When it comes to building and sustaining a business, perhaps nothing is as important as listening to your customers. They are the ones you are meant to help and serve, so they are in the driver’s seat, and hearing them well sets the stage for everything you’ll decide and do. There are three simple methods you can use to do this every day, regardless of your industry, product, or service.
1. Layer your feedback streams
Direct feedback is arguably the most important type of feedback you can get in a business because it comes, as the saying goes, straight from the horse’s mouth. People tell you themselves what they think with no middle man, so it’s incredibly trustworthy information.
Surveys are an old standby way to get direct feedback from people. They can come in a lot of different forms, such as online questions, letters you mail, or even chatting with people face-to-face on their way out of the store. But they’re so foundational that a lot of businesses turn to them almost by default.
In the broader omnichannel way of doing business today, though, surveys aren’t the only feedback stream you have. For example, people can also communicate their experiences through ratings and reviews. These additional feedback streams can be incredibly rich with all kinds of important, nuanced information. To make sure you’re hearing and understanding everyone properly, layer all of the available streams on top of each other. Translate them collectively and don’t let bias get in the way. This gives you a better, broader picture of what’s happening, as well as more ways to respond.