How to Ask for Feedback: A Guide for Local Business Owners

Customer Feedback | 8 Min Read
by Joanne Wayne
@JoanneW
  • »
Feedback is information that you get from your customers in the form of summaries about your business: item quality, service, company policies, the professionalism of your team, etc. Usually, feedback comes in the form of reviews, comments or ratings, and it can be used as the basis for your future improvements.

Your customers are a great source of information
– just ask them for feedback and listen to what they say. They will show you ways to develop your business, recent trends, and, most importantly, the customer's mood towards your services, which can help you build long-term relationships.


How to Ask for Feedback from Customers

  • Ask for ratings.
  • Create email surveys.
  • Create offline reviews.
  • Share personal feedback online.
  • Ask your previous clients.

Ask for Ratings

You can ask your customers to rate you, using a simple 5 star scale rating system.

It is a key function on Google Reviews, where customers don't even need to write long paragraphs about your business, they can just leave a certain amount of stars.

Getting reviews is great for your business but asking customers to leave feedback can be quite difficult. But, it's not all that bad if you have a plan. We want to provide you with several ways you can ask for feedback, so that you can choose the best option for you.
Google reviews without text but with stars
Google reviews without text but with stars
However, this function doesn't work on several websites, for example, Yelp, where after giving the rating you need to explain why you gave such a mark.
You can't click post review on Yelp with no text
You can't click "post review" on Yelp without text
Other possible questions are:
— How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?

— How satisfied were you with your customer service experience?

Another way to collect feedback could be by using Сhosen. It has a mechanism similar to the star rating system, but here the customer only needs to share their opinion by choosing one of the options: 'liked' or 'didn't like'. This way is quick and easy for collecting customer feedback.
The interface of Chosen where you can choose a suitable option for you
The interface of Chosen where you can choose the relevant option for you


Create Email Surveys

They are the usual feedback form used in long-term business-client relationships. The best option is the question "How did you like our service?" and an optional request to answer a couple of open-ended questions. Another good tip is to write how much time this review will take, it can motivate customers to respond if it is short.

Customer letters can be posted on the website if you have one, but be sure to ask permission before posting them.

Don't Be Scared by Negative Reviews

Another small tip is to write on the website that you will publish all kinds of reviews, both good and bad, it can catch the interest of your customers and persuade them into writing a review. Promise that you will publish everything, even if you get a negative review. And, most importantly, keep your promise.

Let Customers Leave Reviews Offline

For sure we pay more attention to online reviews nowadays, but isn't it charming to have offline ones too? Imagine you put a board on the wall where your customers can write what they think about your business. Most clients will use these boards to compliment you on a great job, so doing this to motivate your team to provide even better service.
Customer feedback board with written reviews
Customer feedback board with written reviews

Share Personal Feedback Online

If you are thanked personally for the service you provided, do not hesitate to ask if it is ok to share this review online. Let the client know that you are very pleased to hear such kind words and that it would be great if you could share this with the public, because feedback is very important to your work. Clients are understanding people and will not refuse this request.

Ask Your Previous Clients to Leave a Review

If you realize that you have never asked your previous clients for a review, you can write to them and ask. For example, a customer bought a car from you almost a year ago. You realized that you never asked them for their feedback on your service. You can contact them and ask them if they are satisfied with their choice and your service.

When signing off the message, you can let them know that you will be happy to serve them again in the future and let them know about any other products or services you offer that may be of interest to them.

An advanced tip on feedback: when you receive feedback (positive or negative), don't forget to send your own feedback to the customer. Thank them for their custom and the feedback, and give them a compliment, in a quick and informative response. Be nice and people will be nice to you.
Close more deals with quick and easy customer interaction!

How to Ask for Email Feedback from Customers

  • Prepare the right questions
  • Create templates
  • Find a suitable time

Getting feedback from customers is your bread and butter, so pay attention to email feedback. To help, we have laid out some steps on how to write a feedback request email and how to ask for feedback:

Prepare the Right Questions

Start with a Request
Firstly, in any conversation, both email and personal, it is better to begin with a clarifying request, as this is respectful of someone else's time, and is correct from a psychological point of view:
— Great products and very friendly service!

Liked everything, thanks to the helpful staff!

I'm sure to use your services again.

Personalize Communication
Secondly, try to personalize your communication with your customers. At the very least, try to call them by their names, not "Dear customer". You are asking people to spend some time for their feedback on your business, so show them a little courtesy.

