You can learn many things you didn't know about your business by getting valuable feedback from your customers. Your customers may buy your main product just to get the free gifts. Your visitors may think it's to hard to navigate through your web site.
By knowing this type of important information you can improve your web site, products/services, advertising, and marketing. Below are nine techniques you can use to get valuable feedback from your customers.
Use surveys and questionnaires regularly to improve your business. Publish them on your web site, e-zine, print newsletter, direct mail material, include them with product shipments or inside product packages. Post them on appropriate online message boards, e-mail discussion lists and newsgroups on the internet.
Create an online community for your customers. Include a chat room, message board, e-mail discussion list on your site for customers to participate in. You can regularly moderator these communities to see what your customers are saying about your business.
Give away your products to a group of your customers. Ask them to use and review the product. Ask them to fill out an evaluation form and send it back. Some customers may fill them out, some may not, but the feedback you do get will be valuable.
Offer your web site visitors an online product or service from your web site at no cost. It could be an ebook, search engine submission, consulting via e-mail, web design, etc. In return, ask them to fill out a short survey about your web site, products or services you're selling, customer service, or your web site.
Create a customer focus group. Invite ten to twenty of your most loyal customers to meet regularly. They will give you ideas and input on how to improve your customer service. You could pay them, take them out to dinner or give them free products.
Stay in contact with customers on a regular basis. Offer them a free e-zine subscription. Ask customers if they want to be updated by e-mail when you make changes to your Web site. After every sale, follow-up with the customer to see if they are satisfied with their purchase.
Make it easy for your customers to contact you. Offer as many contact methods as possible. Allow customers to contact you by e-mail. Hyperlink your e-mail address so customers won't have to type it. Offer toll free numbers for phone and fax contacts. This will make it easy for your customers to voice their opinions.
You could regularly contact customers on birthdays or holidays. Send thank you gifts to lifetime customers. E-mail them online greeting cards on holidays or birthdays. Call them personally to wish them a happy holiday. You could them follow-up with a survey or ask them if they're happy with your business.
Invite your customers to company meetings, luncheons, workshops or seminars. Create special events for your customers like parties, barbecue's, dances etc. Make a point for yourself and your employees to interact with them at these event to get valuable feedback for your business.
You could use a couple or all of the techniques listed above to get valuable customer feedback. These aren't the only ways, be creative and come up with some of your own.