Customer Experience News & Trends

Everything seem great? Your feedback could be lying to you

If your customer feedback is consistently positive, you might want to consider that a problem.

The problem probably starts with who’s giving you feedback and perpetuates with what you do with it.

Google believes that — and is taking a road trip to overcome it. Even better, nearly any company can learn something from Google’s journey that will help it improve the quality of its feedback and, eventually, the customer experience.

What Google saw and did

Google leaders felt they weren’t hearing from a variety of customers. Most of their research was confined around its headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area.

While every customer is different, research that’s narrowed to one geographic area — where customers test products and give feedback — can be limiting in terms of the variety of customers who respond. For instance, they heard from affluent people living in the tech area, but they weren’t hearing as much from Midwesterners in the agricultural industry, Southerners in technology or Northeastern housewives and laborers.

So customer experience pros launched a six-week road trip across America in the Google User Experience van, a research lab on wheels. Actually, it’s not highly technical. It’s a space where volunteers can show the Google team how they use the service, what they like and don’t, and sometimes try out new features. All the while, users give authentic first-hand feedback.

Google hopes the diversified feedback will help them improve everyone’s customer experience.

Same people all the time?

Google’s experience isn’t unique. Most companies hear most from a core group of customers, most of them either the biggest lovers or haters. Any feedback is good, but you want a larger view from a well-rounded variety.

Here are ideas on how to reach beyond the regulars:

  • Change up your communication. Ask for feedback in a variety of channels. Vary the message. Customers are most likely to respond in the channel they use most often to contact you, but an “off channel” can gain their attention. If they’re used to email, send newsletters, offer rewards and mail invitations for feedback.
  • Vary the medium. Online surveys are convenient but they aren’t for everyone. If that’s your only survey form, it’s time to mix it up. Ask to visit customers. Invite them to visit you. Send an one-page written survey or postcard. Ask customers when they call you if you can call them for feedback. Set an appointment — and they’ll likely honor it if you keep the conversation under 15 minutes.
  • Make it personal. If you have salespeople, delivery personnel or even finance experts who deal directly with customers, get them involved in the survey process. Customers will more likely agree to a feedback request if it’s personal than if it’s a general invitation.
  • Watch for patterns. If you can’t get flat-out, candid feedback from a larger variety of customers, look at your existing data in different ways. Do customers in one region of the country buy, pay or use you differently than others? Do customers in similar industries or with similar socioeconomic situations make similar requests? Does family or company size affect how much they spend?

5 Essential Strategies for Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce in Your Contact Center

Take a couple minutes today and simply look out onto the production floor of your contact center. Chances are pretty great that you are seeing a diverse group of people that span across several generations.  Read more!

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.