ADVICE: Using customer feedback to your advantage
Customer feedback should be used to benefit your customer and, in the long run, this will benefit your business, says Hannah Haworth, marketing lead at Nublue. Here are her top nine tips for using customer feedback to your advantage
For all the data you can use to measure the growth of your jewellery business, your audience uses just one very public metric to measure you against: satisfaction. Or in other words, what people say about you online. So how do you encourage, capture and use that customer satisfaction?
The trick to using your customer feedback is to act on it for your customers’ benefit, not for the benefit of your business. The success of your business is ultimately a by-product of providing an exceptional customer experience.
So, how do you quantify your customers’ experience of your brand? How do you use their feedback to increase their satisfaction and benefit your business? Here are some steps you can take right now to use your customer feedback to benefit both your customers and your business.
- Providing remarkable service
Remarkable service; service worth remarking on. Speed, quality, communication, clarity, warmth, interest, empathy – remarkable service is a combination of many aspects, but it all boils down to attitude. Listen to customers’ views on as many forums, review sites and social media as you can, then act on those views. You may not be the biggest jewellery retailer out there, but there’s nothing stopping you being the best. You may not be the cheapest, but if the value of your product and service outweighs the prices you charge, then people will want to buy from you – and talk about you. Be on your customer’s side, trying to find the best solution to their problem. If they’ve experienced bad service in the past, make it known that you want to rectify it.
- Capturing customers’ opinions
People will have opinions about your business, and they’ll voice them publicly. Make sure your company’s featured on dedicated, independent, high-traffic reviews sites like Reviews.co.uk, Feefo or TrustPilot, where you’re happy customer reviews can be seen and promote your service. What your customers say about you is much more powerful than what you say about yourself, so invite their reviews and let your happy customers market the business for you.
- Using testimonials
With your customers’ opinions coming in on more review sites, you’ll want to keep an eye on the five-star reviews which you could include on your own site as testimonials to establish social proof. It’s always a good idea to ask your clients and customers their permission before using their opinions for promotional purposes. If they’re happy with your service though, and you let them know that it would help you out, most people will be glad to give you a hand.
- The customer is still always right
Not everyone’s going to love your brand. With such a global public forum like social media, people can and will vent their frustrations. The trick is in how you handle the complaint. Never make your customer wrong; it’s always better to agree on something. Gone are the days of the scripted response – customers expect a fast, personal reply from a human being. On social media anyone will be able to see your customer interactions, so be transparent. If there’s something your customers hate about doing business with you, or using your website, then tackle it head-on. The customer is always right, so look at their negative feedback as an opportunity to enhance your business and encourage positive feedback.
- Thank customers who take the time to give you feedback
Anyone who takes the time to give your company honest feedback, even if it’s negative, offers the potential to refine your customer service. If you receive all feedback gratefully, and see if there’s anything in it that you could apply to improve your brand or business, then you can only profit from it. It’s free market research, so thank people for taking the time to let you know.
- Acting on negative feedback
If you’re skilled in handling your customers’ complaints then you can actually inspire more trust in your brand as an effective problem solver. People hate the idea of not being listened to, so listen to negative feedback whenever it comes up and address it as quickly as possible. This is an opportunity to fix what isn’t right and provide exceptional service, and not just for the sake of damage limitation. Focus on providing exceptional, human service – especially if you can turn someone’s negative opinion right around and create a loyal customer through your ability to listen and change.
- Go above and beyond
It’s a regular theme on consumer review websites: people like companies that go above and beyond what’s expected of them. The more you surpass expectations, the better. If you’re not just selling jewellery but providing useful information, then you have the opportunity to turn customers into brand advocates. For example, if you’re blogging on your site about good jewellery care, how to spot fakes or a ring shopping guide for fiancés-to-be, then you’re allowing your value to exceed the price you charge for your products and services – and that’s where your happy customer feedback, and your sales, live.
- Be prompt
Everyone likes speedy service. Customers need to know that they can get in touch with you and receive a prompt response. We’re so connected now that everyone expects a fast response, if not an immediate one. Don’t leave your customers hanging, and you won’t give the impression that you’re wasting their time.
- Use feedback to provide even better service
Ultimately customer feedback is there to be acted on. The more you listen and react, the more you’ll bridge the gap between what you offer and what your customers need. If you’re always listening to what your customers say about you then they’ll tell you exactly what to improve on to grow your business.
Customer feedback is most useful when it’s shared publicly. Spreading the love you’ve received for your brand can gain you more business, engage more people and demonstrate that you really do prioritise the opinions of your customers and the service they receive. The honest opinions of your customers are your most potent sales message of all – so encourage them, and share them on every digital platform that’s available to you.
About the author
Hannah Haworth is the marketing lead at Nublue, a Lancaster digital agency which provides web design and hosting services for clients including the national jewellery brands T H Baker, House of Watches and The Jewel Hut.