So, You Received Some Customer Feedback.
Good job! You’ve done your due diligence and setup customer satisfaction (CSAT) and/or NPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys for your business. The feedback is rolling in and you’re finally getting a sense of what your clients think.
It’s a big step, but setting up surveys and collecting data is only half the process. To really get the most from your feedback, it’s time to act on it.
Of course, this is easier said than done.
Most businesses struggle to implement a feedback follow up system, and even fewer have plans for dealing with negative feedback. Knee jerk reactions to criticism, or worse, total silence can be just as bad as never knowing about the problems.
Let’s look at some of the most effective systems and tools you can implement to act on feedback, improve your customer service based on that feedback, and and close more sales through real-time testimonials.
Engage with your Client
Step one is simple: Follow up with your client.
Many managed service providers have a habit of focusing on the problem. A service request comes in, you resolve it, and move on. Customer feedback is about looking back and evaluating how well you performed that job and then acting on what you learn to grow your business.
If it’s good feedback, you should always thank the client for sharing, high-five your team, and look for ways to integrate the story into your marketing efforts. If it’s bad feedback, you must immediately address the concerns, soothe the client, and fix the root issues that led to the problem.
Let’s start with negative feedback, because it’s especially hard to respond to.
When you receive a negative comment, low score, or other indication that there was a problem, either with a specific ticket or a client’s overall experience, follow up immediately. Here’s a brief script you can use to ensure you position yourself as remorseful, dedicated to a resolution, and ready to act:
- [Thank the client for bringing the mistake to your attention.]
- [Take the blame – whether it’s the company as a whole or a specific individual replying.]
- [Apologize for the mistake and the damages made, being specific about what happened.]
- [Explain why the mistakes were made as clearly as possible, without making excuses.]
- [Explain how the problem has been resolved or how you plan to resolve it.]
- [List the steps you’ve taken to make sure the mistake doesn’t happen again.]
Not all of these steps will be applicable for every piece of feedback you receive. A low CSAT score may not provide enough context right away, so take the time to investigate further and find out why that score was low and then respond in kind.
Most companies will jump to respond to negative feedback, but what about the positive?
Despite its value, most MSPs don’t follow up or use praise to help their business – after all, the client is happy, that's the pinnacle of good business...right?
But that’s the wrong attitude. Positive feedback is immensely valuable. This is a client telling you how much they value your service.
Don’t just acknowledge that; leverage it.
- Thank them for the positive feedback and follow up for additional details on specific items they cited if applicable.
- Ask if they’re interested in preparing a customer story in the form of a testimonial or case study.
- Provide incentive for them to offer additional feedback, recognizing the time you’re asking of them.
When someone leaves positive feedback, you now know they have a positive association with your company and can use them as a sounding board when you have questions about a new product or service, are running a survey, or need additional customer stories or testimonials as part of your marketing efforts.
Better yet, you can automate this process using a CRM like Infusionsoft to enroll clients in targeted email sequences after they provide positive feedback.
Automating the Feedback Cycle
You’re probably thinking that responding to every CSAT or NPS survey requires way more time than you have available. Is responding to every client really worth it?
Yes -- if the process is automated.
Step one is to set up notifications for when feedback is received. Using Simplesat, you can receive notifications through one of several channels, depending on what your team uses. This includes email notifications, Slack or Microsoft Teams, mobile SMS, and CRM notifications in several platforms.
The goal is to ensure relevant customer service reps see the feedback they solicit, as well as decision makers and executives in the company.
Ideas for managing feedback responses
Although everyone needs to see CSAT and NPS responses, a much smaller group of people, possibly just a single person, must take responsibility for following up. The process doesn't need to be anything fancy, some options might include:
- Trello – A kanban card system is an awesome way to visualize where each client is in your follow up cycle.
- Google Sheets – If you prefer a more traditional spreadsheet layout, Google Sheets allows you to organize your contacts, survey results, and follow up status. (There are some great premade templates from ProsperWorks and Smartsheet to help you get started)
- PSAs and Service Desks – You can setup new tasks and projects in ConnectWise, Autotask, Zendesk or other service desks for your reps to follow up on.
- CRM Tools – Use Infusionsoft, HubSpot, Pipedrive or other customer relationship management systems to setup automated sequences, reminder tasks for customer reps, and make notes of the feedback received.
There is no right or wrong way to structure the follow up process. The key is to find what works best for your company and stick with it, ensuring it gets done on a regular basis.
Taking Action Internally
Feedback is a powerful learning tool. It shows your team what works, what doesn’t, and how to get better. Whether good or bad, your CSAT and NPS scores should be shared internally so everyone celebrates the good and learns from the bad.
Celebrating Your Wins
Take the time to acknowledge and discuss the successes with your team, especially when:
- Turning around a previously upset client – The biggest win of all is when you win over a client who previously left negative feedback. What contributed to the turnaround and how can you replicate the process with other clients?
- Receiving kick ass feedback on an important account – Our parent company, Pronto Marketing, posts uplifting feedback to our internal Facebook group. This is a fantastic strategy to include employees who don't deal directly with clients but still contribute to product/service delivery.
- Improving your overall average scores as a company – Make sure everyone knows when your CSAT and NPS scores hit new milestones. Did your CSAT cross the 90% mark? Did you break into the 40s with your NPS average? Time to pop the champagne!
Communicating these wins doesn't just incentivize customer service reps to go above an beyond, it encourages teamwork, collaboration, and company pride.
Addressing Negative Feedback
Not matter how painful it may be, every shred of negative feedback is a valuable learning opportunity.
Create a special place in your feedback follow up process for criticism and task your team with:
- Holding mini retrospectives to investigate negative results – Sit down with relevant parties and gather the facts. Try to determine each place something went wrong, and what changes can be made to prevent reoccurrence. The results of these meetings can directly feed into your follow up messaging to the client.
- Creating an action plan for what to do next – Outline a specific list of changes you can make internally to address the problems that led to poor feedback. Was it poor internal communication, slow turnaround time on a ticket, incomplete results for the service request? Know the why and then map a plan to fix it.
- Posting CSAT stats live so office staff see when they dip (or rise) – Make your CSAT stats visible so people can see the results of their hard work. If a client's complaints were unfounded, make sure everyone knows that's your stance. You don't want anyone feeling defenseless.
All this feedback is a powerful tool – one you can use to continuously improve your product/service delivery and your team cohesion.
Publish Your Positive Feedback as Testimonials
When we built Simplesat, we wanted it to take zero effort to share your positive feedback with leads and website visitors. That’s why we’ve included widgets that you can embed to display feedback in real-time on your website.
When you publish positive feedback in Simplesat, it instantly shows up on the web page, becoming a valuable resource showcasing your performance with existing clients. It allows you to promote or demote certain comments, streamlining your testimonials, keeping them fresh, and sharing all those good comments with the world.
Maximizing Value from Customer Feedback
Your clients are your most valuable resource.
Beyond the value of an individual account, they provide the feedback you need to constantly improve, grow, and reach new clients.
By establishing a stupid-simple process to review, analyze, and follow up on feedback – good or bad – you can perform better as a team, boost client retention rates, and close more sales.
This is why we created Simplesat – to provide a tool that makes obtaining and working with CSAT or NPS surveys easier and more intuitive than ever before. Learn more about how Simplesat can streamline the CSAT or NPS administration process, integrate with your existing communications and ticketing platforms, and help you provide the best possible service to your most valuable resource – your clients.