The Importance of Employee & Customer Feedback
Customer comment cards. You see them along with your receipt from dinner, or next to the check-out at your favorite spa. Do you ever fill them out? Ever wonder what happens to that card? Does anybody do anything with your suggestions, or do they just disappear into the void?
Today, there are so many more forums for small businesses to receive customer feedback. From social media to online review sites, to email and in-person conversations – it’s almost hard to avoid reading reviews of your product or service. Sometimes they’re what you want to hear, sometimes they’re not. But regardless of the reviews, they are usually valid and worth examining within the grand scheme of your business.
But, can you take garnering feedback one step further? Instead of waiting for reviews, why not email or schedule a phone call with your most valued customers (your “regulars,” the highest spenders, or VIPs) and ask for their feedback. Actively asking for their feedback shows that you value their opinion, and can help you strengthen your relationship with your customers. Plus, we bet you’ll get some good tips to make your business better!
Your employees are also an important source of feedback. Their hands-on/everyday experience gives them insights into common customer issues, procedures or processes that are or aren’t working. However, it’s important to make employees feel comfortable and safe to give feedback. They shouldn’t feel like giving negative feedback (i.e. “Customers don’t like the new burger,”) will result in any form of punishment or demotion. You can make it fun – reward an employee whose valuable insight helped solve an issue.
Don’t make these conversations with your customers or employees a one-time thing – make them a regular occurrence! Maybe once a month with your employees, or once a quarter with your customers! If you’re constantly asking for feedback and listening, you’ll always have your finger on the pulse of what’s important to your employees and your customers. After all, both parties ultimately want your product, service or business to succeed.