Ignoring Customer Comments and Feedback

Jan
8
2013

Post Office Box just waiting for old school communication

What do you do when you get feedback from a client or customer.

Do you file it away, never to see the light of day. Read and delete it. Dismiss it, or look for justification to defend the actions /proecess raised. Pretend it never arrived. Run and hide!

All of the above?

If you are like me, and everyone else, you will have found feedback somewhat painful at some point. Although I have learnt to detach myself and revile in any feedback, good or bad.

Feedback can be painful to the point that we just don’t really seek it out.  We even shy away from it, when it is given.

This is okay, it’s human nature, just our defensive ego doing its job, nothing really to be concerned about.

However we should be concerned if it’s a constant stream of denial of the issues raised.

As UX professionals we need to consider any feedback on its merits that it was given. We need to be constantly checking our motivations and actions especially in relation to comments and feedback from peers, clients and customers. We need to maintain a sense of objectivity.

Comment and Feedback Mining

This is especially true as a trend is approaching in the area of customer feedback and comments.

Previously this customer content was just considered to be an add on, maybe an annoyance, just a supplementary commentary. Something that would not be seriously regarded.

It was a just mirror game of make-believe letting the audience believe that by letting them comment that they were engaging and making a difference.

Yeah we all played this game of engagement and social media to push people to the clients products.

Overtime the enlightened organisations have listened and acting on these comments and customer feedback. Improving their services, products or at least their customer research.  Based firmly on this level of real customer engagement.

They have effectively mined and used this free resource, of customer information, as any other analytical research tool for the benefit of their business.

When there are large quantities of this type of information trends can be seen in the feedback, this content can then be analysed, evaluated and given due consideration.

Empathise!

Remember people are going out of their way, on social media, blogs or the like, to comment on your service or product, it’s a simple matter to consider these comments even if you don’t agree with them.

Try and put yourself in the customers place. Empathise with them over their situation and the issues they are encountering. Customers may have taken a considerable time to gather their feedback, type it up and send it to you – we need to start respecting that.

It’s a good idea to also remember there is often a secondary motive behind all comments and feedback people submit.

I used to consider that this level of analysis was only viable for very large organisations with correspondence levels that requiring full time staff.

I was wrong, enquiries, feedback and comments can still be used to give effective insight into the issues, personality types and process of the customers, no matter what the volume.

So ask for feedback, comments and don’t ignore them – use them!

Generating a culture of responsiveness could provide your client with a competitive edge.

Tags: , , , , , ,

2 comments

  1. I agree with you, Gary. Like social media “conversations”, feedback about a person or business is something that is happenening whether or not it is addressed directly to the person or business. Better to take some control over the situation and if there’s a problem, welcome the opportunity to rectify it. That can only be win-win.

  2. Yes, Gary, I think you do have to ask for the feedback. I notice when I put a statement on my Facebook wall it doesn’t always get a response. But when I simply ask a question I tend to get a lot of responses. Hard to know when you put all of that out there if anyone is really listening. When they do respond keep the conversation going. You’ll learn a lot about what your customers are thinking.

Comments are now closed, move along, nothing to see here.