Home » Customer feedback » How Customer Feedback on Service Actually Works
Last edited: September 27, 2022
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If you’ve ever worked in the service industry, you’ve probably heard the old saying “the customer is always right.”
And if you’ve worked in a service business, you’ll know that it’s not strictly true (we’re looking at you, Karen).
While every customer might not always be right, the implication that service staff should give high priority to customer satisfaction, however, still stands.
Delivering customer satisfaction has many benefits with your existing customers, like customer loyalty and retention.
But it can also result in positive customer feedback that can help bring in new customers too.
We’re going to dive into what customer feedback means for the service industry and how it helps your business. Plus, how you can collect it and use it to your advantage.
Customer feedback is when customers share information about their experience with a business.
Customer feedback outlines the level of satisfaction the customer has with a product or service, and helps businesses understand where there could be room for improvement.
Service providers deliver a specific professional service to customers when required.
Service businesses can include those operating in hospitality, IT, recruitment, real estate, legal and professional services, to name a few.
And this industry is worth big bucks! The global services industry is expected to be worth $14734.2 billion in 2023, making it a highly competitive market.
The value that service businesses provide is often intangible, but is built on a foundation of trust in the quality of service that is being given.
And what better way of showing the value of the service that you provide than collecting feedback and sharing it with potential new customers?
What’s more, the feedback given can also be used to improve customer service.
That’s a win-win in my book.
Customer feedback takes many forms but can be split into two categories:
Feedback you ask for directly is pretty straight-forward. It’s information about your service that you collect yourself by proactively asking your clients.
We’ve all seen the customer satisfaction surveys where we’re asked to share insights about our experiences with a company.
This information solicited by the company can be used to improve the customer experience, or to market the business.
Some examples of direct feedback include:
Feedback that customers offer themselves is a different story.
Here, it’s the customer who proactively provides feedback on the experience that they’ve had, and not necessarily directly with the business.
While the business can use indirect feedback in the same way as direct feedback, the feedback from customers exists whether or not they do anything at all.
But given the benefits of gathering feedback, it would make sense for service businesses to pay attention to indirect feedback too.
Some examples of feedback that customers offer themselves include:
Now that we know what customer feedback actually is, let’s take a look at how it can boost your service business.
There is nothing like customer feedback to help you evolve your business.
You may think you’re giving a good service and can guess what your customers want, but feedback gives you direct customer insight into what they love and hate about the service you provide.
Positive feedback is great – it shows customer satisfaction and acts as validation for what you do.
The negative feedback is where the gold really lies.
Analyzing feedback from your unhappy customers helps you understand what isn’t working AND gives you a roadmap of improvements you can make to your service to improve customer satisfaction.
In fact, 52% of people around the globe believe that companies need to take action on feedback provided by their customers.
Speak to the Trustmary team to find out how we can help you improve your service for your customers.
Savvy service providers will proactively gather customer feedback for the valuable insights, but the really savvy ones will use customer insights to create a customer-centric culture.
What do I mean by customer-centric culture?
A culture where every person in your business is focused on delivering the best possible experience for the customer.
Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple, once said: “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
And how do you get close to your customer? With customer feedback, of course! If Jobs didn’t convince you, have a look at what other great leaders have said about customer loyalty.
Internet service provider Verte Connect will regularly gather customer feedback and share this with all employees. Everyone from the sales team, to the in-field engineers, to the customer service department are aware of what customers think about the business.
They are able to use this feedback to provide great customer service, which in turn builds customer loyalty.
Plus profitability. After all, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than others.
I’ve already mentioned how service businesses provide intangible services to clients.
The problem with intangible services is just that – they’re intangible. There’s nothing that you can physically compare with other providers.
For example, a mobile phone has plenty of product features for customers to consider when making a purchasing decision. A mobile phone repair company has nothing but the promise of a job well done.
But this is where customer feedback comes in.
Collecting customer feedback and sharing helps potential customers gain insights into how good your service actually is.
It also helps build trust in your business.
Positive feedback, such as testimonials and customer success stories, can really show the highlights of working with you, in your customer’s own words. If someone has gone through the trouble of giving you a raving review, remember to respond to it!
Did you know that sharing feedback can actually help persuade your customers to do what you want them to?
I’m not talking about mind-bending hypnosis, but factoring in on their purchasing decision.
