Getting feedback from your customers is important for many reasons. One of the biggest is that you definitely want to make your customers happy, and how can you know what makes them happy if you don’t hear what they like and dislike about your current clients? Another very important reason is because getting feedback from your clients can spur on innovation – whether it is improving current products, or improving brand new ones. Sometimes by talking with your customers you’ll see how your current products aren’t functioning as you had intended, other times you will see a new need that your products can fulfill.

So how can you get that important feedback from your customers?

  1. Build a relationship with those who sell your products. Whether your company sells directly to the customer, or whether you sell to a middle-man who is then in contact with your customers, these are the people who are first in line to hear what your customers have to say about your products. Take the time to speak with these people – they’ll be more than happy to tell you what the customers have been telling them.
  2. Build a relationship with your customers. More and more companies are turning to social media to help with their marketing efforts – and for good reason. Social media is to be used as a dialogue between two parties, to create conversation – and through this conversation, you’ll be able to get feedback on your products.
  3. Give products to your customers. Try giving one of your products to a customer (existing or potential) for free. Ask them to try it out and give you honest feedback of what they think about the product.
  4. Create a focus group.
  5. Create a survey with an incentive to filling it out. There are some people who will automatically fill out a survey when given one. Most people, however, won’t. To help increase the number of people filling out surveys, try offering them a discount on your products next time they purchase something from you.
  6. Get testimonials from customers. Not only can this be used as a marketing tool, getting testimonials from customers can be beneficial when you want to know what it is that people like about your products.
  7. Provide your phone number and email address. A lot of times, if there is something that isn’t quite right with a product, your customer will want to speak with you about it. What better way to learn about how you can improve your products? But if you don’t provide a way for your customers to contact you, then you will be missing out on this important information.
  8. Work with an outside customer feedback professional. There are outside contractors who specialize in gathering customer feedback – working with one of these professionals will mean that you will hear what the results are without having to do the legwork to get those results.
  9. Keep track of what customers are already telling you. A lot of times, we hear from customers, but don’t have a way to track what they are telling us. If you have more than one person answering phone calls or emails, you may be missing out on a pattern of what your customers are saying – by keeping track of what these calls and emails are about, you can easily go back at a convenient time for you to see what items people keep commenting about.
  10. Create a Google alert. Consumers are often talking online about products they purchased – whether through reviews on store websites (such as Amazon) or on blogs or discussion boards. These reviews can give you a huge insight as to what customers are happy or unhappy about regarding your product. Setting up a Google alert allows you to be notified whenever Google finds something new posted about your product, allowing you to read what others have posted about your products.