When was the last time you hit the shops for a serious shopping trip?
When you went from shop to shop, what did you notice about customer service?
Did you end up chatting to a great sales assistant, who managed to put you in a good mood by helping you or going beyond their job description, or were you left frustrated by sales assistants who didn’t seem interested in what you wanted to purchase, preferring to have a good chat behind the counter with a colleague?
When I come across extremes of service – either good or bad, I always want to express my views.
I’m as likely to praise someone to their manager for an outstanding customer experience as I am to criticise someone for not doing a good job. When you think about it, customer service industries absolutely depend on feedback – good or bad, so that stores know what is working and what isn’t when they look after their customers.
People have a natural tendency to express their views of service, whatever environment they are in.
In restaurants, we tend to show our appreciation of a great meal and good service by popping a big tip on the table, and similarly (more in the UK than the US, admittedly!) we express dissatisfaction with poor service by reducing the tip or cutting it out altogether.
However, in the blogosphere, it’s often not as easy to see how you are doing when it comes to assessing the strength of your service, so you need other ways of eliciting feedback from your customers.
There are a number of ways that we can ask for, and obtain, input in to our sites from our customers, to make sure we’re doing a good job, or address any potential issues if we aren’t.
One of the best things I have discovered is ending your blog article with a question:
What do you think?
Have you had any similar experiences?
What are your ideas on this?
In this way, you instantly open up a call to action for your customers when they come to the end of your article, and it can act as a valuable prompt to request feedback.
Blogs are more advanced than ever before these days, and it’s simple to pop a poll on your site to elicit opinions and feedback from people. All they need to do is click on a radio button and their metrics are collected – simple to do, simple to use, and simple to analyse.
Use opinion polls to request input in to what topics you could cover next on your blog, or what people think of your site overall, or for floating suggestions about your next product or service offering.
The main thing to remember about eliciting feedback is that we live in a customer service-oriented world, and we are all growing accustomed to participating in market research to offer up opinions on various things across the service industry.
Gone are the days when you would be accosted by someone with a clip board when you headed up the high street – these days, companies are using the power of the web to gain the input they need from their customers.
Don’t be afraid to use your blog as a platform to find out how you can improve your services – it’s what everyone needs to do these days, to establish their ongoing strategy for ongoing customer service.
What do you think?
Do you have any other ideas about how we can make the most of the net to learn how to optimise our companies?
Let me know via the comments below.