One study found that 77% of consumers ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read reviews when browsing for local businesses, while another showed that 91% of buyers said they read AT LEAST one review before purchasing something.
Customers will do their own market research prior to signing up to a service, and sharing feedback from your happy customers can help influence that decision.
And the more feedback shared the better. Conversion lifts by 52.2% when a web page has 1-10 reviews, and lifts even more as more reviews are displayed.
Want to know more about how feedback can help your website convert better? Check out the 7 Top Reasons Why Websites with Customer Reviews Outperform Others.
“How do I set myself apart from the competition?”
It’s a question most business owners and marketing people have asked themselves from time to time.
The answer may lie in your customer feedback.
When customers provide feedback, they are really outlining how you measure up to their expectations – expectations set by experiences with similar business.
Analyzing customer feedback may help you spot ways in which you can exceed these expectations.
Plus, brands that proactively invite and accept customer feedback are viewed more favorably by 77% of consumers than those that don’t.
What’s more, sharing customer feedback can help bring to life what makes you different from the competition.
For example, a review for BrooksCity outlines how knowledgeable and reliable the boutique accountancy firm is, while explaining bad experiences with other firms.
Find out more about how customer feedback can drive growth.
Collecting customer feedback may seem daunting at first, but actually most customers are happy to talk about the service you provide, either directly or indirectly
This step-by-step guide outlines how you can capture customer feedback on service you provide.
Before you start collecting customer feedback, ask yourself this: what do you want to achieve from the feedback?
Perhaps you’re looking for ways to improve your service, or you simply want to know what your clients think of your business, or you want to design a sophisticated feedback system for your support team.
The answer to the question will help you plan a customer feedback strategy that lays out your objective, who you need to ask, and how to ask them.
For example, if your goal is to improve your customer support function, then you’ll want to start collecting feedback from people requesting support, after every support call.
In this case, it doesn’t make sense to ask for feedback from new visitors to your website.
When developing your strategy, don’t forget to think about how you’ll measure the success of your feedback strategy.
In the above example, a 10% increase in ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ responses would be a great indicator that your team is providing great customer support.
Now that you’ve developed your customer feedback strategy, it’s time to start designing your customer feedback survey.
Different objectives will mean asking different types of questions when measuring customer satisfaction.
To make it easy for you, I’ve outlined some template questions that can be used when collecting feedback.
Be mindful of your customers’ time though – don’t ask 15 questions when 4 will do!
Find out more about how to write great customer feedback questions.
Just like there are different types of customer feedback, there are also a few different ways you can gather customer feedback for your service business.
Let’s explore the different ways you can collect customer feedback.
At its simplest, a feedback form allows customers to share their thoughts on your business or service.
For example, an online feedback form can be used to capture indirect feedback as part of a contact page on a website.
The feedback form provides an open channel of communication between the customer and the company, and can be as structured or unstructured as necessary to fulfill your objectives.
Explore how to create a good customer feedback form.
Feedback can also be captured from your website or app to collect specific feedback.
Back to the customer support example that I mentioned earlier, a pop-up could collect customer feedback as soon as a support chat window is closed.
Embedded feedback functions across your digital channels can help you build more detailed feedback data to base business decisions on.
In fact, some of the best customer feedback tools have features that help you automate how you collect customer feedback and share with your wider business.
Get to know your customers with Trustmarys website feedback forms. Book a meeting with the team to find out more.
Want to get a pulse of what your customers think about your service at that particular point in time?
Then do a customer feedback survey.
These could be long-form based surveys that explore many different aspects of your business and services, or shorter surveys that are sent out regularly when measuring customer satisfaction to benchmark customer loyalty.
A long-form survey can be extremely valuable to finding quality feedback as it lets you really open up themes that you want to explore with your customers.
But keeping the survey relevant and focused can sometimes be a challenge.
Two of the most common shorter surveys sent by businesses are used to measure customer satisfaction: net promoter score, and customer satisfaction survey.
Net promoter score (NPS) measures how likely customers are to recommend your business or service, whereas a customer satisfaction survey asks how satisfied your customers are.
Check out our ultimate guide to surveys to find out everything you need to know.
There’s a good chance that your customers are sharing feedback about you somewhere already.
If it’s not with you, then it’s probably with each other.
Review sites, such as Google, Capterra, Yelp and G2 are the best places to find customer feedback about your business.
Customers are encouraged to share their experiences with you which then contribute to your business profile.
