Customer Feedback, and why it really matters

February 21, 2017

There’s a saying in the service industry, or any business dealing with people: “the customer is always right”. Your mileage may vary on how true you think that adage is, but how your customers or clients view your business, whether it’s going the right direction or not, is what keeps your business afloat.

Valuable customer service tends to reap rewards far more than what you put into it. Simply knowing what needs improvement is extremely important to the future growth of your company. There are a lot of ways to get this information from customers: the less time-consuming and intrusive they are, the more likely someone will answer it.

It doesn’t have to be all complaints, either. Some customers are more than willing to provide suggestions on what should be added to your services. Some of them may even advocate for your company over others due to exceptional service. This word-of-mouth marketing is key to gaining more customers, since a positive customer testimonial is inherently more trustworthy than a company trying to promote itself.

Some companies mistakenly assume that people will use their services regardless, perhaps due to a lack of competition or offering a product that no-one else does. These companies tend to get bogged down in complacency when competing companies or new tech comes along, and gets swallowed by the wave of change. Staying relevant and maintaining a valuable relationship with your customers is keeps your company alive.

Even worse, some companies outright ignore what customers have to say, even when they’re legitimate concerns and complaints that reflect badly on the company. These customers can then do a number of things: Complain on customer advocacy websites, leave your services and try a competing service, or even legal action if the complaint is especially grievous.

So how do you get that information from customers?

Some customers simply aren’t interested with telling your company if they like it or not, but this is usually because there’s nothing to complain about. People that do are usually limited by how much time and effort it takes, so keep your surveys short enough to be finished in a quick 10 minute break or so. Giving people a short novel-sized survey will just make them ignore it, as they have better things to do.

Maybe a questionnaire will be a better choice, if you can condense your questions so that they make sense with checkboxes. Questionnaires don’t take long to fill out and they require minimal effort, but the outcome might be too vague to get useful information from it.

Many organisations who can afford it have turned to phone apps to receive complaints or suggestions, such as our Ask SID App. A customer could send your company a picture of whatever’s bothering them, or simply type it out and sent it back to that company instantaneously, instead of filling out a survey and posting it or handing it back.

How you do it is up to you, but remember that customers are more than willing to help your company, even if it comes in the form of a complaint.

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