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Want to know how your business is doing? Ask your customers.

When you reach out for customer feedback and listen to what they’re saying about their experience with your business, you’ll start to hear common themes about where you’re doing well and where you could use improvement.

We asked Megan Connolly, our resident Voice of the Customer, to share seven different ways you can get customer feedback:

  1. Google Hangout: This is a casual way for your customers to interact with you or your team members in an informal conversation on Google+. At Swift Capital, we invite customers to have a one-on-one conversation with our CEO, but you could host a monthly lunch, an expert presenter, or a preview of something upcoming in your business. These types of personal interactions go a long way in opening the door to future engagement with customers.
  1. Customer group calls: By inviting a small group of customers to participate in a conference call, you have an opportunity to hear directly from your current customers and get feedback on a particular topic. This can be helpful when planning and prioritizing. You can increase participation by offering an incentive like a free product, service, or gift certificate.
  1. Email surveys: Reaching out to customers with a timely email allows you to gather both quantitative and qualitative data so that you can track customer satisfaction over time. Email survey tools like GoFeedback and Survey Monkey have tracking and reporting built in for analyzing what you collect.
  1. Third party reviews: If your customers aren’t talking to you directly, they may be reviewing you on a third party site like Trust Pilot, Yelp, or another service aggregator. You can learn a lot about their experience if you’re in tune to what they’re saying when they think you’re not looking.
  1. User experience: If your business has a large online presence, you might want to get feedback on your site design and usability from real users especially before rolling out a new online product or service. Usertesting.com is a great resource for testing user experience.
  1. Social media monitoring: Keep a close eye on your social media accounts (and on your competitors’ accounts too!) for insight into what customers are saying about you, your industry, and what they expect when it comes to doing business with you.
  1. Share sessions: Set up a time to meet with your customer-facing employees so they can share what they’re hearing on the front lines of service. You’ll get more if you give them questions beforehand and time to prepare. This is also a great time to give your employees any positive customer feedback you’ve been hearing. And an extra bonus –your employees feel like they’re being heard too.

Listening to your customers and gathering their feedback is the first step in creating an exceptional customer experience. Get to know what your customers are thinking and experiencing and you’ll be able to adjust your business to best meet their needs.

meganMegan Connolly is our resident Voice of the Customer. She gathers, tracks, and translates customer experience ratings, scores, and feedback and then helps our teams apply it across all areas of our business. She’s an avid reader, novice calligrapher, and wannabe golfer. If you’re interested in learning more about joining the Insights Community for Swift Capital, you can email Megan at [email protected]. She would love to hear from you.

Our mission at Swift Capital is to unleash the potential of every small business by providing them with fair and convenient access to working capital. We harness data and technology alongside personalized human expertise to see the true potential in every business. Did you like this post? Tell us what you’d like to see on our blog. Email us at [email protected] or tell us here.

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