Have you ever contacted a company by phone and before ending the call, the representative asked if you wouldn’t mind taking a survey at the end of the
The purpose of these surveys or feedback cards is to give you (the customer), the power to influence or change how an organization does business!
Why Complaints Are Good For Business
However, some business analysts involved in processing these cards or implementing feedback systems may view these customers as complainers or whiners.
Oh are they so misinformed! Feedback data is actually useful for improving business techniques, products, and services.
It has been proven that people only complain about topics, organizations or processes that they feel passionate about or where they feel they can make a positive change.
Customers providing feedback in the form of complaints or suggestions should not be viewed as “complainers” and “whiners” but as consultants who are working to improve your business.
What Is A Complaint?
One day I was heading back to work and had just enough time to stop by a restaurant to get a turkey wrap to go.
When I began to eat my wrap, there was chicken instead of turkey in it. I contacted the manager of the restaurant, who apologized.
He then asked for my name and address and said he would send me a coupon.
To my amazement, a day later a FedEx envelope was on my door containing a letter of apology, information on how the situation was addressed, and a gift card for $15! Isn’t that great! Now that’s a restaurant that takes complaints seriously 🙂
A good start to understanding complaints and feedback is to first understand what a complaint is? A complaint is simply a mechanism for “communicating unmet expectations.”
So, complaints should be viewed by business analysts as potentially good / actionable data that may be used in improving an organization’s business
Closing the gap between feedback and solution implementation
Although some organizations have processes set up for receiving feedback, fewer have processes or action plans for analyzing feedback data as well as
implementing suggestions and/ or improvements effectively.
As a result, many organizations miss out on all this actionable data … and that is where you can help out as a business analyst.
As a business analyst, working on a feedback system, you should have three things in place:
- a customer advocacy team that handles complaints
- an efficient business process for analyzing these complaints
- a system for implementing improvements as action plans.
As A Business Analyst, Learn How to Implement Effective Customer Feedback Systems In 4 Simple Steps.
Design A Process for Analyzing Feedback Data
Before you start collecting feedback data, decide the metrics that need to be measured and or improved on. These metrics may also be tied to your organization’s Objectives, Strategies, Goals and Measures (OGSM).
You may for example want to collect and track customer feedback as a way of measuring the defect rate or you may track and collect feedback data on how your customers successfully complete specific goals and/or actions as a “measure of the usability /of the product or a barometer of your customer’s
In another article, we will discuss why ensuring usability or a good user experience is key to success for most organizations.
Design A Feedback Collection System
Implement convenient processes for collect feedback as data by phone, online forms or even physical suggestion boxes.
For online feedback, you may dedicate a specific email address for complaints or comments or even better use an online form that saves feedback data permanently to a database.
For example, your organization launches a new product and as a business analyst, you are tasked with tracking, monitoring and/or measuring the “user experience” using customers’ feedback data.
If this new product is being sold online then your feedback data collection system will leverage online web forms extensively. If on the other hand these products are distributed via physical retail shops, a customer feedback card may be used as the primary feedback collection system.
Build A Passionate Customer Advocacy Team
As a business analyst working with your stakeholders, project leader and / or project managers put together a “customer advocacy team” that is willing to take ownership of customer feedback, complains and / or suggestions.
Too often, “business users” treat their customers like they are the enemy.
So for this to work, you may only include team members who are passionate about increasing the “user experience / usability” or whatever other key metrics you are tracking.
Each team member must first buy-in to the importance of analyzing the feedback data and then using it to improve your organizations products, processes, or services.
Finally, each team member must be capable of analyzing, investigating or prioritizing each complaint, suggestion, recommendation or feedback.
Implement Improved Improved Workable Solutions
… The sooner, the better.
: If you only collect survey results or feedback cards or store online customer requests without coming up with workable solutions, then you are wasting time and resources.
Your team must put in place action plans for implementing the best, practical / workable solutions whenever a customer’s feedback / complaint / suggestion has been evaluated, prioritized and selected as valuable feedback data.
So, here is a summary of what you need to do with feedback data:
a. Evaluate feedback: Decide if there is valuable daat or not in the feedback, complaint or suggestion.
b. Prioritize feedback: If there is valuable, actionable insight in a feedback, then prioritize it using the potential impact
on your customer and the cost in terms of time and resources to your company
c. Design a solution: This is probably the most difficult thing to do. It is also where you will experience the benefits of
adopting an active and engaging customer feedback, analysis and implementation system. You will need to work with subject matter experts and
stakeholders in deciding and/or choosing the best solutions.
d. Evaluate Solutions: After implementing your changes / solutions, be sure to review the results in a timely manner and revise
or refine any new changes as needed.
Although your team may have come up with a “knock-’em-out” solution, it doesn’t always mean that it is the best solution. Therefore, it is equally important to review the effects of the change.
Learn How To Improve Customers User Experience … One Customer At A Time
How do you know if the solution is effective? Ask! Have the team who collects complaints and create solutions follow up with everyone who provided feedback. This can be done by phone call, email, or mail.
First, the customer should be sincerely thanked for taking the time to provide feedback. Second, find out if the customer is satisfied with the
solution. If not, see this as another opportunity to welcome additional suggestions. Since most people don’t hear about the solution to their
suggestion, this is another plus for your company.
Finally, based on how you handle complaints and feedback, you can win a person as, not only a loyal customer, but also a walking, talking advertiser
for your business. Therefore, true power of feedback and complaints is doing whatever possible to bring and implement a good solution.
So, if you are on the side of analyzing and processing feedback, no longer do you need to see the customers as complainers or whiners, but as an
opportunity to help increase business.
A Great Year Ahead For You!
This is the beginning of your business year. So, share this action plan for improving the usability / user experience of your company’s product(s), services or processes using customer feedback with your management / business leaders.
If you have any questions as you implement this … get in touch with us and we will be glad to be of more help.
The Business Analysts Boot Camp equips you with the tools, techniques, processes for designing and implementing solutions like the one just discussed which will help your organization’s bottom line.
Right now, enrollment is open and you may join us for more training using the Business Analysts Open Enrollment Link