Asking for customer feedback seems to have become ingrained in business culture. And rightly so. Finding out about customer experience, from those who’ve actually experienced it, is invaluable in meeting customer needs and shaping your service offering.
However, poor execution can be as damaging to your business as not seeking customer opinion and sailing blind. Automated feedback mechanisms are now commonplace, which means we switch off to them, find them irritating, or they’re simply inappropriate.
For example, I now receive an automated survey email from my veterinary surgery following every visit. I get the same email whether I’ve visited for a rabbit vaccination or dog toe amputation. I’ve yet to find out if you get the survey following a pet euthanase, “On a scale of 1-5, how satisfied were you with the way we killed your pet…?” but I’m guessing that as it’s an automated process, the system would still send the email.
If you genuinely care and want to know what your customers think, I suggest you create a feedback system which is relevant to your offering and appropriate to them.
Here are some things to consider when developing your customer feedback system:
- Make the feedback process appropriate to the purchase, i.e. if it’s a low-value repeat-buy product perhaps use a simple online scoring system and for a high-value, relationship-driven service a telephone survey.
- Keep it simple. Make it easy for the customer and not too time-consuming to provide their feedback.
- Consider outsourcing your feedback process to a neutral third-party. Your customers are more likely to be open about their experience with someone not linked to the business, so the results will be more illuminating.
- Review the feedback and act upon it. Otherwise, what’s the point? Also, highlighting the positive changes you’ve made following feedback is a great marketing opportunity and will make customers feel valued.
Customer feedback should not be seen as a tick-box exercise. If you execute it well, it can really add value to your operation and help grow your business.
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