Wonder what your customers are thinking? You’re a marketer, not a mind-reader. If your efforts to understand and solve your audience’s problems have fallen flat, you’re in the right place.
With the rise of NPS, CSAT, and other standardized surveys (and even the introduction of HubSpot’s all-new Service Hub), every marketer and their mom is looking for feedback, and customers are getting sick of it.
Even worse, stats show that businesses have an inflated view of themselves. According to shankmanhonig.com, 80% of companies believe they deliver excellent customer service, while only a whopping 8% of customers believe they EXPERIENCE excellent customer service. What gives?
We need to work to bridge this disconnect. How can we when we’re struggling to get survey responses?
I’m not going to pretend to have all the answers here. But as businesses, markets, and people change, we’ve got to be adaptable. Here are some thoughts I’ve compiled from expert sources that we could test out:
Because asking for feedback or opinions creates a critic. The other person will weigh where they stand relative to your idea and are more likely to oppose you or offer negative thoughts.
On the other hand, asking someone for advice shows that you value their opinion. They’ll be more willing to collaborate with you. Now, instead of a critic, you’ve created a partner.
You may worry that asking for advice will open the floodgates for your customers to tell you how to run things. If that’s your current vibe, ask yourself: who are you in business to serve?
Then ask yourself, “how can this work for me”? Not every piece of advice will make sense to apply to your business, but some will. Take it all with a grain of salt, and remember to say thank you.
Actually give a flying fudgsicle
Why are survey responses so low? Part of the problem is customers don’t believe businesses care or are willing to change. What can you do to show that your business is sincere? Can you apply any ideas from customers in real life?
We do our darndest at Helpful Hero to take every piece of advice to heart. Many of the custom modules built for the CLEAN theme came from suggestions from actual customers. We listen, we care, AND we take action.
Why surveys aren’t the only answer
Remember that your customers may not know what they want.
Heck, I don’t know what I want for dinner half the time, let alone what I’d like to see added to a product or service.
With the above in mind, don’t underestimate the power of observation. What messages are your customers sending with their behavior? Tools like HubSpot’s Knowledge Base Insights can show you what questions your visitors are searching for on your website. Are you answering all of them? If not, why not?
Help them prep
If you are going the survey route, set expectations ahead of time. When will you reach out? What type of advice should your customers be ready to offer?
Be human (unless you’re a robot)
Short of a formal survey, remember that your customers are people. Talk to them like they’re human.
If no humans are available, create a conversation with a chatbot. Not that we’re biased, but we think our Johnny 5 bot is pretty fun (chat him up: he may even teach you a new dance move).
How to succeed when all else fails…
I had a friend who used to work for Disney (some of the best customer service on earth), and part of her job as a manager was to let people vent. Sometimes, customers don’t want a solution. They need to complain.
So, snuggle up with some full-fat ice cream and listen.
If nothing else, keep your eyes, ears, and mind open to new strategies and solutions. Can you change things up to see what happens?
And by the way, if you’ve got ideas to share, I’d love any advice you have for this blog.
But seriously, I wanna hear from you. Drop me a line in the comments below! 👇