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ALWAYS ASK FOR SUGGESTIONS

How do you come up with new product or service ideas? Do you do in-depth customer research? Look at your competitors and copy them? Perhaps stick your finger in the air and see which way the wind blows?

Wouldn’t it be great to get suggestions directly from your clients? With client surveys you can do just that. While you may have one or two targeted questions, it’s important to offer an open-ended suggestion box too. In our recent Engagement Survey, we found that nearly 20% of respondents will proactively give suggestions when asked. But you won’t get this kind of feedback unless you ask.

We are always extremely grateful for customer feedback about our employee survey product, TINYpulse. As the examples below show, sometimes it teaches us that we need to improve client onboarding and education. Other times it shows us that we need to consider building out our product feature set.

You can expect to receive feedback across a variety of dimensions. Some of the standard areas you can expect are:

  • Client Onboarding and Education: Clients might want more education to learn how to use and apply your product or service.
  • Service/Feature Portfolio: Your clients might wish you could do more to really delight. Maybe offer more services or features than what you currently offer.
  • Accessibility: Clients might find your business hours restrictive, or their main contact person frequently unavailable.
  • Customer Service: Perhaps clients want faster service or friendlier service, or something else entirely, like self-service FAQ’s and forums.

It’s always best to be open-minded with any and all feedback you receive. Sometimes you can act on it immediately and improve your business. Other times it will blend with other feedback that you can act on in the future.

Quick Tip:

HOW TO RESPOND TO SUGGESTIONS

Your clients will give rich feedback about what they want to see. Some things might already be in the development process. Others might be too tough or tangential to tackle and won’t make it on your to-do list. Regardless of which type of feedback you receive, show your clients you are listening. They took the time to give you a suggestion. Now it’s your turn to take some time and respond. The following approach never fails:

  • Thank them: Always show your gratitude for any type of response. It may not be something you can act on today, but you never know where it might lead you.
  • Acknowledge their feedback: Tell them that you understand their request. It shows that you empathize with their needs and service expectations. It also helps encourage them to offer feedback in the future.
  • Tell them what you’re going to do with their feedback: Your clients manage organizations too, and understand that some things are doable and others aren’t. If their request is something you’re already working on, great, let them know. If it isn’t, and not likely to be something you’ll tackle any time soon, let them know that their feedback has been passed to an appropriate team. Your client will know their comments didn’t fall on deaf ears and the team will enjoy hearing directly from customers.

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