Follow Jim Linkedin Twitter Facebook
Email Jim Email
Marketing & Sales
Nov 1, 2016

Five Tips For Getting Effective Customer Feedback

Sponsored Content provided by Jim Ellis - Vice President, Account Director, Signal

Over the last few years, we’ve been engaged in a lot of agile web development projects. Agile development is all about keeping the needs of the customer at the forefront - and about getting work into the hands of the end customer as early and often as possible for feedback.

Signal takes an agile approach to our development process and we find that many organizations think the same way.

GE, a long-time Signal client, is known for strongly embracing the “Voice of the Customer.” Recent conversations with GE executives uncovered five real-life best practices that you can use today to get high-quality customer feedback.

  1. Keep the focus on feedback. Make it clear that this interaction is part of an iterative process – not a sales push or closing conversation. Let them know you’re there to understand what they like, what they dislike and what can be done to make their jobs easier. Bonus tip: don’t schedule feedback conversations near difficult negotiations or fulfillment.
  2. Make the service experience better. Listening to customer input is job one during feedback sessions. Do the quantitative and market research beforehand to allow space for a productive, open-ended conversation during your time together. Customers will feel heard and you’ll get better input.
  3. Less is more. Show them the idea and let them react. We usually try to avoid “awkward silences” but deliberately creating them can actually compel customers to give you additional insights. Questions should be limited to just a handful of topics. Avoid asking leading questions - such as, Would you say that…? - or jumping to conclusions. Be receptive and remain open to new information that arises.
  4. Pick the right customers. It’s easy to deal with customers who are champions for your cause. But fight the urge to solicit feedback only from your fan club. Ideally you want to listen to customers who are vocal and willing to poke holes in your way of thinking. Those offering tough input will help you get to a much more valuable outcome than those who politely say, Everything’s great, I wouldn’t change a thing.
  5. Don’t promise to solve all their problems. But do let customers know you will apply their feedback to changing what you have today. Show them your conversation is part of a mindful process that includes analyzing and translating their needs into real improvements.
Customer feedback is the part of agile development I like best. Often times we hear things we hadn’t thought of before –“You don’t know what you don’t know,” as the old bit of wisdom goes. Customers are essential in helping shape new ideas and discover fresh perspectives, which in turn will help your company grow.

Jim Ellis has over 20 years of experience in marketing strategy and implementation throughout a variety of industry sectors. Since 1999 he has been with Signal, a digital agency based in Wilmington and Raleigh, North Carolina. Signal has proven strengths serving as the “local agency” for global companies, generating solid results in web design, brand identity, mobile app development, digital strategy and more. Jim provides counsel to many of the agency’s largest clients with an eye toward integrated communications and a vast knowledge of both traditional and modern practices. As a songwriter and musician with a business degree, he believes his artistic/corporate “dual personality” gives him added perspective to be an effective liaison between clients and Signal’s talented creative team. Originally from Ohio, Jim graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Business Administration.


 

Signal remarketing d02 jgartboard1
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Leath 683x10242

How to Fire Someone Effectively

Lisa Leath - Leath HR Group
Infinity 891835159

What is EMV and Am I Liable?

Kyle Thorpe - Infinity Payment Systems
Dallas headshot 300x300

Whether You Sell Your Business or Not, the Planning Is the Same

Dallas Romanowski - Cornerstone Business Advisors

Trending News

Hello Again, Henrietta: New Dinner Cruise Boat Floats Into Downtown Wilmington

Cece Nunn - May 21, 2019

Wheelz Pizza Aims To Revolutionize Pizza Delivery

Jessica Maurer - May 22, 2019

On Park Avenue In Wilmington, Developers Plan One-bedroom Apartments

Cece Nunn - May 21, 2019

In Wilmington, Lidl Store Under Construction, Set To Be Done By August

Johanna Cano - May 20, 2019

New Businesses, Dwellings Spring Up In Carolina Beach

Cece Nunn - May 20, 2019

In The Current Issue

MADE: Churning Out Profits

All the company’s handcrafted sandwiches are made in Wilmington, starting with homemade cookies and small-batch ice cream....


The Economy Of Outdoor Offerings

Outdoor venues provide spaces to let the good times roll, but is the money rolling in too? It seems to be. Despite last year’s hurricane, ti...


Curiosity Sparks Engineer's Career

On a day in Wilmington about four decades ago, elementary school student Ron Sparks asked a pharmacist a question, then watched as the blood...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`
Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018