What Is Informal Customer Feedback?

A customer service agent is at work wearing a headset.
A customer service agent is at work wearing a headset. (Image: Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Informal customer feedback is input gained from customers during one-on-one conversations or phone calls. While informal feedback may offer insights on problems, it is not as consistent, thorough or accurate as formal feedback programs.

Informal Contacts

One of the simplest forms of informal feedback is when a customer shares input on experiences face-to-face with a business representative. For example, a customer may come into the store with a product or service complaint. Alternatively, customers may call or e-mail to share ideas. Informal customer feedback also occurs when business managers make calls to clients after order fulfillment to get their feedback on the experience. Follow-up calls are common in sales.

Pros and Cons

The primary benefit of informal feedback is that you get input directly and personally from satisfied or unsatisfied customers. However, informal feedback doesn't offer the depth of input that you get with a formal customer survey or research program. Formal feedback systems let you engage many customers in an organized manner. The limited sample involved in informal feedback poses another potential problem because a manager may overreact to one or two negative comments. The informal method can also lead to confrontations when a manager doesn't listen and react well to an upset customer.

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