An invaluable asset when working in a customer service role is feedback. Without feedback we don't know what problems customers have faced, what they like about the product they have bought or what they don't like. Through live chat our clients are able to gain a truckload of feedback from their customers...but surprise, surprise not every piece of customer service feedback is as valuable as the last.

Customer feedback doesn't always result in indispensable information and even when it does, it doesn't necessarily get put to good use. As live chat and customer service experts, we'd like to share with you 4 tips for getting valuable insights from your customers and making the most of customer feedback.

 

Tip 1: Find Out What Your Customer Expects

If a customer gives you a tweet or starts a live chat to make a complaint, it is because your product or service hasn't met the standards which they expected. Sure, the initial problem which customer service needs to deal with is putting the faulty product or shoddy service right for the individual...but then it needs to do something else. They need to find out why the expectations weren't met.

You are probably thinking "I know what my customers expect, they expect what's in the product description", but they of course expect some form of pre and post-sale service and it's no doubt different to what they expect from your competitors. That's why they chose you.

Find out what your customers want from you and if you are delivering it for them. If you're falling short of delivering their wants then selling the occasional damaged good is the least of your worries. Don't be afraid to ask customers how the whole customer experience is shaping up for them. You are much likely to get nitty gritty criticism which is great feedback and can be used to your advantage.

 

Tip 2: Effective Feedback

Great feedback often comes in the form of criticism. Even if you have fantastic product reviews and customers say that they love your service, you'll get customers which will critique areas of your operations. And that's awesome! That's your customers giving you the answer to the age old question of "how do I sell more stuff?"

If you ask your customers to give their thoughts on your service via review sites, a follow up email, in conversation or however you want to do it; you might often find that they just give some generic rubbish like "yeah it was great, lots of choice on the website". Pfft...rubbish. Everywhere has lots of choice, it's the 21st century, they can thank capitalism and globalisation for that in their own time. If you are able to have an informal chat with your customers (in a scenario where they don't feel pressured) you should be prising complaints out of them.

Ask your customers to be honest with you and be clear that you want to know why they think the problem occurred. Effective feedback can come from finding out both what customers do like and don't like. There's no point just ignoring negative comments and hoping that they'll go away. What can you do differently next time? There is so much information given via feedback but it's often not valuable. Criticism is valuable and can be used to improve your customers' experiences.

 

Tip 3: Listen To The Customers

After hearing customer feedback it's important to let your customers know that they care and that you are listening to their views. Saying thanks and telling customers that the information they have given will be put to improving your service is a given...but how about actually doing it? For some strange reason this isn't always a given. Many seem to say that they'll put customer views into consideration but just go ahead and make their own decisions on what customers want. 80% of companies say they deliver "superior" customer service but only 8% of their customers agree.

If a customer has just told you what would make them return to you again and again then put that information to good use. Listening to customers to find out their pain points and correcting them means that CX is improved, customers feel valued and there is increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

You should of course let a customer know when you have rectified their particular problem (i.e. you've sent out a product replacement or refunded their account) but something you should also consider is informing all of your customers when you make changes based on feedback you have received from them. Being listened to makes a customer feel valued and creates a special bond between you and them (meaning they'll return again and again and again..).

 

Tip 4: Involve The Right People

Whether it's helping to solve a customer's problem, getting valuable feedback or putting feedback to good use...your customer service team (and the rest of your company) shouldn't be afraid to get others involved. Don't bounce your customer from one department to the next but do allow different members of your team to deal with different issues based on the skill set and knowledge that they have. Even if training is standardised you'll find that some of your team will be better at gaining great feedback, on certain products, than other members of your team...people begin to specialise based on their own interests.

To put customer feedback into action you'll also need to involve more than front-line customer service staff. Your customer service team needs to be connected to decision makers so that they get the valuable information that customers give you...so that the business as a whole can act upon it. Feedback can often refer to many specific departments (e.g. operations, marketing, finance etc.), setting up a system which allows the right people to get the right information allows them to plan the changes which the customers want.