The digital era gives consumers multiple options when choosing a business for products or services, making it more important than ever for businesses to track customer satisfaction. Customer reviews — whether positive or negative — provide important data to help businesses improve.
However, customers are often reluctant to provide direct feedback, so businesses may need to explore creative methods for persuading clients to share their insights. Below, five members of Tampa Business Journal Leadership Trust talk about the strategies they use to collect customer reviews.
1. Establish a direct connection.
As president of the company, I send a handwritten note to every one of our clients who choose to do business with us. In it, I thank them for placing their trust in us and invite them to reach out to me directly. Specifically, I ask them to tell me about their experience with the company and my people. This has proven successful in gathering intel on the customer experience and how to improve. — Adam Boudreaux , Traction in Florida
2. Introduce the process early and offer an incentive.
Customer reviews are the social proof consumers want to see. At Jackie, we introduce the review process on our enrollment call. We share how much we value their feedback and that we welcome honest communication. After the purchase, we follow up with an email asking for their feedback and incentivize them with a credit toward future purchases. — Amber Duncan , Jackie
3. Offer discounts on future services.
Many times the initial engagement we’re asked to do with clients is just the beginning of the relationship. By incentivizing feedback we have the opportunity to respond to their needs in a more realistic time frame and positively impact any future work with them. We also have been known to allow a client to give their discount to a friend, which serves as both a referral and client benefit. — Liz Wooten-Reschke , Connect For More
4. Leverage automation.
At 3B Medical, we do several automated software outreaches to customers. For example, following a purchase on our business-to-consumer side, we encourage online reviews. We also send out quarterly surveys to both business-to-business and business-to-consumer accounts to monitor customer feedback and sentiment on both the company and its products. — Alex Lucio , 3B Medical Inc.
5. Send client satisfaction surveys and follow up as needed.
At the end of their case, we send the client a disengagement letter. We include a client satisfaction survey with every disengagement letter that asks the client to answer a series of questions about our services. Generally, our clients are very good about returning the surveys to us. If we happen to not receive one, my office manager emails them to follow up and lets them know their opinions are very valuable to us. — Donna Stockham , Stockham Law Group, P.A.