Sometimes figuring out what your customers want or don’t want out of your business can be tough. It seems as though they want you to know everything that they want the second they want it. This is difficult to do when most customers don’t like giving you feedback. At least, not recorded feedback – they may occasionally tell a manager the bad (or good) things that they experience with you. But getting customers to take the time to fill out online surveys – or even paper surveys – can be a challenge. So how do you make sure that you’re engaging with your customers?
“Make it convenient,” says Laurence B. Green, attorney and co-founder of Berger and Green law firm. “You have to make engaging with you effortless on the part of the customer. If it’s an inconvenience, your customers will not do it. That’s the simple truth. Make it easy, make it painless, make it fun if you can. Doing those things will ensure that your customers are engaged and willing to work with you.”
There are a myriad of ways to make sure that your customers are getting a good experience – you simply have to ensure that engaging with you doesn’t eat up too much of your customer’s time or energy.
The most effective way to ensure that your customer is getting the experience they desire is to get them to tell you what they think. However, as any company that has an online survey will tell you, this is easier said than done.
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The initial idea behind surveys was a good one. Don’t take up a customer’s time in the store, make it convenient for them to work with you. However, many customers don’t want to take the time to fill out these surveys – or, they quite simply forget. Adding an incentive to your survey can help, but still doesn’t get most customers to engage properly.
If you want to reach as many people as possible to give you feedback, you have a few options. The first is to make sure that your online survey is short. Too many businesses have question after question after question on their surveys. Try and limit your survey to 1-3 important questions. From there, you can add optional questions, so that people who are more inclined will give you details.
You can also have in-store options for feedback. Whether these are anonymous feedback cards, one or two questions that can be answered on a keypad, or something else. If you can get customers to give you feedback while the experience is fresh in their minds, you’re more likely to get an accurate read of their time.
Use an Online Platform
Everyone knows that you have to engage with your customers on social media if you really want to reach them. People will post everything they think on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. So ensuring you have a page on these sites will help you get a read for what they think.
You can invite feedback, ask questions, promote events, and just generally engage with your customers on social media. You can also have fun – make some cool graphics, post pictures, do whatever you want to get people to engage with you. This creates a positive experience for your customers, even when they’re not in your store, or on your site.
Host an Event
This can be tough for smaller companies or online companies – but another way to engage with your customers is to host an event. This can be a sale or a promotion. It could also be a testing of your services, or something along those lines – allow them to see what you do without paying the usual amount.
If you can hold this event in a space, you can have a place for them to give you feedback. Whether that’s a manager sitting somewhere with a sign inviting people to come and talk to him, kiosks to allow them to fill out something that’s online, or cards that they can write on. Offer door prizes – people who enter their names on these cards may win a drawing.
These strategies will help you ensure that you’re connecting with your customers. Connecting with them will allow you to better understand who they are and what they want from your business, allowing you to develop new ideas and strategies to make sure that your customers stay happy, and keep coming back to you.