Follow-UpIn an article published on September 3, 2013 on Quirks’ Blog, Emily Goon discussed the importance of following up with customers after they provide feedback, particularly if that feedback is negative.

Emily was in need of a new light bulb and decided to test out Home Depot’s in-store pick-up feature. She purchased the light bulb online, printed out the receipt, and headed to Home Depot on her lunch hour to pick up the item. The process seemed simple enough…until Emily got to Home Depot. She encountered a long wait and a customer service representative who didn’t know the in-store pick-up procedures. At this point, Emily might as well have simply gone to the store and searched for the item herself or chosen a completely different store.

Following her trip to Home Depot, Emily received a survey from Home Depot asking about the in-store pick-up experience. Emily was honest in her feedback, detailing her dissatisfaction with the process and included the name of the customer service employee.

While Home Depot was not “winning” for Emily up to this point, the follow–up she received after submitting her honest feedback was a home run. The store manager from the Home Depot she visited called her, apologized for the inconvenience, asked her in more detail about her experience, and requested that she try the in-store pick-up option again once his employees were properly trained. He also encouraged her to reach out to him personally after the next time she tried in-store pick-up to get her feedback and ensure she had a better experience.

If Emily hadn’t received that call, she definitely would not have tried Home Depot’s in-store pick-up process again, and would probably have considered shopping at a competitor. However, the five minute phone call she received from the store manager brought Emily back to the store, and left her feeling positive about Home Depot.

Sending a survey asking for fans’ opinions and feedback is simply not enough anymore. Yes, it allows fans to vent about their experiences, but it does nothing to bring disgruntled fans back to the ballpark. Going the extra effort to let a frustrated fan know his or her concerns have been heard and addressed makes all the difference.

Candidly, there’s not always enough time or man-power to personally follow up with every single survey respondent, but there are ways to make the process more efficient:

  • Set up an email trigger to notify a customer service representative when a fan rates their experience poorly via a survey.
    • Within Turnkey’s Surveyor software, teams can set up an automatic email trigger to notify a customer service representative that a fan completed a survey and rated their experience poorly due to X reasons. This saves the team the time of combing through hundreds of responses so they can follow up immediately with the disgruntled fan. Many times, the fan does not want something in return, but simply wants to know his feelings are being heard.
  • Email respondents about what you are doing with the survey data.
    • It is a worthwhile practice to let your survey respondents (or your entire database) know what you are doing with the data collected. This helps fans feel as though their time supporting the team and filling out surveys is not being taken for granted and that their feedback actually helps make team/business decisions. Also, if fans know their feedback is being used, they will be more likely to fill out a survey the next time one pops up in their inbox, improving response rates.

Keep your survey respondents engaged – let them know how they are making a difference in your organization!

Read Emily Goon’s full article, “How Home Depot put my customer feedback to good use”, here.

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