It’s a well-known fact that finding new customers is much more expensive than retaining existing ones. Adding to this, according to research from SumAll, companies with 40% repeat customers generate nearly 50% more revenue than similar firms with just 10% repeat business.
For most startups, every penny matters. So how do you retain existing customers? The best way, of course, is to increase customer loyalty by improving the customer experience. Creating effective customer feedback systems is central to this process.
So what best practices should startups looking to boost customer feedback adopt? Here are five tips that will encourage customers to give you feedback time and time again.
1. Make It Easy
Unless your customers have had a really bad experience with your company, they’re unlikely to go out of their way to provide feedback. Therefore, make it as easy as possible for all customers, regardless of their experience, to provide feedback to you. Go to them.
Surveys are a great way to do just that. Sending a customer feedback survey to your customers at touchpoints and at certain checkpoints (such as immediately after a purchase, after a customer service experience, or a few weeks after a sale) will make it easy for your customers to give you their much-needed feedback.
Another great idea is to conduct relationship surveys on an annual or bi-annual basis. Not only does this give you a great baseline measurement of customer experience, it also gets your company back in front of lapsed customers, boosting your brand visibility.
2. Keep in Touch
Are you making your customers feel special? If you’re not communicating with them, then the answer is most likely to be ‘no.’
Your customers are human beings, after all. Whether your communication comes in the form of marketing emails, social media conversations, or responses to comments and questions, it acknowledges your customers and makes them feel more valued.
Most importantly, communicating with your customers opens the way for more feedback opportunities.
3. Incentivize the Feedback Process
If you’re asking your customers for feedback, you’re also asking for their time. Make it worth their while by offering exciting incentives.
_ A coupon or discount
_ Entry into a contest or prize draw
_ Registration for a special event
_ A free trial or upgrade
_ A small amount of money
_ A promotional product (such as a baseball cap with your company logo on it)
No matter what you choose, make sure you thank your customers for taking time out of their day to provide you with feedback. They don’t have to do it – so let them know how much you appreciate the effort.
4. Include Your Customers in Your Content
What do you do with your customer feedback? You use it to improve your products and your customer experience, right?
Do your customers know that?
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes for a moment. If you take the time to give feedback and your insight seemingly goes into a black hole, would you be motivated to provide feedback again in the future? Probably not.
An easy way to solve this is also a good way to get your customers engaged with your brand: Use their feedback in your content.
Ask permission before you do this, of course, but include their positive comments in your blog posts, social media stream or with the media. Or take what customers are saying online and put it out on your own platform. Here’s a great example from SodaStream:
Make your customers part of your brand experience. Not only is this a great way to engage your customers, it also encourages them to provide feedback again and again.
5. Solve Customers’ Problems
Letting customers know how you’re using their feedback to improve your products and services is a powerful way to increase feedback rates.
But don’t stop there.
Use their feedback to create new products that solve actual customer problems.
Start by really listening to feedback to understand what those problems are. Figure out what would make your customers’ lives easier – and build something to help them.
This doesn’t have to be a big, expensive new product. It can be as simple as a piece of content that educates, informs or inspires your customers or offering an existing product in a different color.
Let your customers know that you hear them and that you are using their feedback to make their lives better. They’ll not only thank you for it, they’ll be more inclined to give you further feedback in the future.
Gathering customer feedback is critical for startup success —and it doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Questback has tools and resources to help startups solicit feedback, collect it and analyze it. Request a demo today.