Businesses want to be on the cutting edge, but when it comes to customer care we could learn a timeless lesson from 1940’s pop legend Johnny Mercer: You gotta’ accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.
Trouble is, we sometimes get so caught up in the negative that we forget the importance of identifying and developing best practices. Customer complaints set off alarm bells that send us scrambling to the defensive. With worries about negative online reviews, it’s no surprise that we often blow past customer compliments and fixate on anything and everything that’s going wrong.
But feedback isn’t just about putting out fires. An important part of customer engagement is providing a forum for customers to communicate both positive and negative experiences. By offering a quick and convenient way for your customers to leave feedback, you encourage them to share stories about your brand. This in turn gives you the opportunity to respond to negative experiences but also to reinforce positive ones.
Moreover, encouraging customers to share positive experiences (and showing your appreciation when they do!) is a two-way street: it allows you to provide your customers with compelling social care, but it also yields useful information to help you monitor operations.
Consider this recent comment left by a customer via OwnerListens’ digital suggestion box:
Customer: I’ve noticed that since Arielle’s been back the store is running way better. Customers and employees are happy. I’m here every day so I can see and feel a difference.
Recently, we discussed how customer feedback can help identify problem employees or deficits in employee training. But it’s just as important to uncover those employees that go above and beyond, to help mentor and encourage those standouts who could be the future stars of your leadership team.
Spotting star employees, evaluating new promotions, pinpointing the services that your customers most appreciate—instant feedback is a critical tool in identifying what customers value most about your brand. Remember, customers don’t rave when nothing goes wrong—they simply don’t notice. And while you want customers to have a smooth, worry-free experience, it’s not enough. Eliminating the negative can satisfy your customers, but it’s accentuating the positive that makes them fall in love with you.
So when those compliments do roll in, don’t forget:
- Respond thoughtfully to any customer suggestions
- Let customers know how much you appreciate the love, and the time they took to share their positive experience with you.
- Invite them to share their thoughts on social media and review sites, or ask if you can quote them in a customer testimonial.
I’ve received positive comments about my staff, from OwnerListens and from other channels as well. It’s extremely motivating to them. They typically get thanked politely for their work but an explicit expression of gratitude takes it to a whole other level.