As you know, ReviewTrackers is all about helping you listen to the voice of your customers. But all the listening in the world won’t help your business improve unless you turn the feedback into action. The process of measuring, analyzing and acting on customer sentiment — known as a customer feedback loop — is at the heart of any effective improvement plan for your business.
Monitoring review sites like Facebook, Google, and Yelp is an excellent way to start the process. At ReviewTrackers, we are continually searching for new sources of customer reviews and adding new features to help you better capture what your customers are saying online.
“Moments of Truth”
You should also consider surveying your customers at significant points in your interaction with them. A December 2009 Harvard Business Review article entitled Closing the Customer Feedback Loop states that “the most important interactions [with a customer] are ‘moments of truth,’ those relatively few points of contact that hold the greatest potential to delight — or alienate — an organization’s customers.”
“Moments of truth” tend to vary based on the type and size of your business. For a sit-down restaurant, the service during the meal is an obvious “moment of truth.”
But what about the time customers spend waiting to be seated? do customers feel welcomed, do they have a comfortable place to wait while a table is readied, and are they kept informed of the expected wait time? If the experience when a customer walks in the door is bad, that customer may leave before they’re even seated.
Understanding those “moments of truth” for your business helps you measure and monitor the right inflection points for feedback. The process of sketching out these moments of truth is usually referred to as a customer journey map. The idea of building a journey map is outside the scope of this article, but we’ll cover it in more detail in future newsletters.
Analyzing, responding to, and acting on feedback
Once you’ve collected a significant number of data points related to those moments of truth, you can step back and analyze what the data tells you.
If customers provide very specific feedback about their experience — let’s say they provide very positive feedback about the person delivering the service, or complain about the quality of the service — you should respond immediately to the feedback. The response shouldn’t be defensive or angry, but should rather thank the customer for their feedback and seek to understand the situation. I’ve seen many cases where a follow-up call on a bad survey can end up completely changing a customer’s opinion of a business.
Beyond that, look at the data you’re receiving in aggregate and see what it tells you. Sometimes the best feedback only comes from stepping back and looking at trends that run through customer responses.
One of our customers, a nationwide chain of restaurants, began analyzing their customer feedback and found that one of their restaurants had a dish that got a lot of negative comments — even though this dish was a best-seller for the chain’s other restaurant locations. They analyzed the ingredients used and the way the dish was cooked in this new restaurant and made several changes to it. Sales of this dish shot up immediately, as did the level of customer satisfaction.
The final part of acting on customer feedback is to communicate the changes you’ve made. If a comment — good or bad — is specific to a single customer, acknowledge their feedback and let them know what changes you’re prepared to make it right (or to keep the service great) for them. You can also use things like your customer newsletter, advertising, etc., to let customers know en masse about changes you’re making to your business based on what they told you. Showing customers that you heard and acted on their feedback is one of the most powerful ways to build your base of loyal customers.
Great news: We’re adding new surveys to our process!
Here at ReviewTrackers we have decided to follow our own advice on the customer feedback loop.
As an initial step, starting in March 2017, our Customer Success team will be sending out a short survey to gauge your level of satisfaction after we close out a technical support request with you.
The survey, which we’ll send out via email, allows you to indicate whether you were satisfied or dissatisfied with how your issue was resolved. If you were not satisfied with the resolution of your request, you’ll have an opportunity to tell us why.
Please know that I will receive and read every survey response. If you are dissatisfied with the resolution of your request, for any reason, I’ll reach out to see what we can do to make things right. In future editions of our monthly newsletter, I’ll provide updates on what we’re hearing from our surveys and what we are doing based on the feedback.
We will also conduct a semi-annual relationship survey with all our customers. This will provide you with the opportunity to give us more in-depth feedback on how we’re doing as a business and how we can improve. You’ll hear more about this relationship survey in our next newsletter.
Your feedback is very valuable to the Customer Success team and to our company. Please help us provide the best service possible by letting us know what you think, good or bad. Feel free to contact me directly with any feedback on our processes, our product, or the team. You can reach us at email@example.com. Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you.