Recently, when I was checking what’s new on Linkedin, I came across an interesting post. One of the Customer Service Champions members asked a question:
Why are Customer Support and Customer Service not important to early-stage startups?
She described a chat she had with a founder of a startup about starting a job with them. When she mentioned company’s bad reviews on social media, the founder responded that they were too busy to focus on such an insignificant problem.
Whoa, I said to myself.
How could anyone think that customer happiness doesn’t matter in the early stage of any business? I’d say that customer satisfaction is even more important when you are just starting because people who share the word about your company build your online reputation!
However, I understand that inexperienced entrepreneurs might think that gathering customer feedback is difficult and takes a lot of time.
That’s why in this post, I’d like to show you that it’s not as time-consuming as you might think. There’s only one trick you have to know: asking the right questions.
Here are the most important questions you should always ask your customers to always know what they think about you.
#1 “How likely is it that you would recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?”
Those of you who are familiar with customer surveys guessed right: it’s the Net Promoter Score (NPS) question.
The reason why people all over the world are crazy about this question is because it gives you a deep insight into what your customers think about your brand.
Just think about it: when you recommend something to your friend, it’s always an excellent product or a top-notch service, right? What kind of a friend were you if you recommended a mediocre restaurant or a boring guided tour, right?
If a lot of people tell you that they would recommend your product – that’s great. But if you get a lot of “no’s” or “I don’t know’s,” you should definitely dig deeper to find out what troubles your customers.
Pro tip: You can experiment with this question a little bit to pull even more valuable information:
- Considering only your most recent purchase experience, how likely would it be for you to recommend [the product] to a friend or colleague?
- Considering your complete experience with our company, how likely would it be for you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?
(Here’s more about how to use NPS in your business: What is the Net Promoter Score).
#2 “How do you rate your last experience with us?”
I’m a great fan of this question, and I think that every eCommerce company should ask it after a customer made a purchase.
Let’s imagine this situation. I buy from you a swimming suit, hoping to get it before my holidays. Unfortunately, the delivery takes over a month, and I get my suit after I come back from my holidays (true, sad story!). As you might expect, I’m furious about it.
What do I do?
The first thing I do is telling all my friends to never, ever buy anything from you. Then, I will probably write an appropriate, negative review on social media. In the future, every time I hear the name of your store, I will share my story strongly recommending to choose your competitor.
You might think I’m overreacting, but believe me – I don’t. Just take a look at these statistics:
- News of bad customer service reach more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience,
- For every customer who bothers enough to complain, 26 other customers remain silent.
People would rather tell the world about how much your service sucks than confront you with this fact!
You can avoid this problem by sending an automatic email or a short survey after every purchase, asking about the last experience your customer had with you.
It will allow you to:
- Learn what does your customer think about your service,
- Offer solution to a problem / compensate customer if it turns out they are upset,
- Let your customers tell you about their feelings, so they don’t feel the need to vent on social media.
(You might want to check How to Handle Negative Comments on Social Media).
#3 “If you could change just one thing about our product/service, what would it be?”
This question is awesome in terms of finding out what are your customers’ pain points. It also shows your customers that you care about their opinion and their voice is important to you (now, they like you even more!).
In some cases, people will comment on features they would like to see on your website (and that’s great), and sometimes they provide you with ideas on how you should expand your business. Maybe you don’t need this info today, but who knows what tomorrow brings, right?
This question is also very handy when you do a market research. You can modify this query to gather information about your competition, for example:
- “What’s the single biggest challenge you have encountered with your current mobile phone?”
- “What’s the single biggest frustration you have experienced with your current accounting firm?”
- “What’s the single biggest thing you wish you could change about your current TV provider?”
This way you can learn about weaknesses of your competitors and use them to your advantage.
#4 “Which other options did you consider before choosing our product/services?”
If you were asked to name your biggest competitor, whom would you name? Would it be the first brand you see in Google when you enter your industry keyword? Is it a company that has the biggest number of customers or the biggest revenue?
The thing is that your most valuable customers, the ones that you sell your product or services to, may favor a completely different company than you think. Maybe this niche company that you forgot about is the one that’s your major competitor!
Asking your customers about their other product or service choices is the best way to find out.
#5 “What else would you like us to know?”
Oh, this one is a powerful one. This little simple question can give you the information you haven’t dreamed about. You wouldn’t believe how many genuine, intelligent responses you can get by giving your respondents opportunity to tell you whatever they want!
Use this question at the end of your questionnaire or email to give people a chance to speak up and share their thoughts.
The importance of customer feedback
Let’s say it once and for all: customer satisfaction is crucial for every business, regardless of its size. The sooner you start gathering feedback, the better!
Let’s just look at benefits of customer feedback:
- it helps to improve your product and service,
- it helps to provide smooth customer experience,
- it allows you to get into your customer shoes (understand customer journey better),
- it gives you meaningful data that can be used to make better business decisions,
- it helps to improve customer retention,
- it can be used to identify customer advocates.
That’s a lot of advantages, right?
And the good thing is that it’s ridiculously easy to gain it. You don’t need to implement a super-complicated communication strategy into your business. You can just chat with your customers on social media, via email or phone, or send questionnaires.
The only trick is to ask the right questions, but luckily, you already know what these questions are.
You can also check out how to use LiveChat to measure NPS.
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