What does the term customer’s voice refer to? How can startup businesses benefit from it?
A customer’s voice is a terminology that refers to the positive and negative feedback that a customer has regarding the products and services a company is offering.
There are three different types of customer feedback: Direct, Indirect and Inferred.
- Direct feedback is used to describe a scenario where a customer gives their opinion about a company via the company’s customer service, Net Promoter Score(NPS) and other online surveys. The form of communication could be through phone call, chat, or email.
- Indirect feedback is the term used when a company does not have direct access to a customer’s complaints or favorable responses because they were posted through social media and other platforms.
- Inferred feedback is based on the frequency and quantity of a customer’s purchase.
If only every customer feedback is analyzed and responded to, the possibility for a startup business to flourish is limitless.
Below are the main reasons why startup businesses can benefit from the ‘voice’ or feedback of their customers:
1. Feedback Enhances Products and Services
New products and services may seem to have every unique feature that a customer has been desiring, yet garnering error-free results are still not fully guaranteed. Thus, unsatisfied customers would express their disappointment either through blogs, social media, forums, or customer service.
It is disheartening to receive negative reviews but if the reviews are taken into consideration, business owners will realize that constructive feedback from customers is a treasure worth dedicating their time and attention to.
It is the act of using customer feedback to learn the weak points of the products and services being offered by determining the bad points, it helps startup owners and their staff have a better understanding of what should be improved or changed.
While people often think of customer feedback as negative, it is not always the case. If a customer is satisfied, more often than not, they will give a commendation and mention the attributes of products and services that they like the most.
This kind of feedback should not be disregarded, for it leaves an idea regarding features that are widely accepted by customers. As a result, those features should remain as part of the products and services.
2. Feedback Allows a Company to Stay Ahead of Competitors
Customers are smart buyers who customarily compare prices and qualities of a company’s products and services with another. For subscribers, it is easier to gather their reason for leaving when they call or send an email to cancel their subscription.
Hence, this method makes it manageable for businesses to adjust to the needs and demands of existing customers. Customers who leave normally divulge their reason for canceling their subscription.
The most common reasons given by customers would always involve the cost, quality, or location (e.g. moving to a different state or country).
There are times when customers directly mention that another company’s offer is better; thus, questions should be elicited properly in order to gain a better understanding of what another business is offering. In this manner, ideas that enhance customer retention will be created.
On the other hand, businesses that don’t have subscribers can find the reasons customers prefer another product and services by collating indirect feedback.
It is deemed important to check forums, social media posts, and blogs as these platforms have active customers who inform their readers regarding the advantages and disadvantages of products and services offered by specific brands or companies.
3. Feedback Identifies Customers Interest and Perception
When starting a business, the needs and wants of customers should always weigh over the needs and wants of the entrepreneur. There are cases wherein in-depth surveys were administered at various locations yet later on, business owners discover that the information gathered is still not sufficient to determine what a customer’s interests are.
Customer interests vary over time as trends change. One method to identify what buyers want is to solicit comments through a one-on-one interview. It is more effective to interview buyers who have purchased products from different businesses.
This approach may be costly, for the right prospects have to be identified and they have to be persuaded to agree for an interview. In addition, researchers have to brainstorm suitable questions, and the location of the business and the customers that will be interviewed has to be considered.
Regardless of how tedious and challenging it may be to solicit valuable feedback from customers, startup owners must remember that uncovering the truth will ultimately play a huge impact in learning the desires of buyers.
As a consequence, a company’s marketing department will have the capability to innovate ideas that will surely capture their buyers’ attention.
4. Feedback Gives Ideas About the Startup’s Future Content or Strategy
As mentioned previously, the customers’ interests and perceptions are vital to the growth of startups. Item number three likewise proposes conducting a face-to-face interview to obtain the wants and needs of buyers.
This method also gives useful insights in relation to the next strategy that has to be executed to entice more customers to purchase products and services.
Even if a product is already widely accepted by many buyers, it is unwise to be complacent. There are risks coupled with staying too relaxed especially when several other startups are growing rapidly. What should be done is to motivate innovators in a company to invariably break new ground to remain relevant in the competitive market.
Before doing so, customer feedback has to be analyzed and grouped into the following categories: product and brand health, customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, sales, and customer preference.
It is fundamental to incorporate customer feedback in every fresh or new content that will be introduced to the free market as this implies that business owners are listening and receptive to what customers demand. For this reason, customers will be impressed and they will likely continue to be loyal.
5. Feedback Allows Companies to Acquire Customer Testimonials
TechValidate disclosed that customer testimonials was evaluated by 94 percent of B2B marketing and sales specialists as extremely effective. Positive customer testimonials strengthen a startup’s public reputation.
It will also help persuade new buyers to purchase from a particular startup with a considerable number of positive customer reviews. What they have in mind is that a company’s products and services have been proven to be effective, and thus they feel ensured that their money will not be wasted.
Every constructive feedback has to be collected and be posted by a company’s representative either on their social media page or on the section of the website where customer stories or testimonials are featured.
Constructive feedback is not the typical, short positive or negative comment. Instead, it includes detailed and useful information about the products and services, which, in turn, compels other customers to hit the purchase button.
The useful information should include the benefits, help boost the brand’s credibility, list concrete and objective comparisons between the startup’s product/service and the ones offered by competitors, and most of all, support a company’s claims.
6. Feedback Gives Tips On How To Win Previous Customers
Customers leave if they are dissatisfied and there are many reasons that can make them feel frustrated with a company’s products and services.
By using tools and software designed to analyze customer feedback, all the information that customers have posted on different channels will be collated. This information will give an insight to people in-charge of customer retention regarding the various reasons behind why customers have seized to purchase from a particular brand.
At the same time, company representatives can systematize each reason and strategize how to recover lost clients. If the reason is about pricing, offer discount coupons (ex. one month free subscription for new customers).
If the reason involves one or more of the product’s features, solve the problem and send an email marketing explaining the process of fixing the issue. If the reason is about customer service, train customer service representatives to handle calls professionally and ensure that every customer concern is resolved efficiently.
The bottom line: Ignoring customer’s feedback may hinder a company from maximizing its sales.
“A customer talking about their experience with you is worth ten times that which you write or say about yourself.”
― David J. Greer, Wind In Your Sails
Billions of funds are spent to market a company’s products and services. This, in turn, increases brand visibility and boosts conversion rates.
The customers’ voice is very crucial to the growth of a business as it helps lessen the chance of failure. Moreover, it is an effective tool for marketing strategy.
Truly, it is not the companies’ claims over their products and services that matter, but rather it is the voice and words of their customers that holds the weight of truth and validity for how effective and wonderful their products and services are.