Salespeople should stop looking at feedback as complaints. They tend to attach a negative aspect to it, so they are rarely happy to get it. But in fact, feedback is essential to their success, even when it truly is negative. Why? – Because it teaches you where you need to make improvements in your offer.
According to survey findings by ReviewTrackers, 53.3% of customers expect businesses to respond to their reviews within a week. Chatmeter found that failing to reply to reviews will increase the customer churn by up to 15%. We’re talking about online reviews here, but we can safely extend those expectations to the feedback that customers give for any products they purchase.
As a salesperson, you should never ignore feedback data. In fact, you should ask for it.
But how should you collect customer feedback, and how should you analyze it? You should have a methodical approach to this. Let’s start by listing the main questions that you should ask when collecting and analyzing feedback data.
How Will I Collect the Data?
The methods are important. The easiest way is to start accumulating data whenever you interact with a potential or current customer. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing this through an online platform or as a direct salesperson.
There are a few ways to do this:
- Offer a survey whenever someone is interested in getting a product. This survey should help you personalize the offer for them.
- Offer a survey after someone buys and uses the product for a certain period of time. This will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your offer but will also help the consumers solve any issues related to it.
- You can survey people over the phone or in the store if you deal with in-person sales. If this is an online sale, the offer for a survey may appear as a pop-up window. If you’re wondering about sending surveys via email, that’s possible, too. Just keep in mind that you have to comply with the privacy and electronic communications regulations, which specifically instruct you how to use email. And if you have an app for your business, an in-app survey is a great solution.
How Long Will the Survey Be?
Long-form surveys, which would take more than ten minutes, can be a struggle. You can’t expect to hold the attention of your customers for that long. QuickTapSurvey found that the more questions your survey has, the less time the respondent will take to answer each one. So even if you get them to answer this survey, they won’t do it diligently.
Keep the number of questions between five and ten. Ask very specific questions, which lead to clear answers. Needless to say, these questions should help you achieve the goal of conducting these surveys. You want to find out particular things about your users, so the survey should revolve around that.
If I Do This by Phone, When Should I Call?
Oh; this is a tricky question. Phone calls can be very successful for salespeople, but they have to approach them with class. If the respondent perceives you as pushy or boring at any time, they will cut you off.
Don’t call at lunchtime. People usually get lunch between 1PM and 2PM, and take a short rest after that. It’s best to call between 4PM and 5PM. But what if this person works overtime? If you want to play it really safe, then schedule the calls.
This is what Jenna Smith, part of the marketing team at Resumes Planet, does: “When I want to survey my clients, I usually schedule the call. I send a simple short text, explaining that I have brief questions to ask about their experience and asking for an appropriate timing for the call. I get a response, and that’s it.”
What Should I Do with This Feedback?
Okay; so you get your data. Now what? It’s time to organize it!
It’s best to use a spreadsheet with key data for each customer. You’ll include your own information, such as how much this customer spends, what products they like, and how long they’ve been with you. You’ll also note the way you approached this customer so you’ll know what strategies are more effective. Then, you’ll list facts from the feedback the customer shared.
Make sure to categorize the feedback. Here are a few categories you can use:
- Requests for improvement
- Usage issues
- Need for user education
- Satisfaction with the salesperson
- Other (a general category that allows the customer to be flexible with their response)
When you organize the data, it will be much easier for you to start analyzing it. You should have a separate spreadsheet for combined feedback. There, you’ll mark the number of times you encounter a particular issue. You’ll notice what audience group usually complains about or approves of specific issues. It will take some time and effort for you to get into this process, but don’t give up. It might look messy at first, but you’ll get used to your own system.
What Major Pattern Do I Notice?
When you get the data categorized, pay attention. What are the major patterns you notice? Maybe most of your customers are not happy with a particular aspect of the product. If all of them complain about the high price, you can’t really justify it with the quality you deliver. They got the product and saw the quality but still complain about the price. Maybe there’s something you can do about that?
How do they feel about your sales approach? If you notice a particular pattern there, you’ll easily figure out how to improve. That brings us to the next point.
But before we get there, let’s not forget that you should also pay attention to the positive elements. If most of your customers like the emails you send, for example, you should keep them going.
What Can I Improve?
After going through the previous steps, the improvement areas should be easy to identify. They will include product features, marketing elements, pricing issues, user experience, and your own approach as a salesperson.
What Should I Do After Making These Changes?
Inform them! If someone gave you feedback, they expect you to listen to them. Once you go through the analytics after a survey and you make specific changes, inform your respondents about them. If most of them complained about the price, give them a personalized discount offer that lasts for a limited period of time. If you improved a specific feature, invite them to try the new version of the product, developed with their help.
It’s important to work together with your customers. The feedback you get helps you collaborate with them, so you’ll improve the product or service. And you’ll sell more as a result!