Entrepreneurs and business owners think they have great customer service, but often customers have another side of the story to tell. If they are motivated enough they will contact management or post a review on an industry website or on social media.

A couple industries are perfect examples of online reviews. Restaurants, for example, get ratings on sites like Zomato, while tourism and hotel businesses are rated on TripAdvisor. Other industries, on the surface, may not seem like they would be susceptible to this sort of customer feedback, but consider how many people will give reviews to doctors on Rate my MD and you start to see just how important customer service becomes.

It is important to hear what clients and consumers really think about your customer service. Chances are, there are areas that you can improve upon within your business plan (Besides, it’s better to hear a complaint so you have a chance to fix it than to lose a customer and/or referral potential!).

There are several methods you can use to get your customers to give you feedback:

  • A follow up phone call or email
  • An online survey through a form on your website or a tool such as Survey Monkey
  • Anonymous comment cards
  • Hire a company that provides mystery shopping services

It’s important to note that there are generally two extremes where voluntary reviews are provided: when they are really impressed or really disappointed. In order to encourage more people to provide feedback, try offering an incentive program, such as a discount on their next purchase or service or an entry into a monthly prize draw.

Proper Customer Surveys

When you are in strategic planning for your customer service approach, it’s important to keep your query brief. To ensure you get the most responses, keep your survey short and to the point and provide people with flexibility to answer questions (i.e. not every answer for a question is yes or no). If part of your business plan’s end goal is to harvest as much information as possible, invite survey respondents to participate in a discussion over the phone or face to face (either individually or in a group setting).

Once you implement a customer feedback system, the key is to listen and act. Garnering voices and opinions only works if you demonstrate that their opinions matter and will be followed upon.

For more business plan tips, call Beal Business Brokers and Advisors today at 204-478-7266, or fill out our online contact form here.