There are many benefits of using customer feedback surveys, and often times the data collected brings about change that is positive from the eyes of the customer. However, there are also times when it works in the favor of the employees as well.
Consider the case of Rogers Communications, a Toronto based company. One of the chief customer complaints revolved around their billing process. In getting feedback from customers, it was discovered that a big part of the issue was the way the system was setup – when customers called with billing inquiries, conversations were often times difficult. The reason? When customers asked questions referring to their bill, they were seeing charges and billing information differently than the employees did when pulling up a customer’s account. You can imagine the disconnect in conversation that could happen – the customer is talking apples and the employee is seeing oranges. Not a good combination.
In response to this concern, the company revamped their system so that employees and customers were seeing the billing information in the same format. This not only reduced issues, but lowered the amount of complaints by 31%.
In this example, the trend in customer feedback caused the company to look more closely at its processes and make changes for the better, for both customers and employees. I’m sure the employees were just as frustrated with the disjointed conversations, and the system change was a welcome one.
How can you use feedback surveys to pinpoint challenges in your company? Outside of simply identifying trends, you can take it a step further and benefit from your customers’ perspective.
1. Start with the customers: they are the ones who are directly impacted by your procedures. If you are employing feedback surveys, are you asking the right questions? Are you looking for trends and patterns in both satisfied and dissatisfied customers? Identifying these trends is a great starting point.
2. Ask your employees: next to your customers, the employees are the most integral part of your business. After all, they are heavily involved in the day to day interactions. Conduct a survey with your staff to find out where their pain points are – maybe there is something they are required do to based on their performance guidelines, but there are challenges that prevent them from doing so, kind of like the billing system mentioned above. Or, perhaps they have some suggestions, based on their experience, to make processes more streamlined for customers. Listening to employees is critical and can be easily done with the same survey system you use for your customer feedback.
3. Make your changes public: everyone wants to be heard. If there are things your company implements based on the feedback from customers and/or employees, let everyone know what the changes are and why you’ve made them. When customers and employees feel as though they are part of the process, it increases engagement and loyalty.
4. Don’t forget to follow up: all new things come with some kinks. Once a new program or procedure is rolled out, ask for feedback a month or so in. What’s working, what’s not? Is it truly effective in meeting your objectives? Nothing perfect happens overnight – it often takes time to make effective change. Don’t be afraid to ask for insight – people are generally happy to share their thoughts in the common goal of a better experience all around.
Listening to customers and your staff is a critical part of success. They are your front line and can often help you see the forest for the trees.