What do your customers think about your company? Your product? Your service? Most companies today are doing everything in their power to collect feedback from their customers. However, all that data is going to waste!
It is simply not enough to survey your customers. You need to quit listening to your customers and start HEARING them. You need to actually USE the feedback they are dying to give you!
In her article on Bussiness2community.com, Annette Gleneicki quotes the Gartner statistic: “95% of companies collect customer feedback, yet only 10% use the feedback to improve, and only 5% tell customers what they are doing in response to what they heard.”
Listening is easy. Hearing is difficult. But hearing is what helps create meaningful relationships. Hearing requires a subsequent action or reaction, and this is the step that is missing from your customer conversations. Or, in your attempt to hear, you over analyze the data by which point the data has become outdated and you have to return to the listening phase.
If you are stuck listening and find yourself unable to act, Gleneicki has a few questions you need to ask yourself:
- Are you simply “collecting feedback?”
- Do you not have the right data?
- Is the data not actionable?
- For the questions you asked, do you not have owners who are waiting for some results on which to act?
- Do you not have an efficient way to analyze the data?
- Are you not sure how to analyze? Or how to tell the story?
- Are you avoiding doing the work necessary to make sure the data is acted on?
What do these questions reveal? Maybe part of your listening process is lacking, and as a result, you are unable to act. Or maybe you never thought about how this data will be used and who needs to hear it within your organization. Regardless of the flaw(s) in your process, you need to find a way to correct them. Otherwise, your customers may start feeling ignored and unappreciated, and that could eventually cause them to stop being your customer.
Listening is an important part of your conversation with customers, but eventually, you have to act on what your customers are saying. OK, you don’t actually stop listening, but you need to focus on moving beyond that phase. The data shows it. Your customers have plenty to say and want to be heard. It’s time for you to answer their call.