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  • Steff Booth

Feedback - can you be bothered?

Someone who used to work for you and has now moved on to another company asks you to provide a recommendation for them on LinkedIn - can you be bothered?

You purchased some AA batteries online last week (total cost £8) and within two days of receiving them, you're being asked to give your feedback on the product or the store you bought them from - can you be bothered?

You went to a restaurant for a meal with friends yesterday (total cost £182) and there is a request on the bottom of the receipt asking you to provide a review - can you be bothered?

You collected your new (used) car today after months of visiting the local showroom for the perfect model (total cost £12,000) and the garage owner asks if you'll write a Google review - can you be bothered?

Your house sale finally went through after months of viewings, (sale price of £320,000 and 1.5% commission) and your Estate Agent wants you to provide a testimonial on the service they provided - can you be bothered?

What is the deciding factor for you taking time out of your day to provide feedback, reviews and testimonials for any of the above?

Cost of the product or service

Does the cost you paid play a part in your decision? Chances are, that you're far less likely to provide feedback for something of little cost unless the service you received was exceptional. If you purchased AA batteries for £8, they arrived on time and provided power as expected, how likely are you to shout about that from the rooftops?

Bad service

It is said that anyone receiving poor service is likely to share their frustration with 10-15 people who in turn will continue the tale of woe to others. And these days, with social media such a large part of everyday life, negative feedback is there for everyone to see, so the danger of losing business from providing a customer with a bad experience is huge. We all know that mistakes happen though so it's all about how you deal with a bad review by rectifying the situation to the complete satisfaction of the customer, demonstrating that this was a one-off and preventing the loss of further business.

Average service

If you've just received an average level of service with nothing much to talk about, it's hard to get excited about leaving anything other than average feedback. Something as simple as sending a personal email to your customer thanking them for their purchase, adding gift wrapping or providing a small free gift can be just the thing to push average service to excellent.

Excellent service

People who receive excellent service are highly likely to sing praises of the service provider whatever the cost of the product or service. They want to share how the interaction made them feel and this, in turn, will encourage others to get some of the same.

Why companies want your feedback

  • Attracting a new customer is 6-7 times more expensive than retaining a current one (source: Kolsky)

  • A 5% increase in customer retention can produce 25%-95% more profit (source: Harvard Business Review)

  • More people read positive reviews of customer service online than negative ones by 6% (source: Dimensional Research)

  • 90% of customers are influenced by positive reviews when buying a product (source: Dimensional Research)

  • Companies that excel at the customer experience drive revenues 4% to 8% higher than those of their market (source: Bain)

As a small business owner, feedback from my clients is of upmost importance to me. It helps me to understand what I'm doing well and also informs me if there is anything else that I should be doing. It's also hugely satisfying to read (and re-read) the testimonials that I've received over the years from clients past and present. It's also a great demonstration to prospective new clients of the work I've done and the reactions from the people who have benefitted from my help. You can check out some of my favourites here: Testimonials | Girl Friday - VA (

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