Why Customer Feedback is your Competitive Advantage

Why Customer Feedback is your Competitive Advantage

Issues that look glaringly obvious to a customer are often invisible to employees. The best businesses are able to find and solve these issues quickly. Their secret: customer feedback.

In this guide, we’ll explore the following:

  • Why customer feedback is so crucial
  • How you can get started with a winning customer feedback process
  • How you can identify and fix operations issues. 

3 reasons why customer feedback is your competitive advantage

Collecting customer feedback may not seem like the best use of your team’s limited time, it’s an investment that pays off. Here’s why. 

  • Customer feedback wins you new business

Prospective customers value the opinions of their peers. Soliciting feedback through online reviews makes it more likely that customers will try out your business. Studies show that a stunning 92% of consumers consult reviews before making a purchase decision. 

  • Customer feedback allows you to deal with negative feedback

When you have a process to respond to customer feedback, you can listen to dissatisfied customers and deal with their complaints before they do major damage to your brand. If an angry customer doesn’t hear back from you, they might dissuade others from trying out your business entirely. But a quick response makes a big impression. According to Bazaarvoice, 41% of consumers say that when they see brands replying to reviews, they believe the company really cares about their customers.

  • Customer feedback allows you to identity operations issues 

No matter how talented your team is and no matter how much work you’ve already put in, there’s always room for improvement. There might be certain seemingly minor parts of the customer journey that can lead to significant improvements in overall satisfaction. Maybe your customers hate the atmosphere of your waiting room. Maybe there’s a way you can make your payment process more seamless. Whatever the issue may be, customer feedback can help uncover it. 

Collecting feedback through reviews and surveys 

If you want to get started collecting customer feedback, we recommend that you start with two things: online reviews and surveys. Both these methods can work together to help to identify operational problems. 

  • Online reviews: Encouraging reviews can help you identify issues that you may not have even known about. Customers will often talk about both the pros and cons of your products or services in the review text. 
  • Surveys: Once you’ve spotted a potential issue through reviews, use surveys to explore this area in more detail. Ask questions so you can find the type of problems customers are having and you’ll know how to solve them. 

Improving your operations based on customer feedback 

Once you’ve started to collect customer feedback, you can use it to identify problem areas and start making improvements. Here are three ways you can get started today.

  • Set measurable goals

Once you identify areas for improvement, set a specific goal so that you can measure if you’re making progress. That can be something like an increase in net promoter score or overall star rating. 

  • Get accountability from leadership 

Once you have feedback and an action plan, loop in relevant leaders who can implement these goals and hold employees accountable. Make sure that the relevant team leaders are aware of the changes they need to make and the metrics you’re using to measure performance. 

  • Communicate with your team

It’s important that employees at all levels understand the importance of the metrics so that they’re motivated to hit the targets. Consider using improved feedback as an opportunity to reward employees. Feel free to offer incentives or bonuses for teams who make progress towards goals. 

Following up on negative feedback 

No matter what method you choose to collect feedback, you will eventually hear from an angry or disappointed customer. When this happens, don’t stress out. Here’s what you can do. 

  • Recognize that the situation is still salvageable. Don’t panic when you see negative feedback. Most of the time, a customer with negative feedback is simply raising their hand and looking for help. You can turn them into a loyal customer with the right response. 
  • Be prompt. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your customers’ negative opinion of your business cannot be changed. So make sure to respond to negative feedback immediately. When you show that you are willing to take care of a service issue immediately, you show customers that you are committed to offering great service. 
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