I’m a cereal eater. Every morning, like clockwork, I have a bowl and sometimes as a snack before bed. I don’t have five varieties in my pantry, rather just my one stand by. I’m a packaged goods company’s dream customer; loyal to one type of cereal, a heavy-consumer, likely in their top 20% of all customers.
Three weeks ago when I entered my local grocery store (a small chain), my cereal had been replaced. It was missing from the aisle.
I noticed a comment card prominently displayed at the checkout to share my feedback. Still reeling from not being able to purchase my cereal, I grabbed one and quickly filled it out when I returned home.
After getting my complaint off my chest, I put it behind me and ordered my cereal online from the manufacturer. I assumed I wouldn’t receive a response from the grocery store. Yet just a few days later I received this email. I’m impressed they took the time to read my comment and investigate my complaint. While the email response could have been composed better, at least they looked into my issue.
Here are a few key takeaways from my experience you can use in your small business to improve your clients’ experience:
1) Give your customers an easy way to provide feedback – even if it is anonymous. The grocery store had postage paid comment cards at the checkout. At this point in my shopping experience it was top of mind that I didn’t get what I came into the store to purchase. But I had to grab the comment card. They could have put the feedback postcard in my bag automatically to increase the rate of responses they receive. Consider including a nicely designed, postage paid, feedback postcard in your packaging. It’s a great way to get feedback and testimonials to use in your marketing.
2) When you ask for feedback, make sure you respond to it, even if it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Good or bad, if someone has taken the time to let you know about their experience, acknowledge it. Preferably via a phone call.
3) Own up to any mistakes your customers feel you have made and use it as an opportunity to delight them! The grocery store could have sent a coupon to try the new replacement cereal at no charge (risk-free) to keep my business. Look for ways to take a less than stellar experience to one that earns customer loyalty.
I’d love to hear your experience in how you’re getting feedback from your clients and incorporating it into your customer experience.