Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Improve your business with customer feedback

There are many companies that claim's they "satisfy" nearly every customer they have. Well in my opinion the larger the customer, the more difficult it becomes. Still, developing companies are announcing customer satisfaction ratings that would lead the public to believe they've never mixed up an order or missed a deadline. We all knows business customers and consumers alike are aware of what's real and what's not :)

When customers make the decision - and the effort - to give honest, unbiased feedback, they take it seriously. Don't squander the chance to find out what they really think.

One of the many fears of companies is often negative feedback, to know what customers are thinking, businesses have to ask. But failing to recognize and fix negative customer experiences can harm a company, its reputation and its future sales. If a business is not proactively soliciting feedback from customers - its reputation may be at risk.

See it's impossible to track everything that's being said about your business or product online. Even you can see businesses without a web presence like the local candy shop or pizza shop, they are still being talked about on review sites like Yelp or Yahoo, without even knowing it. Don’t be afraid of negative feedback. Businesses should proactively solicit feedback from customers at every opportunity and be timely about it - while the experience is still fresh. While it may come as a surprise to many businesses, the majority of feedback that is proactively solicited is positive. You know what? 60 percent of online shoppers provide feedback about a shopping experience, and are more likely to give feedback about a positive experience than a negative one.

Share customer feedback throughout the organization. Responsibility for customer feedback extends beyond the marketing department. When everyone in a company - from owner, to customer service, to sales knows what customers are thinking - business decisions will be better informed. In many businesses, the employee receiving the feedback will not move critical feedback up the management chain due to the possible repercussions. Establishing top-down responsibility will encourage employees to share feedback that could be crucial to improving your business. Another key is to keep customers in the loop about how their feedback was used and thank them for it, whether it was positive or negative. While good employee-customer relationships are critical, take a dim view of company policies that value those relationships at all costs. Employee incentives shouldn't be offered based on customer loyalty - it's too tempting to bury negative customer feedback.

Do something with the feedback you get. It's easy to talk about negative and positive reviews, and there is a lot of data about the effects of reviews on sales and consumer confidence, but the real key is figuring out what this feedback means to you as a business.

Offering a suggestion box isn't enough to improve customer satisfaction and service. A suggestion box or a survey doesn't provide a mechanism for dialogue between a customer and a retailer, nor does it fix a problem that may have just happened. Customer feedback and the power of reviews can be extended beyond just online business.

Remember, customers know nobody's perfect, the effective and best SEO Service can deliver good result - what you really want for your business online.
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