How to Ask for Customer Feedback: The Importance of Reviews for Your Trade Business

Collecting customer feedback is crucial for trade business growth. Getting reviews, both good and bad, isn't just about improving your own skills and services; it's also about strengthening your relationships with customers, enhancing your reputation, and fuelling business expansion.

Why is customer feedback important?

Digital reviews can tell a lot about your business and have the ability to boost your online presence by sharing your potential, trust, and reliability with prospective customers. Whatever trade or service you’re in, asking for reviews consistently provides valuable content for new marketing strategies and impactful insight for your growth. By actively seeking, listening to and acting on feedback, you pave the way for long-term success for your business, benefiting both you and your customers.

Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers and word-of-mouth recommendations from them to their communities are the best ways to build a customer base. Showcasing reviews and happy customer feedback on social media or through your website is helpful to multiply the impact of digital word-of-mouth recommendation. A great online recommendation is more likely to reach potential clients than just a one-on-one recommendation.

How to get reviews

There are many ways to get customer feedback for your business, but the most common is asking for a Google review. Using Google is the main method of people needing a service to find the right business, and a large portion of that research phase is assessing the reviews different trade businesses have online. 

As a business, knowing how to ask for a Google review is key — you should do it after you’ve fully completed your job so that the client can give a fully-informed opinion. Try to make it personal and use their name, and show much you would appreciate it if they take the time to leave a review. Asking for Google reviews might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but if you believe in the quality of your work and team, it is a great way not only to build your business, but help existing clients see your value.

You can also get customer feedback by sending out surveys to your existing clients, sending a personalised customer feedback email, and monitoring how people are interacting with your business on social media. It’s important to provide many avenues to providing feedback, so clients can see that their opinions matter to you.

How to respond to customer feedback

Having a customer feedback program is almost worthless if you don’t spend time reviewing what is being said about you, and acting on it. When you receive feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, express your thanks that the customer took the time to give it. If it’s negative or critical, apologise where you can and take responsibility. This shows the customer that it matters to you and you want to make a better impact going forward.

If you can, offer a solution to their problem and be transparent about the timeframes, cost and process. Your customer feedback strategy needs to be proactive — do your best to respond in a timely and professional manner to solve any issues. Getting everything right in the first place is great, but turning a negative experience into a positive one through a diligent response to feedback and criticism can create an even stronger positive reputation.

Challenges of collecting reviews

Small businesses may struggle with visibility, meaning fewer customers are aware of the opportunity to leave a review. Even when customers do leave a review, they may face certain challenges.

Customer reluctance

Many customers may be unwilling or forget to leave reviews unless they have had an exceptionally positive or negative experience. Without proper incentives or motivation, customers may not see the value in taking the time to write a review. Don’t be too pushy with it, but try to follow up and prompt them to give you some feedback. In these cases, a pre-prepared customer feedback form might be the right method, helping make it easier for them to respond.

Lacking detail

Most humans are programmed to take the easy way out. If they’re asked to write an online review, it’s more than common to see customers give short one-sentence answers or click a button to show their appreciation and it’s harder to get them to sit down, put time aside, and articulate a detailed response. Using a form or survey with pre-set responses to choose from can ensure they still give honest feedback and you still learn more about your business.

Technical barriers

The process of leaving reviews can sometimes be overly difficult or time-consuming which only discourages customers from completing one. There can also be platform limitations if the site is not user-friendly to customers. Requiring customers to create an account to leave a review or dealing with occasional glitches can further frustrate them. Try to make sure there are as few steps as possible to the customer feedback process.

Essential elements of an effective customer review template

In order to navigate the challenges of getting feedback, a well-designed customer review template can guide customers on how to share insightful feedback. A good review template can help a business owner identify where their strengths lie and handle negative feedback constructively.

Let’s check out some key aspects that should be included in a customer review template so it works efficiently and effectively.

  • A direct request for feedback. Make it clear you are asking for genuine feedback on how and where you can improve. Let your customers know you value their opinions.
  • Provide opportunity for open response. When you include open-ended questions with no set responses, customers have the opportunity to leave detailed and thoughtful feedback if they would like.
  • Offer simple responses too. On the other hand, using a rating scale or yes/no questions can minimise the effort required for customers to write reviews. Pre-existing options make it easier for customers to give a response that is honest and still valuable.
  • Split feedback by services. If you offer a lot of different services, creating dedicated sections can give you a well-rounded perspective on every aspect of your business. This makes it easier to identify where you’re excelling and where you can improve.

Start growing your business!

By following these tips, you can collect valuable feedback to improve your service and grow your business. If you'd like to step it up a notch and take your business to the next level? Sign up for a free trial of Mira today.