How to Use Informal Customer Feedback to Improve

Informal customer feedback is basically an unprompted criticism that a customer or client of a business gives to an employee or the company itself. Informal feedbacks may even come from other employees, but most commonly come from customers.

Informal customer feedback can come to a business in two different forms – criticisms or compliments. These feedbacks from customers can have a positive, as well as negative response when received, based on the content of the feedback. Managers often use informal customer feedback to improve level of customer satisfaction in an organization. Opinions of customers are vital to improve customer relations irrespective of what they think of a business. Since it can be hard for a company to improve this aspect of the organization, there have been many strategies and methods formulated to provide effective solutions.

How to Use Informal Customer Feedback to Improve

How to Collect Informal Customer Feedback Using Social Listening

If you are a businessman dealing in products and services that directly connect you to your clients and customers, then you know how important it is to get customer feedback on regular basis. Getting customer feedback can prove to be one of the greatest sources of learning. While market metrics and revenue numbers give you a good sense of how your business is doing, it can be really difficult to understand the reason behind the numbers.

Running a well-planned customer satisfaction survey usually serves as a great way to get explicit answers that you need to figure out the right reasons, but here are other latest measures that you should adopt to improve the customer satisfaction in the organization. In short, you can always collect informal customer feedback on daily basis through social listening.

What Exactly Is Social Listening and How It Works?

So, what do we mean by the term “Social Listening”? To begin with, websites like Facebook and Twitter have dramatically transformed the way people share and stay in touch with their friends, colleagues, folks and relatives to talk about their life, events, as well as purchase decisions and favorite products. With increasing trend of social networking, even businesses have started reaching masses through their social fan pages, giving customers an open platform to discuss their doubts, as well as share their reviews on particular products and services. Social listening refers to listening to informal customer feedback on popular social media websites by empowering customers to speak up their mind. This has a number of benefits such as:

  • Understanding your customers
  •  Building customer loyalty
  • Driving growth

Here are some suggestions that your organization need to do to take control on their social media to get genuine customer feedback. This can be easily done by strategically using social networking sites to manage and achieve customer satisfaction.

Make the Time

Some businesses to not pay attention to social media activities because of the perceived time and commitment they they require. In reality, if you play your game in a planned manner, you need not spend your whole day managing your social media profiles. But the fact of the matter is that it is very important to have a functional and active social media profile so you can cater the doubts of your customers in a systematic way. Try to take out 20-30 minutes a day for social listening.

Listen to Social Media

When customers have a question, compliment, or complaint, many of them go prefer taking the route of social media. Regularly monitoring all of your social media touchpoints such as Twitter account, Facebook page, and customer-review sections on your company’s e-commerce sites, will help you pay more attention to what is actually being said. Start with channels you own and expand the efforts by searching for your product names online. You can make the tracking efforts easier by subscribing to social listening tool. These tools are desinged to allow you to follow several social media accounts at one time.

Take It To Search Engines

Social networks is not the only place where you’ll find people talking about your company and products. While managing social media accounts, you should also focus on finding out what others are saying about you online. Use Google or any other popular search engine to find out if customers are talking about you on other channels such as forums, Yelp, communities, and blogs associated with your demographic. This will help you find a plethora of information so you can understand more about your core audience and what they think about your business. If you find search engines as a useful source of informal customer feedback for your company, consider setting up a Google Alert.

Reach Out

It’s very important to promptly respond to feedback and complaints online. Even when some customers aren’t talking about the business specifically, you should make some efforts to reach them on social media platforms, or join online groups to answer their questions with your expertise. It’s also better to create groups on some popular platforms, such as Reddit and LinkedIn. This will help you build loyalty and trust among the audience.

Create New Feedback Channels

In case your customers are online and leaving feedback about the business, it’s important to streamline the process. You should provide customers with a survey or online feedback form. With surveys, you can easily review feedback without trying to gather information over multiple channels.

Even restaurants and stores provide suggestions boxes to customers. Similarly, online businesses should do the virtual equivalent with survey links. The feedback forms should always seem simple. They should be easily accessible and placed at strategic customer touchpoints, i.e, social media pages, homepage of the website. Survey links can even be added to in-store receipts and printed brochures. In case you haven’t tried surveys yet, they can help you :

  •  Collect valuable customer feedback efficiently and easily
  •  Gather important information on behaviors and trends
  •  Learn some reasons why customers like or don’t like your business

With online surveys, you can also benefit from organized responses. You can turn the data you collect into trends and insights. When you get feedback from customers, you should give customers the option to leave their personal and contact details. After the process, you should follow up with them.

It’s important to understand that surveys can’t help you accomplish all the goals. They don’t perform a better job than web analytics. Moreover, they can’t replicate basic human interaction between a business organization and its customers. However, when you make surveys an important part of your customer service, you’re able to learn a lot about customer behaviors and informal customer feedback.

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Amy Clark is the Lead Author & Editor of IWantItNow Blog. Amy established the Customer Engagement blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to customer service, support and engagement.
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