Last post, I stressed how customer testimonials can boost a company before launching. But let’s focus on what that customer feedback means internally for your business. Your ability to meet the expectations of your customers determines the growth potential of your business. Repeat customers and referrals will grow your business; negative reviews and talk will shrink it.
So how do you get out in front of negative reviews? Regularly surveying customers may be able to catch a bad experience before it leads to a bad review, or may even cause an unhappy customer to modify the review. Additionally, customer surveys can help you identify weaknesses in your business plan, product, or service. But take all of the feedback with a grain of salt!
When surveying, it is important to remember that you are measuring customers’ perceptions and not necessarily reality…. Customer perceptions are more important than reality. This is counterintuitive but true nonetheless.
-”Proactive Use of Customer Surveys Increases Profits,” National Business Research Institute
This is why you need to be a collector of customer feedback from day one. A simple survey is fine to start and should include the following at a minimum:
- Did the product/service meet your expectations?
- Would you use or company or product again?
- Would you refer our product or service to a friend? Why or why not?
- Do you have any specific concerns that need to be addressed?
Always accept the feedback with a positive attitude. No one wants to share negative responses with the business owner. So keep it light and treat it as customer service!