Why Transparency with Customer Feedback is Good Marketing
Honesty, openness, and transparency are three words that are shaping customer behavior in the 21st century. With the appearance and widespread use of the internet, there seem to be no secrets anymore. Online customer product reviews and social media posts have made it so that customers can air everything from accolades to complaints to everything in between.
Companies that do a good job of responding to online customer feedback reap certain rewards. However, companies that don’t respond to online customer feedback or who do so poorly are at risk for perpetuating a negative perception of their business. People who feel that their opinions do not matter or have no idea if their feedback is received will be discouraged from sharing feedback again in the future. Worse, they may walk away from your business altogether.
Managing customer feedback openly is not just good customer service, it is good marketing as well. Here’s why:
The Benefits of Transparency in Customer Feedback
It Builds Trust
Transparency builds trust – that’s a given. By being open and transparent with your customers, you show that you care about their opinions, which, in turn, will lead to an increase in brand loyalty. In fact, 97% of customers are likelier to become or remain loyal to a brand if that company implements their feedback.
Now, implementing everyone’s feedback is not always a realistic option. Nevertheless, you still have the choice of telling them what happened to their input. Was it shot down, will it be implemented, or is it still under consideration?
It Creates a Positive Experience
By letting your customers know what happens to their feedback, they will feel acknowledged and rewarded for providing their valuable opinions. Your customers will know that their time spent giving you their opinion was valued, even if you decide to go in a different direction. It’s the not knowing – the lack of transparency – that contributes to a negative experience.
In other words, transparency in feedback can create a positive experience that reinforces trust and encourages ongoing engagement. Customers should feel eager to give their input because it’s through their honest feedback that an organization can improve their products and services in such a way that it resonates with their customers.
It Encourages Word of Mouth Referrals
Social media is the new word-of-mouth referral system. If a customer has an above and beyond experience with your company, they may just take to their Facebook or Instagram to share their experience. Similarly, they take to their social media accounts to share a bad customer experience, too. In both cases, people are willing to share positive and negative experiences with their followers, which are comprised of family, friends, acquaintances, and business associates.
Studies have found that one happy customer results in nine referrals. However, one angry customer results in sixteen anti-referrals. Therefore, know that however you address a customer in a public forum or otherwise may become plastered everywhere. As a business, consider every customer interaction as an opportunity to shine. You just don’t know what may wind up being said or shared after the fact, so creating positive encounters can strengthen positive public opinion.
Transparency leads to more relevant and honest feedback, which you can then use to improve your products or services accordingly. It can lead to happier customers.
It was Bill Gates who once said that “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” And Elon Musk who mused, “It’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”
Transparency, openness, and honesty sit at the foundation of any happy, thriving relationship. Use them when interacting with your customers and the results will begin to show themselves before you know it.