Getting client feedback is crucial to the growth of your business. Feedback allows you to understand what is working well and what needs to change. There are multiple types of feedback but I am going to share the 3 types I use frequently and how I use them. These should not replace regular communication.
Reviews on public sites such as Etsy, Facebook, Google, theKnot, Yelp, etc. allow clients to leave candid feedback on their experience with your business. Reviews typically occur after the service has been completed. The client rates their experience and shares details online.
Many potential buyers will search for reviews before making a purchase to read about your clients’ experiences. Reviews provide social proof for the quality of service you provide.
TIP: Make a point to include asking for reviews as part of your client process. You can include a link to leave a review in your email footer, invoice/delivery receipt, or closing correspondence.
Regardless of whether reviews are positive or negative, they allow you to gain insight into your client’s perspective.
All reviews, both positive and negative, should receive a response. Positive reviews are an opportunity to reconnect, show gratitude, and possibly find brand ambassadors. Negative reviews are an
Surveys are an additional tool which can be used throughout the client experience to gather candid feedback. I love surveys because they allow clients (especially introverts) the opportunity to open and share their perspective.
- Keep surveys brief. No more than 10 questions.
- Include questions which make it easy for the client to respond. Questions such as multiple-choice, ranking, checkboxes, drop-down, sliding scale, etc.
- For detailed feedback, ask open-ended questions.
- Ask unbiased questions. (ex: Overall, how satisfied or dissatisfied were you with your service?) This allows a truer range of authentic valuable feedback for you to learn and grow your business.
One of my favorite and most trusted resources for creating surveys is SurveyMonkey. Whether you are conducting client satisfaction or market research they have a bank of questions to choose from.
Testimonials are ideal for marketing use, however, they take more effort and time. Testimonials are gathered from clients who loved their experience with you and want to share their story. You can obtain their story through an email or a form (Google, Typeform, Wufoo).
The key to gathering testimonials is making it easy for your client to respond. Include questions for them to answer that address key elements you want to highlight when marketing your business.
- Tell me about a specific time when __________ was able to help you/your business.
- How is ________ different from other __________ service providers?
- How would you describe __________ to a friend?
Testimonials are great to use on service pages, lead pages, social media campaigns, newsletters, etc. I find testimonials are more effective when placed inline beside your marketing copy.
One of the challenges many business owners encounter is feedback different from what they expected. I encourage you to take ego and feelings out of the mix for positive and negative. Believing your own hype (too much positive) can allow you to become complacent and blind to opportunities for growth. Putting too much emphasis on negative feedback can hinder your confidence and creativity.
Feedback is subjective and defines a specific experience with a specific client in time. Individual feedback does not define you or your business as a whole. It is important to look at feedback collectively and the larger story it tells. What is your business doing well and where does it have an opportunity to grow?
Create a plan of the steps you will take and what resolutions are needed. When clients feel heard and appreciated you strengthen the relationship with them. This encourages more engagement, feedback, and referrals.