Most people in most businesses (sadly not all!) would agree that collecting
customer feedback is a good idea. Most (sadly not all…) businesses have customers,
and so it should probably be someone’s job to ask those customers what’s on
But a lot of people, when pressed, struggle to really clearly articulate why
feedback’s important. They sort-of feel like it’s a good idea, but aren’t crystal clear
how the business will make more money if they collect the feedback. Or, the benefits they
mention (influencing strategy, affecting marketing communications) are the
benefits of market research,
not customer feedback.
And whilst market research is great and important to do, it doesn’t have the same
direct connection to your bottom line and your team’s happiness as customer feedback
does – when you do customer feedback correctly.
The rest of this guide is about how to do feedback correctly, but this article is about
why you should do feedback correctly – the benefits you’ll unlock for yourself,
your team, and the wider business, once you start following
the golden rule.
Before we get to the benefits, it’s worth a quick detour into the ‘anti-benefits’. The two things
that you should absolutely not hope to get out of customer feedback.
When we see companies try to start collecting feedback for either of these reasons, nine-times-out-of-ten they won’t see the
results they’re hoping for.
If you think ‘benchmarking against your competitors’ is a business
benefit of customer feedback, then think again.
We totally get that you’re curious about how the competition are doing. But knowing this isn’t going to increase your
profits. What does it matter if you’ve got an NPS score of 20, and your competitor has a score of 50? It’s the direction
of travel that’s important. A NPS of 20, up 5 points from last quarter is a much better indicator of future success than
a score of 50 which is dropping like a rock.
Besides, focusing on benchmarking as a goal is ignoring the golden rule.
Your customers don’t care about benchmarking, so you shouldn’t either.
2. Best practice
Great! Who could argue with doing something that’s best practice?
The thing is, asking for feedback isn’t best practice. It’s acting on
feedback that makes you money.
If you’re just looking for feedback because you feel everyone else is, but you don’t know if you can act on it,
you run the risk of decreasing customer satisfaction. Your customers are real people with busy lives, and they don’t want to
feel like you’re wasting their time so you can tick a box which says ‘customer survey sent’.
So, what are the benfits?
When it comes to improving customer satisfaction, doing customer feedback correctly delivers
arguably the single biggest return on investment. There are many other noble initiatives you can
take to improve your customers’ experience, but without a good feedback program, they’re just
icing on the cake.
How does feedback live up to this promise? Let’s have a look at all the benefits it unlocks:
1. More repeat business
Customers have a choice who they spend their money with. You want them to welcome your offers
and promotions, not trash them.
So it’s important to make sure that your customers are happy, so that your marketing doesn’t fall
on deaf ears
2. More new business
Word of mouth recommendations grow your business, and cost nothing.
But giving a recommendation has a high bar – your customers need to really trust you won’t damage
their reputation by giving bad service after they recommend you.
So collecting, and acting on feedback helps guarantee that everyone is 100% happy, and
will recommend you given the chance.
3. Less lost business
You can ask customers how things are going face-to-face, and they’ll say ‘fine’, even
if that’s not what they’re thinking.
Small niggles can build up over time and make customers more receptive to a pitch from
a competitor – it’s better to make the grass always greener on your side by
making it clear you always welcome candid feedback.
4. Increased online conversions
Publishing case studies and testimonials is evidence that you’re great to do business with.
It increases buyer confidence.
You can use the feedback you receive to identify your super-fans, and approach them
to develop case studies with
5. Win in competitive bids
If your business submits competitive bids and tenders for work, feedback has two
First, it’s great to have a body of evidence from your current customers that you’re
great to deal with. The feedback people who use CustomerSure collect is overwhelmingly
positive, so it doesn’t hurt to add a sample to any competitive bid.
But more subtly – when you collect feedback, you have all of your current customers,
in their own words, saying what’s important about your business to them.
This will be very similar to what’s important to the prospective customer you’re
bidding to – and expressed in a language they’re familiar with. Don’t underestimate
how powerful this can be.
6. Stronger reputation
We’ve already touched upon why acting on feedback ensures that customer-by-customer,
people are happy to come back, spend more, and refer their friends.
But what’s harder to quantify, and equally important, is the cumulative
effects of all this goodwill.
When lots of customers are fans of your brand, unexpected things happen. The whole
is greater than the sum of its parts. When many people are aware of you, and have
a ‘good feeling’ about your brand, unexpected business opportunities start appearing more
often… And your team start feeling better about where they work.
7. Cross-sell & up-sell opportunities.
The best time to try selling something new is when customers are happy with you.
So it’s a good idea to have an open dialogue with all your customers, so
you know who’s happy, who’t not, and why.
One way to delight customers, rather than just make them ‘happy’ is to fix their problems.
Which means finding out if they have any problems… Which means asking for feedback.
8. Morale and motivation.
Getting praise from a customer gives teams a real boost. It gives them confidence that
business is on the right track, and peace of mind that another customer account is
Every time a customer gives praise, someone in your buiness feels like a hero.
9. Improved skills
Receiving verbatim comments from customers means there’s nowhere to hide. All the
training courses in the world are no substitute for lessons learned through
A tough comment can feel raw, but as long as you learn from it and put things right,
you’ll never make the same mistake twice. And it’s easier for the feedback to
come from a customer than a colleague, because the person receiving the feedback
knows there’s no agenda.