Effective Customer Feedback Methods and Dealing With Criticism and Trolls

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The revenue, retention, and reputation of your business all revolve around your customers. Without their patronage, your products or services will never boom. But how do you know if your customers actually like your offers?

It’s easy to assume that if you’re accumulating high revenue, then your customers are impressed. However, increasing revenue is infeasible without retaining your customers. You may enjoy soaring sales today, but if you don’t yield the same results tomorrow, you’ve clearly failed in encouraging retention.

Attracting loyal customers takes more than just compelling visuals and spiels. You also need to develop a product that will satisfy your market’s needs, solve their problems, and make their lives easier. And the best way to do that is to collect customer feedback.

With social media, collecting customer feedback has never been easier. But there’s a minor drawback to it as well. Social media platforms are infested with trolls, who will leave nasty or nonsense comments on your page. If you don’t deal with them properly, they may put the reputation of your business at risk.

That said, here are some ways to utilize your customer feedback, and to deal with internet trolls:

Utilizing Customer Feedback

Research found that companies with strong word-of-mouth and customer devotion collect feedback consistently. It’s the driving force of their ingenious marketing strategies, product development, and service expectations.

The following are a few rules in collecting customer feedback:

  • Have Faith in Your Customers

When you’re in the middle of developing a new product, determine if that product can satisfy your customers’ demands. Have your whole team agree that your customers know what makes a product valuable. Through social media or any means you find effective, involve your customers in your problem-solving and brainstorming sessions. There’s nothing more fulfilling than developing a product that your customers themselves helped design.

  • Seize Every Opportunity

Make every interaction an opportunity to gather feedback. Send out emails, texts, or post on your social media pages, asking your followers for testimonials. You may post a Facebook or Instagram Story, to which your followers can respond via direct message. In fact, a Story post may receive more feedback, since many social media users prefer commenting privately.

  • Keep it Low-cost

Collecting customer feedback shouldn’t run your business dry. Sending out multiple-page surveys may sound like a cost-effective idea, given the detail you can receive, but it’s outdated, not to mention bothersome. Plus, because the survey is too long, it may take a while to input the answers into your computer. By the time you’ve consolidated the answers, they may have become irrelevant already. In the end, you just threw away money.

Therefore, keep your feedback forms simple and low-cost. Solve one problem at a time, or focus on one product at a time. Use social media or other free internet tools.

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  • Build a “Voice of the Customer” Program

An effective Voice of the Customer survey program captures the preferences of your business’s most loyal supporters. It shows you their opinions and feedback that truly matter. More important, it helps your business increase in revenue.

You can create a VoC program in 5 steps:

  1. Define your brand’s mission and values. This will help you select the customers for your program. Their values must align with your business’s so that they’d make valuable survey respondents.
  2. Establish a target audience. Think of it as choosing a target market. Find a niche within your customer base, but you can mix diverse groups too in order to study the differences in their responses.
  3. Get help from your team. Some of your team members may participate too. If they fit your target audience’s description, include them in your respondents.
  4. Make engaging content. Every content (e.g. Q&A’s or guest blogs) should highlight your customers.
  5. Satisfy your customers. Even if the VoC program is for your business’s benefit, don’t forget to make it worth your customers’ time too.

Dealing With Internet Trolls

Now, let’s briefly discuss the flip side of collecting feedback from social media: Internet trolls. Whether your business is a startup or an industry leader for years now, it will never be immune from trolls.

The simplest way to deal with them is by ignoring, deleting, or reporting their comments. But before doing that, ensure that the comments aren’t genuine, negative feedback. Sometimes, what we see as hate comments are actually real concerns. So don’t act on your emotions and automatically flag those comments as inappropriate.

You can also respond to the trolls using your wit or humor, if it’s necessary. In fact, this strategy may earn you more favor from your followers. Social media users love a good laugh, so try to act less indifferent toward your trolls. If you deal with them wisely, you can use them to create hype, and translate them into sales.

There’s just no perfect way to gather customer feedback without seeing a few trolls here and there, so focus on the results you want to achieve, not on the roadblocks.

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