Don’t forget to collect feedback from review sites, and respond to reviewers too!
Find out how to get reviews and make the most out of them.
Nothing beats a good old-fashioned customer conversation.
Taking time to sit down with your customers to get views on your business is a proactive method of getting feedback, but not particularly scaleable.
Whether you have a phone call with an unhappy customer to find out what you could do better, run through a customer feedback survey with a new key account, or conduct a focus group with your most loyal customers, less is more when it comes to customer conversations.
To maximize the resource that it takes to set up customer conversation, you could use this time to explore some of the feedback data you’ve received from other sources in more detail.
And on the subject of a good old-fashioned chat, book a meeting with the Trustmary team to find out how we can help you get more reviews.
Once you’ve collected all this brilliant feedback, how can you make sure that you’re getting all the benefits from it?
After all, what’s the point in collecting customer feedback if you’re not getting the most out of it?
Let’s look at 3 of the best ways you can leverage customer feedback for your service business.
Before you can make head or tail of your customer experience, you’ll have to start by analyzing the data.
Collate customer feedback in one place so that you have an overview of what people are saying about your services across all the channels you’re collecting data.
An overview of customer feedback makes it easier to look for trends in the feedback data, and spot gaps in what you’re doing.
i-Valo did just this to get a comprehensive picture of customer satisfaction and areas for development from NPS, feedback forms and customer recommendations across two countries.
Customer feedback is cross-functional.
That means everyone in the business has a vested interest in what your customers are saying about your business.
This information can, and should be used to drive business decisions.
New ideas from loyal customers can help attract new business, but even negative feedback from unhappy customers can help improve your customer experience. Psst. don’t forget to respond to each negative review promptly!
For example, the customer support team could provide additional guidance on a particular topic that clients don’t understand across the board.
Learning from actionable feedback brings you closer to delivering a truly customer-centric service.
Eilakaisla takes this business forward approach to the feedback it gets from its clients.
I’ve spoken at length about the benefits of customer feedback, but have I told you how sharing customer success can bring in new business and increase customer retention?
I have? Well, it’s so important that I’ll tell you again.
Use positive feedback for marketing. Display customers sharing their positive customer experience far and wide.
There are lots of ways you can share customers’ opinions, but most companies in the service industry will use the following channels:
Showcasing your best feedback on your website is like putting up a sign to say you’re doing an outstanding job.
The beauty of displaying feedback on your website is that it can go almost anywhere!
A video review on your home page? Check!
A customer testimonial page? You bet!
Reviews under your list of services? Sure thing!
See how management consultant Staria uses testimonial videos on its customer page to provide social proof:
Social media plays a huge role in marketing your services, and is a great place to show customer opinions about your business.
Whichever social media channels you use, make sure to work customer reviews into your social media content marketing, like IT contractor agency Crimson:
As a service provider, you may already be in regular email contact with clients, or else be sending customers seasonal deals via email.
This channel, that goes directly into a customer’s inbox, is ideal for sharing feedback with your customer base to increase customer retention.
Duolingo makes use of this tactic to share feedback about it’s DuoLingo for Schools programme to get referrals from existing members:
Let’s be honest.
A good piece of feedback can be used for marketing in as many ways as your imagination allows.
You may have even seen these stickers on the doors of hospitality businesses, promoting the great feedback from customers they’ve received.
No actual reviews are posted, but the stickers show that they have plenty of happy customers.
Alternatively, a great video testimonial can be used on the home page and social media, but key quotes can be used on printed materials like brochures, or even in pitch decks.
Really, when it comes to leveraging feedback for marketing, the sky’s the limit!
Want to find out how you can leverage customer feedback for your service business? Book a meeting with the Trustmary team today.
Collecting customer feedback and using it well takes time and effort.
Even with the best intentions, it can be difficult to juggle feedback requests, incoming feedback, analysis, and display.
This is why many service businesses choose to automate the process.
Automating the customer feedback process allows businesses to streamline the process, and creates efficiencies so that they can get the benefits from the feedback, while focusing on what they do best – providing outstanding customer service
Here are 7 steps to automating the feedback process:
I’ve already spoken at length about how you can start gathering customer feedback.
The same rules apply when automating the feedback loop.
You still need to set goals, create custom surveys, and identify the best point in the customer journey to ask for feedback.
When automating the process, however, you can use a customer feedback tool to design the full feedback loop, including messages thanking the customer for their feedback.
