Six Steps to Customer Feedback Success

Listening to your customers is the best way to deliver a service they actually want to have. Customer feedback can help you to to make better business decisions and improve your overall operations and delivery.

Understanding how your customers feel about your business can help you to make better, more informed decisions which take into account the positives and negatives that customers in the past have experienced. Using this information to your advantage, your delivery of service(s) and the way in which you and your team perform everyday tasks can enhance the performance of your business.

In this article, we look into six crucial steps to use feedback to improve the experience of your current and prospective customers.

Accept Responsibility and Take the Opportunity

This is an opportunity to rectify a service fault that may not have otherwise been brought to your attention, which needs to be viewed as a great opportunity for your business. From the moment you’re aware that a customer has provided negative feedback, you should accept responsibility for the outcome of the issue. This means no matter what your role is in the business, you are going to see it through to a successful outcome.

Listen and Put Yourself in Their Shoes

While you are listening to the customer you should ask yourself this – “How would I feel if I was in the same situation as this guest?"

You should show the guest that you are taking in what they are saying. You can do this by:

  • Maintaining eye contact
  • Nodding your head as they make their point
  • Verbal acknowledgement
  • Showing a genuine look of concern
  • If necessary, taking notes

Respond and Show Your Genuine Concern’

When responding to the feedback, you should never come across as disrespectful or frivolous. No matter the nature of the feedback, it should be treated with utmost importance. One of the premises to deliver a high quality service culture is responding to feedback showing genuine concern in order to show the customer that you are serious about resolving their issue. You should also consider repeating the information back to the customer to ensure that you have the facts straight. Only when you are confident that you have all the information you require from the customer should you move on to the next step.

Decide on The Best Course of Action

The action you will need to take will depend on a number of different variables.

Ask yourself: Can you solve it yourself or should you pass it on to your superior? Have you been empowered to deal with some issues but not with others? What is the nature of the feedback - is it service related, attitudinal, mechanical or other?

Creating solutions and making decisions is one of the most important qualities to have in the hospitality industry, as it can mean the difference between a very positive or very negative experience for the customer. You should use your problem solving abilities to come up with the best course of action based on the customer feedback. If you’re unsure of what to do at this point, you should seek guidance and support from your superior.

Take Action Immediately

Don’t delay in speaking to whoever you need to in order to resolve the issue or pass on feedback as soon as possible. At this stage, you should:

  • Not get caught up with other customers, phone calls or any other issues until you have taken the decided action to try and resolve the issue or pass on the feedback from the customer
  • Not serve anyone else until you have taken action
  • Do whatever is necessary to solve the problem if there is one
  • Do tell the guest what you are doing to address their feedback
  • Do inform all relevant team members of all necessary action that has been taken

Follow Up to Ensure Satisfaction

At the start of this process, you agreed to take responsibility for the outcome of this issue.

No matter what course of action you took, you still have an obligation to follow-up with the customer. If back at the ‘take action’ stage the only action you could take was to pass on the feedback to your manager, you still have a role to play now.

Follow-up could mean any or all of the following:

  • Approaching the customer and asking them if they are happy with the outcome
  • Asking your manager what he/she did to rectify the situation
  • Putting systems into place to prevent the same negative feedback from being given again
  • Increasing training to minimise a reoccurrence of the incident
  • Making sure all relevant team members are aware of the outcome of the issue

If the customer, for whatever reason, is still unhappy with the outcome from the action taken, you must go back to step two and follow the procedure again. It is not necessary to go all the way back to step one as you have already taken responsibility.

If you need help with your business, Zealifi can help your venue to improve its performance by defining which are the best steps to make it happen. You can contact Zealifi by calling 1300 122 287 to find out more about our strategic planning created to help your hospitality business grow and to be even more successful.