Tips for making the most of customer feedback - 23 Oct 2015

At the third quarterly Glasgow Welcomes Champions event delegates enjoyed a mini workshop by Ann McAvoy, Director of Corporate Training Limited. She offered her own tips, as well as asking for other people’s ideas and tips.

Ann revealed that companies do collect feedback. Yet, based on this feedback, only:

  • 50% tell staff about the feedback
  • 30% make decisions based on the feedback
  • 10% deploy and make improvements
  • 5% inform customers

TOP TIPS FOR CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

COLLECTING FEEDBACK

One of the hardest tasks can be getting customers or clients to give feedback. They are more likely to complain than to offer good feedback, but even then it can be difficult to collect good quality feedback.

Feedback can be gained on-line or in person as customers are welcomed into an establishment.

11 ACCESS POINTS FOR FEEDBACK

Traditional comments boxes that are well sign-posted

Comments cards left in obvious places for customers to see

Train staff to ask for feedback, or recognise when feedback could be asked

Via discount or competition cards that offer customer a reward for giving feedback

QR codes for feedback

Feedback requests on till receipts

Post-visit through email, social media or TripAdvisor

Post-visit through customer surveys, visitor books

Through requested product testing

Post it notes for customers to comment on and stick on a wall as they leave.

Review Pro: An on-line resource that allows companies to look at customer satisfaction.

THE GRAFFITI TABLE CASE STUDY

Ann revealed that a Scottish college utilised a table in their canteen where students could leave comments about the food written on a graffiti table. She said: “This is fun and appealing and is sure to make an impact on students as they leave the food hall.”

SHARING FEEDBACK WITH STAFF

Feedback, good and bad, is best shared with staff so that they know first-hand what customers are saying.

For example, Jamie’s restaurants have a daily pre-shift meeting for staff during which one of the topics will be customer feedback.

A system that rewards staff for their part in good feedback can create a more positive working environment

ACTING ON FEEDBACK

Ann pointed out that there is no point in having feedback if nothing is done about it. She said: “Feedback about an issue or problem should be dealt with swiftly. There needs to be a process that staff can follow.”

For example, if a customer is not happy with their meal what should staff do about this?

Training is an important part of the process for staff so they know how to handle feedback, both positive and negative.

Every business should have a system to record comments and feedback and this should be analysed regularly and systematically.

MAKE FEEDBACK PERSONAL

Social media is a huge resource for customer feedback, whether on Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor etc. Ann says she has been most impressed by companies that personally reply to all comments on the sites, whether good or bad.

She added: “A company that takes the time to reply to Facebook messages, Tweets and comments on TripAdvisor will gain a good reputation among its customer base.”

TELL CUSTOMERS ABOUT FEEDBACK

Customers will also be impressed by companies and organisations that act on feedback. Ann says: “If you do not tell customers what you have done to rectify a situation they might be left with the feeling that feedback is pointless.”

‘YOU SAID, WE DID’ CASE STUDY

Teresa Macpherson, from Glasgow Life, told the delegates about a system that is operated within Glasgow Life where posters are put up in places such as leisure centres and museums that reveal how they have acted on feedback.

She said:

“The You Said, We Did posters show how issues have been resolved or how an establishment has tried to resolve and issue. This is a good use of feedback for both staff and customers because it provides good and easy-to-read communication.”

ANN’S FINAL TIPS FOR GOOD FEEDBACK

• Make it quick
• Make it easy
• Make it worthwhile
• Make it fun
• Make it confidential.

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