Collect feedback anonymously, respond to it personally

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When it comes to collecting customer feedback, one persistent argument remains: is it best to collect anonymously, or personally? While there are benefits to collecting personal feedback from customers, if you want honest, meaningful feedback, anonymity is king.

Put it this way: if you’re in a restaurant and a member of the staff asks you about your experience, how likely are you to express any minor grievances? Sure, if the meal was a disaster, you may as well let them know. But for most people, giving blunt, honest feedback can be an awkward endeavour face-to-face.

In today’s privacy-conscious world, it is also useful to keep feedback anonymous as people are happier to answer questions that don’t require them to enter personal information. People don’t want to be added to another mailing list or have their names stored away on databases. Thus, to ensure as many people are willing to respond to surveys, it helps to keep them anonymous.

While the collection method is important, it’s equally important to think carefully about what to do with the collected feedback (paradoxically to the collection method, it’s best to keep this part personal).

Although it isn’t necessary to know the exact identity of respondents, turning feedback into scores, percentages and averages based on ratings alone can obscure the customer’s voice. It also de-contextualises it, making it harder to learn from as time goes by. The point of customer feedback is to listen to the customer’s voice and learn how to make experiences more personal. Although visual charts and bar graphs are an excellent way to showcase and compare past performance with present, we need to consider the specificities in the voice of the customer. This level of focus will allow you to find the golden nugget that will help you stand out from the competition.

Finally, feedback should be shared as soon as it is collected to have maximum impact. The longer you hold onto feedback, the harder it becomes to rectify the problem, and, the less useful it becomes to hold onto that information. This is especially true of in-moment feedback; if you don’t disseminate the findings from that research until...say, the next quarter, you have lost much of the value of the feedback, and certainly the value in collecting it in-moment.

At Twistar, we believe customer feedback collected and utilised in this way is the key to understanding your customers. And, if we’ve still not convinced you that in moment feedback is king - have a read of this post.