Insight From The Other Side by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

There are many ways that businesses of all types can now obtain insight into the customer experience. Most online stores have some type of rating system, often stars or a score out of 10, that indicates how satisfied a customer was with the entire experience with the company or in specific areas of the experience.

However, these ratings are only effective in getting a general sense of how consumers feel. It does not pinpoint what made the purchase or interaction with the team a positive or negative experience. To get this information, reviews, written feedback, follow-up emails, SMS messages, or personal phone calls provide a greater level of insight.

Often, as professionals or experts in a specific area, we only see our side of the interaction. We often assume or even blame problems the consumer experiences on the consumer without considering how and why the problem occurred. Taking the time to look at the buying experience, the interaction with customer service, or how the products are promoted and marketed from a customer’s perspective can provide valuable insight for improvement.

Improved Relationships

Asking customers for honest feedback and checking in on customer satisfaction with transactions is a simple way to build a good relationship with the customer. The more significant the purchase, the more personalize the approach to finding out about the transaction.

Asking customers for their thoughts, ideas, and how the process could be made better is important. However, even more important, is showing the customers that you listen to this information by addressing areas of weakness or challenge and implementing sound ideas provided by customers.

Be Open to Critical Feedback

There is no point in asking for honest feedback from customers if it is not valued, acted upon, and shared with the organization. In other words, simply going through the motions of asking for feedback is not enough.

Critical feedback from customers often highlights areas where your competitors offer something better for the customer than the experience they had with your business. This valuable information allows you to stay ahead of the competition by implementing these suggestions in a way that works with your company’s mission statement, values, and philosophy.

It is important to look for trends and common statements in customer feedback, both positive and negative. This includes how customers see your business, brand, and reputation in your industry. Continually requesting, analyzing, and implementing ways to improve customer service is the best way to continue to grow your customer base and your business.