Depending on the platform you use to automate feedback, you could also design multiple feedback loops so that you’re able to cover all bases with your clients, or even personalize the feedback request to maximize your chance of getting feedback.
With requests for feedback and replies being taken care of, you can focus on other things like learning more from unhappy customers.
It might sound simple, but you’d be surprised how many customer feedback strategies fall down because the customer has no idea what they’re supposed to do!
Once you’ve created your feedback loop, make sure it’s easy for the customer to find.
Again, this can be automated with a simple pop-up on your website, or a regular feedback request email.
Make sure you get the timing right too.
An email requesting feedback after a specific trigger like a renewed subscription can give you insight into why customers use your business, and an automatic request for feedback if a client doesn’t upgrade after a free trial can help you understand barriers to conversion.
Receiving customer feedback on a large scale is a nice problem to have.
On one hand, you’re getting lots of quality information about your business. On the other, how on earth do you start analyzing it?
Thankfully, the best customer feedback tools automate analysis, providing you with text and sentiment analysis so you can easily discover common customer complaints.
You can also segment the feedback data to dig a little deeper.
The power of positive feedback is undeniable, and we’ve already explored different ways that you can use positive feedback in marketing your business.
But what if you could utilize these testimonials at a click of a button?
Trustmary lets you display the best feedback on your website, no matter where it comes from.
With the testimonial and review widgets and social proof pop-ups you can highlight the best feedback, and even test which ones improve conversion rates.
When building a customer-centric business, it’s important that everyone knows what the customer is saying.
That’s why platforms that integrate with your other business tools can help speed up the way in which you’re able to respond and act on feedback.
You might want to share negative feedback with the customer service department or fee-earning service providers within your business, or utilize positive feedback for marketing.
However you need to utilize the feedback, integration either natively or with another tool like Zapier, can make sharing and acting so much easier.
Once you’ve shared feedback internally, make sure that you’re taking the right steps to action it.
Now most customer feedback tools won’t help automate this process, but a project management tool like Asana or Trello, can help manage the workflow that comes out of the customer feedback process.
Why is this important?
In order to effectively make use of feedback to improve your service to customers, you need to create accountability for change.
It’s way too easy for the results from feedback to fall into the Business Black Hole, never to be seen again.
Automating how tasks are assigned ensures that your business makes changes based on customer feedback.
If you’ve automated your feedback loop properly, you’ll have a message in place to thank your customers for their feedback.
After all, it’s only polite to acknowledge the time that goes into sharing opinions on the service you provide.
You may also want to periodically update them on the changes that you’ve made based on the feedback given.
Showcasing the improvements to your service serves two purposes.
Again, this isn’t necessarily a part of the process that can be automated, but it’s one not to be missed!
Plus, if you’ve followed the steps above, this last part should be a piece of cake.
Collecting customer feedback is important for any business and Trustmary takes that seriously.
Trustmary’s platform offers fully-customizable feedback and review forms with multiple question categories and ways of capturing data, from star ratings to video feedback.
The drag-and-drop builder and brand personalization make it easy for anyone at any organization to build eye-catching customer feedback surveys for their business.
Once you’ve built your customer survey, distribution couldn’t be easier.
Choose from embedding on your website, creating a website or app pop-up, sending via email or SMS, or even distributing a QR.
What’s more, the platform offers customizable triggers, from page URL to UTM-tags, so that you can show your feedback forms to the right people at the right time.
Whichever channel works best for your clients, Trustmary has you covered.
Shareable dashboard views, customizable reports and the ability to segment data, make Trustmary’s reporting one of the most comprehensive on the market, allowing you to gain insights from your feedback in real time.
You can even turn your most positive feedback into testimonials for your website or on social media at a click of a button!
Trustmary integrates with CRM or marketing automation systems (natively to HubSpot and Pipedrive, or using Zapier for +3,000 other systems), to automate your customer feedback collection process.
Find out how Trustmary can simplify collecting customer feedback for your service business – book a meeting with the team.
HotJar is one of the hottest names in customer feedback and it’s clear to see why.
The platform helps you build a picture of what your customers want by tracking their website behavior.
By tracking and recording each website session, you can monitor heatmaps, detailed conversion breakdowns, and identify pain points.
In terms of customer feedback, Hotjar excels with on-site satisfaction ratings which allow users to provide live feedback on specific parts of your website. The platform also offers onsite and external surveys.
