Is customer service a department in your company? Is customer feedback something you have just heard about? In today’s economical environment, customer feedback is indeed important and should be alive and working in all progressive companies, large and small, private or public.
When we talk about customer service, it should not simply be a term or a department, but rather an attitude and a manner of doing business. Customer feedback boils down to caring for your customers.
For the past three weeks now, we have been dealing with the importance of customer feedback. We have been dealing with the different tools available for all business owners in getting feedback from their customers.
Two weeks ago, we talked about the suggestion box and feedback forms.
In last week’s article, we gave the advantages of using Customer Satisfaction Forms and doing frequent customer surveys. I hope you have at least one of those tools already existing in your business.
This week, I would like to share with you three other tools of getting your customer’s feedback.
This is an innovative way of getting customers’ real perception of service. When you decide to mystery shop your business, it means that you are ready to have the customer tell you exactly how they perceive the products and services you are offering.
We, at Shei and Consulting, for instance, propose trained individuals who come to your business as potential and real customers to experience and measure the processes of service delivery.
Mystery shoppers are able to fit your real customer’s profile. They are able to put themselves in the customers’ shoes to see the services that are offered to them.
After their visit, mystery shoppers are able to send you a detailed and objective report right from their perception of the cleanliness of your environment down to the professionalism of the staff they talk to.
As the real objective of this tool is to help you see the exact areas that need improvement, mystery shopping is an excellent way of helping your people see through a mirror what their customers see.
Customer complaints analysis
We can all agree without doubt that today businesses that really listen to their customers have the edge over their competitors.
Every complaint offers you an opportunity to gain insight into the customer, their perceptions and their needs.
You should therefore be happy to receive your customers’ complaints. It is a favour they do to you when they tell their complaints.
Your employees have an important role in this complaint analysis. Your staff hear more of your customers’ complaints. Your front line staff see, hear and observe more than a survey online will ever tell.
Put in place a customer complaint book and let your staff fill it and record customer complaints anytime.
And on a regular basis, take time to go over those complaints. You might be surprised to see that the most frequent complaints are probably the ones you can easily correct.
Focus Group or Customer Forum
This is when you get a group of customers together for a discussion about your products and services.
This is most common with a new product launch but can also be used for feedback on existing products or services as well.
This form of feedback works best when you want your customers to become the center of your business.
Acting on the feedback and implementing reasonable changes based on customer feedback is a sure way to win over your customers and increase the success of your business.
To have an effective customer service in your organization, customer feedback plays an important role and you need to put in place a philosophy whereby many of the seven feedback tools we have dealt with are implemented.
From top management down to the cleaner, everyone should be committed because customer service is an attitude and atmosphere that should prevail throughout your organization.
Your customers are ultimately the ones responsible for your paycheck. Feedback is an excellent way of listening to your customers’ needs and desires.
It helps you tailor your product and service to better meet their demands. And this will ultimately lead to greater success.
The author is a customer service expert working in Rwanda