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Should employees be informed of customer feedback?

When it comes to giving feedback, it’s important to do it in a way that is constructive and valuable. So when your customers give feedback about your brand and customer service, should you be sharing it with your employees?  There are pros and cons to this so we’ve put together a guide to sharing feedback with employees, and more importantly how to mitigate the issues that might arise. 

Customer feedback can be invaluable to a business looking to improve. But does the best route towards improvement involve telling staff when they've received negative comments and criticisms? In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of taking a direct approach with staff.

Pros of notifying employees of customer feedback 

On the whole, sharing customers’ input with your team is a good idea because it keeps them engaged, improves their performance and keeps morale high, so long as the comments are good. We’ve explained these advantages further so that you can make sure to foster a good relationship between you, your employees and your customers. 

Feedback keeps employees engaged 

When done right, customer feedback has a powerful effect on employee engagement. Acknowledging your employees' efforts has a direct impact on their performance and morale, which in turn plays heavily into customer satisfaction as well. As long as you deliver feedback in a constructive, helpful manner, you can ensure your employees are invested in the customer’s experience and their role in it. Negative comments can help the right team members, supported by positive company culture, thrive but this has to be handled delicately.

Improves employee performance 

When employees connect with customers’ input, they can adapt their actions to reflect it and improve their performance. When this comes directly from the customers, employees trust the information and know that their efforts will make a meaningful difference for the customer. 

Autonomy and ownership 

Giving your employees direct access to customer feedback creates a feedback loop that reduces internal workload while still acting on any insights. Setting up one or more feedback channels for employees to engage with gives them a designated space to see feedback, take it on board and find out what they need to work on. This gives them much-needed autonomy and ownership over their work and encourages higher productivity. This way, you can steer clear of micro-management and empower your employees to proactively resolve problems themselves and even encourage them to hold themselves accountable for their results. 

Creating a space for positive affirmation

Good feedback is a powerful tool for businesses, especially when the goal is to inspire pride and motivation among employees. By designating time and space to celebrate success, you’ll empower your employees to work hard, perfect their processes and strive for excellence. But even negative feedback offers space for positive affirmation. Rather than take the criticism personally (after all, the customer doesn't really know you) use it as an opportunity for the team to work together in uncovering areas to improve.

Cons of notifying employees of customer feedback 

Unfortunately, there are some risks when it comes to sharing customer feedback with employees, some of which can cause problematic rifts within a business. Some of these can be the perfect storm for individuals unfamiliar with receiving personal feedback. The following list outlines the problems that can arise and what to look out for. 

Employees are too busy to review it

Before a business launches a customer feedback strategy, it’s important to factor in how busy employees are, and therefore how likely the feedback is to be taken in. If employees are too busy with their urgent tasks, they won’t have time to engage with customer feedback in a meaningful way, especially if it is delivered in a complicated format. 

Overwhelming employees with criticism

It’s easy for businesses to get caught up in negative feedback, especially when the concerns raised are valid and need to be addressed promptly. However, it’s important to maintain a balance of positive and negative feedback when sharing it with employees so that they aren’t overwhelmed. When employees only hear the criticisms, it’s easy for them to feel inadequate or resentful. Over time this can develop into a negative workplace culture that drives employees away.

Negative feedback may lead to blame

Sadly, when bad feedback is shared in a certain way, it can quickly escalate into blame. This isn’t a helpful approach to take as it tends to discourage positive change and leaves employees feeling disrespected. If an employee is at fault, placing blame doesn’t necessarily resolve the problem and causes unnecessary strain on workplace relationships. 

Management undermines the value of feedback

When a manager or leadership team shares customer feedback with their employees, it’s common for it to fall on deaf ears or be disregarded as a management ploy. When information comes through management, it’s difficult for employees to trust its authenticity and real-life value. 

How to avoid these issues 

Keeping both your employees and customers happy can be a juggle, but there are ways to manage it. To help you, we’ve put together this list of steps you can take to reduce the risks. 

  • Give praise publicly, and criticism privately to maintain a positive feedback loop. 
  • Avoid placing blame or guilt on anyone, no matter the circumstances.
  • Boost employee autonomy by setting up customer feedback channels for employees to engage with directly. 
  • Let the customer feedback speak for itself. 
  • Automate feedback channels so that employees can engage with feedback easily and quickly. 

So there you have it, all the pros and cons of sharing customer feedback with your employees. And to sum it all up, yes you should, but be careful to do it in a meaningful way that encourages real positive change for your employees. 

For more information on customer feedback and what to do with it, sign up to the Review Tui feedback software launch later this year. The specialised feedback management software will give businesses the tools to make the most of customer input and ensure they benefit from the results. 

To be the first to know about the updates and early access to the launch, sign up to the waiting list. 

Download our free customer feedback strategy guide