When you understand your customers, you can better tailor your products and services to meet their needs. The most reliable way to get to know who your customers are and what they’re looking for is to get that information directly from them. But how can you persuade customers to give you the comprehensive, actionable feedback you need?
Luckily there are tried-and-true methods for establishing a dialogue with your customers so you can serve them better. Below, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council share strategies business owners can use to get concrete feedback from their customer base.
1. Ask where they see their business in the future.
As part of our client onboarding process, we always start with strategic planning for the client. We use a version of traction strategic planning, but one that is customized for our business. We ask what the client’s vision is—where they see their business one, three and 10 years from now. That allows us to better understand what our client needs and to tailor our services based on their goals. – Jean Ginzburg, JeanGinzburg.com
2. Leverage heatmap software.
Use heatmap software on your website to see which offers and products garner the most attention from your website visitors. Many of these tools are free and will give you a very large data size because you can look at all the traffic coming to a high-performing—but maybe not converting—Web page such as the homepage. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
3. Create incentives for giving feedback.
Follow-up phone calls and customer interviews are dead. Instead, create incentives for feedback such as promo codes, free shipping or other special discounts. With customers added to your mailing list, you can automate follow-up emails requesting feedback on the product about one week after they’ve received it. This way, you can get a high engagement rate and solicit fruitful, long-form feedback. – Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets
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4. Organize AMAs and polls on social media.
Ask Me Anything events and polls on social media are a great way to receive feedback from your target audience when thinking about a new product or service for your business. You can ask about A/B new product designs or whether people would be interested in purchasing a new service. You can ask people about pricing structures and have them vote on which options they like best. And you can do all of this before you actually create the product! – Terry Tateossian, Socialfix Media
5. Create a forum centered on your brand.
An indirect but effective way to collect feedback is to create a forum for people to discuss your products and brands. This is easy to do with tools that already exist in the form of social media and discussion platforms such as Reddit. Monitor these spaces with the help of social media management tools to learn what your audience really thinks. You’ll be able to get valuable insights that lead to real innovation. – Blair Williams, MemberPress
6. Analyze recorded calls.
Though there’s no doubt that you can use calls for quality control, recorded outbound calls can give you the perfect explanation of why others don’t want to buy from you, while inbound calls can give you the reasons why people love or leave you. It is one of the best ways to get authentic answers. – Daisy Jing, Banish
7. Host a private community meeting.
Whether you have a private Facebook group or set up a video conference meeting, you can gather a select group of customers to meet and offer their feedback. This gives users the ability to feel like they are part of the process and are valued for their input. When you build a brand that people are proud to be a part of, they will be excited to be included. – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.
8. Engage in personal, relaxed conversations.
It’s essential to have one-on-one conversations in a low-pressure environment that allows customers to voice their opinions. Direct feedback from your base is a unique perspective and is something that can’t be replicated through a large-scale data collection process. It allows you to tailor solutions based on these real-life testimonials. – Justin Lefkovitch, Mirrored Media