Here in Dubai and all around the UAE the businesses and markets are transforming from traditional sales-centric to a modernized and more effective customer-centric business model. This transition was not sudden, in fact the market trends, customer demands, competition and several other factors contributed to a slow and gradual transformation of the markets. This change may not look significant if we compare two consecutive years, but if we compare today’s business practices and methods with a decade older methods, we will clearly notice a huge change. The customer-centric businesses always focus on delivering high value products and services to their customers. It is crucial to fulfill customers’ needs, and meet their expectations. A happy and satisfied customer is more likely to do repeated business. Studies have shown that the almost 94% of the satisfied customers tend to come back and do more business with their favorite brands. The customer happiness and satisfaction help businesses gain their trust and loyalty. The loyal customers not only do repeated business but also tend to be a good brand advocate. A loyal customer base can provide a stable platform at which a business can built their long-term success strategy.
When it comes to customer satisfaction the biggest question is how to know if your customers are happy and satisfied, or what makes them happy, what they don’t like, etc. Although the direct sales can be sign for the customer happiness, but not always, sometimes, due to competition, certain market trend or any other external factor a business can witness a rise in its sales, but that doesn’t necessarily means that all of your customers are happy and satisfied. On top of that the businesses also keep improving their products and services, for that they always make changes in their internal processes and customer facing arenas. But how can a business know if what they are doing or offering to their customers is also delighting them? The best way is to ask them, in the modern times no business strategy can be successful without including a proactive customer feedback collection approach. In this blog we will discuss the importance of customer feedback and how a business should collect customer feedback.
Why Customer Feedback is so Important?
The customer feedback help businesses understand the mindset of their customers. It help gathering valuable business intelligence data which can be directly used during the strategy making process. The customer feedback also help identifying the areas of improvement in customer facing technology, communication and staff. Business can also acquire a deeper insight to the market trends and customers’ demands. It is extremely important for a business to delight its customers. Happy and satisfied customers are a key to long term success. It is 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer comparing to selling to an existing customer. The happy and satisfied customers remain loyal to the brand, they are also more tolerant to negative experiences, and also help in promoting a positive brand identity. The customer feedback campaigns help understanding the factors that drive customer satisfaction.
Here are some key facts that will help you understand the importance of customer feedback:
- Customer Feedback help business understand what efforts they are doing are in right direction or not. The customer feedback can also be used as an evaluation method to understand the impact of all the efforts a business is doing to delight its customers.
- According to a study published by the Qualtrics customers are 2.6 times more likely to purchase again from a business with which they have a great experience in the past.
- The negative customer feedback are a great source to understand what is displeasing them, it also help you to highlight the areas of improvements and help identifying the policies and strategies that are not appreciated by your customers.
- The customer loyalty is a key to long term success, growth and higher profitability, only 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by up to 25%. Although different market sectors and industries produce different results, but just a small increase in customer retention rate could have a huge impact on profits.
- The customer feedback data is a crucial part of new product development. Without including the VoC (voice of customer) in the product development phase, a business is most likely to fail delivering a satisfactory customer experience.
- The customer feedback also help understanding the language your customer speaks, which can be later adopted for future communication and marketing campaigns. The marketing campaigns that speak the language of the customers can significantly boost the results and yield higher ROIs.
- The customer feedback can also help creating marketing content, especially digital marketing content such as blog posts, support articles, FAQs at the corporate website and social media content.
- According to another study by Qualtrics 84% of the customer who have good customer experience are more likely to purchase again and 82% of the customer with good experience are more likely to make a positive recommendation about the brand.
Why Businesses Need a Customer Feedback System?
A customer feedback system is also interchangeable to a customer feedback software, basically it is a software which can help businesses gather customer feedback data using multiple channels. The customer feedback system allow businesses to prepare and share the feedback surveys and questionnaires. The modern day customer feedback systems can offer a lot of channels and useful features which traditional customer feedback methods can’t offer. A customer feedback system offers businesses to integrate smartphone apps, online customer portals, their corporate websites, in-premises kiosks & tablets, interactive signage, QR Codes, emails, SMS, WhatsApp and even social media too. All these channels make the customer feedback gathering process simpler and easier for both the businesses and the customers. The businesses can also leverage the digital features to automate several customer feedback campaigns, such as an email, SMS or WhatsApp based online survey link can be sent to customers after their each interaction with the business.
Businesses can also improve their feedback collection by automatically sending monthly, quarterly or yearly customer feedback surveys and much more. All the automation and simplicity help customer experience managers to gather high quality data. For any customer feedback campaign the quality and quantity of the data both are equally important. The quality help extracting accurate information which later can be used in decision making processes. The quantity ensures maximum groups, types or demographics of the audience gave their opinion which further improve the accuracy of the data. Furthermore it is not only just data collection, the customer feedback system is built on AI (artificial intelligence) based algorithms which help improving the outcomes of the campaign and provide businesses with in-built tools to maximize the positive impact of the feedback collection campaign. Businesses can get notified as soon as a negative opinion is registered in the system, they can automate reports and result sharing with stakeholder to minimize the response time and so on.
