Shifting perspectives on customer feedback in two minutes

Customer experience has become a focal point for businesses worldwide, causing them to seek out the best ways to improve interactions with clients, obtain customer feedback and win over any prospective or lost clients.

However, many of those same businesses use CX tools and software simply for damage control purposes. They single out and approach only those clients who provide negative customer feedback, whether that be via survey responses, Facebook bashing or twitter shaming.

Customer Experience Managers scramble to reach out to these dissatisfied clients and attempt to repair the damage caused and hopefully hold on to those at-risk customers. All the while, the positive responses sit in limbo awaiting their seemingly ultimate destination: a sole and sorry existence as a number plotted along a graph that is forgotten by the time the next NPS presentation rolls around.

Recent industry research shows that this focus on reacting only to negative customer feedback, for whatever reason, breeds a mentality that all customer feedback is bad, leading employees to approach CX in a negative way, and ultimately, causing an overall decline in internal brand optimism. Employees aren’t going to view the brand, product or service positively if they receive nothing but negative customer responses.

“Focusing too much on negative feedback can really dishearten employees and leave them thinking that satisfying customers is an impossible task. A proactive real-time approach increases the likelihood of obtaining positive customer feedback and by extension, it becomes easier to retain customers.” ~ Andrew Cook, Smoke CCS CEO

Businesses need to move beyond a solely reactive approach to a more effective and pre-emptive one. While negative feedback has to be dealt with, good reviews should be discussed across the organisation too. A positive view of customer feedback can help employees to engage with their customers and encourage real-time responses.

Being proactive requires a well-planned strategy and the help of CX experts. A vital step involves gaining an understanding of customers’ communication preferences. Employees are more likely to find that customers will be willing to engage in the feedback process if they are able to communicate in a way that is most comfortable for them, whether it be via mobile, web, agent or email, etc.

Leaders have to ask whether the right processes and technology are being used to obtain the most relevant feedback. Customer feedback isn’t about fluffy soft feel good moments, it’s about obtaining high quality scientific data to drive business objectives.

The analytical tools and models used for obtaining customer feedback must be able to produce the insight needed to make it possible for an organisation to jump at the opportunities that are waiting to be discovered and in equal measure to respond effectively to any problems areas that are identified. In short, obtaining the right customer feedback should lead to deep, actionable insights.

A customised and well-architected platform that is able to obtain, deliver, and manage real-time feedback should be on every business’ list of priorities. Don’t wait until service levels are in the gutters and customers are shouting down the gates. Customer feedback has to be an integral part of each strategic area including business objectives, process, sales and marketing and employee performance strategies.

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Author: John Dicks