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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 does.)

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

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