How to Get Customer Feedback Without Being Annoying

frustrationWe all want to know what our customers think. After all, it’s their opinions and feedback that keep our small businesses afloat. So of course, if we could know what they were thinking and had direct access to information such as their needs and wants, we’d be able to stay ahead of the game, right?

But how can we get the opinions of our customers without pestering them and coming off as annoying?

Surveys: Surveys can be tricky because not everyone will take them—actually, a very small percentage of people you send them out to will fill them out. You can send surveys via e-mail or direct mail to your customers, filled with specific questions about customer preferences.  When people actually take the time to fill them out, they can be quite handy.

Online Observations: There are many tools online to that allow you to track your audience’s browsing behaviors. You can access these sorts of tools on social media platforms, blogs, and other resources. Many analytic tools will show you the posts, ads, and offers that your audience clicked on. Tools like this help you to better target your marketing efforts.

Contact Forms: Most people don’t think of using contact forms to gather customer information outside of phone numbers and e-mail addresses. However, you can add fields to these forms that ask customers about things they’d like to see in the future or what need they have that is not being met by your business.

Point of Sale: A contact form is sort of a point of sale. Online, a point of sale usually comes in the form of forms and radio boxes as a way to determine customer satisfaction with your website, transactions, and so on. IN a face-to-face environment, point of sale refers to the moment when your employees get information from your customers during the sale.

Use Social Media: Using Twitter and Facebook to find out what your customers are saying about you. Be prepared for the good and the ugly, though; people tend to get very honest on social media. Make a point to follow people you know are customers and make sure you keep an eye out for any instances in which they mention your company.

How about you? What are some other ways you have been able to successfully get customer feedback from your audience without resorting to annoying and often futile marketing tactics?

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