BDM Blog: Clever ways to use customer feedback
Feedback as a marketing tool
Good or bad, customer feedback is a fundamental factor influencing key decisions around business operation. How customers feel and interact with your brand will build a picture or profile about them, which you can blueprint and cleverly use within your marketing.
Graham Buckley shares his insights into what feedback you need, how to ask for it, the best ways to find it and how to use feedback within your marketing activity to help get more of the ‘good’ customers to drive the growth of your business.
Important feedback questions to ask customers
Really think about what you need to know and how this information could benefit both customer retention and activities to drive new business sales.
Some of the most critical ones are:
- Why did you purchase from us? (What was it that made them choose to spend their money with you and not a competitor)
- What is it about our product/service that you like?
- How did you find us? (Investigate the layers of this to get the true picture. For example, if it was word of mouth, what did they do next? Was it a Google search? Did they then visit your website? checked your social media? then emailed or phoned? Try and understand the layers of journey that brought them to your business.)
- Is there anything we can do to improve what we do and how we do it?
Knowing the answers to these questions can be powerful; helping you to understand what your marketing should say (to appeal to people like them) and where your messages should be (what channels to use, for example: social media, website, signage, directory, or advert.)
Other questions you may want to consider asking to help you understand your customers and their buying patterns are:
- Contact details – phone, email, postal address.
- Date of Birth.
You may also want to capture wider information in addition to these questions, including:
- Time of enquiry/sale (Day/week/month).
- Type of enquiry (Email, phone, walk in, from event/exhibition/advert).
How to ask customers for feedback (without feeling pushy)
Keep it simple and relevant to your customers. If you’re a business that deals with customers face-to-face, a direct conversation or customer feedback card could be effective.
If that’s not possible, then a better approach may be follow up phone calls or emails.
Other techniques include:
- Chat support on your website.
- Using social media to engage with customers and start conversations.
- Social media online polls: these are an easy and quick way to gauge feedback.
- Asking customers to complete online surveys, for example through free tools like Survey Monkey.
- Focus groups which bring a collection of customers together: this is a great option for a new product or service launch.
Not every customer will give feedback and that’s OK – the more you seek to engage with your customers the more you will identify what works for you and for them.
How to use customer feedback as a marketing tool
As feedback arrives (check marketing permissions with your customer first), publish these on your website, on social media channels (with links back to your web page), publish in brochures, newsletters, and e-newsletters, woven into presentations or sales calls where appropriate.
During data collection, getting customer email addresses can help you stay connected with valuable customers telling them about any exclusive offers, promotions, new products, and services.
For example, I have previously given some of my data to Pizza Express when they asked for feedback on my experience. That included my date of birth and my email address. Every year I receive an email in the run up to my birthday offering me a great deal to come and celebrate with them (and I have, not every year, but on occasion). They identified this data could help drive more sales, so they asked for it.
Remember: Using your customers to find the ‘gold’ – the important data – starts with a conversation and a request for feedback. This will help you to find more of the returning, loyal and ‘good’ customers.
If you’d like to improve your marketing know-how, Breakthrough can help.
A four-part series for new or young business owners, Breakthrough covers business fundamentals such as marketing, finance and business modelling. Find out more and book your space.