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How to Create a Customer Feedback Loop
If given an opportunity, people will tell you what they love, what they hate and what they want to see improved. Armed with this insider information you can ensure that you are producing exactly what your customers need and want; that you are solving their problems.
I simply cannot over-stress the importance of knowing your customers better than they know themselves. Because once you do, you can give people something that they truly need and want – even before they know it. For your customer, this is a rare beast: a product or service that they don’t just need, they want; that they don’t just want, they need.
Building a feedback loop opens up communication between you and your customers by providing them with a simple way to tell you exactly what you need to know about your product or service. You will be shocked by the amount of information you’ll gain.
One of the most powerful things we have done at Foundr is to automate our customer feedback. This simple act has created an endless customer feedback loop that provides us with a ton of GOLD. So can you get this kind of insight? Just like this:
Get the address
The first step is to capture an email address. This will allow you to initiate a sequence of emails; also known as a drip feed campaign.
The best tool we’ve found for capturing visitor’s email addresses is sumo.me. Just install this tool on your site and set up the list building tool and scroll box. SumoMe allows you to create enticing pop-ups asking viewers to join your email list. Connect both tools with an email service like Mailchimp or Aweber to quickly begin reaching out to your new-found leads.
Convincing a casual viewer to hand over that all-important email address can be a bit tricky. Don’t expect to get something for nothing; email addresses are valuable and people know it. Instead offer to trade: amazing ebooks, guides and case studies are great bartering tools. Think of this as an appetizing taste of the luscious content that is to follow.
Establish a Campaign
Establish a drip feed campaign using Mailchimp or Aweber to automate your messages. Drip feed campaigns are a process for sending a series of set messages at prescribed moments; allowing you to maintain communication with a potential customer and provide value…which brings me to the content.
Create 2 to 3 message that contain your most valuable, insightful, thought-provoking content. Stuff that is so good you could charge for it. This is your opportunity to show your prospective customer that you are willing to invest in them first. After all, you are building a relationship; show them that you want to be there for the long-haul; that you want a true connection so that you can support and serve their needs.
Ask for It
One of the 2 to 3 emails in your drip feed campaign should ask for information. What are their struggles? What do they think is cool? What do they want to know more about? What is stopping them from taking it to the next level?
The goal here is to learn your customer’s frustrations, problems and desires so that you can meet those needs.
Keep the Conversation Going
Next, and this is seriously important, RESPOND. You asked, they answered now the ball is in your court. If you want to keep the lines of communication open you must respond to every email. Point them to blog posts you have written that provide valuable insight; provide links to tools you use; let each and every person who took the time to write to you know that you appreciate their input and that his or her contribution has made an impact.
Take Good Notes
Keep track of the comments, questions and responses. This is amazing information to have when you are planning future content (blog posts, emails), products and services. Look for commonalities and repurpose your customer’s responses, in their language, into your own copywriting. This is the kind of gold that you can’t find anywhere else.
For example, something we hear a lot at Foundr is: “I want to start a business but I don’t know where to start.” This has led us to create content that addresses this specific concern and provide our audience with something that they both want and need.
Added bonuses of the customer feedback loop are case studies and testimonials. We often receive super positive feedback about the magazine and the brand in general.
This method has worked really well for us. Remember that creating amazing, thought-provoking content is essential to the success of this endeavor. If you are only providing mediocre content or your message is “too pitchy” you will find that your new leads are quick to unsubscribe and probably won’t come back.
Lastly, I have to credit part of this hack to Alex Turnbull & Derek Halpern. These guys have realized the power of customer feedback in their own businesses and have shared their inspiring success stories.