The gracious gift of customer feedback


As a growth-minded agency, one of our core values is to raise the bar, especially when it comes to finding ways to better serve our clients. One of our key growth strategies is to actively seek customer feedback. In fact, we consider feedback one of the greatest gifts any brand can receive, whether it come at this time of year or not.

The importance of feedback for professional service brands From agencies and consultants to business coaches, accountants and lawyers, customer input is particularly critical for professional service providers. Because your services are intangible—meaning there’s often no physical product involved—customer reviews help make the experience working with you more concrete for potential buyers.

Five great reasons for any brand to seek feedback

  1. To grow: Positive feedback can lead to testimonials that can bring in new customers. It can help you design new service offerings. And it can help you retain customers, too.
  2. To improve: Knowledge is power! When you know more about what customers like and don’t like, you can make changes.
  3. To strengthen your brand: Customers are more likely to trust brands that seek feedback. Plus, asking for their opinions makes customers feel valued, which builds your relationship and the good will between the parties.
  4. To create brand awareness: Feedback tools like online reviews can improve your organic search results, which means greater visibility. And happy customers are more likely to refer you to others.
  5. To get objective input: Many small and emerging brands rely on friends, colleagues and family for feedback, which may skew toward what you want to hear. Customers are much more likely to tell you what you need to hear.

Five tips for seeking customer feedback

  1. Make feedback easy to provide, such sending out a short, simple survey that can be completed in just a couple of clicks.
  2. Ask at the right time, such as when your work together is wrapping up.
  3. Capture real-time customer opinions by having team members track and communicate unsolicited feedback during the project.
  4. Seek feedback at other times, too, such as during the service design process or throughout the stages of your engagement.
  5. Consider having a customer or advocate advisory board as sources for more continuous feedback.

Three easy ways for smaller brands to solicit feedback

  1. Ask for it! Pick up the phone or send an email. Use a few easy-to-answer questions to guide the conversation. And be sure to ask for constructive input, too.
  2. Use an online survey tool such as Survey Monkey, which is especially useful when you have a larger customer group to gather information from.
  3. Ask customers to provide an online review. A few options to consider:
  • Google Business: A great place to start
  • Yelp: It’s not just for restaurants
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): Helps build credibility
  • Manta: Geared toward small and mid-sized businesses
  • Social reviews: Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare all have review functionality
  • Angi (formerly Angie’s List): Specializes in service provider reviews
  • Trustpilot: Especially if you market to consumers
  • Yellow Pages: An option for more localized businesses
Consider making 2023 the “Year of Customer Feedback.” It has the power to transform your brand in so many ways. In our next post, we’ll share how to put feedback to work for your business.

Martha Holler

Martha Holler is the co-founder of ShinePR and has over 25 years of experience in public relations. Her expertise is amplifying brand purpose and delivering tangible and measurable results for her clients.