What a time to own a business! Now, more than ever before, there are ample, easily-accessible resources out there that can help you elevate your business. Hiring internal auditing teams, bringing in experienced business-people and restaurateurs, working with business consultants or financial planners. None of this is inconsequential. After all, you need a rock-solid backend before you can open your doors and delve into the client-facing side of business. You do the legwork, the research, and your doors are open. Already this is farther than many businesses make it. The trick is not only keeping your business afloat. It’s not only creating a successful business. It’s about creating a business that consumers value. Customer feedback has proven itself to be one of the most powerful tools that a company has at its disposal. And better yet, it’s often free and easily-accessed.
Often, starting a business can feel like playing a fruitless guessing game. Your own instincts and business sense can only take you so far in anticipating what is viable for day-to-day consumers. You may have thought those modern, circular chairs were eye-catching, but really--they’re just a pain. When the market is as flooded as it is now, customer feedback can be the magic touch to keep you thriving and in the forefront of your community. The old adage of the customer always being right isn’t just applicable in day-to-day service: listening to the needs of your customers in a more macro sense can help you emerge from your business’s growing pains into a realistic, enjoyable daily option for them to enjoy. A business is nothing without its customers, and a business is in big trouble without happy customers that feel valued.
Part of this valuation of customer feedback is actively soliciting it, and letting your patrons know that their opinion matters. They are more likely to come to you with valuable, constructive ideas for improvement if there is an established open-door culture--this means you have to choose your commentary/data collection method wisely.
Opting for a simple, user-friendly platform that regular patrons can become accustomed to is an important step in fostering a culture of helpful criticism. Making it easy isn’t the only thing--they have to know that the time they spent filling out a comment form was valuable and that their feedback is appreciated. Let them know with an e-mail response offering them a free entree on their birthday, a freebie, or simply a kind personalized note expressing your appreciation of their business.
Facing this idea of user-friendly feedback in the other direction, customers have to know that their feedback is being used toward something--that it means change that will directly benefit them. Choosing a consumer feedback software that is action-oriented with a quick interpretation of data, like PLEY, is most effective when wanting to enact real positive change in your business.