The manual customer feedback collection on the other hand is a traditional method of collecting customer feedback. Traditionally a business appoints staff who print down the questionnaires and await the customers to arrive at the business. Then either during their customer journey, or afterwards the staff approach each individual customer and request them to share their opinion. The biggest disadvantage of that is the inaccuracy of the data. Usually when talking one on one the customers try not to be rude and most of the times they tend to sugarcoat their opinion, or simply hide it at all. Which affects the feedback data quality. After collecting the customer feedback data the staff will have to input in excel sheets or any other suitable program to make the feedback understandable and to perform several analysis on it to extract the required information. Which is a time and resource consuming feat. The human errors and data discrepancies are also very common. However, a digital customer feedback system software not only prevent all these problems, but also enhances the customer experience and the quality of the data.
What is Customer Feedback Loop?
The simplest definition of the customer feedback loop is that a it is a customer feedback gathering strategy in which the business contact or inform the customer about the actions taken and efforts made to address the customer problem which was highlighted in the customer feedback. It is not necessarily means that the business should make a huge change in their strategy after an issue has been highlighted. In fact a meaningful response could be enough. For example, if a customer was unhappy because of the behavior of the service agent, the business could respond by saying that they will develop a better training program or if it was too bad, the business can say that they will penalize the service agent. Similarly if a customer complaints about poor quality service or a faulty product, the business can respond with an apology letter and maybe a full or partial refund to make the customer happy. The main reason behind closing the customer feedback loop is to let your customers know that you consider their say a lot and how serious you are to resolve their problems. This promote trust and better relationships between the customer and the business.
How to Collect Customer Feedback with a Customer Feedback System?
The customer feedback system provides businesses to integrate several channels and methods of collecting customer feedback. The system gather all the feedback from all connected channels and store it in a centralized database or central information system. Obviously the selection of feedback channel and the type of questionnaire or survey form entirely depends on the goals and objectives of the customer feedback campaign. However here are a few popular customer feedback collection methods which can help you gather valuable feedback data:
Customer Feedback via Tablets and Interactive Kiosks
Collecting customer feedback via tablets, touch screens, or interactive kiosks and signage is one of the most popular method in service based industry. Usually the banks, healthcare, retail businesses, entertainment centers, government offices and other businesses who are offering services utilize interactive screens, tablets, and self-service kiosks to collect customer feedback data. It is simple, easy, more efficient and more effective method to collect a large-scale customer feedback data. All the customers who are visiting the business can easily share their opinion or experience. There are several different types of surveys a business can conduct through these devices. However, the most common is customer satisfaction survey (CSAT Score) or the net promoter score survey (NPS Score). General surveys with multiple questions can also be done. However, here in Dubai and all around the UAE the happiness meter or satisfaction scale are the two most commonly used survey types.
Customer Feedback via Online Survey Links
The online survey link is one of the most common and popular customer feedback survey type all around the world. It is easier to create and manage, simpler for customers to attempt and usually have higher conversion rate. Businesses can create any type of customer feedback survey and they can have any number of questions in an online survey. However, it is better to have limited questions along with limited topics to discuss in a single survey. This will increase the conversion rate and it will also make it easier to process and analyze the customer feedback data. These surveys usually produce highly organized data which can be categorized easily for further analysis. Moreover the customer feedback system itself offers a variety of in-built tools that help analyzing the feedback data and learning about various trends and customer behavior. Such information are very helpful in decision making and strategy building processes.
Here are a few common methods to share online survey links with your customers:
- Email: The most traditional, most cost effective and most convenient method to share your online survey link with a large-scale audience is the email.
- SMS: After emails, the SMS is also one of the oldest and widely used method to share the online survey links.
- QR Code: The QR Code is one of the most modern method for offering a variety of features to cater the need of modern audience. The QR Codes can also contain survey link, in that case, the QR Codes can be pasted at the business premises or any other location, the customers will have to simply scan the QR Code through their smartphone and it will automatically open the online survey page on their mobile devices.
- Social Media:The online survey links can be published at official social media accounts and profiles as well. From where a larger audience can reach out to the business and share their opinion about the asked subject.
- Online Forums: The support forums or online communities are also a great way to reach out to a narrower targeted audience. The online survey links can be posted in official or relevant forums to generate high quality feedback data.
The customer feedback system offers a variety of features to support several different types on online survey campaigns and the connected channels. Businesses can easily generate a link for their online survey and that link can be used at multiple channels to maximize the outcomes.
Customer Feedback via Website Forms and Mobile Apps
Corporate websites and customer mobile apps are most widely used for communication and to offer a variety of services to the customers. Here in Dubai and all around the UAE almost 99% of the population have access to the high-speed internet and also use smartphones. Which makes corporate websites and mobile apps more important and effective. These days’ businesses all around the world prefer to offer a personalized and more intuitive experience to their customers, for that the corporate websites, dedicated customer portals, forums, blogs, mobile apps, emails, etc. are widely used. The customer feedback system allow businesses to integrate it directly with their websites and mobile apps. Businesses can also create independent survey forms on their websites and mobile apps and the feedback data can later be integrated with the centralized information center or central customer feedback database.
