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Making it easy to get compliments

Here’s a tough question:  How could a customer say something nice about your team?

We all know how to complain.  We know how to beat up a company until the apologize, fix the problem, and give us free stuff.  (If fact, most companies are set up to pay people to complain by rewarding them with apology gifts.)

But it’s almost impossible for customers to compliment a company or an employee. 

When we experience a job well done, we say thanks and that’s the end of it.  No follow up, no word of mouth — no one ever knows.

  • I got great service from Jim Lyons at Best Buy #323 in Chicago.  I even blogged about it.  Never heard from anyone, nor did Jim, I expect.
  • I emailed a Kinko’s store manager (3rd Ave in Midtown NYC) about extraordinary service by Patrick.  Never even got a reply.
  • Every time you hang up the phone with a company and are satisfied … that’s the end of it.

The lesson:  Companies need a feedback loop.  You need to open the door to positive feedback.  If you don’t ask for it, you’re not going to get it.

Try this:

  • Post customer comments on an “Employee Thank You” wall.  Put slips of paper, pencils, and thumbtacks next to it.
  • Let customers vote on Employee of the Month.
  • Add a PROMINENT feedback form on your site.
  • Re-word your post-purchase surveys to explicitly ask for free-form feedback.  You’re not going to get praise from a multiple-choice question.
  • Be sure customers know the names of their helpers (like PrintingForLess.com does.)

This post was inspired by great service we got from Gena at Dale & Thomas Popcorn.

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Comments

  1. jon burg October 24, 2007 at 9:15 am #

    I actually called Geico after experiencing excellent customer service, and the person said “Thank You for the positive feedback” and asked if there was anything else they could do for me.
    This is one aspect of the OnStar marketing platform that is spot on. The ads contain positive user experiences. They have a built in feedback mechanism, and they are using it.
    If anyone from Geico reads this, you’ve got to find a better way to recognize and reward great customer service.

  2. Newt Barrett October 29, 2007 at 1:38 pm #

    Andy,
    I had such a great experience at a restaurant in Palm Beach that I wrote a blog about it in the context of the content marketing issues I work on every day. (The URL link above goes straight to the story). Our experience with them was so extraordinary that I wanted the world to know.
    I emailed a link to the GM and to her boss. I’m pretty sure that she was completely taken aback that someone had taken the trouble. Her heartfelt thank you’s made the effort more than worthwhile. We really appreciated how much we were appreciated–and I’m pretty sure she let her entire staff know about the online thank you.
    Newt

  3. C.D. December 9, 2007 at 2:06 am #

    Way back in 1995, at a week long class on employee relations, I tried to make the point about positive feedback but the instructor was not ready for it. Glad to know that this topic is being deliberated on now.

  4. E DeMarco December 19, 2007 at 10:02 am #

    Macy’s service improved exponentially when they included a website with a very easy way to comment on associates. I had several good experiences and made it a point to log on and comment. The ultimate – a lovely AARP-aged associate who was gracious, though obviously exhausted. Due to the system she won employee of the year including a limo trip to dinner in Manhattan. I learned about it the next year when I returned for her excellent service. I never miss shopping with her on the holidays – now THAT’S a loyalty builder!

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