Feedback is great. Fact. Without feedback we can’t grow, learn, develop or understand how to make improvements in our market place. Feedback should be gathered regularly, reviewed and actioned. When we conduct a viewing on a property we gather feedback, we find out what the viewer liked about the property, what their reservations are, what their opinion on the price is, what the next steps are with that particular property. We ask all of this so that we can inform the vendor or landlord. By giving them constructive criticisms as to why the viewer is not interested, the viewers comments can then be used to generate a strategy which will result in the sale or let of the property. Feedback is knowledge and knowledge is power. If we know what the problem is then we can fix it.
What systems do you have in place? Do you conduct customer satisfaction surveys? When do you send these? What do you do with the feedback? How do you find out feedback from your team? Do you ask them for their opinions? In my experience a lot of firms will send a feedback questionnaire out to their customers, generally at the end of the process.
A firm I worked for sent, on completion day, by email, a 19 question, excel spreadsheet to buyers and sellers. The return rate was about 0.1% because firstly who has internet up and running day 1, or on moving day the inclination to open emails? To then have to open a spreadsheet and find yourself with 19 questions to answer… very few bothered. Those that did respond had now ended their journey with the company, so there was no scope for the company to act quickly to address the problems, simply because the customer was now no longer engaged with the business. The responses were sent to head office where the marketing team farmed them out to the Branch Managers, there were no systems to follow this up and so the feedback that was gathered really was very rarely actioned. So what was the point? It simply became a box ticking exercise.
If you are going to the lengths to obtain feedback, think about capturing this data whilst your customer is still engaged within your business. Choose points within their journey to measure your service where you can act quickly to address problems and issues. This simple act of acting quickly will show you care but also will also help you retain customers. Get a system in place to handle the incoming feedback, making sure all comments are captured and actioned. Have a reward system, a lot of the feedback you will recover will be praising your team, make sure you have a process in place to recognise their efforts. Most importantly make sure you have a metric to measure this feedback, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Without having a tangible metric in place how can you assess if changes you make actually have any impact or not?
More importantly give your customers a voice, if you don’t ask them they may not tell you, but the feedback will still be discussed, only down the pub with their mates rather than you. Ignorance is not always bliss. People have been recruited for their attitude, and because they have passion about delivering excellence, but also understand how to compensate depending on the issue.