With a huge array of survey templates at hand, you can easily create custom surveys and generate feedback polls that can be automatically triggered by customer actions.
While Hotjar is definitely one of the most unique customer feedback tools on the market, most of the platform’s focus is on what happens on your website – which is great if your service is website user based, but maybe not as useful for those who offer offline service too.
Typeform prides itself on “people-friendly feedback forms” and its simple-to-use customer feedback tool delivers just that.
The user-friendly platform lets you create short and easy-to-answer customer surveys which are fully customizable by theme, template, and questions, for the most engaging customer experience.
Surveys can be shared as a link in an email, or on social media, or embedded straight into your website, with no coding required.
Feedback data is then collected on an analytics dashboard that integrates with other business tools too.
Typeform is a fantastic tool for eye-catching customer feedback forms. While the platform offers templates for long-form surveys and has recently branched out into video conversations and chat, its bread and butter is really the quick feedback from shorter, snappier forms, with pizazz.
Reevoo allows businesses to collect customer reviews to connect brands and customers.
Reevoo generates detailed and verified customer reviews that can be displayed directly on your webpages, but also on product pages – which is great for product-led businesses.
As a service business, you can collect reviews about customer satisfaction.
Reevoo emails customers who have made a purchase from you, asking about the buying process and the service they received.
Reevoo also cleverly turns clients into brand ambassadors by asking them to join a team of volunteers who answer questions from new and potential customers.
You’re then notified every time a customer leaves negative feedback, or if they have questions for your business.
Reviews are displayed on customizable widgets on your website, where customers can filter to find the most relevant review for a particular part of your brand. They can also be shared on social media channels.
Don’t be fooled by HappyOrNot’s cheery interface. This emotion-based feedback tool has great functionality for service businesses.
HappyOrNot provides a customer satisfaction scale of smiley faces that customers can select to reflect their experience. Surveys can be modified easily and include follow up questions so that you can dig into the ‘why’ with ease.
The company offers a variety of interfaces from digital surveys that can be embedded throughout the digital customer journey, to physical terminals that can be used in a location-based premise to capture feedback.
HappyOrNot Analytics provides real-time insights that can be shared with the wider business.
While HappyOrNot isn’t as customizable as some of the other customer feedback tools on offer, it’s made for service businesses, particularly in retail, healthcare and hospitality.
We’ve compiled a list of the 10 of the best customer feedback tools overall.
Calling all service providers.
The work you do is outstanding, really. But it’s somewhat intangible and hard to build trust and credibility.
Fear not though, customer feedback allows you to show potential clients the quality service you’re providing. It can also be used to make improvements to your business and align your whole team to focus on the customer.
Collecting feedback and leveraging it to maximize its benefits takes some time and effort, but automating the process lets you focus on what you do best – delivering excellent customer service.
There are many tools out there that help you design eye-catching surveys that your customers want to fill out, and share them at just the right point in your customer journey.
While many of these analyze the findings and integrate with other business tools, the best will help you leverage positive feedback straight away, to bring in new clients and improve customer retention.
Trustmary does just that.
To find out about how Trustmary can help you get the most out of your customer feedback on service, book a meeting with the team today.
Why should service businesses collect customer feedback?
A service business generally provides an intangible service to customers which can be difficult to market.
Customer feedback helps service businesses:
How can I start collecting customer feedback for my service business?
You can start to collect customer feedback with three easy steps:
1. Plan your customer feedback strategy – set objectives, and develop a plan of action in line with your objectives.
2. Design your questions – the best customer surveys help customers share their own experiences.
3. Find the best method to gather feedback – there are many ways to collect customer feedback. Choose the right method for your customers.
What should I do with feedback once I’ve collected it?
Once you have feedback, take the time to analyze it. Collect it all in one place to get a good overview of what your customers are saying and where. Look for trends and gaps that you can address.
Feed the information you find straight back into your business. A good customer-centric service business will use feedback to guide decision making and continuously improve the service it provides.
Finally, utilize the best feedback for marketing. Feedback helps build trust and customer loyalty. It can help acquire new customers and improve customer retention.
Why should I automate my customer feedback process?
Automating the customer feedback process allows businesses to streamline the process, and creates efficiencies so that they can get the benefits from the feedback, while focusing on what they do best – providing outstanding customer service.
How do I automate the customer feedback process?
A great customer feedback tool can help you automate your feedback process.