Friday, Jul 05 2013

Making Feedback Useful

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Methods for success

Customer satisfaction ranks as one of the most vital facets of a successful company, as it demonstrates more than anything else the effectiveness of a brand in retaining and pleasing its clientele. Where it becomes complicated is in the accurate measuring of—and response to—customer feedback, which is the ultimate barometer of your market’s satisfaction. Thankfully, a few keys for both before and after data collection can make the most of this essential info.

Get the right data

As with any survey-type collection, a proper sample makes the difference between an accurate measurement and a less than useful one. The right tools and methodologies create a base that lend credence to your results, which means you can follow the rest of these tips with the assurance that the data is reliable. Without this foundation, all the analysis you can tackle still won’t be able to accurately translate.

Focus on the forest, not the trees

When customer feedback is received, particularly negative responses, many companies’ first reaction is to contact the individual or release a statement to “fix” whatever went wrong. Where this errs, however, is that surveys and other common satisfaction measurements are best taken in aggregate; looking at just one or two negates the valuable overall impressions that these collections can provide.

Check your policies

A commonly forgotten step is to go beyond problems with a customer service representative and reevaluate the procedures and rules your workers are following. Sometimes customer satisfaction data is enlightening—multiple complaints can be more reflective of behind-the-scenes policies that need changing, not representatives’ behavior.

Redirect your train

Sometimes, customer service representatives or other company agents are the ones giving cause for customer complaints. Training is generally a high priority for new hires, but established employees can find themselves with unanswered questions; this is another area where feedback can highlight holes and knowledge gaps. Refresher courses, specialty training, and periodic evaluations can help ensure you have agents who know their business and customers who can get answers.

Aim for a goal

Performance and company goals are always commendable, but oftentimes are set without any clear connection to the customers’ satisfaction. Feedback from real users’ experiences gives you not only a goal to work toward, but also a way to measure progress. Companies can even tie goals directly to surveys: for example, aim to reduce the number of customers who complain about wait times by half.

Make it better

Lastly, the big goal for nearly all customer feedback collection is learning how you can improve your service or products. In addition to making those improvements, you’ll also learn what areas of staffing can be trimmed or where you need to focus more resources. Reliable customer satisfaction data not only benefits a company’s leadership; human resources, management, and development departments should also be invested.

Customer satisfaction = company satisfaction

When it comes down to it, keeping customers pleased is the best business decision. Properly collecting, analyzing, and adapting to customer feedback creates an overall better experience for employees, customers, and everyone involved in a company. If you are an IT company in California supporting customers on a daily basis, be sure to keep these tips in mind.

If you are looking for talented IT professionals to keep your customers happy, contact the Armada Group today.