Successful business owners understand the importance of customer feedback. It is, by far, the best way to discover what the customer wants and needs. This knowledge allows the business owner to more easily customize the service or product to better satisfy each and every customer. Happy customers usually discuss their experience with friends and family, often times sending a truly organic referral back to the business that pleased them. The key to maximizing this entire process is in the effective management of customer feedback. Here are some tips to help your business successfully gather and utilize customer feedback for the growth of your company.
Know Your Destination
Before starting the car, most people know the destination they want to drive toward. Managing customer feedback utilizes the same principle. A company must first understand its objectives and goals before they can effectively utilize the information obtained through managing customer feedback.
Collect and Manage
Customers leave feedback in many ways. From in-person complaints at the service desk to glowing, but virtual, comments on the company blog, each customer interaction is important. Take the time to thoroughly assess each and every touch point that your customers use when dealing with your company and which touch points are used most often. This list of touch points, when sorted, can quickly show business owners which ones are most effective and which could be improved upon.
Now that you are actively tracking and collecting feedback, the next step is to manage this wealth of information correctly. Put in place systems and controls that help keep this information orderly, timely and easily accessible. For instance, the company blog should consider forcing registration before visitors can leave comments or have a comment approval process to deal with irrelevant comments, unacceptable language and spam. In person complaints might be sent directly to an on-site customer care specialist. Each of these examples depict ways of managing feedback. However, you choose to handle each touch, make sure that the response is both appropriate and immediate.
Respond, Advocate and Incorporate
Customer feedback is best-managed when you have a pre-engineered plan of action. Knowing how you will handle various touch points and having a set plan of action for each type makes it easier to respond appropriately in any situation. These timely, caring responses show the customer that you truly value them, making for stronger customer relationships in the future.
Good customer feedback should also include a response of some type. Feedback can be a valuable tool for both staying in touch with current customers and targeting new customers. Sharing feedback of all types with team members is a great way to promote a feeling of well-being throughout the team. It also provides the best way to problem solve for solutions that will help to continue improving customer relationships.
In today’s fast paced world, effectively managing customer feedback is one of the best ways to truly understand your customer’s needs and wants. Using this information to continually improve the level of customer satisfaction directly defines the level of success the company will reach. Customer feedback is the best way to truly learn about your customer base, and as the old saying goes, the customer is always right!