Stop Sabotaging Customer Feedback

Nov 11, 2015

You go to great lengths to gather insight and feedback from your clients, but there’s a good chance you’re sabotaging the results. You gather feedback to make strategic decisions, but how can you do that if your customer feedback doesn’t give you any substance?

As strategists, it’s vital to make sure you’re collecting information your organization can act on during the planning process. Sure, it feels good to receive a customer feedback survey that says you’re doing “excellent” across the board, but it does nothing to tell how you’re winning and how you’re not.

So what do you need to do to make sure that you can receive great customer feedback? Here are three quick tips to consider as you collect customer feedback:

Get strategic about your phrasing.

Just like in any marketing or sales effort, you need to really be strategic about how you phrase up your questions. Using language that that is direct and resonates with your customer is key in getting them engaged. Remember, you’re trying to understand customers better than they often understand themselves – what are they really trying to fix, accomplish, or avoid?

Communicate the “why”.

Being upfront why you’re asking for feedback is another great tool for getting your customers to give you honest answers. You value your customer’s opinion and they value knowing why you’re asking for it. Great, invested customers want to help you positively impact the future of your organization. This helps you build the two-way street of communication and an ongoing relationship.

Don’t offer solutions. Ask about problems.

Avoid asking your customer’s opinion on proposed solutions, but rather ask them about the problem and the solution they could see. Leading with a solution could diminish an opportunity for your customer to daylight a strategic issue that is more critical to your organization.

Strategy that will have a true impact on your organization is crafted from the feedback of your customers, stakeholders, and key staff. If you miss one of these key ingredients, you’ll end up with a half-baked strategy. Use your customer feedback to create a holistic strategy that reflects what your customer wants and needs from your organization.

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