In the heat of battle, customer service professionals want the best tools for the job.
But even the best tool needs to be applied in exactly the right way for any given situation. It may look and feel instinctive in the hands of the experts, but behind it all is a plan.
Once you’ve evaluated and chosen your ultimate customer feedback tool, you need a plan for dealing with all that real-time data.
Information without action is just information
Don’t just collect feedback – you need to act on in straight away. That way, plain old information can be transformed into valuable intelligence that benefits every part of your business.
So, how do you do it? Well, the basic ingredients of your plan will include:
- A customer feedback tool like Customer Thermometer
- Any related tools and dashboards that relate to customer communications, service desk metrics and so on
- The people within your business with the most to learn (and gain) from what your customers are telling you
- Some objectives for what you’re hoping to achieve, laid out so that the team can effectively action them, like this:
The following are hallmarks of feedback response best practice.
Hallmark #1: Collective organizational buy-in
Making the most of your feedback response strategy starts with some senior leadership support that recognizes the potential value of listening to and acting upon what customers say. Go beyond this by deciding which specific departments and business functions can benefit, as well as your organization at large. Involve key stakeholders to determine who will receive reports and alerts, and what SLAs and owners should be assigned – particularly for any negative feedback.
Hallmark #2: Simple, non-disruptive questions
The trend toward omnichannel, ‘conversational’ customer relationships is making interactions more lightweight and ephemeral. So don’t spoil the magic by designing clunky and intrusive response requests ! Your objective should be to maximize the response rate, thereby ensuring the most representative and trustworthy sample of your customer base. Do this by setting single-question surveys, and employing a graphical/emoji response mechanism so that customers give you instant, gut-feel feedback.
Hallmark #3: Making customers feel valued for giving feedback
Giving feedback should be made effortless. Even so, customers may still feel they did you a favor by engaging and deserve an acknowledgement. In other instances, their feedback may be urgent or serious. The best practice approach is to have at least a stock response ready depending on the feedback category – excellent, good, OK or poor. Be careful to get the tone right, based on the context of the situation. You can do this by testing with a small pilot group of customers, or even role-playing internally.
Hallmark #4: Seamless system integrations that allow data to be visualized instantly and manipulated easily
Out-of-the-box integrations with monitoring dashboards, service desks and CRM platforms ensure you track customer feedback trends and accelerate ROI. How you share and process information is key to getting the most out of your customer feedback tool. Target processes that automate real-time insights into communications flows and allow you to quickly escalate ‘hot’ feedback where necessary.
Hallmark #5: A learning culture in tune with real-time market requirements
What is the point of listening to customer feedback if you aren’t ready to accept that the customer knows best? Organizations following feedback response best practice are committed to using it for improving their products, not just their customer service operations. A steady stream of ‘voice of the customer’ truth reflects the latest market dynamics and equips you to take competitive advantage.
Hallmark #6: Happy, motivated customer-facing personnel
Real-time feedback is a great way of rewarding and incentivizing your front-line people. It also provides precious marketing ammunition in the form of fresh customer testimonials. Just 30 days’ worth of customer feedback can positively influence internal training programs so that new starters are equipped to deal with customer challenges in the best way possible.
Market insights to boost your competitiveness
There is a river of customer feedback out there ready to flow into every part of your business. Quench your thirst for market intelligence by putting real-time customer feedback tools in place, together with an effective feedback response engine.
Based on the Customer Thermometer team’s experience with leading organizations, we’ve pulled together a feedback response best practice planner for you to fill out with your team. Here’s the free planner template:
Apply the planner to your own organization and let us know the results!