The Customer Connection

Thanks to online forums like Yelp and the Yellow Pages, your customers can write unrestricted reviews about your small business’ products or services… and their comments aren’t always positive. To find out what your audience really wants, get to the heart of the matter and ask them!

Eighty-four percent of Americans say customer reviews influence their purchasing decisions, according to a recent survey.

“Shrewd companies have figured out [how] to manage their reputations online,” write Ann Thomas and Jill Applegate in Pay Attention! “One tactic is to redirect negative commentary, getting customers to talk directly to your company. Try to harness the conversation and take more control of it.”

Engage in a dialogue by creating an evaluation. Let your clients tell you what they like and dislike and, most importantly, what they think you can do to improve. Listen and follow through on suggestions, says Memphis Business Journal.

Identify your survey’s objective before you start. After brainstorming, create a short
survey with a variety of question types, such as “yes or no,” ranking scales and those allowing for personalized responses.

Ready to start the conversation? Free online surveys allow your customers to respond anonymously and on their own schedule.

Bonus PINK Link: Fashion mogul Kay Unger used customer feedback to determine what clothes to stock in her stores.

By Jennifer Gambrell

“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” Janis Joplin

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