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Why your business shouldn’t fear customer feedback

It’s common for businesses to avoid customer feedback because of the fear it could expose them to bad reviews. Because of this, many businesses choose to dismiss customer feedback and suppress any issues they might raise. However, this is a huge mistake as it wastes critical information and leaves customers feeling neglected. On the other hand, asking customers for feedback allows businesses to improve their processes and build customer loyalty. 

Why customer complaints are good for business

Customer complaints can be unpleasant, but they’re also incredibly valuable. Receiving a complaint should be a wake-up call for anything that’s going wrong in the business which gives you a chance to act on it. By resolving customer complaints, you prove your commitment to delivering good customer service, which in turn encourages customer loyalty. 

Retaining customers and improving customer morale is also a proven way to increase revenue. Customers who are satisfied bring a 30% rise in profits, so knowing what they want is an investment well worth making. Maintaining a loyal customer base is a smart business strategy because it is 5-25 times more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. With that in mind, listening to your customer feedback is a sure-fire way to ensure you are meeting customers’ expectations and bringing in as much revenue as possible. 

Customer feedback gives you direct and actionable information

Many companies invest large amounts of time and resources into market research, but asking existing customers for feedback is a free and effective way to get the same information. In fact, customer feedback is typically more direct and actionable than general market research because it comes straight from the source. 

With 90% of buyers willing to pay more for good customer service, it’s important to know what they’re looking for and the best way to find out is to ask them directly. A customer satisfaction survey is a great way to collect this information because it is personalised, targeted and specific. By asking the right questions at the right point in the customer’s journey, you can find out exactly what you’re doing right, and what you need to change. It’s also important to note that when collecting feedback, you must act on the insights you receive. For many companies, feedback responses are filed away never to be used, but being proactive with the data is the best thing you can do for your business.  

Intercepting bad customer reviews 

Once a review is posted on a review platform, such as Google reviews, you can’t remove it which can be incredibly frustrating when marketing your business. The good news is that you can reduce the bad reviews your business gets by intercepting them before they go public, or by drowning out the bad reviews with positive ones. A good strategy to achieve this is to send a customer satisfaction survey and take the customer’s feedback on board as soon as possible. Doing this will give your customers an outlet for their frustrations, and you a chance to resolve them. Your customers will share negative feedback one way or another, but this way you can decide where it goes and what to do with it. In addition, it will serve as a helpful indicator of any customer loyalty drops, which allows you to catch issues early on.

Reduce customer abandonment rates

Retaining customers is a crucial part of succeeding in business which is why it’s worth investing in your customer satisfaction strategy. Asking customers for feedback allows them to air out any concerns they may have, which in turn makes them feel heard, valued and engaged. Making your customers feel appreciated is important because it means they’re more likely to stick around. After a bad experience, 57% of customers are likely to switch to another brand, which is a significant loss for any business. It’s also worth noting that waiting for customers to come to you with complaints is not a good practice, instead, you should initiate the conversation and demonstrate your willingness to improve. By doing this, you can intercept the 91% of unhappy customers who would otherwise just leave your brand for another.  

Tracking your customer abandonment rate is a great way to see where problems are cropping up in your customer journey, and it’s even better to catch these problems before they leave. 

Understand your customers better

To retain customer loyalty, businesses need to understand their customers' priorities. For this reason, many businesses spend time and resources on market research, even though their existing customers are willing to share their feedback for free. These customers have all the information needed to understand your customer base, and what you can do to meet their needs. Taking advantage of this information is a smart business move, and gives you the chance to optimise your processes to suit your paying customers. Now that 76% of customers expect companies to anticipate their needs, asking for feedback straight from the source is the most effective tool in a business owner’s toolkit.  

If you want to set your business up for success, a customer satisfaction strategy is the best place to start. By optimising your processes to suit your customers you can raise profits, reduce abandonment rates and intercept bad reviews before they go public. 

For all the tips on how to implement a customer feedback strategy, download this comprehensive guide.   

Download our free customer feedback strategy guide