One of the most common mistakes in the startup environment is failing to get feedback at every stage of launch. From the initial idea to launch day and beyond, gathering and learning from feedback is critical. When it comes to customer feedback, it’s easy to overlook its necessity. When you’re busy scouting for seed money or on product development, dismissing the need for customer service until you are ready for it can be fatal to your startup’s potential to grow. The goal is to get feedback that can then be leveraged to create a better business model, a better product, and a more eager customer base. If you haven’t been gathering and using customer feedback, here’s what you need to know.
Feedback: Stage by Stage
There are some clear phases that your startup will go through, and you should make it a goal to get feedback at every one of those phases. As a startup, you need to have your lines of communication open from day one, and failing to do so means that you are missing out on potentially high-value indicators from your target demographics about the benefits of your product. Make sure that you get feedback on your initial idea, and then at every forward-moving phase of your startup development.
One of the reasons why startup operators often neglect the need to gather feedback until well after launch day is because they don’t yet have the customers that will provide that feedback. This is a common blunder that is caused by a lack of research. A startup is like any other business in that it needs plenty of market research before moving forward. That needs to include customer research. Identify your core demographics and find out where they spend their time online. These are the people that you will be selling to, even if your product is not yet available. Start gathering feedback now and your startup will be stronger.
Make it Simple
Feedback doesn’t have to be a chore. The more complicated you make it, the harder it will be to get people to leave that feedback, and the harder it will be to create tangible responses to your data. There are many ways to make getting customer feedback easier and more actionable, but simplicity is the key. Look at options like the happy-or-not.com system that you may have already seen being used by some of the biggest names in the business world. If you make leaving feedback difficult then most customers will simply ignore it and move on, leaving you without a clue as to their customer satisfaction and their potential for returning to buy again.
Keep Feedback Ongoing
Don’t get to launch day and assume that you’ve succeeded. Your feedback needs to be an ongoing priority, or you run the risk of losing out on the goodwill that you have so far gathered. Look at sections of your website like the cancellation page. This is the perfect place to gather vital data about the customer experience. It can be hard work to get feedback that helps you to grow, but it can quickly become the most valuable tool at your disposal.
Customer feedback can help guide the future of your startup. Don’t look at the notion of feedback as something to focus on in the future. From day one of your startup idea, start looking at ways to gather that feedback and your startup will only grow stronger as a result.