Remember that old saying, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”?  

Well, you need to write it down on a piece of paper, crumple that paper into a ball, then toss it into the nearest garbage bin.  Improving your customer service is all about getting constructive criticism from as many places as possible, and sticking your head in the sand is downright counterproductive.

The two main places to go looking for feedback?

  1. Your staff and peers
  2. Your customers

Frontline staff are a great place to get ideas about what you can do to make customer experiences better – after all, they’re the ones who handle complaints, help solve problems, and learn about what customers like and don’t like. 

It goes without saying that feedback from the horse’s mouth is even better.  Customers are (mostly) self-aware and smart, and asking them directly is always a good way to get actionable critiques.

Your Staff and Peers

 Frontline or front-facing staff are the people who deal with your customers as a daily part of their job.  We’re talking about:

  • Customer service staff (this may include waitstaff, maintenance and technical support workers)
  • Sales staff (including call centre staff, retail workers, agents and reps)
  • Operational staff (depending on your business)

Because these staff engage with customers at different touchpoints, they can each offer unique insights into how you can improve your customer experience.

There are a few ways you can get feedback from your frontline staff:

  • Conduct regular employee surveys.  Surveying frontline staff once a quarter gives you time to analyse the results, implement changes, and see results before the next survey rolls around.
  • Have an open employee suggestion box.  Capitalise on those random bright-idea moments by popping a suggestion box somewhere convenient (this could be physical, virtual, or both).
  • Hold regular team meetings.  In addition to collecting useful suggestions, it’s also a great way to connect with your teams.
  • Implement an open-door policy.  Encouraging a culture of open communication will only do good things for your business anyway.
  • Invite feedback when making decisions that will directly impact customers.  You don’t necessarily have to act on every feedback point, but getting unique perspectives on big decisions never hurts, especially when your bottom line could be at stake.

Your Customers

Like most people, customers enjoy it when you pay attention to what they want.  In fact, according to Microsoft, 77% of customers have a more favourable view of companies that ask for feedback. 

That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll go out of their way to tell you how you can improve.  If you want comprehensive, validated data from your customers, you’ll need to ask them.

There are a few different ways you can do this.

  • Use short feedback surveys or ask for reviews after providing the customer with a product or service.  These can be physically distributed, or virtually distributed via an email campaign platform like Brag offer.
  • Extract insights from your website analytics.  Analysis of metrics like bounce rate, time on page, and click-through rate can be helpful when gauging how customer-friendly your online home is.
  • Use pop-up surveys on your website.  
  • Conduct polls on social media.
  • Comprehensively survey customers at set intervals, such as the end of every quarter.  These can examine everything from customer satisfaction (CSAT) to Net Promoter Score (NPS®).
  • Analysing reviews.  Reviews are a gold mine of useful feedback.  In addition to the star rating, most reviewers leave some hard feedback.  You can analyse reviews from all your different review platforms in Brag, which also provides detailed analytics for your overall performance.

Remember, you’re asking customers for their time, so, to get them to provide feedback, you’ll need to do a couple of things.

  • Make the feedback process as simple and straightforward as possible.
  • Incentivise customers to complete the survey – try offering them discounts or complimentary products/services.
  • Show your gratitude, and make them feel like their contribution is valued (regardless of the feedback!).  A study by Rapide found 43% of customers don’t leave negative feedback because they think companies don’t care.  

Using Feedback

Okay, so you’ve done the hard yards and collected your feedback.  Well done!  Now, it gets even trickier: actually implementing all those helpful suggestions into your operations.

Someone (probably a Marketing or CX team, or consultants like Brag) needs to analyse your feedback and extract insights from it.  

Once you have your insights, pass them along to the right teams.  Collected feedback on a new product?  Give it to Product Development.  Constantly getting complaints about hard-sell tactics from your call centre?  Tell Sales management about it.  People having trouble using the new website or booking system?  Inform IT or Marketing.           

While not every suggestion needs to be acted upon, critiques that recur at a high frequency should be addressed, especially if you’ve surveyed a lot of people.  If 90% of the 2,028 customers who filled out your feedback form complain how unresponsive your support teams are, it’s not an isolated experience – it’s a serious issue that you need to tackle ASAP.   

The Bottom Line           

You can get actionable customer experience feedback from both the people in your organisation and the people you serve.  By using software like Brag Reviews, you can gather and analyse feedback without too much hassle.

Using the data you get?  That’s the hard part.  You’re going to need smart analytics to extract insights, and managers who are actually committed to improving things.  

But, hey, no-one said that providing excellent customer experiences was easy.  You’re already on the right track by being here so well done – just keep going.