How to Share Customer Feedback With the Rest of the Team
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
Customer satisfaction is a top priority for almost all companies (and if it isn't, it should be). Receiving customer feedback is a great way to measure it and take action when needed, but it can be trickier than it seems. Only focusing on the good feedback can give you a false sense of confidence about your product, and trying to address every piece of negative feedback can make you overly reactive, in addition to bringing down morale. Ideally, the process should be optimized so that no request or message is unheard, but in a way that offers your team a "space" to discuss it if needed.
This is a story about how we've embraced customer feedback and how we arrived at our system for sharing it internally.
At Balsamiq, like in many organizations, our customer support team is the "front line" for customer feedback but we realized some time ago that there was no good place for sharing it with the whole team. That is a shame since these are precious words, for many reasons, and while some people don't like to share, we do!
Now the question is: How can we do it in a way that everyone can see it, but that doesn't bother people who don't want (or don't have time) to review it?
What Feedback Do We Share Internally?
This is a hard question, but sharing as much feedback as possible has been very beneficial so far. The positive feedback we receive directly from our customers about our software or service can have many forms. Here are a few examples:
- Users sharing about their first experience using our tool
- A particular feature they just discovered
- Some love following a support interaction that went great
- A successful project where our tool helped
- Students (or companies) learning how to use the tool ❤️
— Richard Jones (@rlwjones) January 18, 2017
— Nazaret Oporto (@nazaretoporto) February 9, 2017
What About Feedback Not About the Product or Customer Service?
The first idea can be to essentially ignore anything that is not about our "core competencies" - our product and the customer service we provide. Although if you think about it more, there is value in praises about other elements of the company. More importantly: we shouldn't try to shine only through our product and service.
Instead of setting up boundaries, we came up with this policy:
When you receive a particularly loving or enthusiastic message from a customer, share it with the rest of the team!
Every member of Balsamiq is contributing at their own level and helping us, supporters, to increase the chance to receive great feedback!
So don't be shy about sharing any great support interaction in Slack! This is a nice way to say: Thank you all for the great work. 😊
The truth is, we value Golden Puzzle pieces (things that we do well outside our core competencies) a lot, with the goal to "be so good they can't ignore us" in mind.
For example, we love to hear that people find our "What should I make for dinner" feature useful and we are delighted when someone enjoys a particular course or website page we have made.
— ktenkely (@ktenkely) June 18, 2015
— Julia Gitis (@edversation) January 11, 2016
We also use this #lovefest channel as a place to tell everyone when we are impressed by someone else's work. That is a great occasion for other team members to jump in if they felt the same way.
The Benefits of Sharing the Love
Since we implemented the channel, it has been active almost every day and we all agree on the benefits it provides:
- Having a "celebration" space is a great way to share the love that everyone contributes to receive:
- The room/channel allows the information to be shared quickly among the team:
- It's a great way to "recharge" our human batteries when needed.
Also, since we are spread all across the globe, it is another way to feel more connected, part of a team. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a High-Five machine ready to use!
What About Tough Feedback?
Our customer support team gets the whole range of feedback, including difficult emails, tweets or phone calls. There are many ways and tips to answer those, including those outlined in our recent Finding the Human - The Customer Supporter Starter Pack blog post, but why not involve other team members when appropriate?
Sharing difficult feedback is way harder that sharing praises, probably because a part of that has to do with admitting failure. In a way, sharing it says "I don't know what to do with this" or "I'm not sure I can solve it".
We discussed this challenge with the whole team during a meeting, and some of us were on the fence about the idea. I guess the name that I used to introduce it did not help much...
Me: Guys, let's start a #hatefest channel!
However, after refining the name (#opportunityfest channel) and giving it more thought, we realized that having a team to help in those situations is an incredible resource, and we should rely on it more! Someone might have been in the company for a while and have helpful context for that specific complaint. Someone else might reassure you by sharing his/her experience with similar cases. On top of that, it is an excellent way to share knowledge and great responses among the team.
We now see it as a great opportunity for us all to help each other, and we all get more and more comfortable when dealing with complaints and tough feedback.
As with all of our internal projects, it is an experiment and a work-in-progress. We would love to hear your story: anything that works great for your team? Is there something that you think we could do better?
If you have any tips or ideas to improve the way to share feedback with your team, please leave a comment below! 😀