The hustle is real.

Getting customers in the door is hard work.

We know the steps.

Start by identifying their needs.

Then develop a solution.

And don’t forget to deliver an experience that delights.

Repeat.

BUT, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR CUSTOMERS DON’T COME BACK?

Surprise. Frustration. Disappointment.

And it’s not just about how you feel. It’s about growing your business. A study by Lee & Associates, quoted by Forbes noted that “attracting new customers will cost …five times more than keeping an existing customer”.

How do you keep customers coming back?

We’ve developed 3 simple steps to get you the insights you need to keep customers coming back.

Before we go on, let’s put an elephant on the table

One way to tap into what your customers are thinking is through market research.

But let’s face it.

“Market research” has a bad rap.

And with good reason. We’ve all come across things like …

Long, tedious surveys that we were told would only take 3 minutes, yet 25 minutes later we’re still going.

The irritation of a phone call during dinner from someone wanting to know about your most recent experience with a bank, phone company or airline.

The email survey that froze midway through.

Stupid questions that ask the same thing over and over.

Worse still, no visible signs that anything has changed as a result you doing that survey.

I get it – you’re a skeptic. And you don’t want to be one of “those” people who risks “harassing” their customers for feedback.

But, done properly, customer feedback can help you grow your business. And a “survey” is just one way to get insights from customers.

Next time you’re wondering why your customers don’t come back, take these three steps.

STEP 1: OBSERVE

Take the time to observe what your customers are doing and saying. Consider allocating a certain time of the day each day for this. In this time, you can:

Use Google analytics to review behaviour on your website – specifically the pages that people leave from, the pages they spend time on and the pages that don’t ever get a click.

Make note of reviews on your website and Facebook page. Are there common themes that keep coming up? Make a list and set a timeframe to address.

Take the time to listen to reflect on the positive feedback as well – what’s working well and how can you maximise the impact?

STEP 2: ASK

When it comes to asking for feedback, here’s a few tips to get you on your way.

Get clear on what you need to understand.

Here’s a simple framework we find helpful to get very pointy about why you’re connecting with your customers. Take the time to what you need to understand – it’ll help keep you focused.

Right now, I don’t know (insert your problem/knowledge gap)

As a result, I (what is this problem stopping you from doing?)

When I know more, I’ll be able to (describe what you’ll be able to do next)

Keep it short.

You can do effective research in as little as 2 questions (overall rating then reasons why). Anything more than 5 questions and interest starts to wane. Not sure exactly what to ask? We’ve outlined the five most important questions to ask over here.

Keep it simple.

Clearly word your questions, don’t over-complicate things. Focus on what you need. We’ve got 8 tips to survey success in under 2 minutes that you can watch right here.

Keep it timely.

When setting up your survey, consider when you’ll seek feedback – immediately after an order has been placed? After delivery? You’ll need to pick a time that works for you – the closer to the event, the better.

Get creative to drive participation.

When seeking participation in surveys, the traditional form is an email invitation. Writing a great invitation that gets people not only reading but participating can be tricky. You can read more here or if you’re short on time, watch our 2 minute video explainer.

But there’s other ways you might consider. I’ve seen some great examples of people including video in their survey invitation – talking through why they’re doing the survey and how the information will be used. It helps establish a personal connection and build trust that you’ll take action based on the feedback.

Don’t limit yourself to just an online survey sent via email

Consider a phone chat, conversation over Facebook messenger or a phone call with customers you’d be comfortable approaching.

Thank and reward people.

Customer feedback can take time to give – don’t forget to make it worthwhile for your customers – perhaps offering a discount on future purchases.

STEP 3: RESPOND

Once you’ve got your insights, take the time to make changes. And when you make changes to your product or service offering, tell people about it. It’ll help establish greater goodwill and renewed confidence in doing any future customer feedback initiatives. Use whatever means work for you – newsletter, web announcement, Facebook page.

And don’t forget to measure growth – it’s an ongoing cycle of change.

BY GETTING CLOSER TO YOUR CUSTOMERS, THERE’S MORE OPPORTUNITY TO DRIVE REPEAT BUSINESS.

In the hustle for your next new customer, don’t forget your current ones. The insights they hold can help take your business from good to great!

33 ways to learn more about your customers

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