In my experience the vast majority of customer complaints are not complaints at all….they are frustrations, disappointments, suggestions.

Customers want you to be successful. They want you to get it right. They want to help you to be better. So having a feedback programme that allows customers to give feedback on their terms, about what matters to them and at a time that’s easy and convenient is key to gathering insight you can use to learn, to grow, to improve.

I think it’s a courageous and bold move that companies can make to put customers in the driving seat when it comes to feedback.

A client I worked with recently was aware that the time it took to resolve customer requests was a common cause of customer dissatisfaction.  But internal processes, defined by non-customer facing teams, meant they were unable to make things happen any faster.

So they decided to ask a brave question.  “What impact did the lengthy time frame have on you and your family?”  And their customers told them. But the voices they gathered weren’t angry voices. They were sad voices, disappointed voices, scared voices, vulnerable voices.

By sharing that feedback around the organisation, it was possible to implement changes to internal processes in a way that had been impossible before. They were able to cut through the internal objections and put their customers at the centre of the solution.

They asked a brave question and in doing so they got the greatest reward. They got empathy. Empathy is a powerful (often overlooked) element in a successful business. The voices of customers drove empathy, and with empathy, suddenly staff were motivated to make the experience better, smoother, faster.