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How to Get Your Team to Act on Customer Feedback

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Ever feel like your team is ignoring critical customer feedback? Here’s how to change that.

Last week, I got an email from a reader with a question that many of us in customer support struggle with:

I’m certain that many of you were nodding as you read the email above.

It’s a problem we come across often: teams that are removed from the front lines of support don’t take customer feedback seriously until things get bad.

Fortunately, this is also a challenge that I’ve seen many companies overcome.

Today, I’ll share how to get your team to act on customer feedback, before it’s too late.

Get Your Team Addicted to Positive Customer Feedback

Last week, Jonathan Kim posted a Tweet that contained an important insight:

Replace “PM” with “customer support agent” and you have a fantastic starting point for how to get your team to take customer feedback seriously.

Trying to get your team to only act on negative feedback isn’t going to get you very far. If all your team hears are complaints from customers, they risk developing a negative view of customer feedback, making it that much easier to ignore.

Instead, focus on getting your team to recognize the importance of all customer feedback. If you can get them excited about the positive feedback, then they’ll naturally want to eliminate the negative feedback.

Here are four ways to integrate customer feedback into your team’s lives:

1) Make It a Weekly Habit

At Groove, we have a weekly team call where everyone shares what they accomplished the week before, and what they’ll be working on in the coming week.

Part of that call is sharing customer feedback—good and bad—from the previous week.

Every single week, our entire team hears what our customers are saying about the work that we’re doing. It’s become a habit, and it’s something that all of us expect on each call.

Simply being exposed to customer feedback each week makes us all value it more.

If you don’t have a weekly call or meeting where you can share customer feedback, take it upon yourself to put together a short “customer feedback report” that you email to your team with feedback highlights from each week.

If you do this every week, it’ll become very hard to ignore.

2) Share Feedback Highlights in Real-Time

Beyond a weekly feedback update, sharing the most valuable feedback you receive—as you receive it—can also help to build a more customer-focused culture.

We do this with a dedicated Slack room for sharing support feedback.

Here’s an example of an email that got shared after one of our developers fixed a bug that was bothering a customer:

You don’t need to have team chat to do this; email or whatever communication platform your team uses could work. The point of this is that you get your team used to a fast feedback loop that ties their actions directly to customer reactions.

3) Send Net Promoter Score Surveys

If you want to know whether or not you’re keeping customers happy, you need to track customer satisfaction. At Groove, we do this every three months with Net Promoter Score Surveys, which ask two simple questions:

Results from the first question tell us how many of our customers are promoters (those who respond with a 9 or 10), passives (7 or 8) and detractors (0 to 6) of Groove. Results from the second question tell us why, and most importantly, give us clear direction on what we need to do to increase customer happiness, both for individual customers and across the board for all users.

Implementing NPS surveys is easy to do (we use, and it can give your team clear visibility into what your customers think.

Set aside time each quarter to go through NPS responses with your team, and pay careful attention to how the responses correlate to the work the team has been doing for the last three months.

4) Implement All-Hands Support

This is the biggest culture change of the four listed, but it’s also the one that stands to make the most massive positive impact on your business.

Implementing all-hands customer service—where everyone on the team spends some time responding to customer support requests—requires buy-in from the top, but in my view, it’s worth a fight. For help in your battle, check out our guides to building a culture of “everyone does support” and on making company culture changes that stick.

Getting your entire team involved in support has huge potential benefits. Your team will “feel the pain” of the customer and make more empathetic product decisions. There’s a big difference between hearing a complaint second-hand and actually having to face an upset customer.

Putting designers and programmers and everyone else in direct contact with customers isn’t about putting out fires; it’s about fire safety.

It’s about having the kinds of conversations that lead to better products in the first place.

Emily Wilder, Basecamp

Your whole company will begin to think about its decisions in terms of the customer, resulting in more loyal customers and higher retention and revenue.

You needn’t dive in all at once. To start small, have everyone respond to a single customer support ticket each day… or even each week. If your company is larger, then reduce this to a one person from each department.

You’ll begin to notice the impact quickly.

Make Customer Feedback Impossible to Ignore

Getting your team to take negative feedback seriously starts with building a company culture that embraces and values all customer feedback.

As the support agent on the front lines, you have the power to ensure that your team sees what you see, both the good and the bad.

By getting your team addicted to good feedback, soon enough you’ll see them begin to act very quickly on the bad feedback.

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About the Author

Len Markidan heads up marketing at Groove. He’s focused on helping startups and small businesses build better relationships with their customers.

Read his latest posts or follow him on Twitter

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