May 20, 2011
Last month, I wrote a post which suggested that you stop guessing what your customers were thinking and instead (dramatic pause for novel thought) you just asked them. I offered up several different ways you could “survey” your customers from traditional surveys to secret shopping and advisory boards.
But… what I forgot to mention was this:
When you ask your customers (or employees, or vendors) for their opinion or assessments – be sure you close the loop by telling what you learned. Let them share in the insights you gained AND tell them what you are going to do with this new knowledge.
Let’s say that one of the key pieces of feedback you got was that when your customers couldn’t get a hold of their normal account rep, they didn’t know who else they could talk to if there was a problem.
One way to handle that would be to create a contact sheet (headshot, name, title, phone number, cell phone number, e-mail, etc.) of the entire team that works on the client. Write a letter, explaining that this was something you learned during the survey, so you’re sharing this contact sheet with them in case they were one of the people who wasn’t sure who to reach out to if there was trouble.
It doesn’t have to be fancy or formal. A letter from your CEO with these elements would also work just great.
- Thank you for participating in our survey if you did
- Here were the things you loved the most (share the good news too!)
- Here are the top 3 things we learned we could improve upon
- Here is how we’re going to address those items
- Again, thank you. If you have more feedback, please feel free to call me.
You could also write a story for your newsletter or put it on your blog, website or Facebook fan page. No matter what method — be sure you close the loop and let them know that you appreciated their time and that they were heard.
P.S. The other plus of closing the loop is that it reinforces the message that you care about their opinion, you listen when they offer feedback and you are always trying to get even better.More