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Archive for Customer Feedback

When your Customers are Talking

It’s Time to Listen  

The single biggest complaint of customers is that salespeople talk too much and don’t listen enough. Poor salespeople dominate the talking, while successful salespeople dominate the listening.


It’s possible for you to talk too much, but it’s rarely possible to listen too much.


When salespeople are excellent listeners, prospects and customers feel comfortable and secure with them. They buy more readily and more often.


Why Salespeople Stop Listening

Salespeople have a lot to say because they’ve developed so much expertise. However, the fastest way to irritate a prospect is by talking too much and listening too little. Furthermore, salespeople have listened to the customer’s side so often, they can predict what the customer will say. Result: They learn less about customers’ changing needs than an effective listener would uncover.


Benefits of Good Listening

Listening builds trust. The best salespeople are concerned with customer needs and help them purchase products or services in a cost-effective way.

Listening lowers resistance. It reduces tension and defensiveness on the part of customers who realize they aren’t going to be pushed into making a purchase.


Listening is Not Hearing

Listening is different from hearing. Hearing is what people do when a bore starts talking. Listening is an active activity in which salespeople pay genuine attention to what customers or prospects say.





Here are some tips that help promote active listening:

  1. Show that you’re listening by giving short verbal feedback phrases like, “I see” or “Go on.” Nod your head. Use body language to show the customer you’re interested in what’s being said.
  2. Don’t interrupt. Ideally, the only time you should break up the customer’s conversation stream is if you need clarification on what’s being said.
  3. Avoid distractions. Focus your attention on the prospect or customer in a calm, relaxed atmosphere.
  4. Restate. This is repeating verbatim all or part of what a customer has said while placing emphasis on one part of it. The main purpose of restating is to get prospects to give more information and to let them know you are listening. Additional information can be the difference in making a sale or not.
  5. Ask pertinent questions.If you understand correctly, the customer will agree. If not, he or she will have a chance to clarify.
  6. Summarize. Active listening involves mentally summarizing points that have been made. Try to state these brief summaries at key moments in your presentations. Summarizing also lets you take charge of the direction of the conversation.
  7. Try to avoid arguing.A good listener is there to find out what the customer thinks and where she or he is coming from. If the customer wants to hear your opinion, he or she will ask. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to remain silent, especially if a customer is venting.
  8. Empathy is key. The way we do this is by mirroring one another’s behavior and language. Use the same words your customers do, in the way they use them, so they are assured you really understand their problems.
  9. Simplifying terms for self-service. If you want to help customers help themselves, don’t be fancy with the language. Drop the brand voice and mimic your customer’s approach.
  10. And the best advice of all…Remember the golden rule of listening. It’s possible to say too much. It’s rarely possible to listen too much.




3 Ways to Use Social Media To Gauge Your Customer Feedback Program

Social media easy as 1-2-3


Customer feedback programs can be an incredibly useful tool to help businesses maintain a strong customer experience. But, if it’s not used properly, then you’re not getting the information you need & you may not realize that.

In the past, gauging the effectiveness of a customer feedback program was more difficult; can you be sure you’re asking the right questions, getting feedback on what’s important to shoppers? It was a lot of trial & error, and looking for trends in open ended responses.

Now, social media is here, and there are some easy ways to make this more manageable.

If you are not monitoring social media, and by this I mean social media that is outside of your company run social sites, you probably should as soon as possible.


Well, for starters, you’re missing an entire conversation about your brand, products, and services. But, also important is the fact that there’s an entire segment of uncensored, unstructured feedback that is waiting out there that you can use to your benefit. You can take this data as use it as another piece of the customer feedback program and you can also use it to gauge the success of your traditional feedback survey. Are you asking the right questions? Are the scores you receive relevant and reflective of general customer satisfaction across the board? These are all questions that can be answered.
Below are three tips on how to use social media data to your advantage as it relates to your feedback program:

Use social media as a supplementary feedback channel. The more data you can get, the better. Using social media conversations is inexpensive and provides a wide range of feedback. What’s great about it is the fact that it’s people talking to other people rather than responding to a feedback survey. Why is this great? Simply put, people tend to be more open with their thoughts when talking with friends vs directly to the company. Additionally, if people are responding to a feedback survey, they are focused on providing feedback specific to the questions you’re asking. In social media, it’s more of a free range of thought, so you’re likely to get feedback about aspects of the experience that are not captured on a feedback survey.

You can monitor social media in a few different ways; one is to make use of the monitoring features in your marketing platform. These days, most have an incoming monitoring component. Another option is to make use of a social media management service – this is a more high level approach, but one that can give you deeper content collection along with a variety of analytical reports to make sense of the conversations that are happening online.


