Here’s What You Can Learn from Even the Craziest Customer Feedback

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When you use the phrase “capturing the voice of the customer”, many immediately think you’re referencing a survey designed for direct feedback. But today there are more channels than ever for the customer to engage with brands. Although survey feedback can be nicely packaged and easy to digest, it’s important to make sure you’re listening to customers in all of the many ways they give feedback.

An angry customer screaming over the phone or making a complaint on social media may seem like a lost cause, but even the most eye-bulging, head-scratching feedback can offer some wisdom. Taking a look at some of the more…colorful feedback we’ve seen on the Clarabridge platform, you’ll see some examples of how seeming coals of customer feedback can be transformed into diamonds of insight.

1. Your Brand Has a Story, So Do Your Customers

As a brand, you have two stories – the one you share outwardly with your customers and the one that happens behind the scenes – the day to day narrative of running a business (ideally, these stories mirror one another and are grounded in a bedrock of brand values).

Knowing all the hard work that goes into that behind-the-scenes story, it can be easy to quickly feel frustrated when a customer is unhappy, but it’s important to keep in mind that the customer also has two stories. There is the story they are communicating to your brand about their concerns, but there is also the behind-the-scenes story. It’s often too easy to forget in transactional conversations that the person on the other end is a human with a rich history of their own. Customer experience professionals should always keep in mind the path the customer took before appearing on your brand’s customer journey map. In doing so, you will lead with empathy and customers will feel cared for, even in situations that are difficult.

2. Always Track Market Trends

Jumping on a trendy bandwagon or attempting to join the latest fad when it has nothing to do with your brand can lead to unsavory results. (See McDonald’s recent attempt to recognize International Women’s Day by flipping their golden arches). This absolutely does not mean, however, that you should turn a blind eye to market trends. Keeping your brand’s DNA at the heart of all your decisions, you should stay in touch with what is en vogue to ensure you remain aligned with larger shifts in the public consciousness. For example, after the tragic school shooting in Florida, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart both heard the public outcry against assault rifle sales and decided to stop selling the weapons. Keeping in tune with their brands, they didn’t ban gun sales altogether, but they did make a change that reflected a larger paradigm shift happening across the country.

3. Every Moment Counts

There is never a moment in a customer’s journey that should not be considered an opportunity to delight and impress. Even as in the case seen above of a customer ending a membership, we see an example of a brand doing everything they can to ensure customer satisfaction. While they may have lost this customer for the immediate future, it’s far more likely they will return down the line, not to mention the word of mouth recommendations he or she is likely to give. Don’t miss an opportunity to provide a great customer experience, regardless of the circumstance.

4. Call Center Feedback Notes are Filtered Through Agents

For many businesses, call centers are still operating on a system where agents are instructed to select a single reason for a customer’s call, take note of what happened on the call, and resolve the issue as fast as humanly possible. And while I could write pages and pages as to why that system is antiquated and unhelpful, I’ll keep it to this: an agent’s notes on a call are not the same as capturing the voice of the customer. Though certainly trained and trusted to do their job well, agents are people and people are imperfect. If you truly want to get to know your consumers and their needs, you have to capture their authentic voices on the channels they prefer in their language of choice. Getting information second hand through an agent just doesn’t cut it.

5. The Little Things Matter

In the same vein of “Every Moment Counts,” there is no detail so small that it doesn’t deserve to be thought of as important to your brand’s success. Sure, some things may be more crucial than others and lend themselves to a greater ROI (excellent customer service with a sub-par product still leaves consumers unimpressed). But taking every detail seriously shows you take both your brand and the happiness of your customers seriously.

Apple’s tremendous success can in part be attributed to taking the little things seriously. From the seamless design of their packaging, to the famous attention to detail on the color of an app icon, to the effortless UX of their operating systems, they have mastered the act of perfecting even the tiniest details. And it’s paid off. Regardless of competitors entering the market with similar, more affordable gadgets, their fanbase stays loyal. The little things truly do matter.

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