Your company cannot get too much feedback. Every time you get a chance, ask your customers’ opinions. Ask for their opinions regardless whether they respond or not. Be diligent; do what it takes to get an honest reaction to your products or services. Remember that in a competitive market, they do not have to tell you anything; they have options and are free to spend their money elsewhere.
To get good constructive feedback, you may have to drag it out of them. The normal reaction of most consumers is not to take the time to call you and complain. Customers do not return, do not buy again and stop coming at all. You do not know why your sales begin to lag, your financial statements slowly go to hell and one day, you pick up your last check. Do not be complacent. Start asking for feedback.
Companies close, investors lose their money and no one found out why. For example, restaurants close and do not know why. Consider restaurants’ patrons and their disappointment. How many customers seek out the manager to give constructive criticism about the food on the buffet? Very few add comments to the detriment of your business. These customers do not bother to tell anyone why they are disappointed; they leave and do not return. If they did not like the food, they do not return and provide no feedback. This is why restaurants must closely watch what is ordered and what is not. They must note what is eaten in whole and what is thrown away. The busboys know better what the customer likes and dislikes in a restaurant so ask them to keep track of what is eaten, what is touched, what is not touched and ask for their frequent observances. Ask them to take notes.
Give customers prepaid postage comment cards to fill out and mail in. You cannot afford to ignore your customers’ ideas and suggestions. You need to encourage any and every complaint and whimper you can get out of them. Make it easy for them to get ahold of you after they have taken your product home with them and experienced disappointment. Give them a prepaid postage comment card for suggestions, complaints, ideas, or to write anything they are thinking. Ask them how you can improve just one thing. Assign a department or a person to collect these comments, categorize them to sense any trends or common suggestions your marketing and sales team should consider. You will get a low percentage of replies but they are feedback and that is what you need.
Ask for ideas and suggestions. Start this program with your next sale and make it a permanent part of your product or service. If you cut lawns, leave a doorknob slip to state what service you performed that day, your name and telephone number and space for them to write down what they want you to do next time so it can be left on the door. If this does not work, make sure your customer has your name and telephone number and constantly invite them to call you to tell you what they do not like, want fixed, need changed or to inquire about more services you can offer.