Generating Meaningful Customer Feedback for Meaningful Action

At TMSA's recent Marketing & Sales Leadership Conference, participants representing such well known companies as Fedex, Saddle Creek Logistics, SupplyChainBrain, ODW Logistics and the American Logistics Aid Network gathered over lunch to discuss their company's use of customer feedback for meaningful action. The conversation was facilitated by Anne Miner, President of The Dunvegan Group who encouraged all participants to share their experiences and best practices.

Receiving customer feedback did not appear to be a problem; the challenge lies in capturing the information from a wide array of channels and organizing it in a useful way. Some participants were compiling information from their inbound call centers, sales teams, accounts receivable, social media posts as well as incoming email and web inquiries. In some cases, text analytics were being used to identify themes within the feedback.

Some participants were reaching out to customers to capture feedback in an organized format which is much easier to tabulate and analyze; the information can be stored in the company CRM so it is accessible to everyone who might "touch" the customer.

In either case, the biggest challenge arises in implementation of meaningful action based on the customer feedback. When customers are dissatisfied, the immediate reaction involves identification and resolution of the individual customer's problem/complaint. And, often the process stops there.

The time to ask for customer referrals and testimonials is when the customer is delighted; following up and actually requesting these referrals requires a process and practice, as well as tracking to ensure that it is being done and done in a timely and effective manner. All too often people get caught up in solving problems and neglect to capitalize on the opportunities for business development.

Another challenge is utilizing the content of the customer feedback to reveal topics/content of interest to the customer, opportunities for adding value to your products and services to better meet the customers' needs, opportunities to show customers how to extract full value from the products and services already available.

Customer feedback can provide a wealth of content for your content marketing efforts as help you build strong customer relationships in the process!

To learn how your company can extract maximum value from customer feedback, read "Measuring Up! A Guide to Success with Customer Feedback," available on Amazon.

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