Listen Up! The Power and Benefits of Customer Feedback

Posted: June 27, 2024
Category: Spotlight on Business

What customers say about your business determines its long-term success. Whether the feedback is given to you directly, on social media, or by word-of-mouth, consumers are influenced by other people’s opinions. There’s no shortage of feedback on products and services—some good, some bad. Customer feedback is an opportunity to improve when needed or commend your team for a job well done. Either way, it’s essential to manage feedback by keeping an open mind and addressing issues before they get out of control. Receiving customer insights solidifies relationships, promotes loyalty, and enables you to meet people’s needs and expectations.

Common Types of Customer Feedback
Identifying the type of feedback a company receives will help determine the most effective strategy to move the resolution process forward or correct specific problems. These are the most common types of feedback that companies encounter.

Direct Feedback—When businesses receive direct contact from customers through various forms of communication. The company solicits customers’ opinions through social media, surveys, in-store encounters, etc. This type of feedback is precious since there is little doubt about the customers’ views on specific products or services.

Indirect Feedback—Conclusions about the business are drawn based on collective discussions and comments posted on influential websites, social media, and blogs. Companies follow these channels to monitor relevant consumer chatter.

Inferred Feedback—Uses software to configure consumer behavior data to assess the satisfaction levels of people who engage with companies on their website, app, or software applications. Metrics include bounce rates, number of visits, time on site, applications used, and more.

Positive Feedback—Customer responses about the business, employees, products, services, and encouraging comments. This kind of feedback focuses on the company’s strengths vs. weaknesses. It’s often used in testimonials or promotional materials.

Negative Feedback—While painful, negative feedback can be constructive if used as a basis for improvement. Customers often point out problems the company may not see from their perspective. Disgruntled customers should receive a timely response to diffuse the situation and address their concerns.

Utilizing Customer Feedback
Periodically communicating with customers before they contact you makes them receptive to providing feedback. Be strategic about engaging shoppers on social media, posting surveys on your website, and sending emails. Collecting feedback should be a part of every organization’s business processes. Handling negative comments can get complicated. So, it’s critical to have a process to manage positive and negative feedback. Employees should be trained to resolve issues professionally and give customers an appropriate response.

  • Use feedback to make business decisions and ensure customers’ opinions are heard.
  • Share comments with others in the organization
  • Consider feedback when purchasing product assortments and seasonal goods
  • Create a customer-centric culture that values diverse opinions
  • Act on feedback to improve the customer experience, products, and services

Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
Communicating with companies through social media is done with the expectation that the person will receive a response. When that happens, customers feel valued and feel that their input matters. These are the folks who may ultimately become loyal customers and brand ambassadors. These interactions move the overall customer experience to the next level and forge mutually beneficial relationships.

Even if customers have a terrible experience, they are willing to give the company the benefit of the doubt if they’ve had a good track record doing business with the establishment. So, ignoring the customer should never be an acceptable option since it can be costly to acquire a new one. Sending a strong, positive message establishes trust and promotes repeat purchases.

Enhance Your Reputation by Embracing Feedback
Some companies have stellar reputations because their exceptional service speaks for them—with help from their customers. The best way to enhance your business’s reputation is to be customer-focused by never losing sight of what shoppers demand from retailers. They want to be heard and treated with respect. This commitment shines through when companies address their mistakes and offer positive solutions.

View Feedback in a Positive Light
Understanding the benefits of customer feedback puts this tool in a positive light that promotes growth and longevity. Companies that embrace genuinely listening to their customers can transform their culture by competing in the marketplace with more significant insights about the consumer.