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9 best practices for collecting customer feedback

Customer feedback is essential for any company, but when a service appointment might be the only touchpoint for your business, collecting timely responses is even more important.

Customer reviewing real-time feedback

Customer feedback is essential for any company, but when a service appointment might be the only touchpoint for your business, collecting timely responses is even more important.

However, getting customers to respond honestly and in a timely manner can be a challenge. Sourcing the feedback that’s valuable to your mobile operatives requires a balance of timing and effective communication tactics. How do you get the customer feedback that matters (and when it matters the most)?

 

Why is customer feedback important?

First, let’s cover why customer feedback techniques are so important in the service sector. Customer feedback is a clear, unobscured window into what’s working for your customers (which operatives are polite and efficient, for example) and what isn’t.

Feedback can help you cut out the guesswork, so you can make changes that address customer concerns and create more positive experiences (and more ROI for you). It can provide useful insight into who is performing to a higher standard, and who may require more support and training to meet the mark. 

Gathering feedback is easier said than done. Many customers feel uncomfortable reporting their complaints directly to operatives face-to-face, and some are even unwilling to relay their displeasure over the phone. To make things even more challenging, feedback quality decays quickly — the longer it takes to request a response, the less accurate that information is, and the more likely it is to reflect a negative experience. 

So how do you go about collecting accurate, actionable feedback? 

 

Customer satisfaction best practices 

It’s important to be intentional when collecting feedback. There are numerous ways to skew or otherwise negatively affect the quality of the information you receive. When you’re paying close attention to your feedback, inaccuracies or unconscious persuasion can throw your whole strategy off the mark.

Here are some best practices you can implement to ensure the feedback you receive is high-quality and helpful: 

 

  1. Always ask for feedback

The truth is, people are mostly likely to volunteer feedback after an extreme experience, whether it was very good or very bad. Customers don’t tend to give unprompted feedback if the service went exactly as planned or if it was “just alright.”

Always ask for feedback — don’t wait for it to passively come in. Automated feedback requests help streamline the process. For example, Localz can send each customer a request for feedback via text once technicians cross a geofence or a certain amount of time has passed. When you prompt for feedback, it shows customers that you care about their experience.

 

  1. Don’t wait to initiate

The responses collected from customers lose value over time. Busy people tend to forget details, and many will increasingly focus on the negative aspects of an experience as time progresses. 

Collect feedback on a service visit soon after a job has been completed. The longer you wait, the lower the likelihood your team can make amends if your customer had a negative experience, which is significant if you’re hoping for service recovery

 

  1. Don’t put customers on the spot in person

Having your operatives directly ask customers for feedback can create awkward situations, especially when something went wrong. Customers may omit details or give a higher rating just to avoid coming off as critical or confrontational, skewing the feedback.

Automatically sending a survey after your technician leaves can prevent awkwardness and result in more honest feedback.

 

  1. Make questions easy to answer

This may sound simple, but it’s perhaps the most difficult part of collecting good, actionable feedback. 

Keep things simple by using star ratings and straightforward questions. Inquiries should always be simple and the phrasing should be intentional to avoid bias toward certain answers. Ask yes or no questions or allow them to select on a scale of 1-5 to get quick, snappy insights. 

A customer feedback provider like Localz can even match your surveys to your brand’s look and feel using imagery, emojis, and more.

 

  1. Let customers opt out of a follow-up call

Some customers simply don’t want to be bothered after a service call. While you may miss out more detailed feedback, you’ll also save the time and resources it would have taken to reach out. Allowing your customers to select “no thanks” to a follow up call frees up your customer service team to handle other tasks.

 

Enabling customer opt-out for feedback calls helped Welsh Water reallocate 83% of resources dedicated to follow up calls. Read the case study to learn more.

 

  1. Don’t ask too many questions

Big questionnaires can be intimidating, and are often left partially completed — or worse, ignored. 

Always structure your questions into a form you’d be happy to fill out yourself. To reduce length, cut unnecessary questions wherever possible. For example, you can use logic jump to only display specific questions depending on how the previous question was answered.

 

  1. Personalise the request for feedback

Using information you already have, you can personalise feedback requests. For example, a feedback request might address the customer by name and mention the type of appointment that was just completed. This personal touch can increase brand affinity and boost customer lifetime value (CLV). 

 

  1. Track feedback KPIs

Gathering data is important, but it’s also important to measure your success.

Use direct customer feedback channels, online reviews, and social media to learn what your customers think about your brand and how that impacts their experience with you. Set KPIs such as average customer satisfaction score (CSAT), NPS, volume of reviews, overall satisfaction with the service, first time response (FTR) and any others that may be beneficial for you to track. 

Perhaps the most important step is to make this information available to review, so your staff knows where they can improve. For example, the Localz dashboard allows your operatives to gather impartial visibility into their performance.

 

  1. Take action on the feedback you receive

Some businesses put a lot of time and resources into gathering survey responses, but don’t know how to use customer feedback effectively.

Establish a standard process for how to take action based on KPIs and customer suggestions. Decide who should be notified and how, and what steps they need to take to implement changes. Automated feedback notifications can help with this process.

 

Conclusion

It’s not just about gathering feedback — it’s about doing it well, so your customers want to engage with your business. Rate My Experience by Localz enables the best practices listed above, with features like:

  • Automated post-appointment SMS messages
  • Configurable rating systems with emojis, stars, or number ratings to measure sentiment
  • Configurable forms to gather information about their experience or service
  • Logic jumps to set different follow-up questions based on positive or negative responses
  • Operational transparency to allow operatives to view feedback
  • Negative alerts that notify customer support when unfavourable feedback comes in

Localz customer engagement solutions for the last mile of field service

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