How to get customer feedback - and use it to your advantage

How to get customer feedback - and use it to your advantage

Tuesday 7th November 2017

By Michelle Hammond

It is notoriously difficult to gain client feedback. Most satisfied clients don’t leave reviews and even many of those dissatisfied clients will remain silent rather than airing their grievances in order to gain a resolution. In fact, it is often only the really unhappy clients who voice their feedback- and often in very public ways.

Gathering positive feedback may be tricky but it can help to boost your reputation and gain further custom. You may have to go the extra mile in order to collect positive reviews, but it is most definitely worth the effort as new clients are much more likely to trust a real customer review than simply take your word when it comes to advertising how great you are.

Getting those reviews in

Making it easy for your clients to leave you feedback is essential if you want to increase the number of positive reviews. Put together a quick and simple customer review card and leave them in public areas where people are likely to spend time in such as a reception area, café or in rooms. Make them simple with just a few specific questions with room for some comments so that it is not a chore to fill in. Allowing clients a little space to write their own thoughts will give you valuable insight on what the client did enjoy and what they would like to see again. Collecting a customer database with contact details also gives you the opportunity to gather feedback. Sending out an email or questionnaire after your client has visited your business gives them the chance to send you feedback once they have had chance to reflect on their visit.

Offering an incentive, such as a prize draw, in return for feedback is often a very successful way to gain valuable client interaction. You may want to do this on-site by asking your client to fill in a feedback form as they leave or you could do this via email.

Act on your feedback

People are often most honest in the written work so pay attention to the feedback you collect. Collate similar comments to see if there is a pattern or perhaps a service you could improve. Simple feedback forms such as polls can be used to ask your clients whether they would like to see new services in your establishment to help you decide on the best path to take your business in. This gives you a good insight on your existing customer base so that you don’t waste time and money trying out a new venture if it is not going to be a popular move.

Finally, let your clients know what you’re doing about the feedback they’ve given. Improving your services or your premises based on what a specific client – or set of clients – have suggested will allow them to feel valued, making it far more likely they’ll be with you long term.

The most successful businesses not only actively look for feedback, but listen to it carefully and take action accordingly. If you’re not doing so already, start asking your clients what they really think about key areas of your business – you may be surprised at the feedback you gain.

Joanne, Spa Business School

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