Do you actively solicit positive customer service feedback from your customers? Research we have recently undertaken at MGI shows there is a real opportunity for organisations to proactively encourage and recognise positive feedback on their customer service. From our research there was an over-emphasis on complaints or negative feedback without any recognition of the good service our colleagues and teams deliver.
Happy customers can be eager to share compliments, too
Positive and appreciative feedback for helpful, uplifting and memorable customer service is just as important as providing details of a complaint or situation; both can be welcomed and valued as catalysts to help people and services improve and evolve. Our research shows that many companies focus on fielding complaints while passing over the many opportunities for happy customers to share compliments and stories to illustrate a great experience they have had in store or online.
We have reviewed a wide range of online services and websites from supermarkets, retail, pharmacies, utilities and holiday cottage agencies, and it’s amazing how many seem to lean towards the negative when providing ‘Contact us’ information!
Some prime examples…
One well-known grocery store invites its customers to ‘Contact us using our online form for comments or complaints about a store’. With one click, we’re taken to the form headed ‘Comments or complaints about a store’. So far so good, until we realise that the form only deals with Complaints, offering a drop-down menu of five different complaint types, as well as a request for ‘Time of incident’ and even ‘Colleague name’. There are no options to provide details of a positive experience.
In another example, on its ‘Contact us’ page, one of the major energy suppliers provides several ‘help’ options. On inviting feedback, the heading is a clear ‘Did we get something wrong? Tell us about it’, with a helpful ‘Ways to make a complaint’ link leading to a massive ‘We’re sorry you’re not happy. Get in touch and we’ll sort it out for you’, as well as a whole page detailing ways to make a complaint. Of course, all these processes and policies are extremely helpful and necessary should you need to make a complaint (full marks, in fact), but where is the opportunity to provide positive feedback and compliments for a great customer experience?
‘It’s always lovely to hear when one of our staff members has given great service’
In contrast, the options provided by another major grocery store on its ‘Contact us’ page are much more refreshing and well balanced, where you can easily select ‘Service from our Staff in Store’. This takes you to two more options, the first of which is to give ‘feedback about the service’ recently received, and the second is to ‘pass on a compliment about the service I have recently had’. While a simple change in the order of these two options would put the positive before the negative and make it even stronger, it’s wonderful to see the word ‘compliment’ and shows that the company has faith in its people to provide a consistently high level of service that would warrant positive feedback from customers. ‘It’s always lovely to hear when one of our staff members has given great service,’ they continue. ‘Please fill in our contact form so we can be sure to pass on your kind feedback.’
Positive reinforcement of great service given
Positive reinforcement of the good things we do as customer service providers is beneficial for customers and colleagues. Customers who want to provide this feedback should find it easy to do so, and the fact that a company website has a specific place to share it reinforces the impression that we believe in our service and that customers will want to endorse it. Also, by making it simple to provide feedback other than complaints, we are reinforcing the excellent work that most customer service teams deliver.
Making sure our teams understand that all feedback is invaluable and that there is a mechanism in place to capture it can lead to them actively encouraging customers to communicate valuable, informative insights into the service we provide.
How can we help?
Find out how MGI’s Customer Service Excellence Toolkit can equip your teams with the right language strategies, time-saving tools and skills to enable them to deliver outstanding service, productivity and outcomes, whatever comes their way.