Customer Feedback

Why do I need to respond to my customers' feedback?

AskNicely Team

Many service brands fall into the trap of thinking that because they’re regularly collecting customer feedback they’re automatically improving customer satisfaction too. Collecting customer feedback is a step towards improving customer satisfaction, but it’s not the only one. To make large enough improvements to customer satisfaction that you see boosts in your repeat business and referrals, you need to be responding to customer feedback.  Let’s dive into the main reasons you should be responding to customer feedback (whether it’s good, bad, or neutral) and the most effective and efficient ways to do this at scale. 

The why: Why respond to customer feedback? 

1. Building trust, retention, and loyalty

When customers take the time to provide feedback, they are opening a line of communication with your business. Responding to this feedback, whether it's positive, negative, or neutral, shows that you value their opinions and are committed to improving their experience. This builds trust and the foundation of customer loyalty.

Positive feedback: When you get positive feedback, you can respond to customers and acknowledge and thank them for their kind words. Let them know their feedback is appreciated and that it motivates your team to maintain high standards. You can also leverage this sweet spot by kindly requesting a referral or requesting they share their feedback as a review.

Negative feedback: If you or your team get negative feedback, it’s best to address any issues promptly and constructively. Apologize for any inconvenience caused, and outline the steps you are taking to resolve the problem. This proactive approach can turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal advocate.

Neutral feedback: It doesn’t take much to turn a straight face into a smile. Neutral feedback is often ignored, but it’s one of the greatest opportunities to create a brand advocate, often with little effort. Follow up with three-star customers and see what you can do to turn it into a five-star experience. 

2. Enhancing brand reputation 

In the digital age, word-of-mouth spreads quickly. Positive interactions with customers who have provided feedback can lead to glowing online reviews and social media mentions. Conversely, ignoring feedback can lead to negative reviews and a damaged reputation.

Provide public responses: When responding to feedback on public platforms, such as review sites or social media, always maintain a professional and courteous tone. This not only addresses the individual customer’s concerns but also shows potential customers that you are attentive and responsive.

Encourage reviews: After resolving a customer’s issue, encourage them to update their review or share their positive experience online. This can help in building a positive online presence. With the AskNicely Review Request feature, you can leverage positive customer feedback in real-time, ensuring your happy customers share their positive experiences with the world. 

3. Continuous learning and improvement

Responding to customer feedback creates a culture of continuous learning and improvement amongst your frontline teams. In the process of responding to feedback, employees learn what matters most to their customers, and gain a sense of accountability and motivation to strive for excellence every time. 

Recognition and reward: Highlight positive feedback in team meetings and recognize employees who receive praise from customers. This boosts morale and encourages a customer-centric approach.

Learning opportunities: Use negative feedback as a learning opportunity. Constructively discussing these cases can help employees develop problem-solving skills and improve their interactions with customers.

Responding to customer feedback is not just about addressing individual concerns; it's about creating a culture of responsiveness and continuous improvement. It builds trust, enhances loyalty, provides valuable insights, and drives long-term business success. By making customer feedback a central part of your business strategy, you can ensure that your customers feel valued, heard, and appreciated, leading to a stronger, more resilient brand. 

The how: How to respond to customer feedback? 

If customers are happy, act fast. 

The high a customer feels after an awesome experience is short-lived. Life moves fast and often, by the time a survey comes around they’re onto the next thing in their lives — a meeting, a school pick up, a grocery shop, a dinner party. 

To extract the most genuine positive feedback from your customers, you need to catch them within that short, but ever-so-important window. Through working with thousands of experienced brands we know that the most effective time to ask is immediately after an interaction, or when you’re sure they’ve had long enough to experience the results. As soon as positive feedback comes through, follow up with an automated request to leave an online review, and turn them into a brand advocate. 

If customers are neutral, act faster. 

Neutral customers are brand advocates who just need a little help. If you receive some average feedback, follow up with that customer promptly to understand what you can do to turn three stars into five. 

To effectively engage with neutral customers, consider a personalized approach. Reach out with a message that acknowledges their feedback and expresses your commitment to improving their experience. Offer a solution or ask for specific suggestions on how you can better meet their needs. By showing genuine interest and a willingness to listen, you can turn a lukewarm experience into a glowing recommendation.

If customers are unhappy, act as fast as possible. 

The influence a single unhappy customer can have in a short time is colossal. A social media post, a negative online review, or a lengthy rant at a dinner party has the potential to reach thousands of people, negatively influencing their perception and behavior towards your brand. 

On the other hand, a low net promoter score, NPS,  or some bad (unpublic) feedback is an opportunity. As soon as poor or average feedback comes through, follow up with that customer to understand what went wrong and most importantly how you can fix it in the moment. This way, feedback loops are closed internally, and you have the chance to make a lifelong fan out of someone who was previously a lost customer.

Remember, the speed of your response is key. Whether it's to capitalize on a positive experience, enhance a neutral one, or mitigate a negative one, prompt action shows your customers that you value their feedback and are committed to delivering exceptional service.

Responding to feedback at scale with AskNicely

You may be thinking, how on Earth will I have the time to respond to customer feedback at scale, especially when there are hundreds or thousands of responses pouring in? AskNicely is not just about collecting feedback, it’s a tool to help you easily analyze and respond to feedback in a way that’s driven by the very people delivering your experiences — your frontline teams. AskNicely’s automated workflows can be set up to analyze and prioritize feedback, and then assign it to the correct team at scale.

Automate actions based on feedback: Acknowledge every piece of customer feedback efficiently with automated workflows. Provide escalation paths for urgent issues, or use reply templates for more common feedback types.

Built for multi-location organizations: Remove complexity from feedback management. Let local staff handle action and resolution, while data and insight flow up so you can identify CX trends and opportunities. 

Real-time case management: As soon as your customer hits submit, AskNicely’s feedback management workflow kicks in with theme synthesis and action items for your team. Not the next day. Not the next hour. No delays. 

Manage responses within Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Regular reporting on SLA performance fosters a culture of accountability and continuous improvement. Track CX SLAs directly within the platform for real-time visibility into compliance. 

We have realized benefits simply by responding to our customers' feedback, positive or negative. It has streamlined our process internally to allow us to manage both the review visibility and review communication directly to our customers through Slack and Intercom.” Drew Adler – Customer Success, DriveCentric

Up next: Frontline Accountability & Appreciation: The Secret Weapon Driving Awesome CX at Moxie

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

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