The customer is always right.
We went there.
But regardless of whether you subscribe to that old idiom, most people in business agree that what the customer says is usually always valuable in some way, at least.
Good, bad or indifferent, customer feedback helps you build an informed view of how things are going in your business.
The problem comes when you’re not hearing those views loud and clear.
With many customer satisfaction solutions now available, you may be considering taking your customer service surveying more seriously. But is it really worth the investment?
Here are our top five reasons why it certainly is.
It helps build a better customer connection
A customer leaves a restaurant after paying up in full.
But as soon as they are out of the door they are writing on the company’s Facebook page to tell them the food was cold, the tables unclean and the service was slow.
So what happened?
For whatever reason, the customer didn’t feel able to air their complaints over dinner. Perhaps they felt their server was unapproachable. Maybe they were just in a rush. Or it could be that the restaurant just had a keyboard warrior on its hands.
But now they’ve left a damning review for the world to see, and the restaurant is left playing defense.
If the customer had been able to say how they felt there and then, the company would have been able to address the issues before things went sour. Potentially resulting in a much happier customer, full belly and the possibility of a return visit.
Your business might not be dealing with unapproachable servers, but what you absolutely don’t want is an approachable brand.
Whatever your barriers are to building a better customer connection, customer satisfaction software such as SmileBack can help you overcome them, decreasing the chances of a negative experience spiraling out of control.
Through the app, customers can give you feedback quickly and easily. No need for confrontation or any public dressing downs.
You are able to connect with your customers and use customer feedback to implement the changes they really want to see.
It’s also suitable for keyboard warriors.
Better customer retention
So you’ve cracked your customer connection, but how do you develop that into customer retention?
Your customers think the service you’re providing them is good, but they don’t think you provide this additional thing that they now need.
What do they do?
Do they immediately look elsewhere? Or do they get in touch with you to let you know exactly what it is they are looking for and ask if you are able to deliver it? After all, they’d rather stay with you, someone they’ve tried and trust, than go elsewhere.
The aim is to be able to develop as a business alongside your customers developing needs.
Perhaps the goal isn’t to become a one-stop shop. Maybe your product is very niche, and what you do, you do very well. You’re just interested in improving customer experience.
In rapidly changing industries a few tweaks can be all you need to stay competitive. And it may well be your customers that lead you there, sticking with you for the whole journey.
Boosts employee morale
They say customer service can be a thankless task.
Not many people are in the habit of taking time out of their day to let a company know that their experience with them was “OK, thanks!”
But those “OK” experiences are crucial to building a clear and accurate picture of how well your company is doing.
Without those reports, and the ones that go a few steps further to tell you that you’re absolute rock stars, the view can become pretty depressing if all you’re getting is negatives.
It’s not just those working directly on your customer service that can benefit from the boost of good customer feedback. If it is properly communicated to your whole team regularly, everybody gets to feel good about what you’re doing as a whole and improve as needed.
SmileBack customer Switch MSP, an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) based in New Zealand, say that the whole team is rewarded at the end of the month when staff has worked together well to respond to customer tickets and achieved an increased customer satisfaction score.
Tony Shi, Managing Director, said: “We have our weekly meetings where we run through the feedback we have received and any issues that come from it.
“If we achieve our goal of a 95% net CSAT score, everyone on the team receives a $50 gift card.”
With SmileBack, when you tell your team they are doing well, you have proof. And when employees feel valued, they are motivated to work better. It’s a chain reaction that creates a win-win situation.
You can identify business-critical issues
If you have a great brand, a solid recruitment process, and good company culture, you’re probably attracting some great talent.
These people know what to look for when it comes to identifying trends and pre-empting any problems your company may come up against in the future.
But with so many rapidly changing industries, and the pace of technology these days, new challenges are born daily and they can develop quickly.
What if your customer base of hundreds, thousands or more (great work!) can provide those extra eyes you need on the ground? You’d take that help, surely.
Customer feedback and insight can really help you to stop that SWOT analysis becoming stagnant because they are using your product or services in real time.
What works can make their daily lives better or easier in some small way, what isn’t working may be glaringly obvious to them.
So instead of revisiting that document quarterly (or let’s face it, less than that), you can be developing it regularly by simply feeding in the intel your customers provide through something as easy as SmileBack’s customer satisfaction survey software. So you can become aware of business-critical issues sooner. Smart.
Better branding and marketing overall
We all know how important it is to have diverse teams.
Maybe you have a marketing department that reflects every market segmentation you can think of. Your focus groups have waiting lists.
Or maybe your marketing manager is a one-man band, albeit a very talented one.
However, there are always going to be experiences and points of view out there that we simply don’t know enough about.
Letting your customers guide you with their lived experiences is a sure fire way of getting that USP just right, and you don’t have to go far to do it with many of the customer satisfaction tools that are out there.
Companies are founded on unmet needs. When you try to anticipate or tell your customers what their needs are, your marketing is going to fall on deaf ears.
With SmileBack, you can build a real picture of what customers want, so all that there is left to do is tell them about it.
The aim is to build a brand that belongs to the people and the way to do that is to create something they’ve actually asked for. So get listening.