Feedback is crucial in understanding if what you are setting out to do is working for your customer. Your customers opinions are the best resource for improving customer experience and adjusting your actions to their needs.
It is no surprise that top performing companies understand the role customer feedback plays in business. It is important to consistently listen to what your customers think. Whether this is on social media, through review sites (unprompted) or through feedback surveys you send to your clients (prompted). If you want to stay ahead of competition you should never stop listening to customer feedback whether it is positive or negative, prompted or unprompted.
What insights can I get?
Customer feedback is an insight into what is working well about your product or service and what should be done to make the experience better. You might have the best expertise in the industry in which your company operates, but your professional knowledge will never be more valuable to business performance than customer insights. Their opinions help you ensure that the end service will actually meet their expectations, solve their problems and fulfill their needs.
Your own perception of how strong your customer journey or experience is may not be correct.
80% of CEOs think their companies deliver a great customer experience but only 8% of their customers agree(Forbes, Customer Experience is the New Brand)
If you believe you offer a great customer experience you shouldn’t be scared to ask for feedback to back that up. If you want to know you offer a great customer experience then feedback is the only way to do this.
Feedback can help you understand where the process went well such as the report being very clear and informative as well as where it wasn’t quite as good – maybe it was hard to get hold of you for information. There may be one off issues but if a certain point is raised a few times then it is clear that this is something that requires attention. Your overall rating will also help you to gauge if your level of service is where you think it is. Sure there might be some great reviews and there might be a bad one. But on average are we nearer 5 stars or nearer 3 stars? The average score will show you where you are sitting.
What impact does it have on my bottom line?
If you don’t collect customer feedback or try and justify every negative comment that comes through your business won’t progress. In fact, it will likely start moving backwards as others make advances.
Customer satisfaction is a crucial factor that determines a company’s financial performance. It is directly linked to many benefits, from increased market share, lower costs, or higher revenue. Customers that loved your service will happily recommend you to others. A recommendation from a friend offers a lot of weight when someone is making a decision about whether to use you or not.
In the era of social media, customers look to others to see if a company is as good as it says it is. Do the reviews match the glamour of the website and sales pitch? When you book a hotel you look for reviews on TripAdvisor. When you buy a product on Amazon you check out the product reviews to find out if it is as good as it looks.
88% of consumers are influenced by online customer service reviews when making a buying decision (Zendesk).
Therefore if your service is as good as you know it to be, it is important you show potential customers that is the case. If a customer is asked to make a decision between your company with no reviews available and another company that has a long list of positive responses, many consumers would follow the safety of the trodden path. We are risk-averse creatures.
Collecting feedback provides two key benefits. One you can understand if what you are doing is having the desired outcome for customers and where you can make small changes to offer a better experience.
Making these changes and receiving better reviews then helps to influence more customers that you are the right firm to choose. There is a reason large firms put a huge emphasis on getting customers to take the time to write a review. Good reviews are good for business.