Feedback from clients and customers offers many benefits to a business. In public forums, it generates buzz and promotes your brand by word of mouth. Internally, it helps improve customer service protocols, product modifications or introductions, manufacturing processes, employee training and more.
Deciding What Feedback You Want
Whether you plan to send out a survey to retail consumers or have a face-to-face with your business client, you need to know what questions you’ll be asking. User experience factors could include:
- How they found your business
- Product quality
- Product availability
- Customer service issues
- Delivery time
- Site navigation
- Suggestions for improvement
The questions you ask will also be determined by your company’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) — for both the overall business and specific departments. Metrics should be established to determine whether the feedback is at an acceptably positive level, or needs to be addressed.
Getting Feedback — B2C
Asking for a review of your products and services is now expected by most consumers. Digital channels make the process easy for them and affordable for you.
Ways to request feedback include:
- On the online order confirmation page
- In a post-sale email
- When a shopping cart is abandoned
- On the purchase receipt
- Through an online or emailed survey
- On your social media pages
Unsolicited feedback should also be monitored. Regularly check comments on your website and social media pages, as well as review sites such as Yelp (rates service businesses) and GlassDoor (rates employers).
Getting Feedback — B2B
To protect your relationship with business clients, it’s best to take a personalized approach rather than sending out a generic survey. Doing so will also help increase response and your sample size.
Customize your feedback request with:
- Targeted survey or interview questions that are relevant to that client
- Client-specific rules for when/how each should be contacted
- Identifying the right person within the organization to contact
- Implementation by your sales and customer support teams
Improve response rates from your B2B clients by soliciting feedback less frequently than you would with end consumers. As a general rule, keep it down to once or twice per year for the overall relationship and once per month for transactional surveys.
You need enough response — usually around 30% — to generate statistically significant results. Other measures you can take to increase response are:
- Stress that their input will be valuable to their future experience with you
- Give them advance notice of the feedback collection
- Follow up with non-responders
Initiating real change within your company will require participation from every level. Simply sending out the analysis of the information gathered is not enough.
Next steps are:
- Areas for improvement are prioritized based on criteria such as lowest KPI, worst performance relative to the competition or highest impact on customer satisfaction
- Root causes of negative feedback are analyzed
- Customer-advocate committee suggests remedial actions and assesses them for feasibility
- An action plan is developed
- Responsibilities for implementation are assigned
- Individual employees are given understanding of the new procedures specific to both their role and their team as a whole
- Improvements being made are communicated back to clients (and in some situations the public), demonstrating that the company genuinely cares about their opinions
One further note about the customer-advocate committee. At Integrity, we have found that it’s critical to break down intra-company silos and put together a cross-department team that represents every stage of the customer’s journey.