What are some good ways to elicit customer feedback?
I want to get more feedback from existing and potential customers. I have done a few surveys. These have been helpful to get feedback from existing customers, but I am finding it challenging to get input from potential customers. How have others done this? Do you do surveys, interviews, focus groups? Also, I am curious how you have incentivized people to participate. Thank you.
Surveys are very useful and if onjectivity is maintained, the feedback helps you to shape your relationship management and offerings. Getting feedback from poyential customers is expected to be a lot tougher becase by giving feedback, there is a sense of commitment to do business with you provided you demonstrate visible action on the feedback.
Best way to incentivize is to ask them what you should be doing to make a real difference to them. Gives them an opportunity to spell out what they would ideally like and the onus on you to match up to their expectations.
As a lot of people have already said it can depend on what you want the feedback for.
I noticed from your profile than you run a micro-brewery and if you are looking for product feedback then it might be worth running an exclusive event for your close customers/trusted friends so that they can taste both existing and new products.
I'd then find simple interactive ways to help then give you feedback. Something like giving every person a set number of tokens that they can drop in various pint glasses labeled with different suggestions. It's a lot more fun and can make it less pressured to give you hard feedback. The event also allows you to have conversations with people about your beer.
You can also do some great online/social media marketing off the back of the event too.
I think the suggestion to actively leverage social media is an excellent one. Social media is a great resource for better understanding your customers and potential customers from a variety of perspectives. Social media allows brands to engage more deeply with their audiences and to really "listen" to what their audiences are saying about the.
Give it a shot and see what you learn from them.
From experience, as someone who loves stuff and utility, give out something cheap and useful that people will scribble on or tear-off. Here in Malaysia we give out calendars but I was thinking it could be much improved. When people hand these back in, you can get all sorts of feedback and they're also obliged to sample your product or service.
It is often difficult to get feedback from customers unless there is something in it for them; as surveys are time consuming and time to some folks is money and usually completing surveys only benefits those seeking the feedback. What can you offer your potential and current customers that can not only benefit them but encourage them to invite others to participate? I recently decided to go paperless with AT&T because they offered me a $10 gift card. It was a win win situation. What do I get for giving you what you want? If your customers are important enough to you, show them, somehow. Don't just assume you have a product that has not been duplicated. Ask them what it would take to complete your survey and narrow down the results. Start somewhere and think it out, logically. Begin with your seeking team's input (if you have one) and their family members whose opinion should matter.
It depends on your products - quality & quantity , I don"t know much but If you have regualer customers , or season clients , anyway by email or telephone or questionirre - or face to face - you may approach the suitable way for you .
For current customers, I just ask them. "How are we doing" as part of most interactions - inquiries, status updates, etc. We also use a more formal process at the conclusion of projects, with a survey form delivered in person ("Can we take a moment to capture your thoughts on how we're doing /what we could do better?") or left for key decision maker, if dialogue isn't comfortable for THEM.
For potential customers, focus groups are very productive, but also not simple (logistics, what questions to ask, how to dig deeper, how to make sure all attendees are actual participants, etc.) or cheap (depending on your target client, might require a give-away or stipend of some sort).
Hope this helps.
Richard Stern-Suggest you consider offer a "premium:" to customers.
Once they provide responses to your survey you will send the customer a gift.
The gift should have something to do with your business.
You could issue numbers for each region of the country so you can sort the responses so as to see Regional Biases.
Do you give any speaking engagements or webinars about your field of expertise. People that attend those presentations are people that are interested in the information that you have to share. During your speaking engagements, you can poll the group on their opinions and needs on the topic.
I'd be careful with focus groups and small numbers of interviews, as it is not possible to be sure that your interviewees will be representative, and your sample won't be big enough to do any meaningful segmentation.
Don't restrict yourself to existing customers, as this might mean you're missing an entire section of the population.
I'd recommend an online survey with as large a sample as you can. If you have your own database, make sure it isn't' biased in any way and don't offer your own product or services as an incentive, as this will skew your results and can be seen as unsolicited selling, i.e. spam). If you don't have your own database of people, you can use a market research panel, ensuring that it gives you a cross section of the population or samples of people you're interested in.
You may find it useful to look at surveymechanics.com, which will help you set up, build and deploy a survey - it's really inexpensive. You can also organise respondents there, buying whatever numbers of people you need to take part (so you don't need to worry about incentives). Most importantly, Survey Mechanics will also analyse your survey data and find any meaningful statistical relationships in your data - i.e. correlations and significant differences - which means you won't need to worry too much about analysing your survey data to understand what it means.
There are also some useful articles in the support section.
Hope that helps - please contact me if you need to discuss any of this.
Best of luck,