Your Friday Inspiration

Well opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one: Harry Callahan -The Dead Pool

This is one of my favourite movie quotes of all time. All you have to do is open up Twitter or Facebook to see how true this is. No matter the topic everyone has an opinion, and even if they know nothing about that topic, they will still have an opinion. Don't believe me, just look ahead to the Olympics in August, how many of your friends and family will suddenly become experts in Badmintion or Water Polo or Volleyball, despite having never watched these sports before.

We all know that "Customer Feedback" are your customer's opinion of your product or service. Yet it is these opinions that  can either make or break you as a business. So why is it that companies feel that when customer's offer feedback they can ignore it.

In 2011 research from Maritz and Evolve24 showed that from 1,298 Twitter complainants found that only 29% of those tweet gripes were replied to by the companies in question.

However, as bad as no response is to a customer complaint. Some companies can may the matter worse when they do respond. Those of that use Twitter on a regular basis know that companies have been trying to use bots to respond to questions from customers, since at least 2013. Yet it never seems to end well, just ask British Airways and Bank of America both of whom experienced gaffes when they tried this approach. Even Microsoft fell victim to this when they decided to make an "AI" Twitter bot. The creation was designed to learn from its users through conversation. Needless to say, trolls made the bot, named Tay, turn into a huge racist in less than a day.

As a result, Microsoft's research team quickly deleted the tweets and put the project on pause

Now we have established that it’s inevitable. You’re going to at some point receive a negative customer review. Even if you’ve done everything by the book, it only takes that one bad experience to ruin your flawless record of positive feedback. Of course, you may be thinking that just because one person has nothing better to do than nitpick, it won’t really affect business, right? Wrong.

Research has proven that “80% of people have changed a purchase decision due to a bad review they saw.” That’s a fairly significant stat, and that’s putting it lightly. So what can you do to ensure when a customer decides to offer you their opinion that they feel their voice has been heard.

The 7 Best Ways to Gather Customer Feedback: A recent blog post from Gregory Ciotti at Help Scout discusses 7 ways you can gather feedback from your customers; these include everything from the traditional survey to your On-Site Activity. In the article Gregory asks us to examine why we want to collect feedback
from our customers and shows which channels is works best to help us complete our goals.

How you ask customers for feedback is as important as why you are asking them for feedback. But how can you be sure that they will take the time out of their day to offer it to you. In a recent article for Customer Guru Sonal Jaiswal shares 11 Excellent Tips to get Customers to COMPLETE Your Feedback Form.

When you ask your customers for feedback it can be often be difficult to get everyone to respond. Sonal's tips will help ensure that both you and your customer's get most of this experience every time.

Now that you have collected you feedback, what are you going to do with it.  However, not all feedback is equal. Some is aspirational, hypothetical or third party statements. Even when you have managed to weed those types out the feedback what remains is unlikely to be all of equal value. In a recent blog post for Intercom Sian Townsend discusses what filters you should apply to your feedback to help you decide which feedback is most important. Sian goes on to discuss how you can analyse the open ended feedback you have gathered. Unfortunately there is no perfect tool that can automate this job for you. Analysing open ended feedback is just pretty hard and time intensive. Read Sian's article Making sense of customer feedback to see how you can take open ended customer feedback and turn it into an actionable list of issues your team can address.

As you gather your feedback and turn it into actionable tasks to improve your product or service, the key to realise is you don't really close the loop but rather start the cycle again. This way your customers can tell you if have actually made any improvements to your business that matters to them.

Further Reading

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