Customer experience is always an interesting topic. On any given day, as I am out on the town at businesses, I will experience a full gamut of customer service levels. In observing these experiences, there is a great deal to be learned.
I was at a fast food Japanese restaurant for lunch recently. After I picked up my food and was about to begin my lunch, an employee who was mopping the floor nearby stopped to ask me how my lunch was. I hadn’t started yet so I asked him to come back and ask me again. Sure enough he came back after a short while. I told him that my meal had too much sauce and it was overwhelming the ingredients. He nodded empathetically, and said “okay, thank you.” Then he continue to do his mopping. So what I observed here was that this restaurant had a clear process to obtain customer feedback. Yet there was no method to record this feedback or respond to it. By the end of my meal, I observed the employee still completely focused on his mopping duties. I was left feeling worse than if he hadn’t asked me. I had just let the business know I was not satisfied with the product and they basically completely ignored me.
Most of us business owners have some process for customer feedback. Often it is as simple as just asking our clients if they are pleased. But what is your process to record, track and respond to this feedback? Surveys continually show that 50% of customers will seek out other vendors due to a poor customer experience. We all like to say how much we value our customers. And we might even be excused for not knowing what they are feeling. But when we know they are unhappy, what system do you have in place to deal with that? How will you know if your corrective actions actually addressed the problem? Do you know if that client will come back?
These aren’t questions many businesses carefully think through. Often when I give negative feedback and the business is responsive, they’ll do something to send me on my way. It feels like they are doing just what is adequate enough so I don’t spread the word. In certain restaurants, if I am not happy with the meal, sometimes they’ll replace it. But they often don’t apologize. And what about the fact that I am waiting another 15 minutes or that I am eating alone by then as my friends are done their meals?
At Day One Media, we are working hard to take our customer feedback seriously. In fact we go so far as to guarantee their happiness. That means we keep working until the product is great. We don’t just want generic happiness, we want raving fans. And when they are not happy? Truthfully, we are still refining this process. We’ll sit down and have a serious conversation with the customer about what we’ll do to make it right. And we have them hold us to it.
What is your process to manage customer feedback?