By: Omar Abdul-Hafiz
With that in mind, this article is going to discuss 4 main steps to help you make the most out of the feedback you receive from your customers. They are as follows.
Decide your purpose
Before you begin collecting your customers’ feedback, you should decide about a set of goals that we wish to achieve through this feedback. Based on these goals, you can then decide on how to best collect the feedback that will serve your purpose. Goals can be anything from increasing customer retention to improving the products’ quality to best serve your customers’ desires and needs. Check out the following goals for example.
1. Increase customer retention:
Perhaps you’ve been witnessing that many of your customers are leaving your product for another alternative? This is definitely not a good thing and may be a sign for a serious problem that’s driving your customers away. By collecting customer feedback, you’ll have a better chance of investigating this issue and hopefully locate and resolve it.
By the same token, collecting customers’ feedback can help you pinpoint the things that matter to them. You can then use this information, for example, to come up with new products/services or special offers tailored specifically to their interests. In other words, you’ll have a better chance of learning how to enhance your customers’ loyalty to your brand.
2. Improve product and service quality:
Your quality team could be doing a great job quality control and product/service quality inspections. However, the ultimate judges of quality are your customers. Collecting customers’ feedback enables you to have a look at your products and services from your customers’ point of view. Through that perspective, you’ll be able to adjust your products and services to better suit their needs and meet, even exceed their expectations.
3. Understand overall trends in customer satisfaction:
Once you collect customer feedback, you will need to process all this data to depict a detailed picture of the latest customer trends out there. Besides helping you on an operational level to improve your business processes as well as your product and service offerings, this could also help you greatly on the strategic level (more on that in a minute).
Be creative about how you collect feedback
After you have decided on a set of goals that you wish to achieve, it is time to think about how to collect your customers’ feedback. But be mindful, however, because collecting feedback can be a very sensitive matter. If not done correctly, you might accidentally make the mistake of violating your customers’ privacy.
To help you out, here’s a list of 3 popular places you can collect feedback easily and safely:
1. From customers’ tickets
The tickets submitted by your customers for issues like technical support is a great place to look for customer feedback about your overall product and service quality. For example, they can tell you if there’s a big problem going on especially when a lot of customers are complaining about the same them issue. Your issue/case management system (ticketing system) should have advanced reporting capabilities to provide you with the intelligence you need.
2. From social media
Your customers’ interaction with you social media content, and also the private messages that they send to you can also be an excellent source of feedback. With their help, you can draw a general picture of your customers’ satisfaction with your products and services.
3. Selective questionnaires
Why do we call them “selective” questionnaires? Because you do not want to bombard all your customers with questionnaires every single time they try to use your product and service. That would be against our purpose as it would become a nuisance and would hinder you customers’ happiness as well as the accuracy of the results. For that reason, it is best to keep questionnaires selective and occasional.
Questionnaires are an excellent source of feedback when used correctly. Always try to keep them short and simple—a few questions max--and to the point, for example: ask questions such as ”How satisfied are you with the ‘xyz’ feature of our product? ” or “How likely are you to recommend this product to your friend?”.
Set up precise ways to utilize the feedback
On this stage, you should define a set of procedures to follow for dealing with the different types of feedback that you receive.
For example, if the feedback is about a technical issue, you should delegate this to your technical support team where it will be immediately addressed and resolved. If the feedback was a complaint about an incompetent staff member, this should immediately be reported to the relevant department, and so on.
By setting up exact and well-structured procedures to deal with different types of customer feedback, you establish a system where no piece of information is overlooked. This, in turn, allows you to reap the maximum amount of benefit from your customers’ feedback, thus enabling you to serve them even better.
One last thing worthy of mentioning in this regard is following up. There is no better way to show your customer that you are truly listening to their feedback than to constantly follow up with them to let them know that their comment has been received and shall be acted upon.
Be ready to learn from the feedback
At this stage, we are now talking from a strategic point of view. At this level, you should utilize your customers’ feedback on a higher ‘strategic’ level to determine where your overall CRM strategy is headed. But this part takes time as it requires you to set a benchmark on your customers’ happiness. Afterwards, you have to gauge the results over this benchmark by asking your customers the same question(s) at several intervals and observe how their satisfaction changes over time.
Based on these results, you can then arrive at strategic decisions about your products, services, or your next CRM plans. For example, if a certain product continues to receive an overwhelming amount of negative feedback for a long period of time, then you might consider making some dramatic changes to it, or perhaps even re-thinking it all together.
It is important to keep in mind that all your strategic conclusions will remain on paper and ineffective without a well-planned executive policy that takes these learned lessons into action.
In the end, always remember what Bill Gates said: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
For more information about customer feedback systems, check out ESKADENIA's digital CRM software for telecom.