September 18th 2019
4 Minute Read
When looking to grow your business, 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 how a high percentage of your customers feel and how to make them happier, you are better equipped to deliver what they need.
Consistently meeting and exceeding customer expectations is the best way to gain customer loyalty and keep them returning to your business rather than them finding another business that serves them better.
Developing an effective feedback strategy
A focused customer feedback strategy offers a number of benefits which all contribute to business growth. Improving your customers’ happiness 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 and CSAT, neglect to assess the customer’s emotional response to a product or service. This has now become stale and dated. Why? Because we live in a relationship era. Now, knowing how a customer actually feels, rather than if they would recommend your business, or if they are satisfied, plays a huge part in driving their future behaviour and if they would buy from you again.
Once you’ve chosen your feedback method, you have to use it and act upon it. Businesses have increasingly been moving away from rudimentary systems using pen and paper, to more convenient tech solutions. Using technology offers a number of benefits over hard copy alternatives:
- 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
2) Responding to feedback
Feedback isn’t something that should be filed away and forgotten about. Collecting feedback should be the start of your strategy, not the end of it. And responding to feedback is a fantastic way to nurture lasting customer relationships with all your customers.
The best place to start is to thank your happy customers for leaving you kind comments. Saying thank you acknowledges the time and effort a customer has gone to and enables you to start a conversation with your customer. How many times have you provided feedback to never hear anything again from the business?
Don’t forget to respond to your unhappy customers as soon as possible too. This is your opportunity to apologise and resolve any issues and rebuild your relationship with them. Not only can you win back the customer’s favour, you might also avoid a damaging review too.
Typically, businesses only focus on the overwhelmingly positive or negative reviews. Just 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 response rates.
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 if you’re receiving a lot of responses.
You will need to choose a feelings-based feedback system that makes spotting feedback patterns and trends easy, so you’re empowered to do something about it.
If the same issues keep cropping up, you’ve identified something you need to address. 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
Your team are on the frontline and as such they’re most likely to be the ones who can facilitate change at a customer service level.
Inform your team of what your customers are saying, and support them as they deliver improvement across your business to meet your customers’ needs.
Create an open and honest company culture that invites discussion and will generate ideas. Instead of running to you for answers to every decision, managers will now use insight to make customer-led decisions, creating a self-directing, self-correcting business machine that empowers managers, and frees up your time.
5) Putting your plan into action
This is where many businesses lose momentum and 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 customer-led business improvements you should continue to utilise your feedback tool to monitor the customers’ feelings and see how they change.
By regularly following up with customers, and your staff, you will get an indication of how successful your actions have been. Using a feedback method that measures the results in real-time, like the The One Question, 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 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 industry-leading response rates which reveal accurate results that empower you to make informed business decisions.