Consumer psychology: why customers like to be asked their opinions

factor-analysis-overview-resized-600.jpgConsumer surveys are a win-win for customers and businesses. Businesses benefit from a better, up-to-date understanding of what their customers want, while customers have the opportunity to share their opinions and have their voices heard. While it might seem that surveying and other opinion-collecting techniques would be tedious for customers, in fact, they generally enjoy being asked their opinions. Below, we’ll take a look at why customers like to be asked their opinions, as well as steps you can take to ensure that the process is as effective as possible.

People Like Talking

The reason why customers like to be asked their opinions is simple, and goes right back to human nature: people like to talk about themselves. Whether it’s their family, their opinion on a show, their job, or their experience with a retailer, people like the feeling that they are being heard.

Seeing Results

Another reason why customers like to be asked their opinions is that they have the opportunity to see a difference in how your company operates. Internet platforms like social media give you an especially effective way to leverage this technique – you can announce or discuss changes that are in response to customer opinions, while specifically acknowledging that fact. This increases the psychological reward that customers get from expressing their opinions.

Striking a Balance

When collecting customer opinions, there is a balance to be struck in terms of how you ask questions and how you use the results. Although consumers like to talk about their opinions and experiences, they are less likely to respond to very frequent requests for feedback. Surveys that are extremely long, formulaic, or confusing also push away customers.

Similarly, although you should work to take customer opinions into account, it should be tempered by an awareness of what might actually happen. Customers sometimes suggest projects or business changes that are unfeasible or would end up being unpopular, so always combine survey results with further research and good judgment.

Sweetening the Pot

Although customers enjoy giving their opinions, sometimes a little boost can encourage them to actually take the time to share. For example, many retail companies offer a small coupon or discount in exchange for filling out a survey on the shopping experience. This serves as an extra incentive for customers.

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