No business operates on a growth strategy that disregards customer feedback. Knowing how you or your product is perceived is self-awareness that is critical to your business’s survival. It spells the difference between your marketing being received favorably, or your business completely failing to connect with its existing and target audience.
And yet, there are so many cases where companies have stood their ground against consumer feedback and failed to survive the backlash as a result. While these cases are rarer in today’s immediate-feedback society, the consequences for not processing consumer feedback correctly have only grown even more drastic as a result.
Learning how to listen (and who to listen to)
One of the reasons it can be so difficult to leverage customer feedback is that there’s too much of it. The Internet has made it extremely easy to send and receive feedback, and there’s a reasonable number of fraudulent responses. Some are even unhelpful or just spam. In the huge cloud of words and responses, it can be a challenge to choose the type of feedback you should be paying attention to.
Fortunately, invested users will often take time and effort in providing actionable and helpful feedback. These are the types of responses you should keep an eye out for: the ones that speak not only from a consumer experience but from a brand loyalist.
Listening to these consumers will often provide you with a wealth of insights that you can’t get anywhere else. Aside from giving you ideas for improving your product or services, they can open a treasure trove of information about how your brand is perceived, and how closely does your marketing goal align with the actual audience you’re targeting.
Provide a platform
Another aspect of consumer feedback that brands can miss out on can be astonishingly basic: the lack of a feedback platform. This is particularly crucial for e-commerce sites and businesses, whose entire platform relies on the review and recommendation system in order to market themselves effectively.
Providing a place for consumer feedback (like a reverse logistics platform) can help your audience form a community around your product. At its worst, they can point out the flaws in your product or service in numbers that can justify a recall or redesign. At best, they can form a group that can help bring in new consumers and strengthen the ones you’ve already engaged with.
A feedback platform also gives your audience (engaged or otherwise) the assurance that your company values their experience with you, and are committed to providing the best level of service possible. This comes in handy when it comes to pitching yourself as a customer-centric brand that can reasonably take care of its target market, and be relied on to respond to issues when asked.
Consumer feedback isn’t the lifeblood of business, but it’s definitely a catalyst that can drive growth and innovation. Learning how to listen to and manage this feedback separates the failing companies from the successful and gives you opportunities to grow with the people that made your success possible.