Are we a nation of over-polite Brits?

We are a nation renowned for our politeness and stiff upper lip, but could this affect the way businesses collect customer feedback?

This was the question raised following our discovery that a massive 47 per cent of Brits would lie by claiming everything was fine when asked by a member of staff about their experience in a shop, restaurant or hotel, even when it wasn’t.

As customer feedback experts we expected to find that we are a nation reluctant to speak our minds when faced with that awkward question “How was your meal sir?”. We’ve all been in that situation in a restaurant where the food is so bad you vow never to return, but when the waiter smilingly asks you those few words, you respond, “lovely thanks”.

The hairdressing salon is another setting where customer satisfaction tends to be gauged using face-to-face or paper feedback. But being asked to critique a staff member while they hold a mirror up to your head, or on a feedback card that is identifiable as yours, takes real guts and a resolve that many of us just don’t posses.

Being confronted with a question about your experience in this way can be disconcerting and prevent you from sharing your true feelings. It’s also very likely that you would later voice your bad experience online or share it with a friend, and you probably won’t be returning.

In last month’s blog we revealed how half of the people we polled said the opportunity to give feedback, there and then, would prevent them from sharing criticisms on social media sites or putting a bad review on sites like TripAdvisor.

Customer feedback is our area of expertise, we know that providing the opportunity for customers to feedback anonymously, using discreet and easy-to-use technology, is vital for ongoing business success. Strong feedback, that has been given anonymously using specially tailored questions to suit your business, can highlight minor and even major flaws in your service delivery or highlight staff training needs.

Companies should consider dumping old fashioned feedback methods and investing in a solution which allows their customers to vent anonymously without being forced to remove their good-old British reserve.

Contact one of the Customer First Solutions team on 0844 847 0851 to find out how we can help you gain honest feedback from your customers.

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