Exceptional customer experience is the biggest differentiator a brand can build. Customer feedback plays a critical role in understanding what the customers are saying about this experience being delivered to them.
But collecting customer feedback is just the tip of the iceberg. The real merit is in deriving actionable insights and taking action on this feedback.
To act upon this, you need to ensure that you’re building trustworthy data. Data that truly tells you what your customers feel in doing business with you.
“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”- Damon Richards
Your customer feedback may be providing insights that you can act upon. A common trend however observed is that a lot of companies are spending countless hours in debating on the validity of this survey score.The fear is understandable. If the data is a farce, the whole process that you went through to collect this data is a waste and all your resources on solving them goes down the drain.
Hold on, it’s not the end of the world yet.
You might be wondering on how to exactly go about building this ‘trustworthy data’?
The idea is to build a holistic listening strategy and look at all possible channels of information which give you a true picture of the experience being delivered to customers.
Here are 5 channels for listening to the voice of customer and building trustworthy data:
1. Walk the talk
“A professional is the one who understands how his industry works,” says Angela Megasko.
Do you know yours that well?
There can be no better way than presenting yourself as a customer. Try and make a transaction in your business and see how your business responds. It could be a new sales request or a service request or even a complaint. It will help you understand how your customers are feeling when doing business with you and how empathetically does your business respond to your customer’s needs.
2. Complaints and Suggestions
Think of your customer complaints as customer feedback for your business. Use a customer complaint as an opportunity to learn more about where are you failing in your business and what can you do stop this from recurring in future. If managed well, this customer complaint could actually be an opportunity to turn around a customer from a detractor to a promoter.
After all, they took the effort to actually let to you where things failed than just keeping quite about it and never come back to you for your product or service.
3. Online Reviews
These are an amazing opportunity to understand what moves your customers the most. Things that they are vocal and talking actively in their social network about. While it’s important to address these concerns on the social platforms itself as news spreads like fire. It is also important to consolidate the feedback customers are giving along with other channels of feedback so you build a holistic view rather than just fire fighting for one off cases of customer complaints.
4. Feature requests
Witnessing user behaviour of your product or service can be eye opening. At times we envision our product’s use in a certain way and believe that it is the most efficient way of accomplishing desired results. The test however is when the rubber hits the road and the you see the product in use by your customers. Based on how your customer’s usage pattern your product you may want explore if there is a better way to accomplish the same results. The feedback can be accommodated in future product releases.
5. In person meetings
Face to face meetings are never going out of fashion. Personally I am huge fan of these. The human touch to a conversation sends out a message that you really care. These meetings take your relationships to the next level and when you have successfully taken a relationship to the next level your customers share with you insights which they never would have otherwise.
I was amazed to hear a story from a friend who shared that he had built a good rapport with a customer and met a couple of times outside work in an informal setup. During one such meetings, the customer who was more like a professional friend now shared that he felt my friend was under charging for his service. This invaluable feedback not only helped my friend generate higher profits, but his self image also went up!
The end result of taking up these activities is to be able to see similar trends in customer reactions.
Looking at data gathered from the above sources help you conclude on what the customers are saying. It validates your assumptions on your business.
And finally, you can take up activities by developing a holistic approach that would be favorable for your business.
Would you like to build a holistic listening strategy for your business so you can build a crystal clear understanding of what your customers want?
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