There is nothing more valuable in the world of marketing than customer feedback.
Without it, businesses would stumble blindly through the dark, desperately hoping their goods and services were hitting the mark. That being said, customer feedback can be elusive.
A number of studies have been published in the last few years covering different aspects of customer feedback. Let’s look at some of the data and determine the effect it has on your business.
- For every customer who complains to a business, 26 other customers don’t voice their feelings. (White House Office of Consumer Affairs via Help Scout)
I’m guilty of being one of those 26 consumers — rather than complain, I just take my business elsewhere. If you want to retain customers, you have to carefully consider every piece of customer feedback you receive. Your complaining customers represent a good chunk of the people who do business with you; treat them well and offer resolutions.
- 55% of businesses believe call monitoring to be the most effective way to gather customer feedback. (Deloitte)
- 45% of customers share negative reviews on social media. (Zendesk)
- 59% of 25-34 year-olds share poor customer experiences online. (New Voice Media)
While the telephone is a valid communication channel, it’s not the only one your customers are using. More and more consumers (especially Generation-Y) are attempting to connect with brands online. If you fail to answer queries or address complaints, you’re likely to see attrition.
- 24% of American adults have posted comments or reviews online about the product or services they buy.
- 90% of customers who write reviews do so to help others to make better purchasing decisions. More than 70% want to help companies to improve the products they build and carry. (Bazaarvoice)
- 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. (Bright Local)
Online reviews are huge. You better believe your current customers are leaving them; and potential customers are reading them. While you may prefer to see a gaggle of positive reviews, the negative reviews can still be incredibly helpful. They offer a chance to connect with a dissatisfied customer. If you can solve their problem, there’s a good chance they will continue to do business with you — they may even become an advocate.
- 83% of all consumers have completed at least one survey in the past 12 months, with an average of three to four being completed in that same time period. (Market Force)
- The average response rate for email surveys is roughly 24.8%. (FluidSurveys)
- Data suggests that if a respondent begins answering a survey, there is a sharp increase in drop-off rate that occurs with each additional question up to 15 questions. (Survey Monkey)
Surveys are a great way to gauge how your customers are feeling. In order to meet the greatest success, keep them short, offer incentives for completion, and don’t ask for feedback too often (once or twice a year should do it.)
The most important things to remember when it comes to customer feedback are:
- Offer multiple channels of communication and keep them monitored.
- Make sure your customers can reach a real person in your company, should they desire to.
- Offer solutions in a timely fashion, and remain calm. Getting angry or defensive is the quickest way to lose business.
Customer feedback is a beautiful thing. It allows you to identify your customers’ pain points, modify your products to suit their needs, and innovate within your field. Once you’re able to accomplish these three feats, success is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.