Four Steps to Improve Customer Feedback

The old adage “the customer is always right” may frustrate some companies, but getting to the heart of the customer voice through robust data aggregation and analysis tools has never been easier.  Social media has given everyone a feedback channel that customer service organizations can harness to improve offerings and stay competitive.

We recommend a solution that captures not only the customer voice but the employee voice as well.  In addition, employees may hold valuable customer trends not evident in customer feedback surveys.

Any customer and employee listening initiative will be successful through a shared understanding of key metrics and the roles accountable for driving them.  We recommend these four steps for a successful program:

Define, refine, and build plan

  1. Establish a steering committee with broad stakeholder representation – this should encompass all relevant departments including customer care, sales, operations, etc.
  2. Determine key performance indicators, methods, root cause categories and listening channels – define how you will collect feedback and what you will do with it
  3. Establish a cadence of data retrieval – define how often to aggregate feedback and present to stakeholders
  4. Incorporate prior customer feedback where applicable – depending on how long your company has been in business, you likely have an extensive log of past customer and employee feedback to reference when analyzing new feedback
  5. Determine and baseline key metrics to measure success – define what success looks like, whether it is a reduction in customer complaints or new features added to a product

Gather and analyze feedback

  1. Collect data and evaluate root cause by listening channel – turn on the feedback faucet and begin to analyze the data
  2. Set program goals and compare results against measure gaps – evaluate how you are tracking to the goals
  3. Create a road-map for customer experience improvement initiatives – prioritize opportunities and schedule initiative efforts on the company timeline
  4. Obtain necessary budget approval for project launch – required for any initiative, ensure proposals align with current product and service offer road-map

After Step 2 and before Step 3 is a critical point in the program – this is where most listening initiatives falter, resulting in large amount of unused data – so a focus on continuing the program is key

Plan and execute

  1. Assign deliverables to owners with clear goals and timing – weekly or monthlycustomer-feedbackmeetings to ensure everyone is on the same page and focused on the goal
  2. Activate the plan and monitor progress – make results highly visible throughout the organization, whether posted on the intranet or on hallway video boards
  3. Incorporate new listening channels and metrics as customer behaviors evolve – ensure you are capturing feedback from new channels born in social media, for example
  4. Track results against any established industry-wide customer satisfaction measurement tool – the Net Promoter Score is just one example

Monitor and report

  1. Maintain buy-in and trust of executives and stakeholders with a continuous feedback loop – accomplished through a regular cadence of quantitative and qualitative reporting dashboards and steering committee reports
  2. Refine program based on evidence-based activities – new, relevant feedback will continuously flow as new customers and employees come on board
  3. Ingrain results into the company culture – foster positive, lasting results, turning your customers and employees into raving fans through incentives and creating a feeling like they’re part of something special

Keep in mind a feedback environment should be created to welcome and reward constructive input. It is also critical the organization act quickly and efficiently on provided feedback to implement positive change. When you put it all together, a well-built customer and employee listening program can yield positive results year over year. Contact Tim Shaw at 330-518-0975 for an in-depth look into your customer-facing company improvement goals.


bbakerBrandon Baker is a Manager with RAS & Associates and has spent over a decade in the cable and satellite industry, improving product and offer messaging.