Anyone who knows me can attest to my passion when it comes to a great product or experience – I instantly become an ardent supporter and advocate. But from time to time as consumers, many of us experience a less than stellar customer experience.
Recently I made an online purchase of something that I buy routinely, so I had certain expectations of what the product would be like when it arrived at my door. When these expectations were not matched, I was equal parts disappointed and frustrated. Instead of bottling this up or taking the route of trashing the vendor online, I provided the merchant with clear, honest, constructive feedback on my experience and how it had fallen short of my expectations. The seller was quick to respond, appreciative of my input, and in turn gave me a refund to ameliorate any hard feelings. This sort of customer service goes a long way to ensure that I will return to their business.
With B2C experiences, providing an avenue for customers to celebrate and express concerns, coupled with swift action, is critical. My recent consumer experience brought to mind Farland Group’s role as a trusted third party for B2B businesses and their advisory boards. Our role creates a critical layer between the advisory board member (the end customer) and our client (their vendor), and provides the right atmosphere for members to express concerns or frustrations and successes they may have in their dual role as board members and customers. On occasion, board members will share with us input that they would not share with the client directly, for fear of disrupting the relationship or making waves. By opening up this avenue they are able to express their perspectives in a safe, objective environment and we in turn can bring the information to the client and elevate the actions to a higher level in the organization.
It is important to open up channels for positive and negative input – often we learn more from the tougher feedback along the way.