Care to rate us? Using feedback to improve customer experience

feedback

This is a guest post from Rachel Stones of BuiltforTeams.com

Feedback can come in a variety of ways: via product or service reviews, follow up emails and through your chat conversations. Or it can come through more thorough channels such as focus groups or interviews with frequent clients.

Whatever way you receive or solicit feedback, what do you do with it? Does the complaint over shipping time get pushed to the side? Or does the feedback over packaging get ignored? What about the comment regarding service personnel?

This post will highlight what to do with feedback, giving you another tool to revamp your customer experience and spur growth.

Get it to the right person

One of the first challenges in correctly implementing feedback is getting it to the right person. Feedback can come from many sources and often comes to someone unrelated to the feedback. For example, an online business review (think google reviews, your website, yelp and other places where customers leave reviews) may mention an issue with product packaging. The person monitoring reviews (if there is one) is probably not the same person in charge of packaging.

To keep feedback from being ignored make sure an employee is assigned to monitor feedback in its myriad of forms. This shouldn’t take too much time unless you’re a larger operation. Have your employee take a few minutes each week to gather the good and the bad and pass it along to your head of operations. They can then review and distribute the feedback appropriately.

Teach employees to accept the good and the bad

Now that your feedback is to the right person, how can you make the experience a good one? Start by teaching employees the value of feedback whether it’s praise or criticism. When receiving accolades, give appreciation to employees and encourage them to keep up the good work.

Positive feedback can help employees feel acknowledged for a job well done. It can also help you perpetuate what’s working. For example, if you had a customer service experience go right, find out what made the experience successful and then implement those practices more fully within your policies and procedures.

Accepting criticism can be more difficult. Try to help employees understand that criticism is an opportunity to improve. Thomas Keller, famous chef and restaurateur, understood this when one of his restaurants received a poor review from The New York Times. Instead of becoming defensive, he responded graciously and told customers he meant to make all his restaurants better. In his words, “We are not content resting on what we did yesterday. We believe we can do better for ourselves, our profession and most importantly, our guests.”

One way to help employees be more accepting of criticism (and view it as an opportunity to get better) is to lead by example. Consider how you receive feedback—are you reactive? Do you take time to consider the feedback? Your employees will view your reactions and learn from them.

To further encourage employees, invite them to give feedback on your company and seriously consider what feedback you receive and how you might implement suggested changes within your company. Benefits from these changes can often extend to customers as well. Need an example? Disney installed redesigned trash cans after feedback from custodial employees which resulted in a better experience for employees and customers alike.

Initiate change by developing a culture of ownership

Once you have feedback in the hands of the right person, how do you make sure it’s used effectively? The easiest way is to develop a culture of ownership and flexibility among your employees. Allow your employees the opportunity to explore, evaluate and implement changes based on responses from customers.

Do your employees have leeway when it comes to providing customer service? Are they given opportunities to take charge? Can they initiate contests to entertain customers experiencing a prolonged flight delay like this Southwest Airlines gate agent?

Having employees take ownership can have many benefits. To start, employees empowered to make changes themselves might be more invested in their work resulting in better engagement (and therefore retention) with the company. It can also help your customers receive the assistance they’re looking for in a timelier manner resulting in higher satisfaction.

The Takeaway

There are a few companies that often stick out for all the right reasons. In terms of customer service a few immediately come to mind: Chick-fil-A (rated no. 1 in fast food customer service for 4 years running), Southwest Airlines and Disney. Each of these companies takes a unique approach to customer service and customer experience. They also carefully consider feedback received from customers and employees to help make their businesses even better.

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This is a guest post from Rachel Stones of BuiltforTeams.com

About Rachel
Rachel StonesRachel is a writer for  BuiltforTeams.com and focuses on helping small businesses improve and succeed. She offers insight on everything from HR to customer service. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family.

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Thanks to Pixabay for the image.

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