January 19, 2022 By SmartBiz Team

Stephen R. Covey, accomplished author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and other bestselling books, observes:

“It takes humility to seek feedback. It takes wisdom to understand it, analyze it and appropriately act on it.”

It’s imperative that a small business owner understands the importance of customer feedback and how it can help shape your products, services, and marketing plans. With effective strategies in place to regularly review customer feedback, a business owner will be ahead of the game.

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Here’s information about how to gather customer feedback, analyze the data, and use the information to improve operations.

What is customer feedback?

Customer feedback is information provided to you by those who have purchased your products or services. This information is a valuable resource to let you know if you’re on the right track or need to make any changes. You can collect customer feedback through surveys, social media posts, or online review sites. To stay ahead of the competition, listening to customer feedback, whether it is positive or negative, prompted, or unprompted, should be part of your business operations. The business owner or a dedicated team member should be tasked with regularly soliciting feedback and addressing it, if necessary. You should have policies in place to answer any questions or address any issues that arise from feedback to protect your brand reputation.

Why customer feedback is important

No customers, no sales. It’s simple – you need to listen to those who can make or break your business. Here are some solid reasons customer feedback can be helpful for a business.

Products and services improvement

Customers can provide valuable information about your products and services that can help you improve. Market research before you launch a product is helpful but won’t tell the whole picture until you start selling.

You want your end product to meet expectations, solve problems, and fulfill customer needs. There’s no better way to discover if you’ve met these objectives than going directly to those who have purchased your goods or services.

Measure customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction and loyalty is a crucial factor that determines a company’s financial performance. It is directly linked to many benefits, such as increased market share, lower costs, or higher revenue. Many studies confirmed that there is a close connection between customer satisfaction and business performance.

Showing you value customer opinions

When you ask for feedback, you’re letting customers know that how they feel is important to you. This helps establish engagement and can lead to customer loyalty. Asking for opinions shows customers that you are genuinely interested in fulfilling their needs and making them happy.

Creates a good customer experience

The customer experience encompasses each and every interaction someone has with not just your customer support team, but your whole brand. That means your website, your social media, your storefront, and more than just your customer service. Each potential touchpoint between your company and your customers is part and parcel of the customer experience, both in person and online. When you improve the customer experience, you increase your sales.


Improves customer retention

Customer retention refers to the activities and actions a business will take to reduce the number of customer defections. Improving customer retention helps a business retain as many customers as possible.

Leads to word-of-mouth recommendations

About 62% of consumers search online for reviews and information before purchasing a product and a whopping 90% believe brand recommendations from friends. Think about the last time a friend told you about a great shopping experience – didn’t it make you want to shop there too? When you ask for customer feedback, those customers feel valued, and are more likely to give a positive review.

Generates data to help make business decisions

There is no need to guess about the effectiveness of your business efforts. These days, there is an abundant amount of data to help you gauge your business success and keep you on track.

Learn how to listen to customer feedback and turn those insights into actionable takeaways for your business.

Questions to ask on a customer feedback form

Here are general questions to get you started on a customer feedback generating program. Of course, every business is unique, and you should have specifically tailored questions to get the feedback you need.

  1. Did we meet your expectations?
  2. How would you rate your interaction with our employees?
  3. Was it easy to find what you were looking for?
  4. Was it easy to purchase your item or service?
  5. How likely are you to repeat your business with us?
  6. What would have made your experience with us better?
  7. Were we able to satisfy your needs?
  8. Did we have the selection you were looking for?
  9. Did you feel comfortable shopping with us?
  10. What was the most memorable part of your experience with us?
  11. What is the reason you purchased from us?
  12. What products or services do you wish we carried?
  13. How could we have exceeded your expectations?
  14. What do you like most about [business name]?
  15. Is there anything else you would like us to know about your experience?

How to measure customer feedback responses

To help you crunch the data, adopt a “satisfaction scale section” to create a consistent approach to quantifying this subjective survey feedback. A few ways that you can implement this scale are:

  • A scale measuring from 1 to 10 with 1 meaning the customer was extremely unsatisfied and 10 meaning the customer was very satisfied.
  • A descriptive scale that measures a customer's response from unsatisfied to satisfied. The customer is given a shortlist of responses to choose from that range from "very unsatisfied" to "very satisfied."
  • A picture scale that uses images to symbolize customer satisfaction. For example, you can use happy, sad, and indifferent emojis to quickly gather customer feedback (similar to how Expedia® asks for feedback).

Final thoughts

If you have the budget, purchasing Customer Satisfaction software can be a smart investment. This specialized software allows businesses to collect, organize, and manage customer feedback. Some Customer Satisfaction software can integrate with Customer Relationship Management and Product Management solutions. Of course, if you have a small business, customer feedback is easy to DIY. Just make sure to use the valuable information to set your business up for future success.