You know you need customers to bring money into your business, but they can provide so much more. Your customers are an incredible source of information that too few businesses take advantage of. If you’re not regularly gathering input from your customers, you’re missing out on some remarkable benefits.

1. Minimise Turnover

Whether you’re polling your customers to discover what they want from your business, the issues they have with your business, or ways you can improve their overall experience, you’re collecting information about how to keep them as loyal customers. If you gather and implement their input, you’ll see a significant decrease in the amount of customer turnover in your business.

2. Gather Innovative New Ideas

The business world is all about innovation. That’s why most businesses have specialists, consultants, or entire times of analysts working to come up with new ideas at all times. But what if you could get some innovative ideas for free? You can—if you ask your customers. All it takes is a quick survey asking them what kinds of improvements they’d like to see you make. By collecting and managing that data with innovation management software, you’ll be able to track trends, identify needs, and use that information as fuel for your company’s next big innovation.

3. Improve Customer Service

It’s hard to know how your customer service is doing when you don’t experience the customer service firsthand. That’s why it’s vital to ask your customers about their experience every time they interact with your employees. A simple survey can do the trick. And if you provide an incentive for participating in the survey, you’ll get more input that you can use to improve your customer service.

4. Identify Issues In Delivery Method

Similarly, it can be difficult to know where hang-ups in your delivery system are if you’re not experiencing it yourself. Customers can provide you with information on how to improve your service or product delivery method—whether you’re eliminating bottlenecks, increasing reliability, or decreasing processing time, it will all improve your bottom line.

5. Track Consumer Trends

Regular polling of you customers will help alert you to any changes in consumer trends. Are they beginning to prefer one type of product over another? Are they losing interest in a certain type of product altogether? Noticing these trends before they are picked up by the rest of the market can keep you well ahead of the industry.

6. Learn About Your Customer Demographic

Knowing who your customers are is essential to keeping your business running. You need to know the problems they have, what their buying habits are, and where they go to find new information and new products. Having this information will allow you to more easily reach your ideal customer and ensure that your business is the first one they see when they’re looking for the products you offer.

7. Maximise Your Online Exposure

An online presence is essential in today’s Internet-based business world. Even if you have a physical store, you have to be online—and that includes being on social media. The great thing about surveying your customers through social media is that it provides you with an easy way to post new, engaging content on your social media profiles. People love online surveys, so a post of this type encourages engagement and sharing of your posts, which gives you free exposure as you’re collecting valuable data. And, when you’ve collected the results from your poll, posting those results gives you another interesting topic to share with your online audience.

If you’re not polling your customers, then you’re already a step behind the competition. Putting together an online poll is easy, so try it out as soon as you can. It provides your business with great benefits, and has benefits for your customers as well. But don’t forget to collect that data as well. If you’re polling and not using the data you’re collecting, you’re still not reaping all the potential benefits.