None of us like to be criticised, but as a business it is imperative that we gather feedback from our customers. Here's what the Frog has to offer in the way of Top Tips:
I’ve just come off the telephone with my mother. It’s a universal truth that any conversation starting with “oh, so you are still alive then” is doomed from the outset. Extend that conversation to 45 minutes because of an unhealthy interest in the wellbeing of your friend Phil’s tropical fish (despite the fact they’ve never met) and you end up where I am right now… probably not in the best place to start writing a blog!
However, she did mention something that piqued my interest. It appears that my mother has recently paid a visit to our local fast-food restaurant – yes, the one of previous blog notoriety. It makes me feel so warm inside to discover how closely she pays heed to what I tell her…
It seems that the restaurant has recently introduced customer surveys. My mother was ridiculously excited to discover a freshly printed pile on a table by the exit. Never missing an opportunity to let others know her opinion (something usually accomplished very loudly and at the least appropriate times), she grabbed a sheet and headed for the nearest table to fill it in. As no pens were supplied, this was followed by a stealth visit to the kids area to borrow a crayon.
Five minutes later, armed with a feedback sheet that probably looked like it had been completed by Tracy Emin, she went to find a deposit point… only to discover there wasn’t one. With no postal or other contact details on the sheet, my mother had no other choice than to hand her feedback direct to the individual whose service she’d just commented on. Ding, ding… round one.
A company’s approach to customer feedback can be a funny old thing. There are those who avoid it like the plague; those who want it but only if it’s filtered; those who use it to inform business response months after it’s collected; and those who want it so much they annoy their customers. So, what’s what when it comes to customer feedback? Here are some thoughts:
Seeking customer feedback has never been so supported or straightforward. Apps, such as Mindshare, not only track customer feedback real-time, but pull in information from a company’s available surveys, alerts and incidents. USAA utilise software that allows telephone representatives to log comments and trends, whilst at the same time transcribing calls to text for ongoing coaching discussions.
Whether it’s by pen & paper or expensive software, it’s vital that you consider customer feedback as an investment - an investment in the sustainability of your business. At the very least, the risk of not doing so is that everyone other than you knows the customer-facing weaknesses of your business - something I’ve always considered to be a bit like coming back from the loos with your knickers tucked in your skirt. Except that no-one tells you until 5 hours later; after you’ve walked 2 miles to the shops, been on a marathon shopping spree, caught a full bus back home and thought all the attention was admiration…
For more help and support with your Customer Feedback systems, please contact the Bright7 team at www.bright7.co.uk
Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)