Reviews: the good, the bad and the ugly

Product Reviews are not the only source of insight.
I had a presentation this week for a customer centric software application for Noble Systems. They have all the bells and whistles when it comes to staying in touch with customers — managing all the big contact centres. Yet, we only often hear from people when something is not ‘right’.
I keep a keen eye on our Net Promoter Score and the customer feed that we gather both quantitatively and qualitatively. These numbers give me clear insight as a business leader that we getting it ‘right’ more often than not. It allows me to ask… is our intention, vision and aspiration to be completely customer focused working?
The reality is that we don’t get it right every time — we are in business and as we know, nothing is ever perfect.
What I have found important is to balance my view so I’m looking for the good reviews, as well as the bad. I have coined the phrase ‘catch a compliment’ and we have a shared group at work where we write down people’s compliments for everyone to see. Often people don’t say ‘thank you’, or ‘it was amazing’. Simply put, it is those that had a not-so-perfect customer interaction who will take the time to write the product reviews.
As business leaders it is really important to balance all the feedback — not just those who are likely to have negative things to say. When I look back, I consider how over the years I have implemented listening posts. Setting up a customer advisory board was one of them…
Reading every review (good and bad) was another, and often giving the person a quick call to understand the context of their product review I found to be tremendously beneficial.
It is amazing how you can surprise and delight and kind of blow a customer away simply by picking up the phone. Many people I know who fill in online review forms think that no one but search engines read them. How simple is it to call someone, ask for clarification and then acknowledge them for the time it has taken them to contribute to helping you improve your service.
The negativity, and sometimes cyber bullying is just that — it is important for us to also listen for great stories… otherwise it will do our head in.
In the end, the data tells us if we are getting it right more often than not.
This article first appeared on LinkedIn.

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