Receiving feedback can be a powerful tool not only at the hands of a business but to everyone. Indeed, many simply faint at the idea of negative feedback, but they should think again. Feedback, especially customer feedback, is a vital process for companies, managers and employees. Businesses utilizing that feedback in a meaningful way can grow and become successful by keeping their clients and suppliers satisfied. Additionally, feedback is an excellent source of ideas to improve existing processes that give a wrong impression to a company’s external stakeholders.
The Importance of Good Communication in Customer Feedback
To receive customer feedback, companies must engage their employees in the process. The employees are the ones who are in direct and daily communication with the suppliers and the customers of a business. Communication skills are essential to all kinds of jobs. Still, when it comes to positions like these, communication skills become a critical asset to have.
However, except for good communication skills, employees is good to have other qualities such as:
· Deep knowledge of the company and its products or services
· Use of positive language
· Be goal-oriented
· Have empathy
The importance of good communication skills is evident even in the hiring process during interviews. Employers, typically, are not simply looking for the best CV that they have gotten their hands on. Still, they give extra attention to the way these prospective employees will communicate their achievements.
To define communication, every communication involves one sender, a message and a recipient. However, the existence of these three ingredients cannot guarantee good and effective communication. For this to happen, both sides must be able actually to listen to the other party. Therefore, listening and communication skills are assets that go hand in hand in the business world.
But now that begs the question, how can a business engage its employees?
Strategies to Make Employees Part of the Process
The importance of employee engagement has been a subject of extensive research by academics. First, it should be noted that employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction, even though it is closely related. In simple words, it means to have passionate employees about their jobs that are willing to go the extra mile for the organization that they work for. Therefore, employee engagement is the first important step to make in acquiring customer feedback.
Strategies that seem to work in keeping employees engaged in the process of feedback:
Have them Develop their Own KPIs
KPIs, or else called Key Performance Indicators, are used in evaluating the effectiveness of meeting goals. Creating and using a list of KPIs in their day to day interactions with suppliers and customers is a good way to improve their relations with them and detect their mistakes.
Give them Independence
Trusting your employees can go a long way in benefitting a business. Trusted employees feel valued in the company, and allowing them to be independent can unlock their potential. They can hear about new ideas during their daily interactions with customers and suppliers, and they should be left alone to implement them.
Rewards are a classic approach in enabling employees to be more active and engaged with their jobs that, at the same time it motivates them to become even better.
Ways to Get Customer Feedback
Having mentioned the prerequisites to get customer feedback effectively through the employees, we should explore how this valuable feedback can be acquired. Customer feedback can take various forms and be obtained in many different ways. Some of the most common and effective ways to acquire customer feedback are through:
· Live chat support
· Regular calls to customers/suppliers
· Email surveys
· Social media interaction
Customer feedback is the most valuable resource for the performance of a company. There are a variety of ways that management can extract that feedback from their customers via their employees. But for this feedback to be meaningful and continuous, companies need to hire employees with certain essential qualities. All in all, communication skills are an essential asset that employers are looking for in their employees to maintain their relationships with the external stakeholders of the business.
Learn more on the topic from the INNovaSouth manual here