How often do you gather customer feedback for your business? If your goal is to continuously improve and grow your business, this should be at the top of your to-do list. You will get valuable feedback on what is and isn’t working for your customers and you can use that data to improve your current practice; leaving the doors wide open for strong business growth. Here are 7 great benefits from collecting customer feedback. Increase customer loyalty Studies have shown that for most people, their favorite topic of conversation revolves around their own thoughts and experiences. Combine that with asking people to talk about their thoughts and experiences about your business, you will likely get several enthusiastic volunteers who will readily give you customer feedback. Most people are happy to give you their opinion, so don’t be afraid to just go up and ask. Learn what makes your customers unhappy When you’re in the thick of things, it can sometimes be difficult to find what exactly your customers are unhappy with. Yes, some issues will be obvious, but others may have never crossed your mind. By getting good customer feedback, you can identify those areas of improvement. You can remedy negative areas and improve existing practices by taking to heart the feedback and advice that is given to you by your very own customers. Learn what makes your customers happy Same goes for the things that make customers happy! Some things here will be obvious as well, but you may have no idea that other things you do directly affect overall favorability. Maybe you volunteer on the weekends at a local animal shelter and word has gotten out. You may not have intended for that to become a part of your business, but if others are coming to support you and your business because of that, try to incorporate it into your business. Host an “adopt-a-pet” day at or just outside your business location. Find what your customers like and give them more of it. Take what makes you unique and use it to help you and your customers at the same time. The more areas of opportunity you can find like this, the more possibilities you will have to grow your business. Increase number of online reviews Want to increase your online reviews? You have a perfect opportunity to do so when getting customer feedback! Many people these days look to online reviews before ever stepping foot into a new store. If you have no reviews online, this is definitely something you want to tackle. If you get customer feedback in person and they are a happy customer, ask at the end if they’d be willing to leave a review on your Facebook page, Yelp, or wherever you want the reviews. Happy customers are almost always willing to help a business they like by doing something as simple as that. Even if you have a paper or electronic survey, after you’ve thanked them for their time, include a link to where they can leave a review. The more reviews you have on your page, the more reputable you become. Reward good employees and remove bad ones You can’t be everywhere all the time. If you have several employees who work for you, chances are, you don’t see everything they do. Some may be doing wonderful things you are completely unaware of, while some may be costing you customers with their actions. By having a question or two in a customer feedback survey about the employees specifically, it gives the customer a chance to praise or complain about the individual service they received rather than your company as a whole. You can then take this information and praise or reward the hard working ones while weeding out the bad ones. Gain insight into any new products you’ve released Whether you’re a bakery and you’ve just released a new muffin combo or you’re a tech store that sells cool new gadgets, there will likely be times you release new products. But how well are they really doing? For customers who purchase the items you want to know more about, ask them if they’d be willing to try (or taste) it and give an honest review of what they liked and didn’t like about it. Doing this helps you to find what your customers like, and what they want more of. It can save your company Take Dominos for example. Domino’s was on the decline. Before 2010, almost no one preferred Domino’s to Pizza Hut of Papa John’s. But then they Domino’s something radical. They launched a monumental campaign to elicit customer feedback on how they could improve and they acknowledged their flaws. Domino’s changed their recipe and ingredients to improve the taste, and made it known. The campaign and subsequent improvements went viral, and Domino’s became known for actually listening to what their customers were saying. By asking customers to give feedback, they created a stronger bond between those existing customers and their brand. They then made it known through social channels that they listened and made improvements. They stated what those improvements were, and piqued the curiosity of thousands to actually give Domino’s another chance. Their strategy worked. Within just a few months of the campaign, Domino’s reported a 14.3% jump in sales! Listening to customer feedback literally saved this company. That is how important feedback can be to the success and growth of your company. Getting customer feedback can be as simple as just talking with your customers while they’re there and recording their responses later. You can also distribute surveys, create a focus group, or any other form you feel would benefit your company. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you get customer feedback. Just take the time and make the effort to get the data so you can use the results to improve and grow your business!