Aaah, don’t you love it when you provide a customer service team member with feedback, and they refer you to a website link for you to give them the feedback you just gave them!
Melbourne IT recently gave me the pleasure of that experience.
She responded, “Oh, I’m sorry, maybe I could record it for you?“
“Yes, that would be appreciated.” I responded.
However, I don’t have a lot of faith that my feedback will have been recorded because, based on my experience, I’m not confident that Melbourne IT have a system for their staff to enter feedback on behalf of their customers.
Such a system could work like this:
- Customer provides verbal feedback.
- Customer service team member clarifies the feedback to make sure that it is properly understood.
- Customer service team member asks the customer if they would like them to enter the feedback to their system on behalf of the customer, confirms the customer’s email address and sends a copy of what has been entered into the system via email to the customer.
- The customer has the opportunity (if they wish to do so) to check and edit the feedback via a link provided in the email.
Companies must understand that feedback is a gift from their customers. They need to make it as easy as possible for customers to provide their feedback gifts. Smart companies understand that at least one-third of customer issues are caused by the customers themselves. They understand that you can’t help a customer better understand your products, services, terms and conditions etc. if you don’t know that your customers are sometimes confused by them.
Smart companies choose to love their customers, which means they forgive them for the things they get wrong.
I didn’t have to offer to help Melbourne IT with my feedback. I could have easily not told them that their system wasn’t working for me and moved to a competitor. I don’t think they understand this reality; otherwise they would have already made it easy for me to provide my feedback, not hard.
The obvious lesson is to ask yourself, “How easy do we make it for our customers to provide feedback to us?“. It needs to be as easy as possible.
There may be immediate opportunities for you to take action that will help improve the quality of the service experience that you provide your customers. Take action now, and make it as easy as possible for your customers to give you the gift of feedback.
Gary Ryan was awarded the Honorary Title of Senior Assessor for the Customer Service Institute of Australia in 2006.