Feedback is crucial. Someone once said, “Champions eat feedback for breakfast. lunch, and dinner.” That may be true but for some people feedback is a little hard to swallow.
There are basically four steps to feedback. The first step is creating as many pipelines as possible for people to communicate with you; phone, email, website, capture forms, landing pages, surveys, email marketing, I could go on adnauseum. This step sounds the easiest yet time and time again I see companies that do not post their phone number in a visible spot on their website, or other people who do not have a mobile version of a website so people can easily navigate around their information on their mobile devices.
But for arguments sake let’s just assume that a business has in place numerous lines of communication open to their customers and potential customers.
The next step is collecting the data. Many marketing tools such as Constant Contact and Google Analytics provide the business owner with valuable information on feedback. Social media is getting better all the time at providing good information. It is imperative that the business owner set aside time on a regular basis to collect all the data. Otherwise, what’s the point?
The third step is analyzing the data. With non-tracking marketing tools the business owner must remember to ask each new customer where they heard about them. If they fail in this crucial step, that information may be lost forever. Analyzing your data will tell you many things. The first thing it should tell you is how effectively are you reaching your customer base. You should be able to tell where the customer heard about you and what they did with the information that they received from you through your channels of communication. Demographics are always key to a business and you should be able to tell from your feedback who you are reaching and if it is your target market. Click through rates on email marketing will tell you if your marketing messages are effective and are driving people closer to a sale. Sales numbers in and of themselves are a feed back tool.
The final step, and the one most people do not do properly, is follow up. Use the information that you gleaned from your analysis to restructure your messages, your marketing plan, and your communications to reflect what you really want to accomplish.
You, as a business owner, can either follow these four steps yourself, or hire somebody to do it for you. Not everyone has the time to do this, but I promise you, if you spend more time analyzing your feedback you will understand your customers better and it will reflect in your bottom line.