Customer feedback is not a new concept; it has been around since the advent of trade. With the increase in social media tools, there are now plenty of ways your customers can tell you about their experience with your products, services, organization and brand. Customers can now easily criticize or applaud you.

The challenge for organisations is whether they actually put this feedback to good use for the benefit of the customer and the organization. To be able to get good feedback, one needs to first ensure that they have measures to capture it well, a topic I will capture in the next article.

Customer, Feedback, Planning
Customer feedback

 

The main purpose of this article is to address what actionable measures can be put in place to improve the experience of your customers.

  1. Action

    It is easy to assume that since one is receiving or collecting feedback, that it is being put to good use or any use at all. Make sure you are doing something meaningful with customer feedback. Follow up on all form of feedback immediately. It strengthens the customer’s confidence, establishes faith and makes them more inclined to pass on personal recommendations to others.

  2. Turn the feedback into innovation


    A culture or mindset of turning customer observations, ideas and feedback obtained from the customers should be cultivated in the organization. This is key because in many instances the users of your products and services have ideas that you may not have considered. Having a culture in place ensures that the product team gets access to the feedback which can be translated to innovation in the products and services. This can only be guaranteed if there are set structures in place to capture the feedback {more on this next week} and to put actionable steps to leverage the feedback.
    One way to do this is to create a channel e.g. an excel spreadsheet, where the captured feedback and the expected outcome of this feedback is purposefully shared with all the relevant team members in a timely fashion so that it can be put to action immediately.

  3. Identify emerging needs

    Analyse the feedback to identify the needs that have not yet been solved by your products and services. These needs may not yet have been clearly stated by the customer, but create a culture of digging deeper into the comments given by your customers. These emerging needs give you a peek into future demands for your product or service.

  4. Feel the emotion

    It is important to get a feel of the emotional tone your customers express when they give you feedback. Match this with your expectations of what you had hoped your customer would experience when using your products / services. Take note to see if the tones are consistent across customers. In many cases it is the emotional connection to your brand that is stronger than the rational one. A 2004 McKinsey Report [http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/the-moment-of-truth-in-customer-service] asserts that “70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated”. It is therefore important to listen closely to what is being communicated about your products and brand and respond to it.Customer, experience, emotions

  5. Monitor customer behavior

    With the advent of online tools, it is now easier to see what your customers are doing and draw conclusions from their online behavior. Using various web analytics tools, you can identify challenges in their shopping experience and therefore work to plug the holes. For example you may find that a high percentage of the customers exit your website on a certain page or spend very little time in certain areas. These are red flags which need to be addressed when spotted. The data gathered by observing customer behavior on your website can be enhanced further through additional feedback tools to understand these trends e.g. surveys and chat tools.

Your current challenge might not be collecting feedback but actually acting on and making good use of it to improve your customer’s experience with your organization.

@TODO – Next steps

  1. Track customer feedback.
  2. Make it available to all team members
  3. Use it as a source of ideas for features and improvements
  4. Use it to key you in on how your customers FEEL

Eric Kimunyu leads marketing here. He has a passion for technology and its ability to transform lives.