Many business owners claim they can’t get meaningful feedback from customers because the customers are too busy. But does this excuse really stick?
Everyone claims to offer the best customer service in their local area or particular industry. Yet what constitutes “the best” is up to customers to determine – not business owners and their employees.
So without capturing customer feedback rigorously and efficiently, how do you really know how your service offering stacks up? Is it really better than your competitor down the road? Are there things you could be doing better but don’t even realise it?
For Paul Cave, the founder of BridgeClimb Sydney which operates treks up the Sydney Harbour Bridge, customer feedback has been a crucial part of ensuring his business doesn’t become a do-once-and-forget experience. Purely and simply, it is one of the few things that have encouraged his customers to become repeat customers.
“Really, it’s the guts of our business,” he says while speaking on the My Business Podcast.
“And particularly if it’s constructive criticism – occasionally had a complaint – they’re the valuable things we’ve got as a consequence.”
Far from being a brief survey or an open-ended ‘tell us your thoughts’ style endeavour, Paul explains that his business developed a several page feedback document, which allows customers to evaluate every aspect of their entire experience, from booking their tickets and checking in through to the tour guides, equipment and overall experience.
Despite its length and sophistication, Paul says he gets a very high rate of completions.
“We get almost 90 per cent of all of our customers fill in that several page document,” he says.
In many instances, customers welcome the chance for their thoughts to be heard – particularly at the point of purchase or in dealing with a business, when the experience is fresh in their minds.
It may be that you look to automation to help speed up the process of accessing data. I recently visited a Service NSW branch, and was pleasantly surprised to see that the cumbersome form with pencils in the corner had been replaced by a simple computer process.
The machine scans your ticket number, presents you with five key service areas to rate with graded smiley/angry faces, and a text box for any bespoke comments. The entire process took less than 30 seconds.
I’ve also found that, as a consumer, I tend to only leave feedback after the fact if the experience was bad. As such, retail stores, for example, generally miss out on positive feedback because it is not sought at the point of sale.
So far from being too busy to provide your business with feedback, it may simply be the case that you haven’t yet offered up the most convenient method for them to provide you with that feedback!
Paul has plenty more great insights on obtaining customer feedback and how to use that data to positively transform your business on the My Business Podcast – listen below:
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.