Why do humans often ask "How are you?" when they don't really want to know? Similarly, why do businesses ask for customer feedback when it seems they often aren't going to act on it?
I read a blogger once say “If you’re not going to act, don’t ask”. I know I'm not alone in experiencing the following: I have a bad experience with a business, I provide feedback on that experience (often through an online survey), and it seems to go down a black hole somewhere. No acknowledgement, no response, no assistance in remedying the situation. I find it incredibly frustrating, and according to some new research from Empathica, apparently I'm not all that unique. Among other things, their study found that:
- 85 percent of consumers have provided some form of feedback to big box retailers, yet only 46 percent of respondents believe that brands actually use this feedback
- 83 percent of consumers agree or strongly agree that they would be more loyal to a brand if they knew the brand would act on their feedback.
The takeaways are blatantly obvious. First, if you’re going to ask for customer feedback, act on that feedback. Second, make sure you acknowledge and thank your customers for that feedback. And third, whenever possible, communicate to customers specific instances where their feedback has resulted in a constructive change to the way you do business.