Thursday, December 30, 2010

Actively asking for feedback is NEVER bad

If the shopper feels like it was poor service, then it was poor service. We are in the customer perception business.
Mark Perrault, Rally Stores

I love this quote – it says it all even if we think we give excellent service and provide the customers with all they could possible need and want. It is only so if the customer agree with us.
So how do we know if the customers think we give good service?  Often when I ask this question the answers are something like “well we do everything…” or “they come back….”.
So you think you do everything a customer could possible want – how can you be sure unless you ask them? And for the “they keep buying” what if they don’t? Is it not much better to figure it out before the customers go somewhere else?
I am always surprised how reluctant people are to ask for feedback from their customers. In the past I asked my team to call the customer up and ask for feedback on how we are doing. In the beginning they did not like it very much –but I believe as long as you realize and communicate that all feedback can be used to improve the service you provide it is one of the most valuable things you can do.
It goes without saying that if an agent has behaved  in an inappropriate manner the feedback could be used as part of disaplinary action – but to be honest if you are a good leader you should never be in a situation where something like this happens (this could be an entire new blog post). Mostly it is about finding out what are the customer missing and what do they like us to do more of. Then it is easy to narrow down, improve and really make a difference. Instead of just guessing……and aiming wide.  
So whatever you do – do not be shy about actively acquiring feedback.