Customer Response

I’m sitting in Starbucks in Dunfermline reflecting on my day of shopping so far, and thinking about all the things I want to get done later today. I picked up on one thing today that really restored my faith in customer service.

Last year at the same time I was really surprised how great the customer service was in the high street shops; everyone was happy and full of cheer.

The retail assistant in the Body Shop today took it to the next level, and it’s so small and subtle that most people probably won’t pick it up.

Normally when a shop assistant approaches you, he or she will ask “Can I help you?“. If you are like me, your immediate reaction is “No thanks, I’m just looking.” Blam! No sale today!!

Now what’s interesting about the assistant in Body Shop, who might actually be the Manager, is that he asked “Are you aware of what we have going on in the store today?“. Now, this is still a closed question except there is a huge difference, he just engaged in conversation with us. It wouldn’t have mattered what I said next, either “yes” or “no”, I bet he had a way to follow up. Blam! Sale!! This small change throws us, the consumer, off from our normal response and immediately the shop assistant is engaging with us. The likelihood of a sale has just been increased all because of the very small and subtle change in words.

This reminded me of what I read in E-Myth Revisited recently. Gerber highlighted that by just doing something as simple as changing a few words, you can increase your sales by a marked percentage. His example is almost identical, he advises shop assistants to ask “Have you been in the store before?“. If you reply with either “yes” or “no” the shop assistant will have a follow up ready for you, instantly engaging in conversation.

It’s great to see people doing things a little differently.

Oh, we popped back to the Body Shop on the way out and bought more stuff…!

Enjoy your day.

Chris.

Buy the book:  E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael Gerber.

As you probably know, there are many different techniques that can be employed to collect customer feedback.

Ideally you want to collect constructive feedback that you can use to improve and develop your products and/or services.

There are several benefits for constructing and implementing a feedback system for your business, including: –

  • Your customers know that you are prepared to listen to them;
  • You can improve and tailor your service to the needs of your customers;
  • You can strengthen your relationship with your customers;
  • Your team know what decisions are being made; customer feedback can be used to strengthen your business decisions.

I have detailed in a pdf file many ways to collect and use customer feedback, which you can download here for FREE!

Assumptions

I have made some underlying assumptions for the implementation of a customer feedback system, in that you know:

  1. Your objectives for carrying out a feedback process;
  2. What you are trying to find out (which will guide the technique and questions you ask);
  3. How to implement the techniques effectively to get what you want (ethically and morally).

You may have to do a little background reading and some studying to find out how to use each method and ensure you get the best results from your efforts.

Involve Your Team

When it comes to collecting customer feedback, get your team behind you 100%. Your front line staff will be able to encourage your customers to complete feedback slips, questionnaires, etc. Also, your team are more likely to engage with the customer and have the ability to collect verbal feedback.

Never Miss an Opportunity

Gather as much information from your customers as possible with they are consuming your products and services. To do this effectively you will have to give them a few different options and different stages of the process.

Mix it Up!

It is important to not rely on just one channel and that you give your customers feedback choices at different stages. It is likely that different techniques will appeal to different customers at different times.

Anonymous Feedback

Make sure there is at least one option to give feedback anonymously. Sometimes you are more likely to get a honest response this way.

Closing the Feedback Loop

You will see this in the document that you can download.

To explain further…in your organisation there is a system in place for systematically collecting and collating customer feedback. The feedback is then reviewed and quickly responded to. This is a great system to have in place; your customers will know that you listen to the feedback you get and you will in turn begin to build and strengthen your relationships with your customers.

FREE Download

Download the pdf file and have a good look at it. If you have any questions or thoughts regarding the document please get in touch with me by leaving a comment below.

I know that I haven’t covered everything regarding customer feedback and if you have any comments or feedback please do not hesitate to comment below or contact me privately.

Thanks,

Chris.

A main concern for many business people who are thinking about representing their business online and on social media platforms is being able to deal with negative feedback effectively.

I have dealt with negative feedback online before in various circumstances. However, had I not created a solid platform for encouraging feedback then I may never have found out about the negative feedback, let alone having the opportunity to do anything about it!

There are many advantages linked to receiving negative feedback…most of all it makes you aware of how you can improve your services.

This is one reason why I would encourage you to get involved with the major social media platforms and tap into what your customers are talking about online. This way you will have more opportunity to be able to deal with any negative feedback, possibly prevent it completely and improve your services all at the same time!

A few tips…

Here are a few ways to deal with negative feedback on social media platforms: –

Respond quickly

The worst thing that you can do is ignore anything negative, the best thing to do is respond quickly. Other customers will be able to see your non-response too so be aware of that and what kind of impression that gives. There is much more strength in dealing with the negative feedback head on. Initially you could even respond with “Thanks for your feedback, we will get back to you shortly with a full response” (if the type of feedback allows something like this). This way the customer will know that someone has picked it up and it will put them at ease for a little while.

Don’t make any agreement publicly

I would advise that you do not offer any discounts or returns publicly. Ask the customer to pop back or follow up by email with an offer. You don’t want to start any trends with any ‘chancers’ that might be reading your responses.

Take it offline

If you feel that the conversation is going to get messy or you feel there is a lot of risk, then ask the customer to email you privately. I have had to do this a few times, and in extreme circumstances I had to remove the comment from our Facebook page (unfortunately you do not get the same opportunities on other platforms such as TripAdvisor). So, do not feel that you don’t have any other options.

If you are in doubt about what to do I am more than happy to advise, all you need to do is contact me by email or via the contact form.

Use the same techniques you normally would

The key thing to remember is to use the same techniques as you would if you were speaking to the customer face to face, i.e. show empathy, make sure the customer knows that you are taking the issue seriously and that you are going to do something about it. It is likely that the customer will respond positively to a proactive and empathetic response. Remember to follow up with a final response so the customer knows the outcome.

I am interested to hear about other experiences people have had. Please feel free to share by commenting below.

Thanks,

Chris.