GUEST POST from Shep Hyken
Are your customers happy, or not? How do you know? How often do you ask them? If you do ask them, and they tell you, what do you do with that information?
This is all about customer feedback. If a customer is willing to take the time to give you feedback, good or bad, it’s a gift. Treat it as such. It’s an opportunity to know what’s working and what’s not. And there are many ways to get that information.
A common way to seek feedback today is through a survey emailed after the customer interacts with the company or brand. Unfortunately, some companies go to the expense of designing and sending the survey, asking the customer to spend their precious time completing the survey, and then don’t act on the customer’s suggestions. Our annual customer experience research found that 57% of customers assume the company won’t make any changes based on their responses to a customer satisfaction survey. And some customers will stop doing business with a company or brand because of their surveys. Our research found that 20% of customers stopped because they sent too many surveys, and 18% stopped because the surveys were too long.
Recently I had my car in for its annual service, which included an oil change, fluid checks, filter replacements and more. Within an hour after I picked up my car, I received an email requesting feedback. From past experiences, I knew this would take five to 10 minutes to complete. I chose not to respond, because I had many other things to do in the short time I had left in the office that day. I don’t know what percentage of customers complete the survey, but maybe there is a different way to get feedback.
Notice I said a different, not necessarily better, although I’ll let you decide whether it is better. When I picked up my car, there could have been a tablet with four buttons to select from, asking me if I was very happy, somewhat happy, somewhat not happy or not happy. It would have taken me three seconds—probably less—to tap on one of those buttons. By the way, there could also be an option for me to leave feedback if I wanted to take a moment to do so. Regardless, the quick press of a button is much easier than a 10-question emailed survey with quantitative and qualitative feedback questions.
I recently interviewed Miika Mäkitalo, the CEO of HappyOrNot, one of the leading customer feedback solutions used by more than 4,000 brands in over 100 countries, on Amazing Business Radio. There’s a good chance you’ve seen HappyOrNot feedback technology in a store, restaurant, stadium or airport. It is a small tablet or kiosk with four large buttons as I just described in my auto repair center example. This simple technology gives you fast and actionable feedback that can be used and taken advantage of almost immediately—and at the same time, it respects your customers’ time.
And as powerful as that instant feedback is for customers, Makitalo suggests his HappyOrNot technology is also a perfect solution for employee feedback. Imagine a terminal or tablet in the breakroom where employees can anonymously (unless they want to share their names) leave a simple “I’m happy or not” message with the quick push of a button. Consider all the feedback you could gather, such as, “How happy are you with the new personal time (PT) policy?” Or, “How happy are you with the new food vendor in the cafeteria?” You get the idea. Get feedback from employees. Their happiness will be felt by customers. And the opposite is true. Unhappy employees will taint the customer experience. As I often say, “What’s happening on the inside of an organization is felt on the outside by customers.”
So, if you want to know what your customers—and employees—are thinking but aren’t sure where to start, this simple solution could be the answer. Ask one question at a time … and don’t forget to act on the feedback!
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com
Image Credits: Shep Hyken
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