6 Secrets to Customer Feedback Success for Small Businesses

Ever wondered how successful customer feedback and action programs differ from unsuccessful programs? Customer feedback consulting firm Genroe did, so they surveyed a range of organisations to find out what worked.

Here is how it breaks down for small business.

Engage All Staff in the Customer Feedback Process

To be successful you need to engage everyone in the business with the customer feedback process. Rather than have one person whose job it is to collect, analyse and act on the customer feedback you need to spread it out amongst all staff.

This works in two ways:

  1. Employee engagement goes up because everyone is more involved with the process
  2. It becomes everyone’s problem not just the designated customer feedback person. This means that people can’t escape by saying “Mary has to fix that it’s a customer feedback issue.”

“Strategize how you are going to get everyone in the organisation engaged in the customer feedback process and make sure that it is not seen as any one person, or team’s, role to action customer feedback. “

Ensure that you Implement Service Recovery to Maximize Success

Service recovery occurs when your normal business operations fail a customer in some way and you must intervene to resolve the customer issue.

The service recovery process has positive impacts in many areas of customer feedback success and organisations that implement it have significantly better customer feedback outcomes.

“Make sure that you implement service recovery for the customer feedback process”.

Add Customer Feedback to regular management meeting agendas

At each weekly staff meeting you talk about orders, marketing, shipping, etc. Make sure that you include customer feedback outcomes in that conversation. Customer feedback will often be the pre-warning of issues in your business and remember increasing customer satisfaction today means increasing revenue tomorrow.

“Add customer feedback as a regular agenda item in management meetings.”

Make sure you report customer feedback data at least every month

You monthly internal reports will show a host of information: sales closed, orders shipped, cash received. Do they also show customer feedback score for the month? If not they should.

The analysis showed that companies that report their customer feedback data every month were more successful. It’s an easy change to make. Why not start this month.

“Report as often as you like on customer feedback data but do it at least every month.”

Spend more time understanding what drives the output score, e.g. NPS.

Knowing your output score (Net Promoter, Customer Effort Score, Customer Satisfaction, etc.) is not nearly as important as knowing what drives change in that score.

To be successful you need to dig into the customer feedback to really get a handle on the drivers of the score. Then you can start to make changes in your business to lift that score and along with it business revenue and profit.

“In survey design: begin with the end in mind. Understand exactly how you are going to analyze a question when you put it in the survey.”

Find and Apply Quality System Methods

For non-manufacturing companies quality system methods and approaches can appear either too hard or too irrelevant. Neither is the case. There are some really simple quality system approaches that you can apply in any small business to turn the data that you have into action.

Straightforward approaches like the 5-Why’s Root Cause Analysis technique can be applied in your business quickly and easily. Plus they have the upside benefit that once you learn the approach you can use it again and again in different areas of your business.

So there you have six improvements you can make to your customer feedback program today that will make you more successful tomorrow.