Your business needs customers and clients. How do you ensure you're meeting their expectations and needs? You should ask them.
Sounds too easy, right? Too often, businesses don't solicit feedback from customers until after the sale. While reviews and Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys can be valuable for improving existing products and services, how do you know if your business is solving the right problem for future and existing customers?
With a little design thinking, you can approach these issues from a customer-centered perspective—and no, you don't need to be a designer or a creative person to try this out. In a nutshell, design thinking starts with a central question around your customers and what they actually want and need. Talking to your customers eliminates the guesswork.
Depending on the size of your business, you might feel like establishing feedback loops is too daunting of a task. But with a little automation help from Zapier, you can obtain feedback at every stage of the customer journey with a minimum amount of manual effort from you or your team.
You'll need a Zapier account to use the workflows in this piece. If you don't have an account yet, it's free to get started.
Get insight from your leads
Lead generation is one of the most critical parts of growing your business. Once you've got leads to work with, you have their attention: Use it!
If you aren't asking leads what they hope to get out of your service or why they're interested in your product, you're missing out. Even if they don't become a customer in the end, you can use their feedback to identify common trends, which can help guide you in future decision-making. For example, maybe your marketing has leads confused about what you actually offer so they fail to make a purchase. Or maybe they need a complementary service or feature that you don't offer at the moment.
No matter how you generate leads—whether it's forms, ads, or emails—make space to ask that central question and use automation to get those answers in a centralized place. Use these Zaps—what we call our automated workflows with Zapier—to organize your early feedback.
Send SurveyMonkey surveys after an Acuity Scheduling appointment
Add new SurveyMonkey responses to new Google Sheets rows
Create custom objects in Salesforce from new Typeform entries
Note: Delay steps—available on our paid plans—allow you to wait for a specific amount of time before your Zap completes the next step.
Welcome new customers
Recently, I received a welcome email series after I purchased a bike from a local shop. It included tips on trail safety, bike maintenance, and supplies to have on hand. A month later, I received another email addressing the "break-in" period with a new bicycle. As a cycling newbie, I really appreciated this approach, and I'm more likely to recommend this shop to my friends.
By creating an onboarding experience for new customers, you can not only ensure they're getting the most out of your service, but you'll also win their trust and loyalty. Here are some Zaps that can help you get started.
Add new Stripe customers to ActiveCampaign as new contacts
You can also use this as a time to get continued feedback. Perhaps you send an NPS survey on the third email you send to a new customer to get their feedback on your customer service. Or, if you're looking for more info than a typical NPS survey allows for, send them a form they can fill out that asks about their experience so far with your company or product or ask them to write a review of your business.
Learn more about how you can create a seamless onboarding experience.
Keep customers engaged
Sales and solid reviews aren't the only indicators of happy customers. Brand trust keeps customers coming back. You can build that trust through ongoing engagement—and we don't mean sales emails.
A brand community is a group of consumers who rally under your business's umbrella because of what your brand stands for or a shared interest.
You Need A Budget (YNAB), a subscription budget app, is a great example of a business with a brand community. The people who are active users of YNAB love it. You can often find them in YNAB's community forum or the unofficial subreddit, where they're sharing budgeting wins, tips, and solutions to beginner questions. And the company's paying attention: they continually push new features addressing common user sticking points.
While most people automatically think of forums when they hear the word "community," that's not the only place where communities coalesce. Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) built their community around email newsletters. If the concept of a brand community sounds appealing, these Zaps will help you start building one.
Add or update ActiveCampaign contacts from new activity in ClickFunnels contacts
Reach out to customers who leave
One important group of people to ask for feedback: those who choose not to become your customers or clients, particularly if they choose to end a relationship with you after some time. Sending a survey is a low-effort way to learn about the things that didn't work for someone, especially if you're willing to take that feedback and put it to use.
Send Gmail emails with new abandoned carts in Shopify
Send Gmail emails for newly-canceled subscriptions in Stripe
Close the feedback loop
A customer-focused business begins with listening. No matter how you collect feedback, the thing that makes it a loop is putting it into action. Be sure to establish an internal process for reviewing, analyzing, and planning based on what you learn from your leads and current or former customers and clients.
This could be something simple, like a monthly report from someone who is asked to analyze responses. Or, you could implement a more involved process where you collectively review reasons for churn or lost deals and generate ideas based on the places where you missed the mark.
Learn more: 3 workflows to improve team collaboration
Automation can help you use all the tools at your disposal—such as emails or forms—to open that conversation with customers, wherever they're at in the buyer's journey.