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Every business needs to grow and thrive. Marketing can be complicated, but you need to attract and retain customers. Key to this is listening to customer feedback.
Why Listen to Customer Feedback?
It can be hard to listen to customer feedback. For many of us, it’s easy to listen to the kudos and five star reviews, but ignore the negative comments. No business can only get positive feedback, however.
Customer feedback, positive and negative, tells you what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. Because of this, you should use every opportunity to gather feedback you can find. Solicit reviews, provide surveys and feedback forms, and don’t forget asking customers you deal with face to face. Listening to it can help you spot patterns (and find bugs on your website), build social proof, improve customer service, and even decide which new products or services to go with.
Tips to Use Customer Feedback As a Marketing Tool
The most obvious way is through customer testimonials. It is always a good idea to ask a customer for a testimonial that you can then add to your website or post about on social media. It’s worth linking to review sites. However, there are some other ways you can use customer feedback as a marketing tool for your small business:
However, customer feedback also takes other forms. Observed feedback, which is what people are saying about you on social media, review sites, etc, is an important part of marketing. By curating this feedback you can see patterns in your company’s reputation that you may want to either address or lean into.
You can use all of this feedback to ensure that your customer journey is accurate to reality not ideal and also to improve your communication with customers.
One trick is to respond to all of your reviews. If you get a good review, thank them. If you get a mixed or negative review, then apologise and ask how you can make things better. Then work on solving the problem. Not all negative reviews are, of course, your fault, but you should still apologise and make things right, whether it’s with a coupon or voucher or a small gift. Being responsive to criticism shows that you have good customer support processes in place.
How You Can Grow Your Small Business Using Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is not just for marketing! Here are some tips to help you use feedback to grow your business in other ways:
- Address mistakes. We all know that you find the bugs on your website after it goes live. Encouraging customers to report an issue can help you find problems. And at the larger scale, customer feedback can help you realise something is wrong and address it.
- Improve your blog and newsletter content. You can use customer feedback to segment your newsletter and better target it, which increases open rates and reduces unsubscribes. Ask new subscribers what they want to receive.
- Improve your product offerings. Always remember that you will never be able to please everyone and don’t chase your tail trying to address all feedback. But if you are getting repeated comments about a feature, then changing it can help. You can also use feedback to determine which of a variety of new offerings you might want to pursue, or to establish that you can make sales by bundling specific services together.
- Train your customer support team. Customer feedback can help identify areas in which your customer service team are falling short as well as ways in which they are excelling. This does not mean you should penalise your team for complaints, but rather use them to help them improve.
- Create an FAQ. Creating an FAQ based off of customer feedback can save your support team a lot of time by removing routine and common questions from their queue.