Tapping the vital customer feedback source
By Donella Roberts
Customer feedback holds the key to business success.
Tapping into this this vital resource requires you to mindfully seek, listen and act.
Seek – Seeking feedback starts with making it easy for customers to share their views, opinions and suggestion by offering multiple channels for customers to engage.
Feedback channels include:
- Dialogue: Reach out directly to customers at the point of contact. Encourage staff to invite and discuss customer feedback.
- Surveys: Customer surveys may be administered via email, website, social media or paper based. The key here is to keep it simple, short and relevant.
- Comment cards or book: Use simple “how did we do” cards or a comment book at point of contact or provide a comment card with each purchase.
- Online reviews: Activate online review options on your social media accounts.
- Follow-up: Take the opportunity to call or email customers post-sale to thank them for their business and welcome feedback.
Listen – Upon receipt of the feedback it is vitally important to listen to the feedback. Listening demonstrates that you value your customer’s opinions and are genuinely customer focused.
To listen objectively it is important to remember that the customer’s perception, good or bad, fact or fiction, is your reality. Don’t fall into the trap of refuting or discounting the customer’s opinions, rather clarify and acknowledge their views as an actual account of how they perceive your level of service.
Act – Listening to customers is essential but how you act on the lessons you learn from your customer feedback is crucial.
Use feedback to find ways of replicating positive customer experiences, improving your customer service and continually refining service processes.
Responding to every piece of customer feedback is a powerful way to demonstrate to your commitment to service improvement. Thank customers for their feedback and let them know how it is helping you do business.
Tapping into customer feedback for continual improvement takes conscious, deliberate effort in all three phases: seek, listen and act.