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Turn customer feedback into new business? It’s possible!

Susanne Axelsson
Susanne Axelsson
February 28, 2022
Turn customer feedback into new business? It’s possible!

Missed our Global Frontline Experience Summit 2022? It was pretty awesome but don’t worry, all of the powerful sessions are available right here

Who we heard from:

Chris Wong is passionate about helping New Zealanders manage their money, and his team at New Zealand Home Loans (NZHL) is out there every day supporting customers to get into their homes and manage debt. 

The BIG idea:

believes Chris. 

Up until a couple of years ago, NZHL sent their customers a fairly typical annual survey which took about 15 minutes to complete, and resulted in feedback that took time and resources to decipher. At the end of that process, it was very often too late for NZHL to respond to and resolve issues; and disappointingly, potential leads would have already moved on to other providers. NZHL recently moved away from using just this lag indicator approach into including real-time feedback, with incredible pay-offs.

Let’s dive in:

To hit survey sweetspots - involve your frontline!

Chris’ top tip for survey success is to work with your frontline teams to optimise feedback (quantitative and qualitative!) and boost response rates. In addition, test and learn cycles can help you hit the sweetspot in terms of the best time of day to trigger automated surveys, and how often in order to get the most valuable information in return. 

NZHL is now hitting a response rate of over 45% annually! As a small business, this valuable information is a massive advantage over larger competitors where that level of contact and response just isn’t achievable. 

Surveys are good for you and good for your customers

“Without feedback you won’t be able to keep up with competitors,”

says Chris.

Chris believes that consistently asking questions and acting on feedback coaches your customers that it’s worth their time to share.  Since instituting real-time feedback in addition to their annual survey at NZHL (they use the AskNicely offering), the team is able to respond to customers a lot faster; driving an even further increase in responses. 

Delivering the feedback to your frontline

Once customers are ready and waiting to share their feedback and ideas, the next step is to deliver that feedback, unfiltered, to your frontline and leaders. 

The purpose of unfiltered feedback for businesses is two-fold:

  • It builds engagement: At NZHL, branches run team meetings based on ongoing survey feedback. They call out successes; and workshop feedback. One particular office picks their favourite feedback to share each Friday morning. For the team, this caps off the end of a big week and ensures they head into the weekend in a good headspace.
  • It creates opportunities for coaching: Of course, not all feedback is positive and unfiltered feedback can be quite confronting. Chris suggested that this is the perfect opportunity for support teams to step in and help with coaching and to provide the tools (processes and templates) and guidance (1-2-1s or training) needed for individuals to make the most of every piece of feedback they receive.  

The power of this ‘fast feedback’ is indisputable for everyone involved:

  • Your customers – It shows that your business is consistent when looking for input and they’ll be ready to share when they need to.
  • Your teams – Real time feedback provides the opportunity to solve issues quickly and follow up on recommendations and leads from customers, generating more business! 
  • Your leaders - Access to up-to-date data and feedback will enable them to drive team engagement and performance more effectively than ever before.
  • Your business – Access to performance dashboards and feedback trends makes business decisions quicker.

“If you’ve earned the right to, ask for more business. You might be surprised how much you get back.”

One of the biggest ‘feedback paybacks’ for NZHL has been how happy customers are to help generate more business opportunities. Integrating a new question into requests for feedback for promoters around recommendations has been an incredible way for the company to generate business and track brand advocates. One customer referred seven customers in just one year! 

So what are you waiting for? When it comes to feedback: just ask!

Susanne Axelsson

About the Author

Susanne Axelsson
Susanne is the Frontline Community Evangelist as well as the author and researcher for Frontline Magic Handbook. She believes happy customers are born out of great experiences. Great experiences are delivered by motivated frontline people.
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