Asking For Feedback: Solicitation Or Just Plain Smart?

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A few months ago I started to notice I was receiving notes of good feedback from customers about a couple agents in particular.  Incidentally seeing good feedback is something I love about my job.  It took me a while to catch on to the fact that our agents were sending something to the effect of:

“If I have provided you with excellent customer service, please feel free to email my boss and let him know.”  

Of course they throw caution to the wind and spread my email address like wildfire.  Even my co-blogger, Jenny has included a message like that in her email footer.

Slowly but surely the other agents are catching onto this practice.  For a while there I would forward every email to the team to celebrate success but it’s starting to become a full time job.  Inbox management is difficult enough as it is.  Can I get an AMEN?  I have since started compiling everything into a weekly report loaded with the good feedback along with a little message from me highlighting a simple way we can improve in customer service for that week.  I call it the “Communicate Better Report.”  Catchy huh?

I have a few thoughts on this practice I would like to highlight:

From the CSR Perspective:
  • Any smart customer service representative should be doing this!  More good feedback that highlights your performance?  It’s a no brainer.
  • Be consistent and never be pushy! If a customer doesn’t give you feedback, that’s ok.  That should not affect the level of service you deliver.
  • Find out who praised you and send them a thank you note. Any time someone makes you look good to your boss, you should definitely thank them, send them flowers, name your first kid after them, etc.  Be creative!
  • Be genuinely happy for your coworkers. If we are truly building a culture of great customer service, there will be plenty of praise to go around.  Congratulate your coworkers on a job well done.
From the Management Perspective:
  • Monitor the requests for feedback. You should monitor agents for quality to make sure their request for feedback is not pushy or rude.
  • This should NOT be your only feedback source. Don’t assume your CSRs are going to send their canned response to an angry or unsatisfied customer.  You should still send separate feedback surveys.  The more sources of customer feedback the better.
  • Celebrate! What’s the old saying?  For one critique you need to say ten nice things about someone.  This is certainly fuel for that.  Take a moment to praise your star customer service representatives for a job well done.  A good customer service team should be celebrating often.  Fortunately, we have much reason at Phone.com.
  • Be Creative! When you celebrate, mix it up or the praise will just become noise and get stale.
  • Thank The Customer. We have made it a habit to respond to every piece of feedback good or bad thanking for the good and addressing the bad.

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