Meaningful Customer Feedback

Customer feedback meetings can give you a wealth of insights. Or not, depending on how it is implemented. The purpose of the meeting is for the customer to give input on why and how they use your products or services. This is also a forum to discover unmet customer needs. Customers are usually happy to share their insights, especially if they feel like their input will be valued. It gives them a chance to be heard and illustrates that you care about their success with your products.

Customer feedback needs to be carefully managed. These days customers have some feedback fatigue due to being bombarded with online feedback requests. I recommend that you take the time to schedule a face-to-face meeting, even if it is via conference call. Your personal attention will likely yield better results with more in-depth answers. Asking the right questions in the right setting is key to getting valuable information.

It is also important to keep an open mind to the feedback that you are receiving. Customers sense if you are simply looking for validation or positive reviews. By creating a safe environment and welcoming critical feedback, you will gain valuable insights on areas of improvement that you may not be aware of. This can help you outline a successful roadmap for future product or service enhancements, while at the same time letting the customer know that you are seeking meaningful ways to improve. It may also lead to a sense of partnership with your customer that will increase consumer loyalty.

The meeting agenda should be carefully managed in order to draw out meaningful input. Some items to consider:

· Outline the purpose of the meeting. Is there a focus on certain product features or uses?

· Why do your customers use your product? What challenges does it solve?

· Develop a scale to determine how the product meets customer needs

· What are the most valued benefits of the product?

· How can you improve the customer experience?

· What product enhancements would the customer make

· Any additional features they would like to see incorporated?

· Are there any issues or bugs in the product?

Once the meeting has been held, document key takeaways and share with the appropriate teams. This should happen immediately after the meeting in order to remember details and context. Your meeting notes may also help you explore features and suggestions with other clients as you meet with them.

I suggest that you hold meetings with at least 3 separate customers. This will help in discovering commonalities in their experience and understanding key areas to improve your business practices or products. Making this a regular habit will not only improve customer relations but will help your business address customer needs and pain points with better solutions.

Einar Schow

CEO, My Value Advisor

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