IT support teams do not always get the respect they deserve. They sometimes get blamed by customers for problems that the system is having and also for not getting the problems fixed right away. Many of us have worked at companies where the ‘f’ word is used to describe the IT department. If they are lucky, the ‘f’ word is mostly referring to feedback, Liam Atwood from CapeConsulting.com explains how to get the best from our customer feedback, by simply asking a range of clever questions.
How To Ask For Feedback
When it is done correctly, an IT support team can be strengthened by the customer feedback system. It can also help to create a connection that is very positive with the other parts of the business. It allows customers to vent their frustrations over technical problems they are facing, enables the support team to identify areas that can be improved, and also helps to develop valuable conversation between departments. When it isn’t done correctly, it just ends up being another source of resentment.
If you do want to solicit customer feedback, as either a manager employing the IT support staff or as the support team itself, how can this be done correctly?
The difference between closed and open questions is very fundamental to the feedback system. Closed questions have limited answers- no or yes; choose three items from the list; rank from one through ten.
Closed questions can be very useful in managing and measuring performance. Consistent feedback is provided across a broad ranges of responses. This enables you to measure performance and also make comparisons over time between staff.
Taking these measures also offers you a way to inform senior management and customers how the IT team is performing. You will be to show if customer satisfaction is increasing or decreasing in percentages. You will also be able to measure whether problems are currently being solved less or more quickly than they were one year ago. The questions not only generate statistics but accountability as well.
Closed question do not provide you with the why and how. They might be able to indicate that customers are more or less happy now than they were at another point in time, or that you have more or less problems with Microsoft Office. However, they can’t provide you with any insight into what may be causing it or offer information that can help you improve the situation.
Open questions can help in these kind of situations. These are questions that don’t have fixed answers. It allows customers with plenty of room to say what they want to about a subject. Customers might be asked to describe their feelings regarding your service. Or it could also be something more specific such as asking why their answer was no to a specific question.
Because open answers vary so much, they can’t be measured or quantified. However, they do let you know why customers are unhappy, so the feedback can be used to help you improve things. They are absolutely critical to being able to move forward.
How To Deal With Results
No matter what kinds of questions you ask, it is critical to act on the feedback you are given from the answers. Then you need to let your customers know that you are taking action. If you don’t let them know, they might think all you did is ask for their opinion but are now ignoring them.
This doesn’t always mean you will be able to give them exactly what they want. As an example, maybe customers will want you to permanently fix a problem they are having with their email. However, if the problem is due to a glitch in the software, you might not be in control of the budget or have the means to replace the software. In this situation, you will need to explain the situation to your customers. They may be unhappy about not having the problem solved for them. However, they will at least feel you listened to them. This can help to improve how they view you and your team.
There are always things you can improve or act upon. You may discover that everybody working in the office would like an upgrade on a database they use, or maybe they want more information regarding how soon you will be able to fix a problem. These kinds of things can help provide your support team’s work with focus or help build the case that a change is needed.
Customer feedback is an excellent tool to have at your disposal. Just be sure to get the maximum benefit from it.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Amy Rice writes about customer service, when not writing she enjoys walking in the countryside and cycling with her daughter.