experts’ say about a brand. These experts are usually paid to give good comments and reviews, so why would you believe them? Customers trust user reviews more since they’re believed to have come from people who have actually purchased and tried the product.
Take a look at restaurants, hotels, shops and even ride-hailing apps. The rating and customer reviews on these services affect the decision-making of people who are just about to avail them. They’ll absolutely prefer a product with high user ratings over one with mediocre to low approval grade.
The rating system associated with product reviews has become a huge factor that affects sales. This is why, aside from maintaining the quality of their goods, businesses must make sure they take good care of their customers or suffer the consequences of receiving a low rating.
Businesses like Uber and Airbnb stay at the top of the game because they’re able to quickly detect poor services with the help of customer feedback. This gives them ample time to resolve issues before they become unmanageable.
Opinions matter not only to businesses but also to other consumers. Before you buy a shoe, book a hotel, or dine in a restaurant, you look at customer reviews to ensure you’ll be spending your resources on something worthy. This is one of the instances where customer feedback can directly affect sales revenue.
6. Receive the most reliable data you need – customer feedback.
You can extract a ton of information from user feedback and use this to make better business decisions.
Where should you focus your attention? On releasing new products or strengthening the quality of your current lineup? How often do you get complaints about a certain product? Should you invest in marketing campaigns to reach a larger audience or should you hold back for now and spend the resources instead on more pressing matters?
Customer feedback can help answer these important questions. You’ll be able to see your strengths and weaknesses, internal and external issues, and consumer trends that will affect your financial decisions.
In improving customer retention, you just have to remember one simple thing: satisfied customers will stay and unhappy ones will leave. However, you won’t have a single idea on what customers want, need, like and dislike if you don’t get their feedback.
Evaluating customer feedback is better handled by a market research company like SeeLevel HX. We can help you get insightful and real customer feedback with our research programs. If you want to understand your customers better, our market research services can be of great help in this area.