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Image Credit: Nate Bolt

Customers can be very needy, and it’s vitally important to meet those needs.

No matter the size of your business, every day we’re greeted by an avalanche of emails, phone calls, faxes and letters (at least if you’re still dealing those more archaic media). Sure, sometimes the messages are positive, but most of the time it’s concerns and problems with our products or services: “My shoes are too tight.” “Why did my cursor turn into a skull?” “My phone shouldn’t be dialing New Zealand on its own?”

We can’t let criticism frustrate us. All of these concerns, from the desperate to the downright rude, must be dealt with quickly and professionally to ensure a happy consumer and a successful business. In the long run, most customers aren’t trying to bring us down. They’re merely trying to get the most for their money.

Often customer feedback can draw attention to legitimately troublesome issues, perhaps even a chronic one. Sometimes their messages can encourage us to change our policies or challenge the way we think about our business. And there are those times when feedback gleams like a diamond in the sun, reminding us why went into business in the first place.

Except for the occasional random comment snipers or fakes, most feedback can help our businesses grow and adapt. It represents a chance to expand our business and prove our problem-solving abilities. The question is how to cultivate constructive feedback.

Encouraging feedback isn’t easy. It takes time to reach out to each and every customer. Time we don’t have. Creating a platform to itemize and evaluate consumer input takes programming skills and technical knowhow. Expertise of that kind doesn’t come cheap.

Even if you can reach each customer, many are reluctant to provide feedback. Sitting down and writing a review takes time away from their busy schedules. Being able to monitor the effectiveness of your representatives is important for your business. Plus, positive feedback that can be displayed on your website will encourage future customers.

That’s where a rating and feedback system can be of great help. With the integrated feedback feature, you can automatically select how often you ask for ratings and comments during customer service interactions. This system also allows you to customize your feedback forms. Even if you’re a tech dunce, you can still use the pre-formatted forms to request and access feedback.

So we occasionally have to take one on the chin. No big deal. Walk it off. The best way to keep our customers coming back and our business accounts flush is to encourage everyone, from the frustrated to the unfulfilled, to let us know what they think. When we respond to them and solve their problems, we show them how adaptable we are. Now when they come back, they’ll leave a few stars behind.

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