Do you know how your customers think, feel and act? A deep understanding of your customer is integral to a successful business. Knowing their needs and preferences enables you to build the right products and services that will delight them. In fact, a recent Forrester study found proved that the way customers think and feel about an experience can predict how they will act toward a brand, with how a customer feels about the brand having a 1.5x greater impact than think (1).
By understanding what matters to your customer, you can begin to provide the brand experience that they are looking for. An effective way of getting to your Customer Truth™ is through a customer feedback management program.
The basis of a customer feedback management program is, of course, customer feedback. This feedback is best gathered using a variety of angles to arrive at a comprehensive view of your customer. Surveys, together with online interviews, focus groups and even online qualitative research communities, can provide a deep understanding of your customer’s attitudes and behaviors. For the purposes of the blog, however, we’ll focus on ways you can use surveys to stay connected to your customer.
Starting with Surveys
Most customer feedback management programs, at a minimum, will include a survey element. Through survey solutions like FocusVision Decipher, you can ask your most pertinent questions, gather and share customer insights, and track how your business is performing.
A customer satisfaction survey, for instance, measures the experience customers are having with specific aspects of your products and services. Are they happy with your level of customer service? Are they having difficulties getting their problems resolved? Did the product quality meet their expectations? In short, a survey can be a way to collect customer feedback and discover the positive and negative experiences they may be having with your product or service. This kind of feedback is an invaluable resource for monitoring your business. You’ll know where you’re doing well, and what are the necessary changes you need to make to help your business grow.
It’s important to consider the variety of channels for using surveys. This may depend on the nature of your business, but it’s helpful to connect with them while they are interacting with your brand or shortly thereafter. This way the customer can provide feedback while their experiences are fresh in their minds. FocusVision Decipher leverages popular channels for reaching customers include email, the web, social media, and even offline.
Deploying surveys via email involves putting together an email invitation that includes a link to your survey. These email invitations get deployed to your customers. FocusVision Decipher’s Email Campaigns is a tool built for managing your customer contact lists and email invites. Here you can design the content of your email, schedule sends, and conduct test emails. If you have multiple contact lists these can be organized as separate email deployments as well.
Your company website may be another channel for collecting customer feedback. Visitors can be directed to a survey through a pop-up window. These can be triggered by specific user actions (e.g. click to a certain page or area of the website) or after a designated time spent on the website.
Social media is another avenue for connecting with customers, and a survey link can be embedded in twitter feeds, for example.
If your business conducts customer transactions where internet service is not available or unreliable, offline surveys may be appropriate. This may include “in the field” situations like being on an airplane, attending a conference exhibition or for exit polling. Live interviewers can administer the survey and collect customer feedback data on a local device for later upload when an internet connection does become available.
Close the Loop
After giving your customer a chance to provide their feedback, it may be necessary for you to act on it. Closing the feedback loop is an integral part of any customer feedback management program. Especially when there is a customer complaint or negative feedback is provided in your survey, it may be necessary to understand and address the root cause of the problem. FocusVision Decipher’s email alert system allows you to set up a survey rule (e.g. if a customer submits a ‘dissatisfied’ rating) that automatically triggers an email deployment to designated individuals. This will immediately alert internal stakeholders, and give them the opportunity to reach out to the customer to listen and address the customer issue.
Research has shown that how your customer thinks and feels drives positive outcomes for your business, including purchase likelihood, customer loyalty and advocacy (1). Through the use of video, it’s easier than ever to connect directly with customers and truly understand what’s in their hearts and minds. From a person’s tone and facial expressions, a video can vividly illustrate a person’s emotion and how they feel.
A webcam interview, for instance, can be used as part of the close the loop feedback to gather deeper feedback on customer issues. These can be recorded or turned into clips to share insights among stakeholders.
FocusVision Decipher also includes a feature where survey respondents can submit video testimonials or a video capture via a webcam or mobile video camera (Figure 5). With the video testimonial, the respondent is asked to record and upload a video in response to a question in the survey. The idea here is to provide a way for the respondent to express themselves beyond rating scales. In this way, the video testimonial can serve a similar function as an open-end text question, but also be a richer source of data. Studies have shown that respondents say more on video than text open ends (2) and can be a rich source of insights for how your customer thinks and feels.
Finally, no customer feedback management program is complete without a seamless way to share and analyze data finding from your surveys. With FocusVision Decipher’s dashboard, key performance metrics can be displayed in a presentation ready format and accessed by anyone in your organization at anytime. A key aspect of dashboards is the ability to run data splits or apply filters. This way, insights can be isolated for specific customer segments or regions.
Within the dashboard, customer feedback can be tracked and easily monitored on an ongoing basis in order to spot trends and patterns. Over time, you can use it to understand the strongest drivers of satisfaction or dissatisfaction for your product and help you prioritize the aspects of your service that are most integral to improving the customer experience.
With the right technology and tools, it’s easy to build a customer feedback management solution for your business. You’ll have the ability to keep a pulse on your customers and ensure your business adapts to their needs and preferences. Customers always appreciate knowing their voices are being heard and someone is available to listen when problems occur. Beyond collecting data insights, you are strengthening your rapport with your customer and demonstrating a commitment to the customer experience.