9 Opportunities Your Local Business Misses by Ignoring Customer Feedback
With so many things to demand your attention while running a business, it’s easy to see why many business owners and managers don't prioritize collecting and leveraging customer feedback. It can feel like just another thing to add to the list.
But the truth is customer feedback isn’t something that can or should be ignored.
When you approach customer feedback with the right strategy, it can help you better understand customers, make more informed business decisions, and build a larger base of loyal brand fans.
How Customer Feedback Can Help Your Business
If you aren’t collecting customer feedback and reviewing what people say about your brand, you could be missing out on these opportunities to boost your business.
#1) Support lifecycle marketing initiatives.
Gaining new customers isn't the only goal for a business. You also want customers to come back again (and again and again). You need to use lifecycle marketing to keep a customer interested in your brand. But if a customer has bad experiences with your brand, it will be difficult for any type of remarketing to get them to come back. Customer feedback allows you to keep an eye on customer experience and ensure that you provide what customers need to visit again and again.
#2) Curate social proof and quotes to use in your marketing.
Another way that customer feedback can make your marketing more effective is by giving you social proof to show to prospects. You can pull positive feedback from customer reviews and add quotes to your marketing materials. Customers respond positively to reviews from other customers. BrightLocal found that 94% of consumers say, "positive reviews make them more likely to use a business.”
#3) Find brand advocates.
While reviewing customer feedback, you may come across customers who consistently praise your brand or share your products and services on social media. These brand advocates can be valuable to your business. You can thank and reward them for offering free publicity for your brand. Talk to them during an in-person interview to gain more insights into your customer base and conduct a video interview to use for your marketing.
#4) Identify brand differentiators.
Another way that customer feedback can support your marketing initiatives is by helping you identify the unique things that customers love about your brand. When you see the specific things customers love, you can identify the differentiators that make your brand stand out from competitors.
#5) Discover ideas for new offerings.
Customer feedback is a form of market research. When customers share their thoughts and opinions about your offerings, they often share what else they wished you offered. These wish lists can turn into ideas for new products, services, or add-ons to existing offerings.
#6) Identify offerings you can cut.
Just as you can look to customer feedback to identify what you can add to your offering list, you can also identify what you can possibly cut. If you consistently receive poor feedback about a product or service, it might be a sign that customers don't want or need it and it can be removed from your offerings.
#7) Identify issues with operations.
Customer feedback can also help you learn about how well operations are functioning at your business. You can gain information directly from customer reviews or use your data. Remember that business data can act as a customer feedback tool. While it may not come from the customer’s mouth, it can offer insight into their experience. For example, you can compare data across your locations to identify issues. If one of your stores has 50% of sales for pizza delivery and another store only has 25% of sales for pizza delivery, it might be a sign something is going wrong with delivery operations at the second store.
Related: How Multi-Location Restaurants Can Use Data to Increase Revenue & Improve Operations
#8) Know where to direct paid advertising.
When you use customer feedback to identify trends at your business, it can help you decide where to spend your advertising dollars. If customers consistently talk about a product or service, you may want to create a digital advertising campaign to promote that offering because you already know it is well-received by customers.
#9) Show customers you care.
Business transactions should be a two-sided conversation. If you aren’t listening to your customers, they will notice. On the flip-side, if you prioritize your customers by listening to what they have to say and making changes based on their feedback, customers will also notice. It will create more of a sense of community around your brand and lead to higher satisfaction and more brand affinity and loyalty.
Where to Collect & Find Customer Feedback
Now that you know why feedback is valuable to your operations, marketing, and product development, you are probably eager to collect observations and insights from your customers. Here are a few ways to generate new customer reviews and also find feedback that likely already exists for your brand.
- Surveys: Produce a short survey that you send to existing customers via email or text marketing.
- Polls on Social Media: Make it super easy for customers to share their thoughts by putting out polls on social media.
- Online Reviews: Read through the reviews that customers have left on your Google My Business, Local Area Site, Yelp, and Facebook page as well as on any other industry-related review sites.
- Social Media Mentions: Search for your brand name or any branded keywords on social media to see what people say about you.
- Live Chat: Add a live chat to your website to get instant feedback about what questions and concerns customers have.
- Marketing Automation: Use marketing automation to trigger feedback requests based on customer action like placing an order or not visiting in a while.
- Look Your Business Data: Look through your consumer data and business analytics to identify trends that show what customers like and don’t like.
Related: What’s a Customer Data Platform? And Why You Need to Use One
Boost Your Business by Understanding Your Customers Better
Customer feedback is simply too important to ignore. Marketing, operations, and product development can all be influenced by customer input, so you could be missing out on opportunities by failing to listen to what customers have to say.
Learn more about who your customers are and what they want. Create your free account on mySuite by MyArea Network to start connecting with more local customers in your community, see what they have to say, and create better marketing campaigns based on what you learn.