Advanced tip: try to remember (or look in your records) the client's case, so your communication is more case-by-case.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Finally, you need to ask questions that will bring worthwhile responses.

Yes/no questions don't usually get the most useful responses:
– Did you like our service?

– Yes.
Instead, open-ended questions (what, how, etc.) encourage customers to share their insights:
– What could we improve about our services?

– It was a great experience, a special thanks to Joey, he fixed all the problems with my car quickly and professionally. I'd love to use your services again but hope I won't have to 'cause, come on, repairing the car is too expensive.
These were just some examples of how we would answer. When a customer is asked a yes/no question they usually don't think that any additional information is needed. But when they are asked a more detailed question, they can share their opinion in great detail.

Create Templates

Analyze when and how you will collect feedback, and prepare templates in advance, from short questions to large and detailed emails. We will provide you with some email templates but for better customer satisfaction you'd be better off creating your own:
A Casual-Style Email Template
Hey, Michelle!

Thank you for your kind words about "Joanne's car service"!

We are very happy that you are satisfied with the quality of Joey's work. For sure, we'll tell him about your kind words!

If you don't mind, we want to ask you to take part in a survey. This will take about 5 minutes. Please, feel free to share all of your thoughts with us.

Thanks again,

Karen

Friendly Check-In Email Template
Hi Daniel,

We here at Joanne's car service appreciate you as a customer and would like to know if we can do anything to improve our service. If you've had a great experience with us so far, let us know. You can share your thoughts through text, pictures or video.

Also, let me know if we can use your review to place it on our website.

Thanks in advance,

Karen

More Formal Email Template
Hello, Sam!

I wanted to reach out to you to let you know that we are grateful that you've chosen our services. We are doing our best to improve in the car service field, so we would be grateful if you could give us some feedback.

Our survey will take only 5 minutes. Please share your thoughts and ideas through text message, video or photos.

Best wishes,

Karen Smith

Head of Customer Relations,

Nebraska Car Services.

Find a Suitable Time

Decide whether you want to send these feedback requests right after the service was provided or a couple of days later, once your customer has gotten the full experience.

Choose an appropriate time for your clients to receive these emails. Sending them at 2am is not a good idea, obviously, because your clients will be sleeping and they can miss the notification — and may never respond.

Why Feedback is Important for Business

  1. Feedback can motivate.
  2. Feedback is a tool for learning.
  3. Feedback can improve performance.
  4. Feedback as reviews improve your business.

Feedback Can Motivate

Requesting feedback can motivate your employees to perform better. Employees like to feel valued and appreciated, and being asked to provide feedback that can help make business decisions. Feedback can also be used to build better working relationships.

Feedback Is a Tool for Learning

Spend some time getting information about how others feel about cooperating with your business. Constant feedback is important for staying on target with objectives, creating strategies, developing products, improving service, enhancing relationships, and much more.

Feedback Can Improve Performance

Feedback is often confused with criticism, though, in most cases, these are absolutely different things. In fact, sometimes, what is viewed as criticism is really useful and can help better improve performance.

Feedback as Reviews Improve Your Business

If your feedback comes in the form of a review, you will get better SEO results. The more reviews you get, the higher to the top you go. Getting more reviews leads to a bigger client base that trusts you and your services.

What Is SEO and How Can Reviews Promote Your Business
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in simple terms, is a method to promote your page on any request. SEO rankings are influenced by clicks. If a high percentage of searches choose your site from the search results, Google will reward you with better rankings. Reviews can play a big part in click-through rates, especially if you regularly have positive reviews.

How to Ask for Feedback After an Unsuccessful Application

Negative feedback is a gold mine for insights on growth, so negative experiences can be a useful tool for fixing your problems. Also, you will be able to show the client that their opinion is really important, and this can turn them into a friend.

How Negative Feedback Can Be Helpful

  • It shows weaknesses that you can improve upon.
  • It motivates you to achieve better results.
  • It is helpful in creating long-term relationships with customers.

Do not think that it is too late to change something after receiving a negative review. Yes, maybe you missed something earlier, but this is not a reason to fall into despair, but a reason to pull yourself together and change whatever went wrong.

With regard to Chosen, it has the option to manage negative feedback: if you send a link to the review form to your customer, asking "how was your experience?" and they answer "negative", then this review will not go to Google or Facebook, but to your CRM.

Originally published Aug 12, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Image: The Blue Diamond Gallery
Did you like this article?
Subscribe to Our Blog
Get the latest on business trends and best practices
Related Articles
Check out and bet on business # 1
See our options right now.