How to Use Feedback to Get into a Deeper Dialogue with Customers

Posted by Rant & Rave

June 14, 2017

How to Use Feedback to Get into a Deeper Dialogue with Customers | Rant & Rave

Brands can be guilty of making feedback requests that are too broad or irrelevant to their customers. When this happens, you'll experience a low level of engagement and to make matters worse - you won't be gathering any insight that can help you transform your business and customer experience.

Here are some ideas on how you can start to establish some dialogue with your customers...

Give your feedback requests more purpose with a clear structure - use feedback as an idea validation tool

To have a deeper dialogue with your customers, experiment with asking for feedback based on your current business priorities. Be transparent here so that customers know what is being asked of them. Try saying: “These are our top 3 priorities as a business, which is the most important one for you and why?”

Use this feedback to find out which of your business priorities is actually the most important to your customers. This is just one way of using feedback as a validation tool.

Use feedback to find out if a customer has actually recommended you

Another way to think about developing your dialogue with customers is to build on your use of Net Promoter Score. Don’t just ask customers “Would you recommend us?” ask them “Have you recommended us?” This switches the dynamic from passive to active - it’s a really powerful way of moving the conversation on to the next stage.

Or take this further and reframe the question to ask: “Why wouldn’t you recommend us?” Potentially, this will open up a whole new level of insight about the parts of your brand that are stopping customers from becoming advocates.

There are lots of stats going around on how many people would recommend Brand X and what that can do for the value of the business. But, what would be really powerful is for a company to go out there with a campaign that says “2% of our customers wouldn’t recommend us and that’s what keeps us awake at night”. From the perspective of the customer this also sends the message that the company cares about what its customers think and wants to do everything it can to turn detractors into promoters.

Get creative with your feedback requests

We’re accustom to seeing marketing departments get creative; raising a smile, entertaining us and keeping us in the know about their company. But, when it comes to customer feedback and mobilising consumers as troops for your brand, there’s not a lot of creativity out there.

It makes you think, do we even have the right people working on our customer feedback programmes? Or do we need to mix it up? Do customer feedback teams need people with analytics skills, marketing skills, creative skills, as well as customer service skills? What would happen if you form a micro group to optimise the process by bringing together these different skills?

Here’s an example of how this could work. If you look at the subject lines on feedback request emails, they’re all along the lines of “We’d love to know your thoughts” or “Your feedback is important to us”. There’s nothing original, nothing to catch your attention, nothing like the attention grabbing subject lines crafted by marketing departments. In marketing, there is a clear understanding of how important a seemingly straightforward subject line can be. It’s the first impression your recipient has; it’s your chance to entice them into opening your email. So let’s bring this thinking and this creativity into customer feedback requests.

You could start by introducing personalisation into the email subject line; use information you know about the customer and reference their specific engagement with you. Something along the lines of: “Rob, how are you getting on with your new account” or “Tell us more about your stay in London, Hannah”. You could also introduce elements of your brand so that the subject line isn’t flat or generic, making it specific to the way you present and talk about yourself.

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Topics: Customer Feedback

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