customer feedback
Getting feedback effectively
If you are not taking customer feedback seriously, you are missing the whole point of business ownership. Here are some suggestions on how to get feedback from your customers, enabling you to serve them better.

I once owned a couple of retail stores a few years back. The most interesting part in owning retail stores is getting customer feedback.

If you run a business – especially retail – and don’t have a way for customers to leave feedback, you are missing golden opportunities to better your business; you somehow need to better your business, and without customer feedback, you are beating around the bush. Period.

I enjoy reading my business’ customer feedback – especially in the part where my customer should answer an open question (if they decided to answer it.) The check boxes save customers’ time, but you won’t get much from them – you need the open questions to really understand what your customers think of you.

Here are some interesting examples of customer feedback from my short years of retail store ownership:

Some of the “standard” but useful feedback:

“One of your employees, his name is ABC, lacks courtesy. No greetings, no thank yous, nothing – please improve.”

“Your product line needs some improvement. Add X, Y, and Z to your line of products.”

“Your employees are darn slow in providing services to customers.”

“Your store is cluttered and messy.”

…and here are some of the amusing ones:

“Your services are so-so, but one of your staffs is handsome.”

“I don’t have anything nice to say – so I don’t.”

“Good service. Please hire more female staffs to better your store atmosphere and make my day.”

“I come to your store only because you offer freebies. More freebies, please!”

Indeed, feedback is important in driving your business to the right direction. Even some of the amusing ones are very helpful in getting inside your customers’ head.

How to get useful feedback from your customer

I have some tips that work:

1. You must be proactive in asking for feedback from your customers

Having a suggestion box in your business premise is nice, but people are busy – they don’t want to visit a suggestion box just to fill a suggestion form.

Instead, you should instruct your staffs to hand out feedback form while your customers are waiting for their orders to complete. This way, the waiting time can be “disguised” by keeping your customers “busy” filling in feedback forms.

2. Use your bills to let customers know where to go for giving feedback

Thank-yous and promotional messages on the bottom part of your store bills are great (you write something at the bottom of your bill, don’t you? If you didn’t, you have to!)

It’s a great idea to also have customer service contact and web address for your feedback form on your bills. This way, your customers have a go-to place if they have something to say about your business.

You can sign up for a web service, such as FeedbackFooter.com that hosts your feedback online.

3. Get feedback from your business site

If you have a business website (if you didn’t, you must have one!) and/or social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook, getting feedback from your visitors, followers and fans is as important as bringing potential customers to your business.

I recommend you this, because I have tried the service myself – you can sign up for a free account from FeedbackFooter.com (you can upgrade it anytime, according to your needs – visit here for pricing) – you’ll get your own domain name, such as share-your-feedback.com/noobpreneur or http://feedbackfooter.com/noobpreneur and do almost anything you can think of in a feedback form (depending on your chosen plan.) You can embed and/or share the web address in your site and social media profile pages.

Final words – make sure that after you have collected customer feedback, you act on them. It’s useless to have plenty of feedback but refuse to do any improvements based on them.

Ivan Widjaya
Effective customer feedback collection