Making the most of customer feedback

Whether it’s a review online, a customer survey or word of mouth, we love to hear nice things said about our business. So, when you get your glowing (or less favourable) results, do you know what to do with them and who’s responsible for making your service even better? And, the even bigger question is, what could your business do to improve results?

Who’s responsible for making your customers happy?

Everyone. That could be the simple and easy answer, but it’s not 100% correct. After all, who is responsible for ensuring ‘everyone’ gives great service? That’s who is truly responsible. According to a survey by Calabrio, 37% of businesses believe it is the responsibility of CEOs. But, if your business is big enough, your CEO will be occupied with much more than monitoring customer experience, though they will have a very keen eye on survey results. However, if a business does not have a CEO, and there is no individual given the ‘task’, the overarching responsibility could lie with the business’ most senior member.

No matter the structure or size of your business, it’s vital that all employees take some level of responsibility for the client experience. But, even more so, managers, directors and CEOs cannot sit in executive offices and blame poor survey results and in turn, poor business solely on those on the front line.

Learning from results

Getting regular timely results can form part of the foundation for increasing customer retention and your business’s future growth.  Simple, yes, no and multiple choice questions can give you statistics to work with. Though numbers alone do not give you the insight you need. Comments and feedback give vital insight into where the shortfall is. For example, if a customer rated you 1 out of 5 for customer service, but did not leave any additional comments, how can you improve? It could be that this is due to a one off incident and a genuine mistake that has left them disgruntled. Or, it could be that there is one person in your team who repeatedly lets your business down and this customer has had an interaction with them. There is no way to tell.

More detailed surveys might give greater feedback, but if 70% of clients felt your product was good, but overpriced, you may believe you’re onto a good thing and no change is needed. And, if you want to change that result, the solution is a price reduction. Again, there is no clear answer and it could be hiding a much bigger problem, or a more cost effective solution. Through written or verbal feedback, you might discover that customers are happy with the product, but not the level of service they receive. This is where they feel they are losing value for money. Simple cost effective in house customer training and mentoring could be the solution.

If your surveys don’t offer the opportunity to comment, it would be worth adding this functionality. Or, if it isn’t possible, follow-up surveys by contacting customers directly. Discuss with them what they liked about their transaction/product and what they didn’t. This way you can resolve any issues and express that your business cares about them.

Simple changes to improve and make the most of your clients experience

Surveys can unveil some specific aspects of your business, but there are some simple steps you and your employees can take to improve the customer experience;

  1. Use your customer’s name, it helps demonstrate you are paying attention, especially when you use it as you say goodbye.
  2. If a customer has a negative experience, follow it up. Make sure any problems are resolved to the best of your businesses ability by a person, and not passed around your teams.
  3. out surveys with an accredited provider such as Net Promoter and get an award, tell your customers and the public about it by sharing it through social media and press releases.
  4. Communicate with your employees, if they have an idea to improve the client offering, try it and reward success. It will encourage other employees to make suggestions to improve business too.
  5. If customers contact you through social media, or any other form, respond as a person, not a business. Whenever possible, give a human response. Don’t be a robot.

If you don’t use surveys within your business, it’s a missed opportunity to grow through learning, and improving your customer experience and reputation. Price and position in the market place isn’t everything. Especially if your down fall is poor customer service, reputational damage can easily ruin a product offering and be the end of a business.