Compare unstructured feedback sentiment to your current program. Sentiment can be tricky in social media, as most programs are still using a basic sentiment analysis. As more and more turn to natural language processing, sentiment values will be more accurate. However, even with a basic sentiment analysis, manual analysis can be done. This is a benefit of using a social media management service – sentiment is manually set to ensure that the results are accurate.

Take a look at your positive/neutral/negative ratio of comments in social media and compare to your feedback program results. Are they similar? If not, you may want to look at what you’re asking for feedback about. If, for example, your feedback scores are high/positive while social media shows more negative commentary, take a look at why that may be happening – are you not asking the right questions (ie social conversations show dissatisfaction with a particular aspect of your ordering process yet you don’t ask questions on your feedback survey about this), or are results of your feedback program not as accurate based on who you’re sending the survey to? Or, are people being incentivized a certain way, maybe for providing good feedback, so what they’re providing in terms of feedback is more positive than it might be if they were not incentivized? If the results vary between feedback and social media, some reflection may be needed.


Find out if you’re asking the right questions & getting the right feedback to be successful. Similar to the point above, use social media data to find out what pains your customers; are they expressing dissatisfaction in an area that you’re not asking about in a feedback survey?

One example may be a restaurant. In monitoring social media, they may find that customers are saying the wait times in the drive thru are too long, but your feedback survey isn’t asking customers about their wait. This may be a good opportunity to incorporate a relevant question and collect some data from customers at the point of sale to see if there in fact may be a bigger issue at stake.

By looking for themes within your social monitoring program, you can find out what customers really like (and dislike) and enhance your feedback survey to capture the most relevant data possible.


Both traditional feedback and social media monitoring are valuable channels for customer communication and satisfaction monitoring, and using both to complement each other will not only help your brand grow and strengthen its customer experience, but it will also provide you with ways to really listen to your customers and show that you are invested in them.


How to Calculate NPS


Net Promoter Score


Net Promoter Score (NPS) can be a helpful snapshot of satisfaction and to learn more about consumers who are detractors, promoters, and passives. If you are collecting NPS data from multiple sources, you may be wondering how to calculate this score manually.

If you’re not familiar, NPS is a score that measures satisfaction. It’s based on one question you may see often on customer feedback surveys, asked on phone interviews, or even see on mystery shopping reports.

The question is quite simple: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company’s product or service to a friend or colleague?”

There are two data points to look at – the actual score given and the NPS score.

The actual scores, of course, range from 0 to 10, with 10 being the most satisfied. This is a helpful data point to look at for determining which customers, or how many customers, are detractors, promoters, or passive. This is how each category is defined:

Detractors are those giving ratings 6 and below. They are not particularly thrilled by the product or the service. They, with all likelihood, won’t purchase again from the company, could potentially damage the company’s reputation through negative word of mouth.

Passives are those giving ratings of 7 or 8. They are somewhat satisfied but could easily switch to a competitor’s offering if given the opportunity. They probably wouldn’t spread any negative word-of-mouth, but are not enthusiastic enough about your products or services to actually promote them.

Promoters are those giving ratings of 9 or 10. They love the company’s products and services. They are the repeat buyers, are the enthusiastic evangelist who recommends the company products and services to other potential buyers.

The second data point is the actual NPS score, which can range from -100 to 100. This is calculated by subtracting the detractors from the promoters – sounds easy, right? But what happens when you are collecting NPS data from multiple sources and end up with a spreadsheet of data? It could take all day to try to calculate manually. There is an easy formula to calculate this in Excel, and it only takes a few minutes.

Once you have your column of NPS data, you’ll want to add a formula to calculate your score.

The formula is: =100*(COUNTIF(BU2:BU27,”>8″) COUNTIF(BU2:BU27,”<7″))/COUNT(BU2:BU27)

In the example above, it assumes that your NPS scores are located in column B, rows 2 through 27. To make this formula work for you, all you need to do is change out BU2 and BU27 to the column and row numbers that contain your data.

Let’s take a look at a quick example of how the formula would change based on your data. If this is what your spreadsheet looks like, with the last column (E) being the data for NPS, which goes from row 2 through row 43:



Then your formula would look like this:

The formula is: =100*(COUNTIF(E2:E43,”>8″)-COUNTIF(E2:E27,”<7″))/COUNT(E2:E27)

All it took was a quick replace of BU with E.

NPS is a great tool to get a quick snapshot of satisfaction levels; it’s no longer a chore to calculate it manually across multiple touch points, so make sure you’re asking that very important question at every opportunity possible!