How to Share Online Community Feedback with Your Team - dummies

How to Share Online Community Feedback with Your Team

By Deborah Ng

The online community manager keeps a business in touch with its customers. These customers have things that they like and dislike about your brand, which is important for the brand to know to continue to appeal to customers. In short, your brand can’t function properly without feedback. Feedback tells you

  • What you’re doing right

  • What you’re doing wrong

  • When an advertising campaign is offensive or inappropriate

  • When you release a product or service that works

  • Whether customer-service issues were resolved to a member’s satisfaction

  • Why your customers buy your product

How you present feedback to your team varies from job to job. Much feedback is just that — feedback. It may be a compliment or criticism that doesn’t require action. Still, it’s important for your team, and all the people you work with for that matter, to know what’s being said.

Much of the feedback you receive will be about issues that aren’t your responsibility to handle, especially technical or customer-service issues. You’re there to field the feedback and direct it to the proper channels.

Also, though customers or members might reach out to you online, the majority of the folks offering feedback for your brand will probably do so via e-mail to the proper departments or phone call. So there’s a good possibility the departments in your brand are discovering when issues arise before you do. If so, they’ll handle it accordingly, and you won’t need to do anything unless you’re asked for help.

When feedback does come directly to you, be careful not to step on any toes. Instead, pass it on to the proper department, and follow up, but don’t do much more unless it falls within your job description. With so many departments and policies in place, doing someone else’s job can lead to resentment.

When you begin working as a community manager, it’s important to define the roles and tasks of everyone on your team so that you don’t run into animosity-causing situations. It’s also a good idea to delegate to the right people because they have different experience and expertise and are trained to handle the different situations.

That’s not to say you won’t be handling customer service issues. It all depends on your place of business and their policies and procedures.

If feedback doesn’t require immediate action, it can wait until your regular team meeting to share it. If you don’t have team meetings and your company’s policy isn’t to share feedback in that manner, save feedback to share at a proper time, such as when you have to turn in your regular report.

If the same issue is brought repeatedly, it deserves more attention. One or two mentions means an issue is something to think about. More than that, and you’ll have to take action one way or another:

  • Determine the nature of the feedback and the level of severity. Is it something needing to be reported immediately? Can you add it to a team’s “to do” list? Is it only a matter of forwarding an e-mail to the proper department or coworker?

  • Determine whether an explanation is necessary when reporting feedback. Is it simply a matter of saying, “one of our members said she loved the new design,” or is the feedback deserving of a longer report featuring links, quotes, and diagrams? If feedback requires backup, be sure to provide it.

  • Determine who gets the feedback and whether anyone should be copied. Normally, customer complaints go to a customer-service team, for example, but sometimes the advertising, marketing, and tech teams need to be made aware of issues. Also, public feedback, especially if it’s extremely positive or negative, needs to be reported to upper management.