Tips & Resources

Leveraging Customer Feedback Loops for a More Seamless Appointment Setting

Nick Brown
By Nick Brown
28 May, 2024

Customer feedback loops can help you to build a seamless appointments setting system.

feedback of a customer after booking a meeting

When customers are trying to make an appointment, it can sometimes be difficult to avoid some frustrating conversations. Even the most seamless booking systems may experience issues such as missing booking confirmations or inadequate customer support. But something could have made a world of difference: listening to feedback.

Feedback is important in every aspect of business, including (sometimes especially!) appointment scheduling. It will help you to optimize your appointment system and keep it optimized as your business grows and customer needs change.

With this in mind, let's talk about customer feedback, customer feedback loops, and how you can use them to optimize your appointment scheduling process.

What is a customer feedback loop?

Customer feedback is hugely important to any brand and customer service team. It helps us to understand what we're doing right and what we're doing wrong, as well as helping us to get to know our customers. Negative feedback enables us to improve. Positive feedback shows us what our customers want.

Customer feedback loops are a process of gathering, monitoring, and responding to feedback on a continuous basis. A very simple customer feedback loop looks like this:

customer feedback loop graphic
Image created by author

The problem with a lot of customer feedback is that it doesn't 'loop'. Either the 'response' and 'implement' stages don't happen, or the brand doesn't continue to gather, analyze, respond, etc, after one feedback drive. This means that processes are likely to stagnate, and brands and customers will once again drift apart.

To be truly effective, improve your systems, and build lasting customer loyalty, customer feedback should always operate in a continuous loop.

Let's take a look at how you can use customer feedback loops to build a seamless and satisfying appointment setting process.

How to use customer feedback loops to optimize appointment scheduling

Appointment booking is a hugely important aspect of modern business. Here’s how you can use feedback loops to make it work for you:

1. Organize your feedback system

The best thing you can do to build an effective customer feedback loop is to have an efficient, well-organized feedback system.

If you already have a feedback system, it's a good idea to audit it at this point. Make sure that you fully understand your entire feedback process, from the channels and methods you use to gather feedback to the ways you analyze it, the people and processes in charge of responding, how you organize and implement feedback, and so on.

Once you've fully audited your current feedback system, it's time to organize it with a customer feedback strategy. Work out what you want to achieve with your appointment-setting feedback loops.

For example, how will you identify unhappy customers? How will this feedback loop help you to improve user experiences? Where in the customer journey will feedback and response opportunities arise?

Next, identify the resources you'll need to put your new, properly-organized feedback system to work. For example, if you collect feedback via your content, investing in a SaaS CMS can help you to build a well-organized, feedback-oriented content strategy that will get far more results than a slapdash and sporadic approach. 

2. Make sure you're using the right channels

image of a mobile phone and social apps
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

In order to get good, useful feedback from customers, you need to ask the right questions. And you need to ask them in the right way, over the right channels.

For example, you should target people who have actively booked appointments with you. So, posting a general query about your process on your general social media platforms probably won't bring the specific, targeted results you need.

Instead, focus your efforts on relevant customers. For example, you might include a customer survey at the end of your appointment booking process or ask customers to rate your system via SMS or email. These are more direct and personal ways of getting more insightful answers from the right people.

Optimize your questions, too. Try not to ask open-ended questions as they are often harder to analyze. Make sure that your questions are highly relevant to your aims. Look at what you need to know about your appointments process, and angle your questions accordingly.

For example, if you're concerned that you don't have enough appointment slots available, ask customers if they were able to find a slot that suited their needs.

3. Analyze all feedback

When the feedback comes in, analyze it and extract anything that could improve customer experiences with your appointment system. 

If you've got a lot of feedback coming in, this can be daunting. But there's customer database software out there to help. Depending on the format of your feedback, you can set analytics software to sort through it and organize it into positive, negative, and neutral. You even use an AI to pick out important keywords in customer reviews or to detect positive, negative, and neutral emotions.

Remember, drawing useful insights from customer feedback is all about ratios and majorities. One negative review in a sea of positive reviews may be disheartening, but it's not statistically significant. The right tech will help you to cut through individual distractions and get to the heart of what the largest amount of customers truly want.

4. Respond to feedback

an image with the words we hear you
ree to use image sourced from Unsplash

After your customers have gone through all the trouble of giving you feedback, it's only polite to respond. In fact, it's more than polite. Responding to customer feedback in a timely and relevant manner shows your customers that you've heard them, that you care about what they've got to say, and that you take your responsibility to your customer base seriously.

Of course, if you've got a lot of feedback coming in, it won't always be possible to respond to everyone in person. Looking at the scale of the feedback and the channel used can be helpful here.

For something as simple as a star rating, an automated popup thanking the customer for their feedback is easy to implement and will be appreciated. You can even automate personalized messages with the right data, for a bit of extra relevance.

For emails, set an AI to parse tone, length, and keywords, and to flag any emails that might need a personal reply. For impossible requests, you can simply thank the customer for their time, or explain that you will do your best to improve their experience (without specifically promising to implement their suggestion).

5. Put what you've learned to use

A successful customer feedback loop only works if you use what it tells you. Of course, you can't always put every suggestion into play. If someone has made an impossible feature request, you shouldn't break your back trying to fulfill it. However,  you can spot common patterns in feedback and use them to improve your appointment system.

For example, your analysis may reveal that you have a lot of customers in a certain timezone. These customers would prefer more appointment slots at later (to you) times. As a significant number of customers want this, it's a good idea to adjust your schedule for them.

However, if you only have one customer in this timezone, it's probably not worth altering your whole system on their behalf.

As with many things, optimizing according to customer feedback is the old balancing act between customer happiness and your own profits. But you’ll be far more able to achieve that balance with customer feedback loops than without them.

6. Keep the loop going

image of staircase
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

It's called a 'loop' because it keeps going. Don't ever think that your feedback strategy is finished. For it to remain successful, you need to keep it rolling.

Let's say, for example, that you work for a software company and are trying to improve SaaS demand generation. One of the major ways that you get conversions is through online meetings during which you demo your software to new customers.

Initially, your feedback loop reveals that customers are completely fine with the amount of appointment slots you have available. But as your business grows, more and more potential clients want demos. Before long, people struggle to get appointments.

From your perspective, the appointment book is always full, and you're getting conversions, so why worry? But if you're carefully monitoring your feedback loop, you'll be aware that customers are frustrated by the length of time it takes them to get appointments and that you could potentially be doing a lot more demos if you devoted more time and opened up some more slots.

By keeping your feedback loop going, you'll quickly be aware of any changes and will be able to adjust in accordance with what your customers want.

Use customer feedback loops for seamless appointment scheduling and satisfied customers

Having good meetings is the first step to getting loyal customers. And a good appointment setting system is the first step to good meetings.

A successful customer feedback loop will help you to meet and exceed customer expectations for appointment setting. It will give you happy customers and improve your customer retention rates.

So, use feedback from users to optimize your appointment scheduling system, and get every new customer relationship off to the best possible start.

Nick Brown

About the author

Nick Brown

Nick Brown is the founder & CEO of accelerate agency, the SaaS SEO agency. Nick has launched several successful online businesses, writes for Forbes, published a book and has grown accelerate from a UK-based agency to a company that now operates across US, APAC and EMEA.

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