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How to encourage customer feedback

Shannon Ah Tow / August 12, 2022

Your reputation should matter to you as a business, especially across all channels that you exist on. Thankfully, the power lies within your organization whether you have received positive or negative feedback from your customers. The upside is when you do in fact receive word about your products and services as it provides a fairly insightful guide that demonstrates whether you are matching the expectation that your brand aims at delivering or if it’s falling at the waist side. But what about the reviews that fall on deaf ears? What if your customers are not sharing anything with you? How would you navigate a path as such? Well, firstly by asking your guests to share more with you. In this post, we explore the ways and means of encouraging more guest insights into their time with you.

What’s so important about customer feedback?

Customer feedback is crucial across all sectors, particularly in 2022, and is ongoing as a result of the data revolution. Companies now have access to an abundance of data from their customers and users, and when customers provide their thoughts on their experiences they expect you to use it. That means curating personalized experiences, meeting expectations, and tailoring your service with precision. Still, there is always room to do better, and how do you know which improvements to make? Well, by incorporating customer feedback into your development process, what lies ahead are some tips in hopes of driving more feedback across your business. 

1. Train your staff to interact with your customers

Irrespective of how times have evolved – more so within a digital sense, real-life personal relationships are still and will always be the strongest form of bond between any two people. It’s imperative to train your staff in guest relationships, nurture them and encourage them not to be shy to interact with customers. The most important factor is timing – do not try to engage with the guests if they are rushing, it’s important to read the energy of your guests,  or just seem like they’re in a bad mood. The guest relationship is a very important factor especially in the service industry, increasing your positive guest experience will boost your chances of them leaving feedback. 

2. Begin with an open-ended question

Open-end questions are a terrific opportunity to apply your test-and-learn strategy of continuous improvement, how do you otherwise know you’re improving your efforts? The best thing you can do is to experiment with different questions over time to see what produces the most valuable feedback, that will further allow for more fluid engagement. Only you and your organization will know best what’s relevant, more specifically if recurring mentions of certain products or kinks in your service delivery keep coming up. An open-ended question is simply a prompt for more detailed responses.

3. Be responsive and engage with the feedback you receive

Your window of time to engage a customer is slim. If you wait too long to follow up, it tells customers you don’t care about their input or simply aren’t paying attention. And that’s all the ammo an unhappy customer needs before they cancel services or smear your reputation online. Make it a point to respond to feedback within 24 hours. Just acknowledging feedback can buy you more time to repair the relationship. And it shows the customer you’re ready and willing to do what it takes to retain them. While the need is less urgent in the case of positive feedback, it’s still important to show customers appreciation when they go out of their way to praise you. Plus, engaging with customers after a positive experience means more opportunities to capitalize on it.

4. Collect feedback and action it in real-time

Real-time customer feedback is valuable because it helps your business understand the mistakes that lead to customer dissatisfaction. You also get to know the things that your company is doing well, right away. It draws on present behaviors, looks forward, and promotes a coaching culture that will help employees achieve their full potential and a feeling of accomplishment when they’ve received word of good service. On the other hand, the company gets to understand how its products and services are performing against ever-changing customer expectations. 

If you want to stay on top of things you should put your customers at the center of your business and treat their feedback as the most valuable source of information in your company. They are the ones who use your products and services, which means they have a pretty sound idea of the quality of it, what could be improved and ultimately make them happy. 

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