One of the most important parts of running an online business or membership site is getting feedback from your customers, clients, or members. Receiving feedback is great for things like improving your products and services, measuring customer/member satisfaction levels, and increasing customer/member retention rates. However, there are a few ways you can take your feedback and re-purpose it into ways to grow your business too. In this post we’ll be going over three ways to turn feedback into your most valuable resource.
1. Create testimonials.
There’s no better street cred for your business than a glowing testimonial. Direct quotes from members and customers are the best way for potential customers to get a feel for what kinds of results they can expect from your business.
When gathering testimonials, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind to make the process as easy as possible. If you’re offering a service to a client, be sure to inform them during the onboarding process that you will be asking for a testimonial once the project has been completed. This gives your clients plenty of notice to think carefully about their process with you as it happens and allows them to be mindful of things to include in the testimonial. If you’ve got a membership site, you can set up an automated email campaign with a service like AWeber or Mailchimp to be delivered to all new members 30 days after they subscribe with a link to a quick survey. Lastly, never be afraid to ask to use spontaneous compliments as a quote on your website. Most people will be more than happy to oblige if they are truly pleased with what you’ve given them. The most important thing to remember in all of these cases is to strike when the iron is hot and give gentle reminders to people who have agreed to give you a testimonial.
Once you’ve gathered survey answers, quotes, or rough draft testimonials directly from your clients, you should definitely edit them. Some testimonials may only need some sprucing up, others may need to be written entirely. It all depends on how you’ve asked for your testimonials. Once you’ve written and/or edited the testimonials, send them back to your client for final approval and ask for a photo of them to post along with their recommendation.
2. Post case studies as content.
If you’re ready to take your testimonials one step further, consider writing a case study and sharing it on your blog or to your membership tiers as content. This will require you to take notes on the project before, during, and after, but the extra work is generally well worth it. Case studies give potential customers and members a closer look at your process from start to finish. What was the problem that this particular client had? What solutions were you able to offer them? What worked? What didn’t work? How were you able to bounce back with a better solution? What were the customer’s thoughts? How did you change this person’s life, business, or career? While testimonials are great for giving a first person reflection on results delivered, case studies are great for painting a start-to-finish picture of an entire client experience. Of course, you should always ask a client for permission before sharing his or her story, and always give them the option to use a pseudonym.
3. Build a referral network or affiliate program.
This option is not for the faint of heart. But say you have a customer who cannot stop raving about your product/service/membership site. A great way to turn that fan into a sales rep is to build a referral network or affiliate program. A referral network can be one of many things. You can set up agreements with fellow entrepreneurs to recommend one another’s businesses out to their respective customers. You can offer a referral bonus like a free month’s subscription or a $10 credit on services for every new client sent your way. The reward can be anything you like! An affiliate program, in contrast, generally implies that there will be some form of monetary compensation for new clients sent your way by a participant. To get a better idea of the differences between a referral network and an affiliate program, I highly recommend checking out this nifty infographic.
To conclude, we hope that we’ve inspired you to start or continue gathering customer feedback. While it can often seem to be a tedious or daunting task, it’s one of the most important keys to any successful business. Hearing what your customers have to say helps you create a better service or product, fine tune any kinks in your delivery system, and (when used properly) can even help grow your business and bring in more customers.
Do you use feedback in other ways? What are your favorite tools for collecting customer remarks? Let us know in the comments below!