'Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning' – Bill Gates
Remember the good old days of a tattered notebook and grimy pen tied to a stand as you left a museum or place of interest? Yeah, we’ve come a long way in terms of collecting feedback. Gone are the days of thrusting a mile-long-questionnaire in front of your clients. Here is a round-up of the various ways in which you can collect feedback from your customers.
eedless to say, this is a traditional and time-consuming method. While we appreciate that you might not have the time or resources to meet your clients and obtain feedback face-to-face, there are clearly huge advantages to this method. While a survey or questionnaire elicits response to specific questions, a face-to-face meeting offers so much more scope for you to build strong client relationships, as well as address any problems in the periphery. Or perhaps, it might just help you tap into a potential business opportunity!
Well, cold calls can really put people off from responding to feedback. If your clients are happy to spare a couple of minutes over the phone, that’s brilliant! However, as not many people have the time, even a 2 minute call can be a source of annoyance, which is probably the very last thing you want while asking for feedback! Also, with innovative ways of fraud and identity theft, don’t be surprised if telephone calls are not met with as much enthusiasm as you might expect!
Surveys / Questionnaires:
Surveys and questionnaires are a hugely popular method to collect feedback. You can tailor these to be as concise or as detailed as you would like them to be, and as required! Also, you can either conduct these via sites like SurveyMonkey or design it yourself. As always, ensure your questions are to the point, and don’t add ANY unnecessary questions at all. Keep it short and easy to answer, and you’ll be surprised at the goldmine of information you are able to collect from your respondents. Speaking of which, Panacea recently conducted a survey on how Public sector communications teams are managing in today’s challenging economic climate. Head over to our blogpost to find out more.
Feedback form (by post):
This is a rather traditional form of collecting feedback, which works well with certain audiences, and lends authenticity to the feedback itself. Needless to say, newer methods to collect feedback have slowly replaced post.
Online slider surveys:
A more modern method to collect feedback, slider surveys appear on websites making it easy for clients to opt to provide feedback immediately. Now you can customise your scales using various options like slider bars, stars, etc. but essentially they make for a simple and easy-to-use survey for your clients to respond to immediately.
Wikipedia defines usability tests as user-centred interaction design to evaluate a product by testing it on users. While surveys / questionnaires ask for the respondent’s opinion on some element of your product/service, usability tests actually observe how the client is using the product/service and their experience and reaction to it. There are various ways in which you can conduct usability tests (please refer to the Wiki link at the bottom of this page).
Interestingly, social media isn’t just for getting in touch with people any more. A lot happens in the virtual world. Keeping your eyes and ears open on social media channels like Twitter, for instance, can help you understand the pulse of your clients. Often, clients will actually try to reach out to you via these channels. Do pay attention to this, as well as to what is being discussed by way of word-of-mouth, as you can tap into a potential mine of valuable #feedback.
Scarily, your computers are listening and relaying information all the time! Even if you don’t necessarily hand out a client feedback form or call your client for a quick chat over the phone, analysing your websites could give you a lot of priceless information about how clients perceive your offering and are responding to it, or ignoring it, as the case may be! For e.g., you have launched a campaign on cyber-security. 50% of your target audience as read your emails, however only 10% of them click on the links inside your email. Of which, only 1% actually click on the prices for your cyber-security tools. Analysing this kind of data can provide you with indicators on where you are going wrong with your campaign, and help understand how to improve engagement!
So there you go, a whole range of feedback methods for you to explore and check what works for you and helps you get the best information from your past, present and future clients!
In our next blog we are going to look into feedback in a bit more detail, particularly Automated Feedback options, that will hugely benefit the whole process.