Consistent customer feedback. Why is it important?

feedback-1311638_1280Many B2B Service Companies Use Ad Hoc Feedback

How do you know how things are going with a specific customer? What do you or your team use as evidence? Is it based on:

  • Discussions you have had with the customer over the course of time?
  • Survey results you have sent them at the end of a project?
  • A phone call you have made to ask them explicitly for feedback?
  • Discussions you have had with your sales team?
  • Work order renewals?
  • Phone calls or emails you have received from the customer about a complaint?

Or, is it some combination of the above? Or, worse, do you not even record the feedback you do get?

Increased customer satisfaction leads to more business, improved profitability and extra referrals. But, how do you track your customer satisfaction? If you want to treat customer feedback as a trackable asset, you must be consistent about how you get it and how you act on it.

Acquiring Consistent Feedback

Your sales executive says things are going great with one of your customers. Your marketing team sent the customer a detailed survey, but there was no response. You talked to their CEO and the CEO seemed to be happy working with you, but that discussion was six months ago. How do you compare all these sources and determine what the customer is experiencing right now? You can’t!

In this kind of environment, how can you compare two different customers’ service experiences? Who is really your best customer? Who is going to re-up or give you more work? How do you answer these questions if your feedback sources are ad hoc? You can’t!

You need to use a consistent approach to measuring customer experience if you want to know if adverse changes are happening, or if you want to compare two or more customer’s experiences. You need a consistent approach if you are going to try to improve your business processes. And, how would you test the results of those changes without consistent, comparable feedback?

Does Scheduling Feedback Need to be Consistent?

You’ve decided on a consistent measurement of customer experience to record and track. But what about timing? Asking for feedback at the end of a project doesn’t work. Why? Because timing affects the experience that customers report. Customers have long term memory for bad incidents and sometimes short term memory for good ones. At the end of a project, there’s a euphoria that clouds the true experience report. Everyone is so glad that the project is over that they find it difficult to accurately report on the good or bad experiences they had along the way.

You must apply consistency to when you ask for feedback, as well. Consistent does not mean fixed intervals. Asking a customer once a day, once a week or even once a month for long term projects will become an irritation. That’s not a valuable measure. The timing of the feedback will depend upon the project, the size, the type of work and other factors. Use judgement to determine when and how often to make requests. Shortly after milestone deliveries is a good example of an approach that is consistent, but driven by the engagement.

Recommendations

The best way to be consistent in measuring customer experience is with a tool that uses a uniform approach. The tool you use should also have a way to store and recall feedback. Features that analyze feedback across time give you an accurate view of customer’s experiences. Features that compare feedback between customers are important for improving your processes. A software tool for collection will also make it easier to schedule feedback requests or to send them when you decide is the best time. Reputada.com is an example of such a software tool. It uses micro-feedback. Micro-feedback is easy for customers to use and that allows you to send requests more often for immediate feedback. Reputada’s approach allows customers to give as much feedback as they want. No matter what amount of feedback is given, the feedback is still comparable. Reputada has all the analytical features you need so that you can act on the feedback you get.

Conclusion

If you want to collect, track and improve your customer’s experience you must collect it consistently. That means being consistent in how you measure and being consistent in how often you seek it. Reputada’s micro-feedback is an excellent way to collect feedback in a consistent manner. In fact, Reputada provides tools to analyze your customer’s experiences over time and compare the experience level of customers by important attributes, such as project team, geography, business type, and so on.

For more information on consistent feedback with micro-feedback visit www.reputada.com.

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