From the outside of your business, it’s easy to think that gathering consumer feedback is simple – just ask what they think and copy/paste positive feedback as testimonials, right? Wrong. It’s much deeper than that – it’s instituting a loop that allows your entire company to improve and learn from mistakes, or find holes in your offering.
Throw in the fact that more than half of US internet users have stopped doing business with a general retail company due to poor customer service, and you understand the stakes are high.
Knowing what to ask is tough
As noted, gathering feedback goes deeper than the apparent simplicity of good customer service (which should lead to positive consumer feedback). The marketing avenues we follow continue to expand but it seems like the methods continue to get narrower.
Case in point: According to eMarketer, nearly a third of internet users polled “said that voice or phone was the most frustrating customer service channel.” In fact, it was more frustrating, more than double, compared to going to a company’s website for customer service.
In another study, out of nearly 2,500 businesses, one in three said that “knowing what to ask consumers was one of the biggest challenges of collecting customer feedback.”
What the process should really focus on
If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. The entire process can be relatively intimidating, but you can make the most out of your feedback tools if you’ve done your research. Customers should anticipate that they’ll receive an in-depth evaluation after closing, and the feedback loop should not be designed to cherry-pick positive feedback to highlight (our industry is extremely guilty of that).
We encourage you to do more than a simple google form when you remember to, no, we urge you to consider a meaningful feedback collection tool.
We urge you to research ratings/reviews service providers’ methods – is it really just a tool to boost your ego and cherry pick for your site, or is it a broker quality assurance tool wherein all data is collected and never sifted for personal gain? Ask your provider.
Then, don’t be shy to ask them what questions have garnered effective feedback. You don’t have to intuitively know the right questions, but you have to have the right mindset before asking. If you’re just soliciting testimonials (which we do not recommend), you’re going to ask leading questions that urge the consumer to cheerlead. If you’re soliciting feedback to improve your company’s processes and spot agents’ weaknesses so you can improve training, questions will be more probing and direct, and answers will not be categorized and cherry-picked.
Consider your goals when soliciting feedback and ask your provider what their methods are and what questions will get you the answers that help your brokerage to improve.