Feedback could be one of the best tools to start improving your products or services if you know how to use it. In social media world it’s so easy to write a comment that you don’t need to ask for feedback anymore. It comes naturally. But is it all necessary? And what to do with the information you’ve been given?
WHEN FEEDBACK MATTERS?
To understand the value of the feedback you have to ask yourself three questions:
1. Who the source is?
When in life you get advice from a stranger, do you pay attention to it? Chances are you trust the closest people to you. In business situation, feedback of your loyal customers matters the most. They have biggest experience with your product and could provide you with relevant information on where are you the strongest and what you should improve. Despite this, all customers reviews should be revised and responded carefully. If you get feedback from people you don’t have business with, maybe they have a solid background in this field and just being helpful to you? If not, then maybe you should ignore it.
2. How it’s written?
Sometimes you get comments with just wows, exclamation marks and smiley faces. Well, it’s pretty pleasant, but not very useful, so you should read, thank and move on. If it’s hateful, it’s not very pleasant anymore, but should be ignored too. Structured and constructive comments have the biggest value here. If someone had time to sit and write a clear and well thought review, you have to appreciate their effort and consider it.
3. Is it realistic?
Sometimes people like to imagine their behaviour in situations they’ve never been. That kind of feedback frequently contains hypothetical arguments like “I would buy if…”. It can be tempting to fulfil their wishes but you should rethink this carefully. Maybe they’re not your targeted audience or these improvements aren’t the type of work you would do. And if you decide to improve your product by those guidelines, it doesn’t mean they will actually buy it.
HOW TO DEAL WITH NEGATIVE FEEDBACK?
I guess this section can turn into whole separate blog post, but this time I will review the essential tips. The key is to stay positive even if it’s a hard thing to do. Take your time and don’t respond right away to avoid over-reacting. Here I’m talking about negative, but constructive feedback, not hateful, it’s a big difference. Hateful feedback should be ignored. Period. Well, after you inhale and exhale a few times, now it’s time to acknowledge and respond, people should hear your side too! The good response should contain gratitude, questions, solutions and understanding. Ask clarifying questions and how you could improve your products/services. Maybe you already have a follow-up? Initiate it! You want your customer to be happy, try to help him. Remember, solutions are better than self-explaining. Having clear policies, on how you refund or replace products, helps too. And finally say thank you. Negative feedback works like a cold shower, so most likely you’ll never make the same mistake again.
TRACK AND MAKE THE MOST OF IT
Make sure you always read reviews on your sales page or social media. In most cases they contain valuable information you can use. Try to find patterns and consistency. Sometimes there are things we overlooked. For example you never thought about offering gift packaging for your products. But if ten people say that you need to do this, well maybe you should. Feedback is essential component to growing business. You don’t always need to listen, but you have to consider those voices and try to imagine how it can impact the quality of your business. And bear this in mind: you can’t please everyone and you don’t have to!