Five Strategies for Obtaining Effective Customer Feedback
As a supermarket owner, it can be tempting to assume you’re doing everything right. Sometimes you may not even realise that improvements can be made unless you’re told directly. This is where customer feedback comes in. Knowing what your customers are thinking allows you to understand what they want. This awareness can translate into important improvements and revisions that can help you improve existing practices, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately grow your business.
1. Engage With Social Media
One of the most cost-effective ways to collect data on what your customers think is to monitor your social media presence. These days, the first place many people head to express their thoughts is the internet. If customers have feedback, criticism, or small suggestions, they may head to Facebook first.
For this reason, it’s important to keep your supermarket’s social media presence engaging and relatable to your customers. The more your customers feel that there is a person behind the business, the more likely they will engage directly with your content and leave constructive feedback. Because opening a business page on Facebook is free, this engagement comes at no inherent cost to you. Even updating your page just a few times a week can let customers know you’re listening and help encourage them to share their thoughts.
2. Encourage Reviews
Some customers may share their thoughts unprompted, but many others may only give feedback when prompted. Encouraging this kind of customer engagement is often as simple as asking. Whether it be signage welcoming in-person feedback or asking your customers to head online, raising awareness about your desire to hear from your customers can help you understand how you are performing.
Platforms such as Google Reviews are a great tool for collecting customer ratings and feedback. It is important to remember that the way your business is reviewed and rated online is taken seriously by potential customers. Many people will trust online reviews and commentary about businesses as much as they would trust a personal recommendation, so resolving customer problems is important to maintaining a trustworthy brand.
3. Surveys and Newsletters
One of the most popular ways to collect customer information is to supply them with direct tools such as surveys and newsletters. Surveys can collect specific information with a guided set of questions. You can learn how your customers would rate your customer service, how they feel about your selection of stock, or how they would rate the quality of your product. Newsletters can encourage more open-ended feedback and collect information on ideas surrounding general improvements people may be interested in seeing.
Of course, many people may need an incentive to fill out a questionnaire. Offering a discount or reward for completing a survey or response form can greatly bolster participation from your customers.
4. Reach Out
Actively and directly reaching out to individual customers, be it in person or through email lists, is a great way to provide an engaging way for your guests to share their thoughts. If you have regular customers, reaching out directly to hear their thoughts can be an incredibly productive way to hear from those who most frequently engage with your business. Those most familiar with your service will usually be the people with the most sincere interest and well-informed thoughts on ways to improve your overall performance.
5. Pay Attention
Last but certainly not least, much of what you need to know about how your customers feel can be obtained simply by paying attention. In general, do your customers seem happy? Do customers seem content with the operations of your supermarket? Is there an in-stock product on your shelves that are often purchased or a missing one that is often asked after?
All of this information is frequently passed through day-to-day customer service interactions. Talking to employees about trends they’ve noticed will help business owners stay in touch with what’s in demand, prevent potential problems before they occur, and make operational improvements as needed. Though hearing criticism can be difficult at times, knowing what your customers like and dislike about your supermarket is key in helping it to truly succeed.