"Credibility is easy to lose, hard to gain in the first place, and even harder to regain!"
I think any business should take a long hard look at what its customers are saying and use this feedback to develop future strategy. Good customer feedback is great to receive, and tells you your business is fulfilling its obligations to its customers in the areas that are commented upon. Bad customer feedback or even just negative feedback is where all business owners should sit up and listen. This doesn't mean that every single complaint or suggestion should make you change your direction or add another policy, this would be futile. Instead, it should be assessed on a monthly basis and linked with a commonsense approach.
Are there common denominators, or areas, which have an impact on your customers? Are these things something you did not think were important but the feedback says something different?
This is the first link you should look for. Once you have a clear understanding about what stops customers returning, then you are on the right track to understanding your customers - this can only be a good thing for the future of your business. Build a strategy around giving customers what they want and you will soon reap the rewards from greater ROI and returning business. We all spend thousands of pounds marketing our businesses and trying to promote our brands when the greatest promotion tool is our customers. If customers are satisfied and believe they have received better than average service and a quality product that is first class they will tell their friends and business associates. This is the sort of marketing that you just can't buy.
Recommendations are the highest yielding sales as the person who has been recommended already has a comfort factor with your business - trust equals greater sales!
Start A Dialogue With Your Customers
My business Betterprint takes our customer feedback very seriously indeed; we write to every customer about a week after we have delivered their order and ask the following specific questions:
• Are you happy with the product you received from Betterprint?
• Are you happy with the service you received from Betterprint?
• Would you write a short note that we may publish on our website under customer feedback for others to view?
These three questions engage our customers in dialogue, they hopefully feel that we are not taking the sale for granted and have a right of response if they felt we did something good, or even if they felt we did something not so good. The replies go straight to the Managing Director (in this case me) so I see all the feedback, good, bad, or ugly and can act upon anything which is a serious breach of our customer charter.
I reply personally to anyone who writes anything negative or complains, in my business experience dealing with dissatisfaction in a prompt and proactive manner can turn disappointment into pleasant surprise - the fact that they get a response at all often is pleasing. At www.betterprint.co.uk we offer all types of Matching Stationery including Business Cards, all are customised online and can be delivered within 24 hours (for a fee) we try to give our customers various different options but every product we sell is of first class quality. This was my number one goal when setting up the business. We then work very hard to ensure we deliver exactly what it says on the tin, if you cut corners on quality and service your repeat business levels will be severely harmed and as the statement above quotes;
"It is hard to gain new business but very easy to lose it and even harder to regain it”
The Importance of Your Feedback
I am very proud that the majority of the feedback we receive is positive and complementary, however we do gain some negative feedback and are constantly looking at ways to improve those areas of concern to our customers. In our case nearly all the negativity is centred around the delivery of our goods. As you can imagine an internet based business delivering all over the UK and beyond with relatively small orders has to use third party carriers. Primarily, we use the Royal Mail and to be fair, they have a 99% success rate, but if you happen to be one of the 1% then I fully understand those frustrations at not receiving goods in the time promised. To minimise this we only send our 5 day service goods on Recorded Delivery which requires a signature and has a traceable inventory number and for our Rush Service (3 days) and Sonic Rush Service (next Day) we only use Special Delivery again with full tractability or Parcelforce next day delivery depending on the weight of the goods.
We obviously have a complete set of terms and conditions that all our customers accept when ordering from us but above all else we try to be fair and reasonable, if a customer has paid for a production service like the 3 day or next day service and because of our third party carrier we fail to deliver then we refund the charges related to this service in full without quibble. In the rare cases this happens most people are understanding and are happy with a full explanation and if appropriate a refund, but there are the odd exceptions. Take last week for example, one particular customer in Scotland ordered some cards on a next day service and only received them 4 days later. This customer was very disappointed and our explanation of why the order was not delivered on time did not seem to be satisfactory. This particular order was sent out the very same day we received it but unfortunately due to the adverse weather conditions the Royal Mail were unable to make this and many other deliveries, the fact that almost all of Scotland had ground to a halt and subsequently the Minister for transport in Scotland resigned did not appease our customer. Not every piece of negative feedback is justified nor should it form part of your business strategy.
Remember take your customer feedback seriously, review it and ACT to help keep your customer satisfaction levels as high as is possible.
I hope the above information can help you better understand your own customer feedback issues and how dealing with those issues can have a positive impact on you business. If you have read this far I think it would be worth you taking a look at our site and seeing if my business can help your business.
Business Cards: Betterprint
Take a look at www.betterprint.co.uk, where you will find thousands of innovative contemporary designs ready for you to customise, making a truly unique look without the need to employ expensive designers.
If you want to buy something from our site mail me firstname.lastname@example.org quoting "Customer Feedback Blog" and in return I will send you a Promo Code worth 25% discount plus remember you also get a further 20% off any Matching Stationery products ordered at the same time.