One of the best ways to improve your business is to get feedback from your customers, and then implement changes and improvements based on that feedback. However, it can be a daunting task getting the feedback from your customers if you don't know how to make it part of doing business with each customer.
Gather Information from Analytics
When it comes to websites you can learn a lot about your customers' behavior by looking at Google Analytics (and other site analytics offerings like Facebook). It's amazing what you can learn by looking at a heat map such as the kind at ClickTale.com. By being able to visualize what individuals are doing when they come to your site, you can gather information that will be useful to improve your website conversions.
Conduct a Survey or Poll
There are many ways you can do a survey or conduct a poll. You can automatically send a survey or a poll to each and every person who purchases from you, offering a discount on a future purchase if they complete it. You can also put a survey or poll right on your website or within your social media sites to get some valuable feedback from customers.
Start a Controversy
This can be dangerous but it can also pay off. It's important that you truly understand and know your audience before doing something like writing a blog post that will be controversial, or sharing a controversial image and quote on social media. But, once you start a controversy of some type you can count on getting a lot of feedback from your customers. Some of it will be informative and some not so much.
Ask Them Directly
Make it a habit that at the end of each business cycle, be that monthly, quarterly or yearly depending on the type of contract you have with your clients, you ask them how they enjoyed their service. Ask them what they'd do differently, and what they'd do the same. Then give them space to expand on those comments so that you can gather even more information about your customers' mindset.
Act on the Feedback
Finally, if you're going to ask for customer feedback it's important to actually implement the feedback and announce that you did so based on customer information. The more you publicize something you do differently due to customer feedback, the more likely your current customers are going to be to be free with the feedback when you ask them. Even if it was not them who gave you the feedback, they'll appreciate that you do listen to your customers.
Finally, when your customers offer feedback to you, always ensure that you thank them for their feedback by sending them a note thanking them. Don't make the thank you too generic. You want to address their feedback, give them some ideas of how you plan to implement their suggestions and then you can also offer a percentage off a new item, or a re-download of an improved item.