Investing in our future generations through youth activities is one of the most special callings. Aside from financial rewards, the personal gains from watching the next generation grow and learn and having a part in shaping them cannot be understated.
But, how can you be sure the impact you’re trying to create is, in fact, working? What areas of your business can you improve? What issues could you resolve? The answer lies in gauging how your students (and their parents) feel about your business. Let’s understand how to get feedback from customers, how to analyze it, and how to get better every step of the way!
Direct vs. Indirect Customer Feedback
Each one of your customers has a unique experience with your business. This could include expectations, opinions, feelings, or more. These experiences – whether positive, negative, or neutral – are what we call customer feedback. There are two main categories you can divide customer feedback into.
Direct Customer Feedback
Direct feedback is when you ask your customer about their experience with your business. Here, you are more in control because you get to decide the approach, theme, and format. Surveys, interviews, and focus groups are a few examples of direct feedback.
Indirect Customer Feedback
You don’t specifically ask for indirect feedback. Instead, you actively look for it. Analyzing social media activity, and studying online reviews are a few of the many examples of indirect feedback.
What Makes Customer Feedback So Important?
There are several ways to measure the performance of your youth activity business. Customer feedback opens the most subjective window into it. Here’s why this feedback is so important.
It Can Make or Break Your Business
Word-of-mouth marketing can be powerful. What people say about your business has the potential to make or break it. For instance, before you try a restaurant, you run a quick Google search, skim through the reviews of each place, and choose the one that is liked by most people. Or you ask your friends or family to recommend something they love. In this day and age, there are many ways to share and see the opinions of the masses. The same can apply to your business. By knowing how your customers react to your business, you can find ways to address issues and make improvements.
Keeps You on the Right Track
Unless you hear an outsider’s feedback, you simply have no way to know if you’re on the right track. Through customer feedback, you can determine where your business excels and where there is room for improvement. Understanding how your current customers feel about your business is often the best way to ensure your future customers love it!
Help Maintain Lasting Relationships
Customer feedback is also a way to let your customers know they matter. Asking them what they like or dislike and working toward improvement can make them feel seen, heard, and valued. Constant feedback and improvement can then transform your current customers into loyal ones.
How can you get customer feedback?
Now that you understand the importance of understanding how your customers feel about your business, the next step would be to work towards getting actionable customer feedback. Here are a few ways we suggest sourcing customer feedback.
1. Build A Customer Survey
Collecting customer surveys is the most common (and effective) way to understand what they think about your business. There are multiple platforms that allow you to host surveys such as Typeform or Google. When crafting a survey, remember to
- ask questions that align with your objectives,
- make it easy for customers to interact with your survey,
- list thoughtful and open-ended questions,
- don’t overwhelm them with lengthy questionnaires,
- and craft consistent rating scales.
2. Collect Feedback Manually
If you want to take the traditional road, hand out paper surveys for your customers to fill out! All you need for this approach are a set of calculated questions, a pen, and a few pieces of paper. The only drawback of manual feedback collection is analyzing them. Since all the answers are in print, results must be recorded manually as well. This method can be time-consuming for both you and your survey-taker, resulting in less feedback.
3. Reach Out Via Email
Compared to printed survey forms, emailing unlocks unlimited customization and space. Email surveys can be interactive and straightforward (“rate us from 1 to 5 stars”) or conversational and casual (“tell us what you think!”).
To ensure you receive a substantial amount of feedback, make your emails as interactive as possible by allowing video and image submissions. You can even shell out some incentives to encourage your customers to participate. Make sure you craft well-written responses to every criticism or comment you receive. Include a button at the bottom of the email prompting people to leave you a review on a review site. Two birds, one stone.
4. Connect Via Text Messages
Customers often prefer text messages (or SMS) over phone calls to interact with businesses. Even better, text messages have a higher opening and response rate than email. Just like email feedback, SMS works best when you are trying to gather the highest number of responses in the shortest time period. Not everyone is in front of their computers 24/7 but most people have their phones with them all the time.
5. Try Conversational Surveys
Conversational surveys present a survey in an engaging, conversational format rather than just as a questionnaire. Here, the next question emerges only after a customer has answered the previous one. Conversational surveys include a varying set of questions, with each question based on the previous replies. This makes them more engaging and effective.
6. Apply Sentiment Analysis
As an indirect form of customer feedback, sentiment analysis helps you “read the room” digitally. Through this approach, you can gauge common customer reactions such as frustration or enthusiasm. You can apply sentiment analysis to how your students react when you begin your activities, how parents react to your social media posts, what goes on within the customer support chats, and more.
Try to detect specific patterns based on your customer’s reactions and other keywords. From there, use your research to determine which areas are exceeding expectations or need more work.
7. Pay Attention to Social Media
Sometimes, you can receive the best insights into what your customers think from your social media pages. Travel across the comments on your page, and the DMs on your business accounts. Acknowledge these reviews, and let your customers know you see and hear them.
You’ve collected customer feedback. Now what?
Now that you know how to get customer feedback, it’s time to determine how to analyze it. The data from both direct and indirect feedback is often rich in powerful insights that can help transform your business for the better. Not analyzing it can result in wasted time and effort.
Collecting and analyzing large amounts of descriptive feedback, however, is not the easiest thing to do. Taking a manual approach toward this can be highly challenging, if not impossible. The best way to study customer feedback would be to automate your customer feedback analysis. By deploying technology, you can study large amounts of data in a matter of seconds.
Once you understand the issues your customers may be facing, the next step would be to fix them. By constantly analyzing feedback, and fixing common customer issues, your youth activity business can improve every step of the way!
From making enrollment a breeze to helping you study your customers’ experiences – Jackrabbit’s Class Management Software can take your youth activity business to new heights. Try it for free today!