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The Customer Feedback Loop: Your Secret Marketing Weapon

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” — Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot

When a customer gives you feedback, don’t let that go to waste.  Negative feedback? Respond right away and make the problem right.  Positive feedback? Respond right away and make the customer happier than before.

Clearly, keeping your customers happy (and buying from you) is extremely valuable — and paying attention to customer feedback is your secret weapon to beating out the competition and growing your business. 

A mere 5% increase in customer retention has been shown by the Harvard Business Review to boost profits by 25to 95 percent. It’s hard to pass up a potential growth opportunity like that. To find out more, Hubspot has a great overview of the value of customer feedback.

So, what are your next steps as an SMB?

Pay Attention to Positive and Negative Feedback

It’s fairly common for businesses to reach out after receiving a negative comment(If not, it should be.)  But how often have you gotten a reaction back from the business for a positive review or comment? 

How often has your business sent out a thank you note to a customer who has said something positive about your small business? You’ve probably gotten or sent this automated message, “Thank you for your feedback” when you’ve submitted a review or answered a survey. It doesn’t exactly give you warm and fuzzy feelings about the company, does it?  Even if it’s a company you really like, everyone appreciates a positive word now and then.

So, when your customers give you great feedback, why not try to surprise and delight them even more with a “Thank You” coupon with some monetary value or a discount on a future product?It’s important to let your customers know that you appreciate them and show them ways that will make it even easier to spend money with your company.  

If you have received negative feedback, it certainly goes without saying that you want to respond in a heartfelt manner and fix whatever went wrong.  The one thing you don’t want is to lose a customer who took the time to let you know how they felt.

Identify Themes in Your Feedback Adjust Your Roadmap

As you work through your annual marketing roadmap, take time mid-year or quarterly to analyze your progress. Included in that process is the collection of feedback that you have received over the past few months. While you’re  monitoring  and responding to customer feedback, it’s useful to look at trends. You can do this by integrating your CRM with your survey and feedback tools, and by doing this, you can optimize your feedback oversight and strengthen your customer relationships. Call it win for multi-tasking! 

If you don’t yet have a CRM, find out in this post why a CRM is important to your small business.At the very least, get your team together and put up a spreadsheet of customer comments.  Is there something more you could be doing? This is a great time to be looking for trends and patterns in the comments.  According to InSights, you can create a series of personalized responses based on themes with actions designed to keep your customers engaged with you. The great thing about a strategic marketing roadmap is that you can react fairly quickly to adjust something that is not working.  Or, to do more of what really is working.

So when you have your quarterly reviews of your customer comments, don’t forget to bring in your sales and customer service teams.  Customer feedback, like your brand, is far more than just a marketing function.

Maybe there are several complaints about your shipping and delivery time, or about your communication to the client about those issues. If that’s the case, you will need to address that issue with your team and improve it over the next quarter.

Keep This On Your To-Do List

For small business owners, it’s a constant challenge to stay on top of all the areas that keep your business moving forward. But, reviewing your marketing roadmap and making adjustments is one thing that should be on your calendar every three months or so — and bringing in the customer feedback from those past three months should also be on your to-do list. 

The information that you can glean from customers’ comments will be invaluable to you and may even help you find a new path that you had not considered. If you are wondering just how strong your marketing foundation is today, check the Discover Redmap page for tons of great information. And, take the free quiz to get your own report on the strength of your marketing foundation. And, of course, if you have any feedback for us, shoot us an email and we WILL respond!

Tomato Fish Is An Indianapolis Consulting Company Focused On Helping Small And Midsize Businesses Make Good Strategic Planning Decisions.