Customer feedback is worth it’s weight in GOLD
Can I give you some constructive feedback?
These words are a gift that will most likely make you and your business some money. They might make you a bit nervous at first if you’ve ever had a customer go on a rant about all of the things wrong with your business. But if you’ve ever had the gift of objective feedback from a customer, you know that feedback is worth it’s weight in gold.
What you are doing right…
Asking for feedback will tell you what you are doing well with your business. This is what you currently have in place that your customers appreciate and what causes them to return to you on a continual basis.
This could include an excellent wait staff, a grocery clerk that takes the time to learn his customers by name, the medical assistant that always asks how your kid’s sports game went. It could also mean a business practice such as notifying customers when new sales relevant to their preferences are coming up. It could mean that follow up phone call that the veterinary office always makes after you’ve had your pooch there for a sick visit. It could be that new account grouping your bank has recently launched.
What to do next… When you receive this positive feedback, you need to take the time to determine if there are any ways that you can carry over the “good thing” into other areas of your operations.
Got a great customer service rep? Coach and encourage them to be a trainer for new hires. The new account grouping is working? Try to do an account review with your top customers every year to make sure they are getting the best benefits available to them.
What you are doing that your customers don’t like…
Feedback also affords you the gift of knowing what your customers don’t like about your business. Something or someone is doing something that isn’t working out for your customer and they are letting you know that they are at risk of going elsewhere for your product or service.
What to do next… This is the time to put on the hat of objectivity. This is your notice that some area needs some focus. Defensiveness is often the first recourse for criticism, yet this is not the time. You need to examine the validity of the issue at hand. Assume that the customer is right… at first.
Does that cashier typically annoy customers? If so, some coaching is in order to encourage her to perform her job in the most pleasant manner possible since she is a public facing team member.
The idea to outsource your call center seemed like a good idea at the time to reduce costs, but your customers are calling about concerns that your company seems to have no knowledge about it’s own products. This could mean one of two things… 1) Your company needs to do a better job at product training for your resource, or 2) The resource you hired is not performing up to the standards necessary to help your customers.
Ultimately, you need to consider more nuances when you receive negative feedback. You must consider the information that the customer is giving you as truth at first and investigate the validity. After all, the customer signs your paycheck and they are the boss. Should you find that the incidence was a one time occurrence, you simply need to note that it happened once and find a way to prevent it from happening again if possible.
Keep in mind that there are some situations where applying feedback is simply not possible. Some suggestions or ideas will simply not fit into your business model. You may determine that some requests are not profitable for your business. In those cases, you must still thank the customer for their feedback and let them know that you took it into consideration.
The bottom line…
Feedback is the best gift you can ever receive from your customers. When they tell you they like something, give them more of it. When they tell you they don’t like something, then don’t give it to them anymore if possible.
At the end of the day, you can’t be everything to everybody. Stay true to your business purpose and mission. Apply the feedback you can and thank the customers anyway for the feedback you can’t.
To start learning how to ask for and apply feedback from your customers to improve your profits, I’d like to invite you to take the first step to rising above your competitors in service by claiming your free video series by registering at http://kristinaevey.wpengine.com/5-step-blueprint-optin/