Your answer to this question could determine the future success of your business. Asking for and listening to customer feedback assures that your customers know that you care. This is not only a sign of your respect for who they are (beyond just being a customer) but also opens a door for them to voice their concerns (or praises!) regarding your services. Here are a few easy ways to start the conversation with your customers:

Social Media – If you would like to know what your customers are thinking or have an idea and what to know their thoughts (i.e. What do you think of our new hours?) Or it could be something as simple as encouraging them to share their experience with your company, or when they participated in a community event that your company sponsored! Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are social communities that are the perfect spot to engage with your customer’s and hear what’s on their mind.

Online Surveys – Companies like SurveyMonkey (not quite free, but affordable) allow you to create surveys and polls to distribute to your email list or selected clients and they compile the results for you! They also sync up with your social media channels, and provide helpful guidelines to create a survey that your customers will want to fill out and will provide you the information you were seeking.

A Feedback Form – Every business should provide a Feedback Form to their customers. This form can be something as simple as a professionally printed card that is given to your customer at the end of a visit – in the showroom, by your technician or sales manager. Make sure there is a place on your website for customers, past and present, to share feedback. These messages can go straight to a dedicated email.

A Phone Call – Yes, we’re going to go a little old school here and suggest that sometimes the best way to show your customers their input is important to you is to pick up the phone and ask them yourself! If you can’t get them by phone – a personal note in an email is the second best approach!

Once you start using one or two of these ideas in your business and start hearing feedback, now what? Now it’s time to listen! Use the information provided to shape and fine-tune your business practices. Call, email, share a post on Facebook – thanking the customer for the suggestion – and let them know that you have taken action. Once they realized that their feedback is important to you, the respect becomes greater. It’s all about building a long-lasting partnership.