Thursday 29 May, 2014

Customer Feedback – How to Respond to Your Customers

Customer feedback is extremely valuable for your business. It tells you exactly how you’re doing straight from the horse’s mouth. There is no better data or analytic you could hope for and, best of all, it’s incredibly easy to get customer feedback using the internet.

One challenge, however, is that most people don’t leave feedback. They may love your product with a passion or they may be dismally disappointed with it. In both cases, you need to hear about it. But many people are reluctant to leave feedback because they simply don’t think anyone is listening.

This is why it’s crucial for you to respond and respond well. Your response lets your customers know that you’re listening. This applies not only to the person who left the message but to others who come along and read it as well. It’s also a golden opportunity for you to start a discussion with your customers, which yields more data you can use and helps you build a solid relationship with them.

Reply Quickly

The speed at which you reply can make a huge difference. You’ve probably contacted a company with a concern or complaint and waited a few days for a response. Those few days they don’t respond because they’re busy, which means that other business is more important than you.

If you respond quickly to customer feedback, it shows that you’re truly responsive. You put your customers’ needs ahead of other business and this goes a long way in gaining their trust and satisfaction.

No Canned Replies

Don’t reply with a scripted reply or automatic message. Rather than showing that you’re responsive, this can backfire totally and paint you as an uncaring, faceless corporation. Always write real replies that address the customer’s specific comments or concerns.

The Positive and Negative

It’s important to reply to positive feedback but even more important to reply to feedback that is negative. You need to address their problem and resolve it because other customers are watching. A complaint or negative comment that’s left without a reply is particularly damaging.

Make It Quick

Your responses should be as short as possible. Don’t write a book in reply to customer feedback. If you have more to say to the person that may not be beneficial to other readers, take it out of the public sphere and do it privately. Give them a basic ‘thank you’ response publicly and then contact them by email.

Create a Feedback Policy

Create a policy for handling feedback from customers. This isn’t a template or canned response, but a step-by-step protocol that explains how you reply to comments and continue the conversation. It’s good to systematize this in order to make it easier for yourself. You can also use it to train employees along with other guidelines.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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