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Don’t send them to yelp – Get better customer and employee feedback

Many businesses are struggling to overcome negative and permanent online reviews on yelp, trip advisor, Glassdoor, etc. And they’re wondering why customers and employees go online vs. giving feedback directly. The answer is simple.

Giving feedback online is easy. Giving feedback directly is harder, for many reasons.  No one wants to be the person who complains. Feedback is likely to be received with a defensive at worst and explanatory at best response, and who really wants to deal with that? And we fear we’ll get “in trouble” for giving feedback, etc. etc. etc. I could go on and on.

If you want your customers and employees to give you feedback directly instead of blasting you online when they’re unhappy, make it easy to give you feedback, regularly.

Here are four ways to help prevent negative online reviews and improve the data you get from customers and employees:

  1. Ask customers and employees for feedback regularly. Don’t wait until the end of the year or after a service has been provided to ask for feedback. Ask for feedback during the customer’s experience. Ask employees for feedback every 90-days. Marriott hotels is masterful at this. Hotel guests don’t get onto the hotel’s free Wi-Fi until answering one question about their hotel stay. If guest feedback has a negative component, a manager will call you immediately. Such smart business.
  2. If you’re going to send online surveys, keep them short. Never ask a customer more than five questions, and two is better. Ask a version of, “What are you appreciating about your experience? What could we change on your behalf?” What else do you need to know? Too many businesses send exhaustive and exhausting surveys to customers after a service has been provided. It’s rude and unrealistic to expect customers to complete 30+ survey questions. Keep it short. You’ll see better response rates.
  3. Call 10% (or fewer if you have thousands of employees and customers) and ask for feedback. It’s such a rare occurrence to receive a phone call asking for feedback, it’s an immediate loyalty and relationship builder.
  4. Don’t request a positive score on a survey. Sending a survey and asking for certain response type is a turnoff. Uber drivers who ask me to rate them a five never get that rating. The best way to get an awesome rating is to be awesome.

Ask for feedback early and often, and make it easy to give. P.S. And no anonymous surveys – a topic for another day.

About 

Shari Harley is the founder and President of Candid Culture, a Denver-based training firm that is bringing candor back to the workplace, making it easier to give feedback at work. Shari is the author of the business communication book How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships that Really Work. She is a keynote speaker at conferences and does training throughout the U.S. Learn more about Shari Harley and Candid Culture’s training programs at www.candidculture.com.

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