Asking for customer feedback is never easy, especially in person. The potential for being “put on the spot” is heavy on both parties, and is generally avoided. But thanks to the internet, it’s a lot easier to give unsolicited feedback. Online accounts for people and for businesses work on so many levels, as consumer protection and free marketing. But as it has opened the valves on people’s opinion, it released a torrent of opinion.
Starting with anonymous accounts, to the various Like/Dislike, +1, ReTweets, and Favorites, customer feedback is getting more and more important to host and to guest. Companies like TripAdvisor rely mainly on guest recommendations and warnings to hostels and hotels alike. A business owner should only Google their own business name to find out what are being said about them.
A common practice some years ago was to type in “I hate (company name)” to see if that web page was constructed. But it seems to have died out in the advent of social networking sites. It seems people prefer to let their friends hear their gripes, rather than to no one in particular.
Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” I wonder if he was right?
The Philippine cafe Mary Grace makes great pasta dishes and thick hot chocolate. But the Mary Grace behind the store started out by herself with her family, baking holiday treats from her own kitchen. As the entrepreneur in her took over, and the baking went from packaging for gifting to finally going bricks, mortar, and pestle, she retained the intimacy of the Christmas spirit, and let it thrive as the heart of her business.
And it twinkles evidently in the customer feedback. Each glass tabletop has thank you notes that her customers and friends have written, and are on display underneath the glass. This heartwarming decor is a clever and sincere way of encouraging—and showing—gestures of love and appreciation for and by her customers. Sit at one of the tables, and you will be delighted.
Nothing gives you the feeling that the food and the service is crafted with love than this. It is clear that the staff are appreciative of life and generous with their smiles, not to mention an exceptional dining experience.
Old Spice broke all conventions in 2010 when it went online for its “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign (a.k.a. “I’m on a horse”)
Following the enormous success of its 30-second video (which reached millions of views in days), the wildly-quoted spot got so much twitter feedback that the creative team of Weiden+Kennedy in Portland, Oregon decided to keep the conversation going, online.
Customer feedback should be treated as currency by any business, and you should go out there and seek it. Look for it online; create promotions that ask for feedback, or simply monitor for mentions online. Start with simply excellent and surprising customer service.
Don’t stop until you get it good customer feedback—whether handwritten or online. And don’t forget, sometimes, all you need is ask your staff to spread the word; “Cc:” everyone in an email; it’s worth sharing—even internally—every time we receive a simple, “Thank You,” from a happy customer.