How to Hear from Customers

Want to know the secret to reaching your audience? Listen to them. There’s no better way to know what your clients are thinking than by hearing from them directly. So how do you solicit their feedback? Are there good ways to encourage communication with your customers? The good news is yes—Here are a variety of ways to gain valuable feedback from your fans.

1. Become One of Them

There’s nothing like stepping into the shoes of a customer to learn what makes one tick. Visit your retail shop the way a stranger might. Purchase one of your products online. Simulate the user experience yourself, and you might be surprised at what you learn.

2. Set Up a Website Contact Form

Every website should include contact info, whether that means a phone number, an email address, a contact form, or all three. Make it easy for your audience to give you feedback, and you’re much more likely to receive it.

3. Ask Questions

Whether you do it in person or through a blog post, ask your customers questions. Do they like the new product? Would they recommend it?  Was the service helpful? What suggestions do they have? Make this type of dialogue a habit to foster easy two-way communication between brand and buyer.

4. Run a Survey (with an Incentive!)

With an online or telephone survey, you gain feedback that’s easy to measure and compare. Make sure you run a survey right, however—Offer respondents the chance to win free products, a discount, entry into a giveaway, or some other desirable incentive.

5. Use Feedback Boxes

Surveys and contact forms are good, but the problem is that they let many customer opinions fall through the cracks. For this reason, Kissmetrics recommends feedback boxes—forms located on every page of your website that ask readers how you can make the page better for them. Create a box that aligns with your theme, or select a plugin like Magic Contact.

6. Run a Focus Group
Holding a focus group isn’t a new idea, but it is a useful one. Figure out what you want to learn about your audience, invite participants, generate questions, find someone to facilitate the group, choose a location, and conduct the event.

What do you think? Have you already tested these feedback options in your company? Which ones could you use to gain more knowledge about your audience?

Shanna Mallon is a writer for Online Media Signals, a PR firm specializing in relationship building, content creation, and content marketing. 

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