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When you’re looking for ways to improve your business, customer feedback is a crucial component. Measuring how your customers feel about your organization lets you know whether you’re on track or need to make some major changes. Though, if you’ve ever tried using a survey on the eve of a major decision or as a quick pat on the back for a job well done, chances are you’ve been disappointed with the results.

When it comes to gathering customer feedback, the first step is to lower your expectations. It may seem like a 5-minute survey of only 10 questions isn’t much of an investment, but a slow trickle of responses is just a part of the process. Genroe says that even the best designed surveys should only expect a 10-30% response rate. Factors like the number of people and the time of day all play a part. No matter what, you’re not going to get all the answers you need overnight. That’s why it’s important to use a variety of survey techniques to keep the responses flowing.

Let’s take a look at some simple ways to start gaining more customer feedback.

1. Utilize your email list

Has your email database been collecting dust? Believe it or not, email is not dead. A Pew Research study determined that 92% of adults use email, and 61% use it every day. By simply sending your survey out through email, you’ll increase your odds of gaining results and begin to reconnect with your existing customers. Plus, when new addresses are added to the list, you’ll find out what newer customers have to say about your business.

 

2. Use discounts or promotions 

Providing some kind of incentive with your survey is one of the most effective ways to get customer feedback. Even if you’re only inconveniencing someone’s day for a few minutes, it’s important to let them know you appreciate their time and opinion. We see this all the time in the food industry. Many restaurants provide links on their receipts where individuals who fill out a survey can earn a free sandwich, meal, or discount on a certain item. 

 

 

 

3. Offer customer feedback cards

It’s not particularly fun to file all of the answers from comment cards, we know. However, if you keep cards in a high-volume location and train employees to reference them, this can be a great way to collect a steady flow of reviews. The best part of this tried-and-true method is gaining feedback from those who are interacting with your operation on the ground level, experiencing every aspect of your business. Hands-on observations can provide more accurate insights that really benefit your metrics.

 

4. Embed short surveys on your website 

If you have a website that displays a menu or list of product offerings, embedding short survey questions on your user interface is an effective way to gather insights on a specific question. Use Surveymonkey, Google Forms, or Zoho surveys to give customers a chance to review your business as they’re navigating your site.

 

This is by no means a comprehensive list but, rather, a starting point for incorporating more customer feedback methods into your routine. Through trial and error, you’ll find the ways that work best for you and your customers. Just remember that you aren’t going to get all of the replies you need to make informed decisions the day after you post or print your survey. Customer feedback is all about patience, persistence, and consistency. If you stick with it and continue to give your customers simple ways to be heard, everyone wins in the end.


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