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Productivity / Using surveys

Four easy ways to get client feedback

What do your clients think of your business? If you don’t know, it’s time to get some feedback. Here are four easy (and free) ways to do just that.

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Take a tip from the tax department

Apparently the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is feeling unloved or unappreciated, so they’re spending $350,000 to find out what businesses think of them.

Like all good surveys, the sample is already selected, so those of you who want to express your opinions – bad luck! Hopefully the chosen few will be able to identify the key issues and frustrations of dealing with them.

Although you may not have the same budget as the ATO, you can still find out what your clients think. Here are four easy ways that won’t cost you a cent.

1. Talk to your clients

This sounds obvious and I would hope you’re already doing it, but talking to your clients in a structured way will increase the value of their feedback. By routinely asking for their views, you can take action on the negative feedback and keep improving on the positive. In some cases, you may be able to save client relationships before they’re irreparably damaged.

"Maintaining an open process for your customers to voice their frustrations and, more importantly, fixing their problems will enhance your reputation."

Want more articles like this? Check out the using surveys section.

2. Conduct a survey

I know that typical response rates are low for surveys, so the practicality of conducting one may be suspect. Nevertheless, if you make it easy for people to respond to your short, simple questions you will improve response rates.

According to research, the following question is a reliable indicator of customer satisfaction: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our business to your friends and family?”

3. Encourage complaints

Maintaining an open process for your customers to voice their frustrations and, more importantly, fixing their problems will enhance your reputation.

If a dissatisfied customer doesn’t give you the opportunity to fix the problem, chances are you’ve lost that customer and possibly many more.

4. Monitor social media

We can’t ignore it! These days social media provide an opportunity for everyone to contribute opinions, so you need to be aware of what is being said, and respond appropriately. While you may think some opinions are misguided at best, you simply can’t stick your head in the sand.

Being aware of your market’s perception of your business will pay dividends for you. Maybe we should offer to set up a Facebook page for the ATO and charge $350,000?

How do you seek out customer feedback? And what are your clients saying about you?

Sarah-Joy Pierce and  Allan Johnson

are business coaches and the authors of Build Your Business, Build Your Life. Their mission is to help business owners enjoy their business and their life.

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