Takeaway: Never assume satisfaction levels – measure them. Make it easy for customers to give honest feedback and distribute their comments amongst your whole team. Always follow up on comments and complaints immediately.
Reading time: 4 minutes
Customer Feedback provides huge business benefits – returning increased growth as happy customers will remain loyal, spend more money and will urge their friends to become your customers too.
Not only that, but it can be used to improve staff morale as they see the real return on their hard work. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle – but it can difficult to get it started.
We’re going to do the hard work for you – and break down the steps you can start taking today to get that cycle in motion.
First things first – Assumptions
As with so many things in business, make assumptions at your own risk!
Measure your customer’s satisfaction, and do it in a way that doesn’t immediately annoy them.
That means getting rid of your 20-page surveys, and of any questions that are unimportant.
No pestering, no coercion – you are aiming for a fast, courteous test whereby the customer values you inquiring into their satisfaction.
Tip 1. Make it really simple for customers to give feedback
This isn’t as straightforward as you might think. To start off with, you’ve got to put your customers at ease to ensure they understand their opinions will be welcomed by you.
Nobody likes awkward conversations, and unless you have clearly communicated that you are listening and eager to hear their honest thoughts, you’ll end up with very little assurance that all your customers are happy.
If you interpret your customers’ suffering in silence to mean satisfaction – in all likelihood you’re passing up referrals and repeat business – or even worse, customers leaving.
Once you’ve got the message out that you want to learn from your customers, it’s time to make the procedure as easy and quick as it can potentially be.
- Be sure that your customers know that you welcome their opinions, both bad and good.
- Gather feedback with a brief survey, sent via email to check how satisfied they are with you. Do this after every appropriate interaction with them, such as on receipt of their goods, or after paying a invoice.
- By doing this you’ll have a quantitative measure of your customers’ thoughts and feedback you can take action on.
- Supply an easy and clear way for customers to give feedback that is unsolicited.
Tip 2. Take action swiftly
Feedback is a double-edged sword. When you ask for feedback and then immediately take steps to follow up on it, you’ll actually impress your customers.
Yet if you ask for feedback but do not act on it, or the customer receives no acknowledgement of their opinions when it might be anticipated, then you’ll likely damage your relationship with them, because you raised their expectations, but failed to match it.
How to impress your customers
Select appropriate times to collect feedback from your customers during their buying cycle – earlier is not generally worse. Although, if your customers have ordered products or items, it makes more sense to wait until after it has arrived.
Plan ahead – ensure you’ll have the capacity to handle follow up questions or any worries at the earliest point they might appear.
Follow up on feedback and complaints immediately. It strengthens the customer’s confidence, establishes faith and makes them more inclined to pass on personal recommendations to their friends.
Have structures in place – assign duties to those responsible for processing feedback. If you’ve chosen to use software – make sure it’s able to help your team keep a track of everything, enables them to handle multiple queries at once and work collectively to provide the finest customer experience.
Additionally – make sure the software is able to not only maintain and monitor the process, but to help you identify recurring issues that need consideration.
Be careful with large yearly surveys – as if you engage all your customers in one go, it will be extremely difficult to follow up and manage all their feedback and problems within 24 hours. It’s best to instead focus on regularly contacting each customer instead of annually.
Tip 3. Distribute Feedback Through Your Team
This is the secret to unlocking company-wide benefits. It’s a crime to gather valuable customer feedback but just distribute it amongst a few people in your team.
Customer service is everyone’s duty – not only for the so called ‘front line’. If you’ve ever read or heard from friends about terrible customer service experiences, it’s equally likely that the perpetrator was the call centre, the secretary, the delivery guy, the sales rep or head of recruitment – everyone has the ability to ruin a customer’s opinion of a company – and so everyone also has the power to impress customers.
Everyone stands to learn from customer feedback. We’ve seen time and time again that members of a team are more successful, productive and happy when they get to see actual customer feedback on their efforts.
What to do next…
By now you’ll no doubt understand the huge business benefits Customer Feedback provides – and you’ll be eager to start yourself! Fantastic! We’ve done our job!
If you’re interested in using software to help improve customer satisfaction in your business – take a free trial of CustomerSure!