5 steps to an effective feedback strategy
December 11, 2018
When pondering business growth ideas, customer feedback rarely crops up. And yet, having a cohesive customer feedback strategy can give you all the insight you need to propel your business to the next level.
It’s simple. Once you know what you’re customers want your better equipped to deliver what they need. Consistently meeting and exceeding customer expectations is the best way to get them flashing their cash. And more importantly, to keep them doing it regularly.
Developing an effective feedback strategy
The definition of a strategy is ‘a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim’. In the context of customer feedback, this means collecting information, learning from the data and creating and implementing a plan to improve the customer experience.
This kind of focused customer feedback strategy offers a number of benefits all which contribute to business growth. Improving your customer experience will:
- Drive repeat business
- Increase marketing reach and customer acquisition
- Encourage additional spend
- Improve customer retention
- Encourage brand engagement
- Improve on/offline reputation
- Drive additional business through referral
1) Collecting feedback
The start of your feedback journey begins with a question. Be aware that the questions you ask and the system you use to gather that information will wildly affect the results.
The majority of industry standard feedback methods, like NPS, neglect to assess the customer’s emotional response to a product or service. That’s a mistake because how a customer feels is the most telling sign if they’ll return to your business.
Once you’ve chosen your feedback method, you then have to deliver it. Businesses have increasingly been moving away from rudimentary systems, using pen and paper, to more convenient tech solutions. Tech feedback platforms offer a number of benefits over their hard copy counterparts:
- There’s no need to physically collect the feedback
- Tech platforms can be more engaging securing higher response rates
- The results are automatically calculated, saving time and effort
- Some systems are able to update results in real time
- Customer contact details can be easily collected for marketing purposes
- They are not prone to tampering before the feedback reaches the right people
The convenience, ease and efficiency of tech-based feedback solutions are affording businesses more insight into their business from a valuable customer perspective. The more people who engage with your business at this stage the more potential there is to improve.
Hearing from a vocal minority representing your biggest critics or fans doesn’t help you make decisions that will benefit the majority. The wisdom of the crowd can help you deliver a customer experience that will benefit the majority of your customer base. Giving the silent majority a voice offers more value to your business in the long term, so choose a system that secures high fill in rates.
2) Responding to feedback
You’re collecting customer insight because you want to improve the customer experience in your business. A good place to start is thanking customers for taking the time to leave the feedback you requested!
Typically, businesses will only focus on the overwhelmingly positive or negative. Negative feedback will be passed on to the customer service representative who’s charged with appeasing the customer’s anger. Positive feedback may be passed to the marketing department as valuable social proof, but what about the 80% of customers who sit in the middle?
Responding to feedback is a fantastic way to nurture lasting customer relationships with all your customers, not just the loudest ones. Saying thank you for leaving feedback acknowledges the time and effort a customer has gone to in doing so. It’s common courtesy to say thank you when someone does you a favour.
This stage of your feedback journey also offers you the opportunity to stop trouble in its tracks. The feedback may not always be rosy but being able to address a customer’s problem here means you can placate the customer before their grievances are aired online. Admitting your shortfalls and offering a sincere apology can go a long way in securing you a second chance to impress.
3) Draw on customer insight
Compiling and analysing your data will help you create a plan of action going forward. The ease or difficulty of this will depend on your chosen feedback method. Sorting data manually can be pretty time consuming depending on how many responses you’ve received.
Feelings-led feedback platforms like The One Question will compile this data for you. This data can be viewed in the dashboard and is summarised by your Customer Happiness Score which is updated in real time. This makes spotting feedback patterns and trends easy, empowering you to do something about it.
If the same issues keep cropping up you’ve identified something you need to address for the betterment of your business. These first-hand customer accounts can help you spot potential for improvement at all levels of your business. This will help you establish your priorities and provide a good overview of business performance from a customers perspective.
4) Communicate with your team
A joined-up approach means keeping everyone informed. Your team are on the frontline so they’re most likely the ones who are going to have to facilitate change at a customer service level. Consider holding a meeting or sending out a communication which sums up your findings and your plans going forward. Outline how this will help the business, which in turn, will benefit the team.
Providing your employees with a holistic view of business performance helps them understand where they fit in the organisation. It also highlights the effect their actions have on the customer experience.
You need your employees onside to help put your plan into action. They’ll be instrumental in delivering on your customer service objectives you create in response to your collected feedback. Creating an open and honest company culture that invites discussion will generate ideas will help you reach those goals together.
5) Putting your plan into action
This is where many businesses lose momentum and/or focus. Acting on feedback is just as important than asking for it. Otherwise, what would be the point? Whether it’s quick wins or long-term changes, it’s essential to follow through on your plans. This is the only way you’ll feel the benefit of those implemented changes.
Having instigated the improvements you should continue to utilise your feedback tool to monitor the customer’s feelings. Regularly follow up with staff and customers. This will give you an indication of how successful your actions have been. Using a feedback method that measures the results in real time, like the customer Happiness Score, will give you the edge. The immediacy of the score empowers you to pivot and change tack if you need to.
Make collecting and acting on feedback easy
The One Question is the only feedback platform to uses the real-time Customer Happiness Score® to measure and manage customer happiness in your business. You can utilise this unique customer insight to create a joined-up feedback strategy which has the power to build long-lasting customer relationships and fuel business growth.
The One Question uses a simple one question survey to collect and measure how the customer feels about their experience with your business. Responding with one of 5 emoji style faces, the customer can expand on their feelings in a free text box if they want. This engaging system secures high fill-in rates which reveal more accurate results empowering you to make informed business decisions.
The system generates a real-time Customer Happiness Score® so you and your staff can see how you can effect change in your business whilst building valuable customer relationships.
Discover how The One Question can help your business evolve to better meet your customer’s needs. Book a free demo to see how effective The One Question platform is at helping you build a high-quality customer experience that will drive business growth.