10 methods of obtaining customer feedback

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Want to know how to improve the way your customers experience your services? If you don’t ask them, you’ll never know.

In order to continuously improve customer satisfaction, it is important to keep the feedback loop active. How do you get a customer to continue providing feedback?

10 creative methods of obtaining customer feedback.

1. Set up a feedback mailbox

Set up a feedback mailbox and market it to your customers. You can use posters around the office, notes in your email signatures, or even include banners in your staff portal or self-service tool. To make this work, you’ve got to treat the mailbox as a two-way communication instrument. Always remember to reply to your customers and thank them for taking their time to give feedback.

2. Use sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis means you collect conversation data from your services and analyze key words and phrases to work out what the customer consensus is on your services. Brands often use sentiment analysis as a way of measuring their success on social media. Start by running support ticket email conversations through a free word cloud tool for a visual representation of what you and your customers are saying to each other.

3. Appoint a Customer Satisfaction Manager

Who is responsible for handling customer feedback in your organization? Do you know? Does anyone? If there isn’t a specific person who makes sure feedback is top priority in the organization, you should consider appointing a Customer Satisfaction Manager. Allowing someone to focus purely on customer satisfaction makes it much more likely you’ll see results. And while the Customer Satisfaction Manager takes the lead in handling customer feedback, the rest of the organization should of course follow suit and operate towards the same goal.

4. Broadcast surveys

One of the oldest tricks in the book: building a simple survey and publishing it as a form. You can send this form out in an email to your whole company, or to a select list of customers. Just make sure your survey is as user-friendly as possible. Take a look at these 4 steps to creating customer-centric customer satisfaction surveys.

5. Use an ‘in the moment’ approach

Apart from sending out full surveys on a regular basis, you can also ask feedback with embedded feedback tools. Such tools allow your customers to rate their experience with your services while it’s still fresh in their mind. It doesn’t get more ‘in the moment’ than this. Your customers won’t have any difficulties rating your services either: the rating process in these tools is like rating an app in the App Store or using those smiley face buttons you sometimes see at the airport.

6. Have a clear feedback process

Implement a feedback process if you want to keep the feedback loop running. Without a proper process in place, requesting and handling feedback becomes very unstructured. Is it rush hour at your service desk? Obviously, gathering feedback might not be everyone’s top priority. Your Customer Satisfaction Manager can set up a feedback process so your departments always know how and when to process feedback, even when they’re very busy.

7. Pay courtesy calls

Want to gain valuable feedback from customers that know your services well? Find out who your most frequent customers are and why they’re contacting you so often. Do this on a weekly or monthly basis: simply run a report of tickets from the past months and contact your top ten requesters. It’s quick and targeted, and word will soon get out that you’re taking a more proactive approach to feedback. A piece of advice: make sure to also seek out customers who have given negative feedback. It may sound counter-intuitive, but digging deep into those bad reviews will only help you understand your customer better. Start looking for angry customers with help of this blog on how to turn bad reviews into useful feedback.

8. Organize feedback sessions

Meeting your customers face-to-face is often the most effective way to get their opinion. Want to facilitate a platform for giving feedback? Organize a monthly workshop, an advisory board, or lunch-and-learn sessions with different sets of your customers. Make sure you invite a small, mixed group of people so none of the voices are lost and you receive the most representative feedback possible.

9. Swap jobs

Don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Approach different people and departments in your organization and ask if you can spend some time learning about their job. This could be done in an hour, but you can also shadow a colleague for two whole days. Most people enjoy telling you about what they do – and giving you their two cents. Once you know what your customers think, you can help them become more productive, for example by removing any obstacles that are in their way.

10. Be transparent and share improvements

Sharing your feedback reports with your customers is a good way of showing your organization you value their feedback, and that you don’t shy away from being transparent about what you need to improve. Use your customers’ feedback to update your service catalogue, for example. This blog explains how your service catalogue can be key in increasing your customer satisfaction. When you show your customers you actually use their feedback to improve your services, they’ll keep you in the know. Happy customers, happy you!

Looking for more inspiration?

Encouraging feedback in the workspace leads to happier, more satisfied customers. The ultimate method of finding out what your customers really think and feel about your services is customer journey mapping. Customer journey mapping combines several of the tips above and will help you truly step into your customers’ shoes. Download our Customer Journey Mapping Toolkit to get to know your customers through and through.