A B2B customer feedback programme can be a valuable resource tool for gaining a deep and accurate understanding into how your customers think, act and feel.
Feedback brings insight into how you can improve your core offering, add value to the customer experience and boost revenue in the process. This type of initiative can uncover hidden truths or attitudes that might go overlooked otherwise; such as cracks in service, problem areas or unhappy customers.
Here are 6 benefits to implementing a customer feedback programme in your company.
It Helps With Customer Retention
Just because your customers aren’t screaming down the phone doesn’t mean they’re satisfied.
In fact, 96% of unhappy customers will not complain at all. And, chances are, if you ask a client either over the phone or face-to-face whether there are any problems, they’ll still say no just to avoid the awkward conversation or confrontation.
Instead, asking clients to provide feedback is a softer way of discovering what you’re doing wrong. It provides customers with the opportunity to present an unbiased appraisal of their experiences with your company; while also showing that you respect your clients, and their opinions.
For you, it’s an opportunity to catch unhappy customers before they slip into the arms of a competitor. By utilising feedback, companies can reduce customer churn and increase retention by uncovering cracks and blind spots in service; identifying dissatisfied customers early; and by rebuilding lost or diminishing relationships.
It Boosts Loyalty
No company wants to see one of its customers leave or switch to a competitor.
But, unfortunately, the reasons and motivations for a customer to walk away aren’t always apparent. Small or recurring issues, which may not be enough by themselves, can build up over time and cause a customer to go elsewhere.
Conducting regular customer feedback campaigns and listening to customers can root out and resolve small issues quickly, before they become bigger problems. And considering it takes an average of 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience, it’s vital for companies to respond to complaints swiftly.
It also demonstrates, over the course of a long relationship, that you can meet their needs over the course of a long relationship by providing a consistently high quality of service; boosting satisfaction and ensuring your customers remain loyal.
It Keeps Your Customers Coming Back
Returning customers can be more profitable and easier to convert than new ones.
For starters, it can cost up to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to your existing ones; who, according to Marketing Metrics, are 60-70% more likely to convert. Additionally, repeat customers also tend to spend more, buy more frequently and make bigger purchases than first timers.
An effective feedback programme can help companies to figure out what aspects of service are important to their customers; whether it’s price, support or quality of service. While listening to customers and integrating their concerns or suggestions into improving your service shows that you actively acknowledge their needs and are committed to an ongoing business relationship; which will ensure your customers keep coming back.
Promotes Word of Mouth Advertising
Word of mouth marketing is probably the most valuable form of advertising there is. Consumers trust it over any other form of marketing (92% according to Nielsen) and it helps companies to acquire customers without spending a penny.
The idea is that you create a positive experience for a customer and they rush out to tell someone about it; that person makes a purchase based on the referral and then tells someone else; and so on.
But the sword cuts both ways. Your dissatisfied customers also talk, and they tend to be a lot more vocal about their experiences. On average, a single dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about a negative experience, with 13% of those telling upwards of 20 people.
Setting up a customer feedback programme enables you to easily monitor and immediately spot detractors or any less than enthusiastic neutrals; giving you the chance to reach out to these customers, try to work out a solution and minimise the impact before it hurts the company.
Drives Customer Engagement
Maintaining a relationship requires a certain level of engagement from the people involved. And the same is true for business relationships. Customers want and expect a certain level of engagement from anyone they plan on doing business with long-term.
All customers like to think that they’re the most important. With 70% of buying experiences based on how the customer feels they are being treated, customers want to know that you’re taking their requests, suggestions and business seriously; rather than just taking their money.
A customer feedback programme allows you to engage with your customers on a regular basis. It also drives home the point that you take their business seriously and are dedicated to refining your offering based on the needs and expectations of your customers.
It's An Effective Learning Tool
There’s no better learning tool than a customer feedback programme.
You’re quite literally asking your customers to dissect and comment on each and every aspect of what you do; the good and the bad. It can be pretty gruesome.
And most of the time there seems to be more negative comments than positive ones; but it’s still probably the best indicator of company performance around. Your customers use your products and services every day, they’re experts in the strengths and weaknesses of your offering.
Listening to their feedback and hearing from them what you’re doing right or wrong can go a long way in driving improvements across your entire company. It could also help to discover and exploit new uses for your product that you hadn’t even considered.