Are You Actually Listening to Your Customers – Or Do You Just Think You Are?

Customer feedback is the ultimate vessel for strong customer experience outcomes. But are you actually listening — and responding?

How many times have you started an argument with a friend, family member or significant other, and when you stopped to think about it, you realized that the entire argument could have been avoided by simply listening?

Listening doesn’t just matter in your personal relationships — it’s vital to your professional ones, too. We’ve all heard the stat that 84% of companies that focus on the customer experience see a corresponding jump in revenue. For customers, trusting that their feedback is being heard and that it matters is vital to building a longstanding, trusting relationship. It helps build eVoicngagement, nurture advocates, and, most importantly, build brand fidelity.

But how does that customer experience start? We can have all the grand visions, dreams and plans we want, but ultimately it comes down to (you guessed it…) customers. And whether you’re dealing with internal or external customers, getting — and most importantly, listening to — feedback is crucial.

What Is Customer Feedback?

Customer feedback is defined as information customers give you about their satisfaction with your performance. You can get this information in a variety of ways – NPS surveys, customer satisfaction surveys, win/loss calls, customer interviews, advocacy communities, social media, and more.

But getting feedback is just the first step. Like in any relationship, you can’t ask for feedback unless you plan to do something with it.

Who among us hasn’t been frustrated by a roommate or partner asking “What do you want for dinner?” and when you answer, the response is, “Well actually, I feel like something different, so we’re going to have the exact opposite of what you asked for”? Your reaction is likely to be, why did you even ask me in the first place? Just order the pizza and forget it.

Apply that to a customer relationship. You ask them for your feedback, and they take the time to answer. And then what do they get? Nothing.

Related Article: Voice of the Customer: What Is It and Why Does It Matter for CX?

Customer Feedback as the Cornerstone of Great Customer Experience

Getting feedback isn’t the end of the process — it’s just the beginning.

Customer experience is all about a seamless, simple experience that spans technologies, departments and teams. Just five years ago, you could focus on customer experience — what customers see, feel and experience, in your software, online and in-person — and ignore customer success. If you’re looking at your customer experience as a journey, think about the feedback process as the dinghy that goes to scout the unexplored island. You still have to sail back to the crew and provide an update of what you’ve found. You can’t just abandon your crew.

Often, customer feedback falls between the cracks because of misalignment between teams. But customer experience isn’t just a department — it should be a mindset.

Think about these examples:

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