One of the things I have been doing over the past few months is phoning my clients and getting feedback from them. This has been fantastic for two reasons:
- I have gained valuable feedback on areas I can improve upon to ensure I meet my aim of giving 10 – 100 times the value people pay me.
- I have had some very positive comments from satisfied clients which I can now use as great testimonials for my business.
I know that many businesses struggle with contacting their customers and asking for honest feedback about their products or service. For example:
- You may be afraid of negative comments even though in your heart you know you are doing a good job.
- You may not have time to telephone each customer and ask them for feedback.
- You may be getting lots of positive comments from satisfied customers and be confident you are doing a good job (so you feel you don’t need a structured process for it).
- You may not care what your customers think about you and your business. Yes – there are businesses out there that don’t care – and if they do, they certainly don’t show it. Be honest, haven’t you contacted a company only to be left feeling “do they really want my business?” You wonder why they are in business at all.
- Perhaps you do have a customer feedback form with questions and tick-boxes which you post to customers and maybe get a small percentage back.
Whatever you feel about getting feedback from your customers I recommend you include it as an essential part of your sales process. Why? Several reasons:
- You will find out whether or not you have some unhappy customers. Most customers – especially in the UK – rarely complain. We’re a shy bunch – we don’t want to make a fuss. We will simply walk away – and never buy from you again (unless we really have to). By asking them for feedback you find out what it is they are unhappy about – so you can make improvements to your business.
- You get an opportunity to put things right. For example I once used a local garage to fit a new exhaust to my car. It was never quite right – and I kept meaning to take it back but never got round to it. Had they called me to check everything was ok – after all I was a new customer to them – I’d have told them and they could have fixed it. As it is – I have never been back – despite the fact they offer extra services such as a courtesy car and they are local.
- It shows you care – you will stand out from the crowd. Your customers will feel good about you and your business – and will be more likely to refer you to their friends. After all they know you will not let them down if anything does go wrong.
- It is an opportunity to get in touch with them again – without being pushy.
- If they have positive comments you can use them as testimonials on your marketing materials.
- You may pick up some great ideas which you’d never thought about offering in your business.
Happy customers, increased sales, great market research, fantastic testimonials – is that worth a couple of hours each week? I’d say so. Make it an essential part of the sales process. Ensure you include open questions so you really get a sense of their experience – and listen out for negative feedback as well as the positive.
One of my clients actually told me that getting feedback was the most valuable thing he got from working with me – and he’s got a page of great testimonials on his website.