Using Customer Feedback - Part 1

Nancy Anderson
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Customer feedback has been around for what seems like forever. Companies offer all kinds of incentives to get you to fill out a card, or go online and take a survey of some sort. Companies need to know how they are doing and where they may need improvements, and those that do not provide an easy means of doing so, are less likely to know the problems areas so they can address them. If you are seeking a job in the customer service field, whether as a manager or just a representative, apply some of these principles to your job, and make every effort you can to implore you managers to see customer response and act upon it.

The other day, I bought some pizza and related food items from a local big name restaurant chain. We have two of their stores in our local vicinity, one is close to our house, one is on my way home from work, further from the house. We have been buying from both stores for years, and we know the store closer to work is the better store. The food is always consistently better, and made properly (not over or under done). Yet, in a pinch, we buy from the one closer to home, and more times than not, the food is overcooked, dark brown, or even close to black on the bottom. It is very frustrating, and we have complained often. When we specifically ask them to not overcook, we tend to get it undercooked, which is less than desirable. I find it odd, since this is a large chain and you would think all stores have a set protocol for how to prepare and cook items. So why are there so many inconsistencies in this one store?

Well, it happened again the other day, so rather than just call and complain to the poor employee who answers the phone, I took a slightly different approach. I called the restaurant, asked for the highest manager on duty, and told them the entire situation between shopping at her store and the other local store. I explained to her that it would seem their staff was in serious need of some real training in quality assurance, to make them fully aware of what should and should not pass as an acceptable end product. I later asked her why her employees would bag and attempt to sell a product that is obviously not cooked properly, and ends up looking nothing like the final product is supposed to. Of course she had no answer, so I again stressed to her the need to step it up at their restaurant, watch their cooking times, and seriously consider updating their quality control standards so as to make all employees aware of what should not pass as properly cooked food products.

Does the problem lie in the ovens? Are they too old or malfunctioning, so that when the employees put the products in for the requires standard cook time, they still come out overdone and near burnt? If so, is it really that hard for management to make an adjustment to the cooking time and procedure to compensate? Is it that no one really cares, and not enough people complain to do anything about it?

Good management will take even a single complaint to heart, and watch for the issue and take actions to address it. Will action be taken from my complaint? Who knows? I can hope so, but the kind of response I received from my notice, while not negative, was less than enough to give me the impression that enough care was there to do something. I will shop there again, and we'll see. Next time, I will personally go myself to pick it up, and open it in their presence to check and point it out personally if need be.

If you want your company to succeed, you truly need to take action on most all issues that people have taken the time to speak up about. One frustrated customer can mean lots of lost business simply by word of mouth. If you have a similar story you can share about the effect and benefits of using customer feedback, please leave comments below.

Jeff McCormack resides in Virginia Beach, VA. where he works as a web designer by day. In his off time he is a husband, father, and musician. Aside from being a freelance writer for this Customer Service Jobs blog, he also seeks to assist in career choices and information by contributing to other Nexxt blog sites.

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