“Customer service should not be a department, It should be the entire company”
Before a person develops and invests his time on a business idea, he researches on the market size, the features the product has to provide and the problems it should solve or ease for the user or customer. This is the key recipe for the initial success of the product and this is supported by the fact that 42% of the products fail because there is no need for them in the market.
But it doesn’t end there. Statistics say that 50% of the new businesses fail within the first 5 years of their existence. This might be a scary fact but there are common key principles that successful businesses all have in common that help them navigate successfully through the initial five years and one of them is listening to your customer.
In the new age of product development, it is not enough to just listen to your customers but engage with them as well. Here we will focus on the 5 fundamental rules of responding to customer feedback.
It is an uncontested fact that feedback from customers is a valuable business tool. People look at how an organization responds to all kinds of feedback and especially on negative feedback. When you fail to respond to customer feedback, people wonder if you really care for your customers.
And when you fail to respond to a negative feedback, customers think that you are incapable of solving customer problems. The way you respond to your customers have a great impact on current customers as well as attracting new customers and this has become crucial after the effect of using social media applications where a few minutes of typing can bring down the entire organization’s reputation.
Rules for responding to customer feedback:
1. Be extremely good at receiving feedback:
The first step in engaging customers makes it easy for them to find and contact you. The are several ways to achieve this objective, one of them being present in as many channels as possible.
Many companies seek feedback that provides but they don’t take it well. Let your customers know that you are open and ready to receive all kinds of feedback.
Make sure your customers are aware of the platforms and tools you use for receiving customer feedback. Provide feedback tools which ease the process of giving feedback to your customers. This increases the product’s user-friendliness and the reputation of the team behind it.
2. Respond promptly to feedback:
Make sure you respond to customer feedback within 48 hours or even less. The promptness and the process time you take to respond to the feedback tells how much you value and how attentive you are to your customers’ needs.
This shapes and decides the relationship you have with your users and is a significant part of the customer experience.
Customers tend to share their experience with others, this also affects how people view your product and might even go on to affect gaining new users, in-turn your product growth.
For example, Amazon has been optimizing on their process time for years now to the point they are quite famous for it. One of the core values of Amazon is their focus on the user experience. They ensure that their customers are taken care and they are aware of it. This sets Amazon apart from their competitors.
3. Handling negative feedback:
Negative feedback is an important part as a positive feedback to the growth of the product. A product differentiates itself from its competitors depending on how they handle negative feedback.
Do you ignore it and come back to the issue after it becomes a larger problem? Do you take a long time to respond to feedback? Are your users updated on the state of their grievances with the product? How often to do you engage with your users?
The answers to these questions provide a general direction on how satisfied the users are with the product service. Over 95% of prospective clients read reviews before making a move on buying a product. Imagine coming across a bad review that could’ve been remedied if it was addressed immediately.
The standard rule of handling negative feedback is getting to the user as soon as possible, engage the user, avoid the developer bias when interacting with the user and understand the deeper pains behind the feedback, and in addition to this, keep them updated about the status of the feedback as often as there is an improvement with bug report or grievances.
4. Handling positive feedback:
User appreciations and good reviews are the best form of marketing for a product. 92% of Buyers and prospective buyers are more likely to make a purchase after reading a trusted review.
This makes it important for organizations to maintain a good front on the reviews and keep their customers satisfied.
While we discussed how to gracefully handle criticisms on the product, it is as substantial to attend to positive feedback as well. Thank the user for taking the time to give you a positive review.
If they are asking for more features, reach out to them to understand more. If the product is in its early stages, get on a call or meet them for a coffee. An engaged user is the best promoter your product can utilize to reach more people.
5. Thank them for the feedback
Feedback is a great source of knowledge which improves your business and customer satisfaction. You can also use automated tools in case of appreciating feedback in large number but make sure you appreciate every single customer feedback.
Thank customers individually and importantly to those who give negative feedback for putting an effort to provide you with valuable feedback.
Simple appreciation makes the customer experience better and also helps in customer retention. And also apologize for the inconvenience if required.
Continue the conversation
Feedback makes us grow, the more open we are to it, the more likely we are to incorporate it. The simple way to do that is thanking for the feedback and welcoming to give even more feedback. Don’t cease hearing the voice of customers.