Did you know that only one in 26 customers reaches out to a business to bring up their complaint? As hard as it is to get customers to send their feedback, what happens to this feedback after you finally receive it? Proper customer feedback management is paramount to any business, regardless of the industry. In fact, a proper response to questions, concerns, or comments can help you build stronger relationships with customers, increase their satisfaction, and reduce the churning segment.
This guide focuses on the steps required to manage customer feedback service in email campaigns. You will find actionable steps that will help you create a highly personalized email campaign with a focus on customer feedback.
Step 1. Set clear objectives
Effective customer feedback management starts by answering a single question:
What are you trying to achieve by maintaining customer feedback service?
Setting clear goals and objectives will help you act strategically and keep track of your performance. It’s useful to follow the SMART goals framework. The SMART acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Each goal or objective you set should have these five characteristics to ensure it can be reached and benefits your customer feedback service.
Step 2. Review feedback
Now, as you’ve defined clear goals and objectives, and you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve by managing customer responses, it’s time to review customer feedback.
There is no worse way to maintain customer feedback service than crafting a quick response immediately after you received a feedback email. This can result in you looking unprofessional and thoughtless.
The best way to approach customer feedback is by taking the time to read and re-read the feedback. You can even share the feedback with other team members for evaluation. After you’ve taken your time, you can now start crafting the first draft of the email.
Drafting will help you refine the content and create the most effective and well-written piece possible. To help you get started, here are some drafting tips:
- Start the drafting process by creating an outline.
- Keep your writing clear, concise, and consistent.
- Pay attention to grammar and punctuation using writing services to proofread it.
- Avoid using vague or uncertain language.
Step 3. Personalize your response
Studies report that 41% of consumers switch companies over lack of trust and poor personalization. Other research suggests that as many as 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. These numbers prove the point – providing a personalized response is a must if you want to keep customers satisfied and increase retention.
Addressing customers by their names is the first step to creating personalized experiences. That’s why you want to avoid accidentally sending a “Dear [customer name]’ email. Ensure your personalization tokens are always filled in with correct customer names.
A more advanced way to personalize customer experience is by including discounts specific to customer’s feedback. For example, if a customer sends you feedback describing how they enjoyed a product, send them a promo code or a discount to buy another one.
Alternatively, if a customer is not satisfied with the product, you can offer a free return or replacement. This will help you increase customer loyalty (as you prompt them to buy more) and reduce customer churn (as the discount will make them feel better about their negative experience).
Step 4. Thank your customers
Don’t forget to thank your customers for taking their time to help you improve your service.
After you’ve greeted your customers, start out your email copy by thanking them for offering their feedback. Regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative, customers still deserve acknowledgment for their time and effort.
You can include a second thank you in the closing copy of your email, especially if the feedback was negative. Make your customers feel that their opinion is respected and appreciated.
Step 5. For negative feedback: Express the most sincere apologies
Admitting that you were wrong is the hardest part of managing feedback. Yet, when you do receive negative feedback, it’s important to apologize for the inconvenience regardless of whether you believe the feedback is fair or not.
Express that you’re sorry for the customer’s negative experience, and if possible, ensure that you will work on resolving the incident so that it does not happen again. Show some empathy and don’t respond with defensive explanations.
Step 6. Provide explanation and take responsibility
As I just mentioned, it can be disappointing for your customers to submit their feedback and receive a defensive response in return.
When customers take their time to offer negative feedback, the last thing they want to hear from you is some vague and uncertain explanations. If you fail to provide a convincing explanation, your customers can go further to write negative reviews online.
You don’t want them to go online expressing how disappointed they are because prospective customers will be hesitant to do business with you. In fact, 86% of customers hesitate to do business with a company if it has negative online feedback.
If you want to avoid that altogether, knowing how to provide an explanation based on customer feedback is essential. Describe what might have gone wrong and what actions you’re taking to prevent the same incident from happening in the future.
For positive feedback, you can include information about which teams or individual professionals were involved in the process. Additionally, you can add details about how a customer’s individual contribution has helped you to improve.
Step 7. Ask if they have other comments or suggestions
Before closing your email, it’s important to leave some room for customers to add their comments or suggestions. Ask customers to share any additional questions, comments, or suggestions.
This way, customers who are hesitant to ask further questions will feel much more comfortable coming to you with other concerns or comments. By asking them to share more concerns, you open up a great opportunity for further relationships.
Step 8. Include a little something extra
It’s always nice to offer a little something extra to the customers who are coming to you with their feedback. Don’t forget that it’s not the customer’s responsibility to reflect on the services they’re received. Rather, it’s a conscious choice to share their opinion.
Being grateful to your customers is not always enough, especially if they share objective negative feedback. Send something of value to show your appreciation.
Here are some customer appreciation ideas to help you choose what can be relevant to your clients.
- A discount
- A promo code
- A free download
- An upgrade to your service
- A relevant link to the content on your website that a customer will find interesting
Studies show that customers who receive unexpected gifts are more likely to make a purchase in the future. Regardless of the gift you choose, you will be investing in a long-term relationship with your customers. Even the smallest gifts can make a difference and smooth the negative impression.
Step 9. Use feedback to improve your service and product offering
What happens with feedback after you’ve thanked customers with a feedback appreciation email?
The most productive way to leverage customer feedback is by using it as a reference for improvements. Feedback gives you a chance to view your business from the customer perspective. Customer feedback will help you identify which components of your business perform well and which, oppositely, need improvements.
Create a centralized data system for all customer feedback you receive. This will help you monitor and measure your performance and customer engagement, even if the email is not the only feedback collection channel. Moreover, when all of the feedback data is centralized, it’s easier to analyze it and take immediate action.
You can use the insights you get from customer feedback data to improve your customer service. Using customer feedback in your employee training program is particularly useful as you can provide relevant examples and ask employees to solve real-life problems.
You can even incorporate customer feedback to train and upskill a team of geographically distributed professionals as there are plenty of training options for remote employees. Make sure to research and review e-learning platforms before creating your remote training program.
Encouraging customer feedback
The hardest part of managing customer feedback is encouraging customers to share their thoughts and experiences. In this bonus section, I’ll share some of the best tips and practices that will help you get more customer feedback.
- Offer multiple feedback channels. Besides using email to ask for feedback, keep other communication channels, like social media, open.
- Make feedback formats that are fast and easy to complete. Targeted surveys, net promoter score (NPS) surveys, and feedback widgets are just a few out of various feedback formats you can employ.
- Let your customers know that customer support is easy to reach. Ensure that the contact information is visible on your website, social media platforms, and is always listed in your emails.
- When asking for an opinion, explain why customer feedback is important. Include phrases like “Help us become better” and “Your opinion matters” to emphasize that customers’ contributions are valuable to your business.
The bottom line
Customer feedback is a helpful tool for improving your business. However, the simple act of collecting customer feedback data is not enough to get all the benefits you can receive. That is why managing customer feedback is paramount for any email marketing campaign.
Following the aforementioned steps will help you get the most out of customer feedback while leaving your customers satisfied with your brand. Make sure to be timely with your responses and good luck!