As an entrepreneur or business owner, it’s likely that your customers are never far from your mind. As you do your best to satisfy their needs and deliver high-quality services or products, it’s important to remember why. Put simply, their experience with your company can turn them into loyal customers and advocates for your business – or turn them off forever.

So, how do you gauge your efforts and determine if customers are happy? Ask them! Engaging in productive conversations with your customers creates the opportunity to get market research on your business and obtain useful, first-hand feedback.

Creating regular opportunities for customers to give feedback is an important part of a successful marketing plan. Fortunately, with so many channels available, feedback is easy to solicit, if you purposefully include it in your processes.

Here are a few great ways to get input from your customers:

SOCIAL MEDIA
 
Social media is an amazing tool for getting quick and honest feedback from your customers, but don’t expect long or thought-out answers. Platforms like Facebook or Instagram are the perfect places to get an idea of what’s on your clients’ minds, but aren’t well-suited for detailed assessments of your brand, products or services.

ONLINE REVIEW SERVICES

Online reviews are the foundation to building trust in your brand. They’re also a great place to find critiques and compliments of your business practices. Reviews are often initiated by your customers, so they won’t answer a specific question you have about your services or products. Rather, it’s a great place to go in search of your overall performance and customer experiences. Services like TrustPilot (disclosure, R2R is a TrustPilot partner) can help you jump-start your reviews, and automate the request process.

FEEDBACK FORMS

Every business should provide a formal feedback form to their customers. This can be a place on your website or a professionally printed card given to them at the end of a visit. These forms are the ideal place to ask specific questions. If you’re still having trouble getting the feedback you need, consider offering an incentive for submissions.

PHONE CALLS

Tried and true, phoning clients simply to ask how you’re doing/how you did, can be a great way to get feedback from clients. If you’re not sure what to say, simply ask them to rate their experience with your company on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being they’re so happy they recommend your business to friends. With anything less than a 10, ask what you could have done (or can do) to get them to a 10.

Finally, remember to be responsive! Collecting feedback is only half of the equation, demonstrating that you value that feedback is the rest. Respond online, call or email to thank the customer for the suggestion and if it was a complaint, detail how you’re taking action. Your clients will appreciate your response and it’s key to developing strong relations with your audience. Customer voice is priceless for your business, so never stop listening!