Ah, customer feedback. When those glowing five-star reviews are received, you feel on top of the world. Yet when you’re hit with negative comments, it feels like a knife has been driven into your heart.

Yet feedback – both positive and negative – is a natural part of business, and the way you respond to it could make or break your company. Ignore the constructive criticism, and flaws in how you operate might fester and lead to lost sales. When you decide to take on these comments in a productive manner, however, you can take your business to the next level.

If you’re not sure how to do this correctly, you have landed in the right place. This article lists five effective ways to improve your business with customer feedback.

1. Use the right feedback

This is an important first point. It can be all too easy to become fixated on a specific negative review. However, if the points they bring up are exclusive to this single review – i.e., it hasn’t been mentioned in any other customer comments – they could just be anomalies that are best ignored. This is certainly the case if you have hundreds of reviews, and just one sticks out like a sore thumb.

As a result, you need to use the right feedback to boost your business. If you’re receiving frequent comments about, say, your delivery times being too slow, look into methods where you can improve this aspect of your company.

What if you don’t have a large collection of reviews available to learn from? In this situation, it is recommended you send out questionnaires to past customers. You could entice more submissions by providing something in return, such as a free gift or exclusive discount code.

To generate more responses, it is also sensible to go with multiple-choice questions. This way, you can gather up a full collection of answers and go with the median answer. For instance, if your delivery speed is regarded as “excellent” overall, you know no changes need to be made in this area. Note: if you want a quick way to work out the median, GIGA Calculator features a simple and effective median calculator that is free to use.

2. Use positive reviews as proof

You don’t only have to use feedback to learn of ways to improve your business. You can also utilise positive reviews as a form of marketing. Think about it: if you plaster glowing reviews onto your website in a prominent position for others to see, this is going to act as social proof your business is the real deal.

Take your time when highlighting reviews in this way. Try and find a diverse selection that applauds multiple aspects of your company. For instance, one review could praise the quality of your customer service, while another might have positive comments about the products you sell. Plus, if you receive reviews from prominent figures or establishments, ensure these are used as they will be respected more by prospective customers.

3. Motive your team

Whether it is positive or negative, customer feedback can be used as a tool to inspire your employees. Say you have a team that developed a certain feature on your website. When this is receiving positive comments in reviews, make sure the team is aware of it. After all, it’s always nice for them to see their work was worth the effort.

Now you might think that negative comments could have the opposite effect. However, it can also prove to be a motivational factor. It can inspire employees to put in even more effort and give their best. Just make sure you don’t use this negative feedback as a way to demean your team and be overly critical.

4. Introduce new products

When you collect feedback from your customers, you can use this to develop future products. Their comments, for example, will let you know about their pain points with your current offerings. You can then use these comments to build on what you have, add new features and general improvements, and end up with a better overall product.

5. Increase sales

When was the last time you bought a product without first reading any reviews? By using reviews under your products, for instance, you instantly have that social proof again. These reviews will play an integral role in influencing their overall decision of purchasing your products or not, so having them readily available to read makes a lot of sense.

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