Why customer AND employee feedback is crucial to improving service

A huge emphasis in the customer service industry is always placed on customer feedback. According to Troy Stevenson, former vice president of customer loyalty at eBay, “For every dollar spent on employee feedback, companies spend hundreds of dollars on customer feedback.”

A customer can share their insights about various touch points within your business but these are only about themselves. An employee who interacts with hundreds of customers will have insights about various touch points from a multitude of different perspectives over the course of a week.

For example

  • Your customer feedback highlights that your staff are rude and unhelpful and even though your shops have the highest footfall on Saturdays, this is not the day that your stores receive the most revenue.
  • Your employee feedback highlights that your store gets too busy on Saturdays and the amount of staff working is not enough. This results in long queues and not enough help for the customers.
  • Another interesting point is that the staff find the shop too hot and it makes working conditions difficult to work in. This could be a reason why so many customers are entering your store but leaving without actually purchasing anything, it is too hot to shop and queue so they decide to go somewhere else.
  • Customers think that your staff are rude and unhelpful when in actual fact staff may be rushed off of their feet with not enough time. They are boiling hot which is making them agitated and annoyed.

The best way to collect employee feedback

  1. Identify your customer journey and think about where they interact with your staff and at which points.
  2. Now think about and make a list of who the employees are that interact with your customers along their journey e.g. receptionist when they walk into your car showroom, sales assistant when they are looking at the cars, sales manager when they looking at finance, engineers for car care etc.
  3. Also think about employees who don’t have face to face contact but still analyse the customer journey and interactions. They will be experts on customer behaviour and how your customers move through your sales journey.
  4. Now identify how you are going to receive your employee feedback, through formal or informal interviews, surveys, or group meetings.
  5. Decide how you are going to deliver your employee feedback, for staff on the shop floor it would be best to deliver them through mobile apps, for reception staff a web based format would be best. For engineers it would be good to hold group meetings as they don’t have much spare time to check mobiles or web based platforms.
  6. Consider how often are you going to collect employee feedback. Allow for sufficient intervals between feedback collection so that you are not just looking at the same patterns over and over again. You want them to be spaced out in a way that you identify a pattern and in the next collection of results you identify a different insight. It will be up to you to figure out the frequency of how often you should do them from your first set of results and through trial and error. Usually every 3 months is a good starting point.

How to link employee and customer feedback

  1. Link the dates and times with your customer feedback to identify patterns, insights and problems.
  2. Work with your employees to come up with appropriate solutions for them and your customers. It could be that they don’t have the right tools to do their job properly, or your policies and procedures need changing.
  3. A great example is Virgin Media who saw customers were unhappy with their staff’s product knowledge. When speaking to staff, Virgin Media found that they were finding it difficult to keep up with all of the different and new product knowledge. They asked staff what they would like to help them learn and they came up with an e-learning gaming app. This was an easy and enjoyable way for them to learn which they could fit around their busy working day.

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 12th April 2018