Forget the meal, how was your steak?
OPTIMISING FEEDBACK IS VITAL IF YOU WANT TO BE A TRULY CUSTOMER- CENTRIC BUSINESS. BUT JUST ASKING FOR FEEDBACK ISN’T ENOUGH, SAYS MAT WYLIE.
HAVE YOU EVER
gone into a store and wished you could give feedback, but just find it’s too hard? Giving feedback in person seems a bit daunting; otherwise you have to find the store on social media, call them up, or answer a long survey that seems to ask the same questions in slightly different ways. All of which are inconvenient and take too much time (unless you REALLY have something you want to get off your chest).
So why do we make it so hard for our customers to give feedback? And how could we be making it easier?
PAY ATTENTION TO ATTENTION SPANS
We all know how our ability to focus has reduced in modern times, thanks largely to the onslaught of digital technology. Apparently we now have a shorter attention span than goldfish! Therefore it makes sense that if you’re wanting something from your customers, you should be aiming to get it from them in the shortest time possible. If you make someone take a 20-minute survey when you know how busy people are, it can show a certain lack of awareness of how customers prefer to interact. Not to mention, it can be pretty tiresome for the person you’re interrogating!
If, instead, you were to ask one question that can be answered in a variety of ways and starts conversation, you’re opening the door to more honest feedback without getting in your customer's way.
Let’s look at an example we all experience regularly – a waiter at a restaurant doesn’t come and ask if your steak was cooked to your liking, or how the sauce tasted, or whether the potatoes were crunchy enough. Instead, they ask an openended question about how you’re finding the meal. That gives you the opportunity to let them know whether or not you’re enjoying your meal, without having to spend a long time talking to them (especially when all you really want to do is eat).
KEEP IT OPEN
We are influenced by a number of factors in our environment; often we don’t know quite why we make a decision or behave in a certain way. As such, we often need open questions that probe us to want to explain why we think something, as opposed to just adding a tick in a box.
With the right probe, people are more likely to open up. For example, asking ‘did you enjoy your experience?’ may solicit a ‘ yes’ or ‘no’ response, but opening it up and asking ‘how could we make your experience better?’ is likely to create more of a conversation and help customers feel like they’re being listened to.
IMPROVE YOUR RESPONSIVENESS
How awkward is it when someone asks you to do something and it never seems to go anywhere? That’s often what happens with market research. A company sends through a long questionnaire and half the time it’s questionable whether the answers have been read.
By utilising real-time customer feedback software, businesses can instead receive instant, actionable feedback. This can enable you to respond faster to your customers and actually do something with the feedback. You can contact the customer while it is fresh in their minds and see if there is anything you can do to make their experience better – before they have a chance to tell others about their negative experience.
It helps them feel valued, looked after, and like their feedback actually meant something.
To be truly customer-centric, just asking for feedback isn’t enough. Being customer driven means focusing on continuous improvement – something that is only possible if you are consistently seeking out validated and instant feedback.
You’re giving your customers a better way of sharing how they found their experience, while simultaneously measuring your company and staff’s performance.
The result? Happier customers and feedback you can really use.