On Validating Feedback

On Validating Feedback

Feedback comes in from all angles from multiple spheres and in many shapes.  How close your organization’s radius from the center of core values to the edge of the consumers’ perception all depends on how you create and manage expectations.  You can decrease the customer service response time to resolving a valid complaint but before you listen to the next “cry wolf” make sure you have a process in place to validate the feedback when you receive it.

Validating Feedback

Validate the Source

Who is a more reliable customer source?

The one who shops/interacts on a weekly basis or a first time customer.

First time customers are your chance at making them long term customers however that doesn’t mean you want them as long term customers.  A website called NastyClient allows you as the company to share your nasty experiences about customers with whom have transacted with your company.  Other companies can see this feedback and then make judgements whether to allow them to buy or not.  This is no different that being banned from a buffet restaurant from stuffing food in a ziplock bag.

Long term customers who have an existing relationship with your company will tell you their honest feedback and it is up to  you as the executive to take action or ignore it.  Ignore long term customer feedback long enough and they will eventually find a new place to buy.

Judge the Severity

There are three questions to judge the severity of feedback.

Is it serious?  On a scale of 1 – 5 with 5 being the most satisfied to 1 being damaging to the brand, how serious is this feedback?

Is there urgency?  On a scale of 1 – 5 with 5 being the most rapid to 1 being not having to take action, how urgent does this feedback need to be acknowledge and resolved?

Can this grow in a more complex problem?  On a scale of 1 – 5 with 5 being a catastrophe of a problem to 1 being a minor annoyance, how big of a problem could this feedback turn into?

Analyze the Sound (tone)

Online feedback doesn’t reflect the tone of feedback very well.

I could say, “I waited for an hour for the table.” (which is normal), I WAITED AN HOUR FOR THE TABLE”, (which would imply screaming), or “I waited an hour for THE table”, I (which could imply a positive table choice).

Feedback to act upon

If the feedback comes from a reliable source, has a high degree of severity, and the problem can keep getting bigger as time goes on then I would have a different policy for handling than I would low levels on each scale.  Perhaps you make personal phone calls or seek legal counsel for level 5s.

Since feedback comes from many places and can have a positive or negative impact on your company, whomever is in charge of customer relationships and monitoring online reputation is that they a process similar to what I have described above to validate and take action.