Collecting customer feedback is all about making it easy for the customer to give feedback and making sure the feedback that is collected is actionable. Most importantly any customer feedback gathering must engage the customer in the process and demonstrate a genuine intention to assimilate and use the feedback.
When used effectively, customer feedback helps you improve what you do to better meet customer needs. Use our check list to help you make the most of the opportunity.
Questionnaires are as short and simple as possible
If customers have to think too much, they won’t answer the question. The smaller the purchase or transaction, the less likely customers are to want to spend any energy on feedback. Put yourself in their shoes. The mobile phone network that sends seven separate text questions following even the most minor help desk query is not winning itself any friends.
There is a mixture of open and closed questions
Closed questions allow you to get collect numerical scores and monitor ongoing progress. Open questions give people a chance to say what they really want to tell you.
Feedback is collected regularly and consistently
If you only ask for feedback sporadically, it’s hard to build up a picture of what’s going on or to track progress in making improvements to your services. Integrate feedback into your processes and you make it easier for yourself and are in a position to act upon comments and suggestions on an ongoing basis.
Results are shared across the business before decisions are made
Those in different teams will have different perspectives about why particular comments have been made and what an appropriate response might be. Those close to customers will be able to interpret why customers might say certain things; those close to processes will be able to explain how events happened; those in sales and marketing or business development will spot if there is a possible disconnect between expectations and reality.
Resulting actions are both reactive and proactive
If a customer has highlighted a particular problem, it’s important to find out what was behind it. Did processes fail, suggesting you need to review and modify the processes concerned? If a customer mentions a particularly good aspect of what you do, what opportunities are there to build on this – perhaps using the same features in other services you provide?
Learning opportunities are not ignored
Even if you feel a complaint is unjustified, think what you can learn from it to prevent a recurrence. Take the case of the couple who booked a summer walking holiday in a high alpine ski resort and rated the destination poorly because it didn’t have a tennis court. It would be easy to dismiss that and say they should have known – but how does that help? Instead, consider how you can make it clear exactly what facilities are available and so reduce the risk of disappointing further customers for similar reasons.
Questionnaire formats are reviewed regularly
Questions don’t always work quite how you planned. If a question isn’t bringing in the type of information you hoped for, change it.
Actions are tracked
Customer feedback is a process, not an event. Track what actions you take see and whether results improve. If they don’t, think again. Check your own processes against our checklist, and make sure you are getting real value from our customer feedback.