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by Ali Moghadam on 13th November 2013
Hi guys. Ali here at Koozai. I’m just going to talk to you today about customer feedback. To start, let’s look at why it’s so important to get feedback from your customers.
Good feedback is great. It gives you an opportunity to showcase yourself. You can use them as testimonials, and also just a bit of a morale booster and a way to promote yourself further on your site, with social media, and things like that as well.
Negative feedback can be a bit upsetting at first, but it is great to get that as well because it gives you an idea of where you’re going wrong or where you might be able to improve. Without any scape for improvement, you’re probably just going to plateau and never get any better or anything, so it’s good to have that. Don’t be dismayed by it.
So yeah, it’s a really important thing to get, and unlike before, in the olden times before the Internet, there wasn’t any sort of direct method of getting through apart from the phone. I’m going to look at ways that you can get customer feedback now and before the Internet came along, and also how social media will come into that too. We’ll also talk about how to deal with the more difficult customers out there.
How can you get feedback? There are the traditional methods, which are tried and tested, getting someone on the end of the phone, possibly more than likely they’re going to be making a complaint. But that’s okay. Obviously, you can handle that directly there and then. You can’t really shy away from it. It’s going to happen.
You used to be able to get post as well. I’m sure you still can get post. But back in older times it was more of a standard issue thing to get post and complaints. Some sort of people, the older generation, still do use post quite a lot.
Another way is people just walking into your store. It’s not really quite common for staff at stores to record in-store complaints. I’ve worked in retail myself. It’s usually just sort of a case of oh dear and deal with it on the spot and do your best with it and do what you can. But obviously, if someone comes into your physical location and you run a store or a service out of it, it’s a good idea to record those complaints as well. They can go unnoticed. But if someone’s coming into your store to report something, you should really just deal with it there as well and record it so you know you’ve got future reference for that.
Now there is obviously the online element, which we’re going to focus on really. You can solve it just using email when you use social media which we’ll get onto a bit more. There are also feedback forms that you can use. There are loads of options out there.
A lot of places, they use customer surveys and this sort of thing, sometimes with a prize attached. You’ve probably seen the surveys that you can win £1,000 just by filling out the customer feedback. Those are usually really long, really specific. It might not apply to all of your customers. Of course, it’s great to do it, but the turnout phase won’t always be so high. I know myself, I have been offered those and I’ve rarely completed them. Even though there’s an opportunity to win a grand, not everyone’s going to go for it because it’s just a long process. Everyone knows it’s a long process.
How can you shorten it? If you just go as simple as possible, there will be no room for error. Obviously, it might not go in depth. You might not get the specifics. But what’s really more important is the overall feel that people have. So I’d suggest using like a five stars out of five scoring system, because everyone understands that just from the off looking at it. How would you rate this business? Just leave a little comments box below for them to give their thoughts on what was good or what was bad, or if they’re indifferent and why, and what can be done to improve it.
It’s sort of a universal language that everyone understands. You see a star scoring system, you understand it straightaway. People are more likely to do it. It gives you this brilliant overview straightaway. You don’t have to sift through form after form. It’s a nice, positive, easy way of doing it. You can see from a mile off if you’ve got loads of bad, low star counts or loads of high ones and you’re doing great. You can showcase those. It’s a good sort of overall overview that you can do that.
Obviously, just keep the old channels open as well. Use email. Use social media. Use the phone. Use your walk-ins. Anything like that that you can have at your disposal is great. Just keep all the channels open and just try and make the process as simple as you can.
With social media, it’s a bit trickier because that’s a public forum. Everyone on there can see what’s going on.
Let’s say you have something on there that’s far from desirable, negative reviews and negative feedback. You need to deal with that as quickly as possible, but also try and be amicable. If it can’t go that way, then try your best to bring that conversation private. Offer them an email address. Offer them a phone number. Try and take it out of the public domain.
Obviously, if they’re not willing to do that, it’s okay. You can demonstrate and showcase that you’re responsive and that you are willing to listen to your customer even if it’s on a public platform. Responding to that quickly and obviously with the right sort of tact is going to paint you in a positive light. No matter how much mud-slinging goes on from the unhappy party’s side, you’ll still have that responsive action and that positive overview from everyone else.
If things get quite ugly and it becomes a troll situation, try not to engage with that. Obviously, don’t get embroiled in anything that’s just going to drag your reputation down. Just stay on top of it and do your best.
If you are faced with a difficult customer, then try and understand that that person is going to have some pretty strong feelings if their product or their service wasn’t up to scratch. They’re going to want to express that.
Try and put yourselves in their shoes. I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but it is something that you want to consider. If that was you, you’d probably be upset as well. So just try and keep on top of that. Deal with that person on a human level and interact in the kindest way you possibly can.
If there’s no getting out of it and it just seems to be spiralling, there’s no shame in bowing out respectfully. As long as you’ve done your best and you’ve done your bit and you’re satisfied with the level of service you’ve given, you can’t really ask for much more than that.
In summary of everything, why is it important? It tells you where you’ve been, where you’re going, and how you can improve your business further so you get off of that plateau and you can start moving up again.
How can you get it? Keep all platforms open. Be as responsive as possible. Keep things simple. Don’t expect essays in response from your customers. Just a simple scoring system and a comment is all you really need.
Don’t try and quantify your customers’ emotions. Let them tell you in their own words what they think of your business because that’s going to be a lot more valuable in the end than stats and figures because you can have something you can actually relate to on a human level. That’s what customer service is all about really.[With] difficult customers, so to speak, do your best. Don’t get carried away. Don’t get embroiled in an ongoing argument. Just be happy that the service that you’ve given is 100% every time. You can’t really go wrong.
Thank you very much for watching. For more information, just visit the social profiles seen at the end of this video.
Ali is experienced in working with SEO and Social Media, helping businesses find their voice in competitive markets. He loves digital media and finding innovative uses for it, with a keen interest in how creativity on the internet can help shape success.