This story is a version of a post published here.
Here’s why your customer feedback programme is not giving the results you need!
There is no denying the fact that customer feedback is an important tool to measure and improve customer experience. In the old times, when there was no internet or phone, astute businessmen would know all of their customers by name and would pickup cues about their experience in each interaction. They never got their customers to fill a survey but used each interaction to improve customer experience and build loyalty. Today, when business owners/leaders don’t even see or talk to their customers directly, it has become extremely important to collect customer feedback through surveys. Interestingly, almost every business is collecting customer feedback these days. Then why are customers still unhappy!?
Here are 4.5 reasons why customer feedback isn’t helping you improve customer experience:
Asking too much, too frequently
Not being prepared
Missing the why
Not investing in technology
A lot of companies are killing their customers out of feedback fatigue. Asking for feedback too frequently is not a great idea, and asking too many questions is even worse. I always say “keep market research separate from customer experience feedback.” Secondly, it’s important to build a business logic around who to seek feedback from and how frequently. If someone responds to a survey, don’t send another feedback invite for next 15 or 30 days. Instead, focus on closing the loop and engaging the customer on the feedback provided.
Several organisations have been caught unprepared when they kicked off their customer feedback programme. The sheer amount of work that ensues once feedback starts coming can derail the whole programme. It is important that organisations plan for that work, establish route to recovery for unhappy customers, and train their employees to be able to respond promptly and correctly to customer feedback. Without these minimums, customer experience is only going to get worse if the company doesn’t handle the feedback satisfactorily.
It is easy not to see the wood for the trees once customers start complaining. Companies loose sight of the reason why they are collecting customer feedback – to resolve customer issues and improve customer feedback. Once customer feedback starts going negative, the first reaction is to find someone to put the blame on and it’s only human to do that. That’s where top management’s support is critical. Instead of whipping everyone for the bad customer feedback, top management should get everyone to focus on fixing those issues and improving the customer experience.
Customer feedback management is a huge task! Many companies believe they can manage out of excel sheets and manual email sending. You might think that this is a cheap solution, but the problem with that is people getting engrossed in collating, analyzing, and reporting the responses instead of spending time closing the loop and fixing customer issues. On top of it, there is room for human error – both intentional and unintentional, in such manual method. Again, the goal of improving customer experience gets lost in the effort in managing customer feedback.
The final half: not sharing the feedback internally
It is supremely important that customer feedback is shared openly throughout the organisation. It’s the best way to get everyone involved in improving customer experience.
Would be great to hear your feedback and comments on some of the other reasons why customer feedback is not working for you.