If you wish to develop your business and select the right new products to put on the market it is usual to know how to read the trends and listen to your customers, every good business books would tell you that.
We are now more than ever requested to provide feedback on about everything we are using, reading, hearing, tasting or living. Why some are better than other to leverage clients experience? Obtaining useful feedback from clients current or past is not always as easy as it looks.
Transparency is key in building trust.
Here are a few tricks to get you started on the right path:
- Ask the questions you plan to act on but be open to suggestions:
If you do not plan on updating your advertising campaign, do not question your clients about it. Be clear about the objective of the questionnaire, for interviewee to have full visibility and understanding on what they are expected to talk about and do not deviate from it. Leave an open field for extra comment.
- Define clear order to avoid bias in writing the questions:
As in Journalism, if you survey your client asking them first what are the worst experience they had with your brand they may end up use it as the thread to your whole questionnaire. Build your questionnaire from generic to specific.
- Find a format that is comfortable for the interviewee not for you:
Clear questions alternating open and closed options with no space for interpretation helps the interviewee to feel useful in it feedback. it is also important to provide an easy to fill format – for example an online questionnaire which work on mobile, over the phone or a face to face interview where the interviewer record the answers to avoid time wasted waiting for him to write.
- Offer a real space to give honest / negative feedback:
Anonymising a questionnaire, orchestrate it by a person with no relations with the interviewee or reward any feedback with a donation to your charity of choice is the best way to improve honesty. No-one wants to hurt a relationship by being brutally honest to a known face or leaving its name behind that could damage business relations.
As customers we are always more willing to share along negative comments, less when we are satisfied, it is essential to encourage feedback at all time, and a good way to start is to clearly state how long it will take the interviewee.
And as always, you may offer to provide the person with general information on how this is going to be used.
Please do not hesitate to share your feedback in the comment space below, anonymously or not. It is useful, appreciated even when critics are offered when are they constructive, and will be acted upon!