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How Do You React To Customer Feedback?

Are you measuring customer satisfaction? Do you ask your customers (external or internal customers) to rate you on a satisfaction survey index? If you do, then how you react to customer interactions before the survey could define feedback your customers give you, or not give you for that matter.

If you rely only on customer satisfaction survey scores, you might be missing out valuable feedback that customers never give you in the surveys. You get feedback at all times from customers, sometimes direct and sometimes indirect. How you react to it defines how customers perceive your service as. If you don't listen to your customers during regular interactions, they are less likely to give you any feedback in customer surveys. They are more likely to stop giving you feedback. Worst, they will tell others about the bad service instead of telling you about it.

I am sure we work very hard to exceed customer expectations. But let's face is, as service providers (internal or external), sometimes we do get irritated at customers. We believe so much in our own service levels that we forget to see if these are still relevant for the customers. How we react to the inputs when a customer does give us some feedback changes the way we will receive feedback in the future. Sometimes inadvertently while responding to a customer feedback, we may put them off by disbelieving their feedback by telling them the unlikeliness of a service failure because of robust processes and systems. Instead of lauding internal processes, all that is really needed is to acknowledge the experience customer might have had.

So when you receive any feedback from your customers, first respond with a simple acknowledgement and apology of the experience. This is usually enough to turn the customer around. Later when you review the situation and identify the cause of customer experience, you can get back the customer with more details. This could even include things where the customer may have been at fault and things that you want the customer to change.


6 comments:

ishitwadhwa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ishitwadhwa said...

There are many important things as far as Customer Feedback is concerned. Managing the channel through which customer feedback reaches decision-makers is of utmost importance. Many times it happens that the individuals collecting the feedback do not allow it to reach it to the top of the chain to save themselves or their colleagues. The periodic customer feedback collection can be automated so that it reaches the decision makers without any filtration. Apart from this, it is also important for the senior-most people of the sales & delivery team to connect to all clients once in a while to ascertain whether all is well.

Regarding how you react to customer feedback, the most important thing is the willingness of the person receiving it to make a change. Disbelieving the customer's feedback is the worst thing any person involved in a client-facing role can do. It can prove to be disastrous. However robust a system or a process is, it is always possible that there might be a failure somewhere. I have encountered a number of people who seem to be happy when they are able to put down a customer when he is complaining about bad service. They feel they have turned victorious when they are able to quieten the customer by getting into an argument and winning it! This surprising attitude has to be dealt with by reducing the channels of direct interaction with the customer. Limited number of people who actually have the maturity of facing the clients and who value their relationship with them and the revenues they bring, should be allowed to interact with the clients. Sounds basic, but a lot of companies still lack on this front and end up messing their relationships with their long-term clients.

Manish Mohan said...

Thanks for your inputs Ishit. You make an important point about ensuring that all feedback is collated to be acted upon. You are right that people might ignore or hide some of the feedback because it might show them in bad light. Thank you again for contributing.

Kenneth Fung said...

Manish, you’re right. It’s crucial to respond quickly to any failures in service. Everyone accepts that it’s possible to make a mistake, the real differentiator is what you do about those mistakes. I think people understand that if we take the time to solicit people’s feedback, we should equally respect people to respond to their feedback.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employers and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employers.

Creative Commons License This work by Manish Mohan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 India License.

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