Market research surveys are often used by companies to collect various types of information about their consumers and clients. Some of this information is gathered by businesses prior to introducing products but a majority of customer data is gathered after the introduction of their products.
Whatever be the case, customer feedback is important for a number of reasons.
To determine a customer’s needs and tastes, customer feedback is vital, particularly when a business introduces new products. Companies conduct focus groups, in-person research or customer phone surveys to determine the features, flavours or styles that consumers are looking for in a product. Customer feedback helps companies determine what’s important to their customers, according to The Calgary Beacon article “9 Great Reasons to Conduct Customer Surveys.” Without customer feedback, a company could not possibly learn about the product needs of the consumer. As a consequence, its products are likely to fail in the marketplace.
Customer feedback also helps a company to better understand how a customer rates and uses their product versus a competitor’s product. It is vital in determining where a company’s products and services excel or fall short in comparison with alternatives on the market.
Customer service satisfaction surveys are the most common type of market research surveys. Companies can determine whether customers are getting their questions answered and problems resolved. Additionally, through surveys, a company can evaluate the performance of its customer service reps and take corrective measures, especially if the feedback indicates that the customer service reps were being rude to customers.
Customer feedback from lost customers is especially important as it helps the company in determining why customers are no longer buying its products. The goal of the survey becomes determining courses of action that the company can take to win a customer back.
Customer feedback also is important in detecting certain trends among consumers. For example, a new competitor in the market may introduce new and improved version of a product that potentially threatens the current version a company sells. If customers indicate they would prefer and buy this new version, the company will have to consider adopting innovative changes in their current product.
Customer reviews can also have a positive effect on search engine rankings. Since descriptive reviews tend to contain an abundance of keywords, they help a website rank higher on search engines for the products and services on offer.
Reviews on a general level help a company understand the needs of their customers and help them in improving the products and services they sell, adapting to the latest trends, and dealing with their customers. If certain products have received positive reviews, it may be wise to get them back in stock. If certain products prove unpopular, reviews bring it to your attention sooner allowing you to take action in time. Reviews are the real views of your customers, a direct line of communication that allows you to monitor how customers perceive the company’s brand.
A good way of encouraging customers to leave reviews is to offer small incentives, such as entrance into a competition or a small discount on the next purchase in exchange for leaving a review. Another practice is to send an email after each order inquiring if the process was satisfactory and requesting the customer to review their purchase.
It doesn’t matter which industry a company belongs to, or the size of its business, positive testimonials from customers dramatically improve online visibility and brand image. Customers are conditioned to search for information on the Internet. It has become a norm to browse the internet for a desired product or service that could range from a local restaurant, the latest electronic gadgets, etc.
If the internet search guides the customer to your company, the website should have enough information available to influence their decision. In that scenario, reviews could be the deciding factor. If a company has more favourable reviews in which customers are praising its products or services, it leads to new client acquisitions.
There are several sites that publish user reviews and ratings to help consumers find local products and services: Google Places, Yelp, etc. Companies should be focused on understanding these review services and determining what could provide the most benefit to their business.
Reviews, even if negative, can bring positive developments, as long as they aren’t too common. A few bad reviews will provide legitimacy to the rest of the good reviews and reassure visitors that the feedback is genuine and left by real customers.