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You may think your B2B customer is giving harsh feedback to negotiate price. Or perhaps you suspect a competitor is paying people to dump poor reviews* on your eCommerce site. I know people who believe ‘no-one gives positive reviews’. And we have all seen reviews that cause our eyes to widen in disbelief.

Does all this mean we should ignore feedback? Certainly not.

Nor should we forget to bring a pinch of salt to the table.

In the first step of my eight-point method, we decipher feedback.

With a B2B customer, that means looking at the numbers and asking questions. Is delivery poor? Are internal rejects high? Does your product or service generate complaints? It should also be hands on. Pick up the rejects. Follow the journey of your customer’s customers. Understand what it means to your customer.

If you serve consumers you can use the two-edged sword of social media and online reviews. Now, I definitely don’t mean paying someone to make cookie cutter responses to every review. We consumers see right through that. Deciphering on-line reviews is also about the numbers. Look for trends, sentiments and low points. Find out which part of the customer experience is great and appreciated. Pinpoint the times when your customers feel let down.

Now you understand you can act

If you don’t make the space to act, you are wasting your time collecting data – the image below is from this post:

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Using data to drive performance

An early manager drummed this into me. For each arrow he said ‘no…without’. Try it – No data without recording. No recording without analysis. No analysis without action. No action without data.

Action has two parts: planning and doing. In the planning phase we find out the causes of poor feedback**, the cost of dissatisfaction and the resources required to fix the customer experience. Then we do it.

*If you would like to know more about fake reviews, I recommend this podcast and website:

**Don’t act on only negative reviews. When you get a compliment work out what you did well and make sure you keep doing it.

Featured image by Ben Gray on Flickr under Creative Commons Licence.

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