One of the most important things in the customer service sphere is listening to your customers and collecting customer feedback. Through the years, most of the companies have used wide variation of techniques to do this - telephone surveys, online surveys, comment forms, focus groups etc. Of course, collecting the feedback is just one part of the whole operation, which includes also reacting on the feedback. But in this particular article we will concentrate on the first part - collecting the feedback. You can do it like this:
1. Empowering the employees - or at least the ones who are facing customers as a part of their job. Try to create working conditions in which your employees are aware of the significance of the customer feedback and are empowered to ask for it. Moreover - empower them to act. Surveys show that customers are more likely to give feedback to someone they know has the power the make the changes. Appoint a person who would be in charge of the customer feedback - in combination with your other techniques of gathering customer information you will be able to create a nice database.
2. Monitoring the customer behavior - nowadays, there are many Web analytic tools which can aid you in your path towards gathering customer information. For example, with just the simple use of Google analytics, you can easily spot where your customers have problems with their online shopping on your store. Like, if they leave the website at a certain page - it's time to check the page out and see what the problem is. There are many points which you can observe and pay attention to so you can get a firm grasp of the customer behavior.
3. Outsource the customer feedback gathering - believe it or not, there is a company for every need. So if you need help with the customer feedback, well, there are companies that do this too. And they are doing it great. It is a good idea to hire such a firm every now and then just to make sure you are listening to your customers the right way and that you are actually hearing them. Hired consultants can help a lot with focus groups, customer surveys and other methods that are too time-consuming for your employees.
4. Use different tools - do not only use one. Try to differentiate. Create polls on your website, send simple "Yes or No" customer surveys. Place them strategically in your website and check out the information they provide often. And one simple advice - if you are going to place a poll on your website, always have the option to check out the results whether you answered or not. Most people vote only after seeing the results.