A Beginner’s Guide to Operationalizing Customer Feedback

For customer feedback to have an impact it must be firmly embedded in the operations of your company. Companies who have the most success in customer experience initiatives excel at “operationalizing” or, to put it more simply, taking smart action on customer feedback. For companies just beginning to collect feedback, or for those tired of seeing their customer survey budget go to waste – consider this your beginner’s guide on how to derive maximum value from customer feedback.

Step 1 | Craft your customer experience transformation strategy

­­­Have you ever been asked to take a “5 minute survey about your experience” only to spend 30 minutes answering questions about every single aspect of the customer experience, including the things you didn’t even experience? Starting with a strategy ensures you won’t torture your customers in the same way. Your strategy will define what you measure, why you measure it, and how to act on it. It will help you plan how to fix the things your customers care most about right now, and also guide the prioritization of future improvements.

Step 2 | Close-the-loop on customer feedback

Voice of the Customer software makes it incredibly easy for managers to take action on customer feedback in real-time, and your strategy should delineate who will be held accountable for acting on various kinds of feedback. Your customers will expect that if they bother to provide you with feedback, you will bother to act on it. So be clear on who gets what feedback, the appropriate follow-up actions, and then track that the people assigned to follow-up are doing so.

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Step 3 | Continuously monitor progress

Just as your customer experience strategy was used to inform when, where, and how you collect customer feedback, now your customer feedback should be used to measure and monitor against your strategy:

  • How are you performing at key Moments of Truth?
  • Are the changes you are making positively impacting the customer experience?

Employees should also be invited to be a part of customer feedback reviews. Whether it’s using an internal newsletter to share progress toward your customer experience goals, a daily shift meeting to review changes in customer metrics, or just making a habit of sharing customer stories. Cultural alignment around the customer experience vision happens by always keeping the customer top-of-mind at all levels of the organization.

Step 4 | Gain strategic insights

Root cause analysis is a powerful tool to help leaders identify the internal issues causing external problems for the customer. These insights can then be used to make the tough decisions around budget allocation and planning. In addition, these high-level insights should always be feeding into the customer experience strategy and guiding its ongoing development.

Photo credit: madamepsychosis / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

  Discuss This Article

Comments: 3

  • Ethan Krane says:

    Hi Janessa, interesting article!! I agree that customer feedback is essential to any business and its how you put it to practice that makes a difference. Sadly, the negative feedbacks often outnumber the positive ones. I believe that customer feedbacks in real time makes it a whole lot easier for management to act on feedbacks provided. Recently, my business started using this new customer feedback tool called Geteco ( http://www.geteco.com ) which essentially allows for feedback to be provided in real time and for management to act on site to it. It makes for much better strategies not only for the future but also in the present to ensure the customer is not going to be unhappy and provide negative feedbacks in the first place. Thanks and great article once again :)

    • Sanjana Daas says:

      Hi Ethan, i agree with what you have just said. For my business i tend to notice that negative feedbacks always outnumber the positive feedbacks. Its better to prevent customers from leaving the premises of your business unhappy in the first place. I feel that’s the only way to prevent any bad comments being placed on social media etc. Also will like to say the Geteco tool you mentioned seems very interesting. I had a look at the website and its potentially something that can be implemented in my business to enhance customer satisfaction. Thanks :)

  • Ethan,
    Thank you for taking the time to comment. You’re right, real time feedback is critical and customers are beginning to expect prompt follow up to their feedback. I wasn’t familiar with Geteco, it looks like a great tool to get customer feedback in front of management. And hopefully soon you’ll be seeing positive feedback outnumber negative :)

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