Friday, August 7, 2015

What are the Best Medium or Channels to Capture Customer Feedback?

 How to capture customer feedback is only one of many mechanisms organizations need to build in order to put customers at the center of how you run a business today.

Most of the organizations are using the feedback forms or NPS forms to take the customer feedback and measure customer experience. Many organizations are incentivizing their customers in the form of lucrative discounts and freebies to fill in the feedback, but is it a right practice? Will the customer give candid feedback in this case? What are the best medium or channels to capture customer feedback which can truly help you improve customer service and overall experience?

The challenge is to use a platform which should enable you to reach out to your customer in an effective manner to get the feedback. You need to avoid over-surveying customers. Sometimes customers have a time constraint on filling in separate surveys, but asking customers questions at each stage of their journey can equally upset them. Collecting surveys from SMS and IVR etc. may just generate scores and not necessarily explain what action you should take on the back of those scores, which drives the need for a qualitative element of feedback. Incentives do not always increase the response rate to a survey. Also, if you deal with business customers offering incentives can run counter to companies accepting inducements to use a particular provider.

The real-time feedback can provide insights that can genuinely help operations teams to drive service over time. Real-time feedback also has the advantage that you can set up satisfaction alerts to go immediately to customer management if a guest enters a response below a certain minimum threshold, an NPS score of 0 to 3, etc. Is there any other medium or channel through which feedback can be taken to improve the customer experience really depends on what is most convenient for your customers at a particular point in the journey. Generally speaking, gaining feedback from customers at the point of experience when customers or guests are most engaged with the business and are most inclined to give useful and accurate feedback. Also, if a customer is surveyed at multiple touch points and no action is taken on negative feedback, you run a risk of getting an even lower response rate as customers sense you are asking for feedback and not doing anything with it.

There are solutions providers that can help you collect feedback through any channel you care to mention. Don't forget also to augment your feedback with qualitative research, an ethnographic approach could work very well in the organization in order to understand your customers' needs and expectations more deeply. Some cloud-based services collect customer or guest feedback and sentiment that compliment NPS with "stories" of why the user feels the way they do and how that supports increases and decreases in scores. Together and in balance you get a more holistic view of the real experience. There are many other things that you can do, automatically link positive open-ended comments to social media, also gathers a list of "VOC" clients. These are clients you meet at events, online discussion group and other avenues who are simply willing to talk to someone about specific product launch ideas, engagement initiatives - or anything for which you want a solid client opinion. It's a slower process to get this level of participation, though. All being said, it takes time, effort and mechanism to get feedbacks which can truly tell you the useful information about customers.

How to capture customer feedback is only one of many mechanisms organizations need to build in order to put customers at the center of how you run a business today. The good customer experience management is the norm, but exceptional customer service and experience offers the 'WOW' concept as the necessary success factor to ensure you stay ahead of the game, particularly with your peers in the business.


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