Customer feedback comes in many forms:
- Surveys the company sends out
- Calls to customer service
- Social media responses or complaints from the customer
- In-person feedback from customers in retail locations
Often, this feedback is used to solve a current issue the customer is having. But what if a customer’s feedback isn’t focused on an immediate need? What if the feedback is an overall criticism or appreciation for the brand? What if the feedback is focused on an ongoing situation the customer encounters when dealing with the brand, either good or bad?
Many brands focus on the ‘customer feedback’ portion of a customer feedback loop, but forget the ‘loop’ part. The idea is to acquire feedback from the customer, then consider that feedback and either act on it, or not. But either way, the customer should also receive feedback from the brand as to next steps.
So when it comes to facilitating a customer feedback loop. the two most important considerations are the most effective ways to collect feedback from the customer, then the most effective way to relay feedback from the brand, back to the customer. Thus, facilitating the ‘loop’ portion of a customer feedback loop.
Feedback solicited from and given to another customer is typically more valuable than customer feedback solicited from and given to the brand. The reason why is because customers trust other customers more than the average brand.
How Do You Integrate a Customer Feedback Loop Into Your Brand Ambassador Program?
Too many brand ambassador programs simply position its ambassadors as a new promotional channel. So before you think about integrating a customer feedback loop into your brand ambassador program, you need to shift your focus into all the different ways that your ambassadors can help your brand
- As a promotional channel
- As a customer service channel
- As a customer feedback loop
- As a way to educate other customers about and defend the brand
To only think of ambassadors as megaphones for your brand is incredibly short-sighted and honestly unfair to the talents that your ambassadors possess. So your brand needs to think about the value that can be created by your ambassadors if you empower them to solicit and collect feedback from current and potential customers. Think of it as free marketing research that your ambassadors can conduct on behalf of your brand.
So how could this work for your company? Let’s use a simple example. Let’s say your brand launches a brand ambassador program, and creates a smartphone app just for its ambassadors. This app would be a tool to empower ambassadors when they connect with other customers. It would include things product information and reviews in case the ambassador encounters a potential customer who is considering a purchase and needs more information. It could also include functionality that lets the ambassadors give detailed feedback not only on interactions with the brand online and offline, but also, feedback on customer interactions. Ambassadors could file reports on interactions they have with customers, offering suggestions on how the brand should respond, etc. The brand could then notify the ambassador that they received and processed their report. It could even ‘escalate’ the report to contact the ambassador directly.
The process could look like this:
1 – Ambassador engages a customer either online or offline
2 – Ambassador records feedback from the customer
3 – Ambassador shares customer feedback with the brand
4 – Brand acts on the customer feedback and communicates steps taken to ambassadors
That’s it. And the great part is, this is new customer feedback that the brand otherwise would not have access to. This feedback can be incorporated into existing business processes to increase sales and reduce costs. So start thinking about how your ambassadors can perform additional roles for your brand past that of simply being a direct sales channel.