One of the most effective ways to improve your business is so simple that many business owners look right past it: ask customers how you’re doing! After all, your customers have, arguably, the most important perspective on your business.

It’s easy enough to ask for customer feedback. What is harder is figuring out when and how to implement changes in response to this feedback.

You don’t need to react to every opinion you receive. The first step is to identify whether or not a given piece of feedback is worth a reaction. If you have heard a similar complaint from a number of customers, it’s worth digging in to. If feedback points to a flaw within your operation, it’s worth examination. On the other hand, if you receive an off-the-wall complaint from a customer who was simply having a bad day, don’t expend time and resources trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

Once you’ve identified feedback that has merit, take the time to think it through. It’s difficult to remain open-minded… because it’s human nature to be defensive, particularly when you’ve devoted so much of yourself to your business. Do your best to leave your emotion at the door and evaluate the situation.

To make this process more effective, I often encourage my clients to address customer feedback during staff meetings. Bring up the complaint or the suggestion and go around the table, with each individual sharing their thoughts and possible solutions. Work together to come up with a response plan—and as always, make this plan specific and actionable.

Finally, it’s important to communicate to your customers that you value their feedback. Let them know what you’re doing to provide a better experience. Even if you’ve determined that no changes are necessary, thank the customer for their input and assure them that you are working tirelessly to provide the best possible experience.

Customer feedback is a valuable tool by which you can perfect your business model. It’s also a great opportunity to build stronger relationships with your customers and clients. But listening alone isn’t enough—you must create systems that allow you to respond as necessary. Contact me today if you’d like to learn more!