Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.
No matter what type of business you run, your customers always have an opinion. From being completely happy with your service to thinking your product needs a total overhaul (and every opinion in between), your customers’ opinions can be as diverse as they are. It’s the companies that know how to harness this feedback to inform their decisions that are able to please their customers the most.
The first step, however, is to collect that customer feedback. Below, 11 members of Rolling Stone Culture Council suggest a few ways of doing that and what you should be doing with the feedback once you have it.
Collect Reviews Across Multiple Platforms
We collect reviews from customers across multiple online platforms and make sure to thank customers for their valuable feedback. We review the information on a daily basis as a team, looking for patterns that arise. We have daily meetings with corporate and on-property staff to discuss standout issues and brainstorm solutions that can be implemented immediately. Then we take action to improve. – Laura Rose, Storey Hotel Management Group
Send a Google Form
We used to use email, but we’re gearing up to use Google Forms. We’ve discovered it’s such an easy way to customize, collect and save data. Other than emailing clients and asking for feedback directly, it’s still a very personal method for giving them a way to provide feedback you’ll be able to store. – Nicole Rodrigues, NRPR Group
Direct Message Random Clients
Artrepreneur is a platform of artist members. Every morning, using our site’s messaging system, I randomly choose some names and message the members directly. I ask for feedback on current features and for new ideas. It’s a great way to get honest input without any filters. – Grace Cho, Artrepreneur
Evaluate Customer Workflows
Aside from direct feedback, we evaluate our customers’ workflows to ultimately optimize their use of our platforms. We do this by actively taking net promoter score feedback throughout onboarding and continued offerings to ensure we are attuned to how customers use our platforms in real time. Through retrospectively monitoring and analyzing customer use, we can optimize the platform based on data-driven insights. – Jessica Billingsley, Akerna
Conduct Polls on Social Media
I collect feedback from my customers through social media polls. The use of social media has skyrocketed these past few years, and what better way to collect information from your customers than to actively engage them where they are active the most? Feedback is a great tool to improve on areas my customers think are lacking. – Tony M Fountain, Now Entertainment
Involve Clients in the Creative Process
We take a co-creative approach in our work with clients, so near real-time feedback is baked into our iterative process. Data powers our work not only by offering targeted intel, but also by helping us identify extended opportunities and solutions. This often leads to rapid prototypes, quick wins and, perhaps most importantly, fast failures. We always find valuable lessons in the leveraging of data. – Allan Fair, Meaning
Leverage Slack Channels
At Drop Delivery, we invite our clients to join us on Slack so we can have direct communication and a seamless way they can share their feedback with us in real time. Once we have that data, we instantly integrate it into the monday.com app, where we can reference it for our weekly feedback meetings and further track things like priority level, difficulty, time/cost, status, etc. – Vanessa Gabriel, Drop Delivery
Have a Specific Hire for Customer Communication
As a company that focuses on B2B, we are constantly collecting feedback from our clients every day. In order to upgrade our customer service to the next level, we hired a client service manager who constantly communicates with our clients to ensure maximum transparency and to be the bridge between our team and our clients. We discuss feedback during our weekly meetings among the department heads. – Tyler Kowalske, Outpost Brands
Inquire After Every Transaction
After the conclusion of each transaction, I always ask the client for feedback on what they would’ve liked to see differently if we were to move forward together next time. Almost always, it leads into that “second opportunity” to continue doing business. Once I have feedback, I immediately implement that in the new relationship, whether it is with the current client or a prospective client. – Andrew Rossow, The Guardian Project
Use a Live Activity Feed
When we launched at JFK, we gathered data through a live activity feed. Our analytics showed we were generating 89 percent of customer traffic during a 10-hour window, so we cut hours of operations, reduced staff by 75 percent and doubled our revenue. We were able to test pricing and pivot swiftly. Following the data made us profitable the first week. – Lynn Rosenthal, Periscape
Simply asking goes a long way! There are several mediums for this initial inquiry, such as surveys, emails, phone calls, etc. The ability to execute the request validates to your customers that you care. That said, being intentional in the way you digest the root cause of the feedback is crucial. I have seen leaders get defensive and dismiss negative feedback. Be open and take action either way. – Ryan Alpert, GF Hotels & Resorts