An article that begins with the sentence “Aren’t you sick of being hounded for customer feedback?!”, is guaranteed to grab my attention. Not just because of the nature of my work, but because I’m genuinely interested in why the author has such apathy towards giving feedback.

I understand that to many, giving feedback seems like a fruitless endeavor and is generally a waste of time, and while the overall tone seems to be tongue in cheek – this recent article on Stuff has a big bone to pick with the feedback industry.

And while I disagree with the premise that businesses seek feedback because they are “needy and neurotic”, I found myself nodding along to many of the points made in this article as they relate to the key strategies that set BigEars apart.

“Most feedback is meaningless and goes nowhere.”

Traditional methods of collecting customer feedback are limiting for a vast number of reasons.

By implementing strategies such as cold calling, long form surveys, and ‘rate your experience out of 10’ structures, you’re pigeonholing your customers into providing an answer that fits into a predetermined mold. You are restricting the amount of detailed and genuine feedback that would provide real insights into your business and how it’s viewed from the outside.

When you give your customers such an uninspiring selection of choices, it’s clear to see why customers feel undervalued and like their feedback is meaningless.

One of the ways to shoot yourself in the foot in terms of customer engagement is to ask for feedback, then do nothing with it. Closing the feedback loop is so important as customers are far more likely to engage with future feedback opportunities  if they can see that their answers have made an impact.

Companies need to actively be demonstrating they have listened to, and actioned what customers are telling them.

  • Are you responding to all feedback, positive or negative?
  • Do you have a follow up procedure in place?
  • Where does your feedback actually go?
  • Do you allow your customer feedback have a meaningful  impact on your future decisions?

Your answers to these questions will determine whether your customers will know their feedback (and their business with you) is really valued.

“We’re doing their work for free”. 

Long form surveys can be the kiss of death for customer feedback.

Straight away you lose a portion of crucial customers who drop off even before starting, when presented with a long winded survey with multiple checkboxes and pages. Surveys are defined as “high effort procedures” and you’re asking for a huge amount of time and energy from your customers – which in turn can actually create a more negative perception of your business then the customer began with.

Then the customers that do slog through the pages of text entry, often find themselves repeating answers, not answering truthfully, or just running out of steam and inputting single word responses.

At Big Ears, we believe that surveys should be quick and straightforward and the customer should be able to set the agenda – and that is absolutely what we do!

Our newest product, Online Voice, is a shining example of how customers can set the agenda by choosing the topics they wish to give feedback on and then having the option to respond by voice or by typing.

There are so many benefits to creating a voice feedback system that can not only improve the way you deal with feedback as a business, but also greatly improve the overall experience customers have with the feedback process.

We use open-ended questions to draw maximum insight, giving the customer the ability to get straight to the point. Allowing the customer to speak instead of type really lets them be as passionate or detailed as they like, leading you to receive more genuine and authentic  feedback than you would from a typical type form survey. Contextual information given verbally makes your positive and negative feedback exponentially more powerful.

Ensuring that every question serves a purpose is also really important to the overall experience.  If you don’t actually use the information you’re asking for, you’re wasting your customer’s time. You’re also wasting yours!

Customers feel invested in companies they feel are active listeners – Big Ears is proud to be leading the charge in creating these connections.