Take your customers off mute: 3 tips for customer feedback
There’s no denying the value of customer feedback. Columnist Loretta Jones shares three tips to make sure you're getting the most out of your customer feedback programs.
Customer feedback is important. Period. It’s useful for everything from employee training to product improvements to marketing. There’s no denying its value.
But mobilizing customer feedback is still a challenge for businesses — not just how to collect it, but also how to use it. While Gartner Research says more than 95 percent of organizations measure customer feedback in some way, Temkin Group reports that only 10 percent of companies consider customer experience metrics in day-to-day decision-making. Below are three tips for making sure you’re getting the most out of customer feedback.
1. Let your customers tell you what they want to tell you
You may think that asking more questions in a customer survey means you’ll get lots more valuable feedback to help you improve your business. However, it’s actually having the opposite effect. Your customers do not have infinite time to answer a long survey of questions that you may think are important but your customers find tedious.
Instead, make it effortless for your customers to share feedback. That’s the beauty of using Net Promoter Score (NPS) programs. You ask one simple question and leave an open-response field for customers to tell you what they think is important for you to know.
2. Ask the right question(s)
In traditional surveys, the line of questioning often leads customers toward answers the company wants to hear. With NPS, you eliminate survey bias and ask one question that is predictive of customer loyalty: “How likely are you to recommend X to a friend or colleague?”
By having customers use a scale of 0–10 to rate their likelihood to recommend your product or service, you can segment them into happy customers, angry customers and those in between.
This is invaluable for marketers to know which customers might be willing to help promote their company and potentially drive sales. It’s just as helpful to know who might be a threat if left upset.
Beyond identifying whether a customer is a promoter, detractor or passive, it’s even more important to understand why, which is the reason for the free response field asking for an explanation for the customer’s rating. Customers then have the opportunity to share what stood out to them — good or bad — about their experience, and it might even be something you never would’ve thought to ask in a long traditional survey.
3. Use the feedback
Collecting feedback from all of your customers is great. But that’s just the start. Dig in and identify patterns with the feedback, then dig even deeper to find the cause of any issues.
It’s not enough to figure out that 15 percent of your customers are unhappy with your service and that shipping delays are the reason. You can’t just sit on this information.
Instead, you need to apply the feedback you’re getting from your customers to improve your business. In this case, determine if the regional shipping provider had a one-time fluke or if there was an underlying issue. And then decide what to do to resolve it — is it to offer free expedited shipping to the unhappy customers on their next purchase, or is it something bigger, like getting a new shipper?
It’s the age of the customer — everything must be done on the customer’s terms. This means communicating with them the way they want, when they want, and in the channel they want. It means hearing their gripes and righting them.
To truly be called a customer-centric organization and meet customer expectations, it’s imperative to listen to your customers, make sure everyone in your organization has access to customer feedback, and take action and respond to the voice of your consumer.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.