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Is your feedback being filed in file 13?

Aug 16th 2012, 09:30

Is your feedback being filed in file 13?

Customer feedback is being increasingly recognised as critical to success. Customers like to be asked for their feedback (so long as they think it's leading somewhere other than down a black hole) and are increasingly giving that feedback whether they are asked for it or not.

That feedback can be direct to the service provider or indirectly through social media sites such as Twitter, and increasingly through instant feedback mechanisms where smartphones are playing a key role in communication. So there really is no hiding place, and it makes sense for organisations to devise and implement coherent customer feedback strategies.

The key for customers is that when they give feedback they feel that it means something tangible, that something will be done about it, and, most importantly, if that feedback is negative, that the organisation is taking steps to redress the situation and make improvements going forward.

Recent research suggests that most organisations have some form of 'voice of the customer' strategy. Sounds good doesn't it? But where a lot of organisations are falling down is that while they may have an all-singing all-dancing VOC strategy, they are not taking meaningful steps to actually listen to that customer voice.

And some others, while they may be listening to that voice, are doing precious little to take real action based on the feedback and insight they are gaining from their most important single asset - their customer base. We are all customers in our everyday lives and we know that organisations have more data and more real insight into us and what makes us tick than ever before - enough to be able to take a single view of us, particularly on the feedback we give them.

So there really is no excuse now for organisations not to get their feedback act together. Those that do will benefit in the long run because a customer who feels understood and who feels that their comments and views mean something to the organisation they are investing in, will inevitably spend more of that hard earned money with the organisation that proactively asks for their opinion and then subsequently takes appropriate action.

'Closing the feedback loop' is another favourite industry phrase, but along with 'voice of the customer ' there is a real anger that organisations are doing little more than a box-ticking exercise.

A better term to use is 'feeding back on the feedback' where organisations act on the feedback they receive and let customers know that they have done so, giving those customers real feedback on what resulted from the time and energy they invested in that organisation.

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Fastmoving provides online data support and marketing services to FMCG brands and businesses operating in the retail sector. Our inventory management service is a central repository where FMCG brands can store and share hi-res pack shots and essential product information with suppliers for each SKU, on-demand, including barcodes, product endorsements, nutritional values, ingredients and allergens.
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