Some businesses also offer a number of services through their websites, online dedicated customer portals and smartphone apps, which can help businesses to push surveys during any appropriate phase of customer journey to increase the conversion rate. The online survey forms and the personalized surveys via customer portals or mobile apps, are gaining huge popularity as they can offer a bit more personalized experience and tend to have a better conversion rate. The data collection and processing is also relatively simpler. The customer feedback system can integrate with the website and mobile app to fetch data from these platforms or the data can also directly stored on the customer feedback system’s central database. Both makes the process simpler and more convenient.
Customer Feedback Pools & Surveys via Social Media
The social media have become an integral part of our daily lives. It is an estimate that on an average a UAE resident spends almost 3 to 3 and half hours daily on social media. Which makes them the powerhouse of the digital marketing. All popular social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook (Meta), Instagram, Snapchat, etc. offer a variety of useful features which can be utilized to conduct short online surveys, such as poles or voting, etc. These social media polls allow businesses to reach out to a large scale audience, and gather a more structured and highly accurate customer feedback data which can later be fed to the central information center as well to consolidate all data feeds in a single data pool. Moreover the social media also allow customers to directly interact with the business via private messages, comments, and online discussions. These are also very helpful. People tend to be more open minded and expressive on the social media platforms which help businesses acquire more accurate customer insight and help them understand them better.
What to do with the Collected Customer Feedback Data?
Customer feedback data collection is the initial and most important phase of the customer feedback management. However, what businesses should do and how they should extract the valuable business intelligence from the customer feedback data is even more critical. The first thing is to categorize all the customer feedback data. For example, if you are conducting several different surveys, with several different objectives in mind, then all the data should be analyzed separately. The first step to analyze the data is to categorize them in different segments. Usually there are only a few different segments that are needed, for example:
- Customer Service Feedback
- Customer Experience/Customer Journey Feedback
- Product Features Feedback
- Feedback about any Business Process
- Sales and Marketing Related Feedbacks
All segment should be analyzed separately and all of these categories can also be divided into sub-categories to get more detailed insight. Only a well-organized customer feedback data will provide you the required information and understanding of the trends and customer behavior. For example, the product feedback can be further divided into more segments, that could be related to product features, the new features customer might want to see, or if there is any problem, bug, or design defect with the product and so on. Similarly all other categories can be classified. This data will be very helpful for the decision makes, higher management and stakeholders and it will enable them to easily create better strategies and plans to maximize the customer happiness and customer satisfaction with product/service quality and customer experience.
How to take Action on the Customer Feedback Data?
Most of the times, the businesses put a lot of resources and efforts in collecting the customer feedback data but failed to utilize it properly. Which not only limit the impact of the customer feedback data but also have a negative impact on the customers in the longer run. Collecting and analyzing the customer feedback data is not enough, the business must have to act on it. For example, if the gathered feedback is related to customer service team or customer service experience, then the data should be shared with the relevant management, stakeholders and any other relevant personal who can take actions. For example, if there are two staff members who are consecutively getting negative rating from the customers, then they must immediately evaluated to understand what is the cause of unhappy customer experience. It could be due to their lack of knowledge about the product or service, it could be their insufficient professional skills, or it could be due to heavy workload, or even due to a personal problem.
The management should immediately identify the cause of the problem and they should take action to avoid such happening in future. Similarly all other different feedback categories should be handled. If the feedback is related to the product features, then the product development team and the management should immediately get the feedback data so they can utilize it to improve the products or generate new ideas for better and more customer-friendly products and services. Taking action on the customer feedback is a key to success for the customer feedback campaign. Most of the time the customer feedback campaigns failed to make an impact due to the lack of communication and information flow among different business functions. A customer feedback system can be a great help to solve this problem. It allow businesses to fully automate the data sharing function. The customer feedback manager or CX manager can automate different customer feedback data or reports to be shared automatically with their relevant team and stakeholders. The daily, weekly, or monthly reports can be configured to avoid any delay.
Closing the Customer Feedback Loop: Follow Ups
Closing the customer feedback loop means informing your customers about the actions taken after their feedback. Businesses can chose any convenient channel to give the update to the customer and inform them what action has been taken after their review or suggestions. This will help establishing a strong connection with your customers and it will also help increasing customer loyalty. When the customers know that the business is eager to listen to them and later the business took actions in order to avoid their inconvenience in the future or it consider their opinion a lot they feel more connected and emotionally attached with the brand. This help businesses improving their relationship with the customers. For example, if a customer showed unhappiness about their last interaction with the technical support team. The business could follow up with them by telling them that a new training program has been launched to make the team more effective which will avoid any such experience again in future. Or businesses can tell that the particular service agent has been replaced, etc. Such information and follow ups plays a crucial role in strengthening the relationship between the customer and the business.
The customer feedback is one of the most effective way to analyze customer behavior, market trends and also the strength and weaknesses of the business. The business can collect customer feedback data through various channels and at any stage of customer journey using an advance customer feedback system. The customer feedback system enable businesses to make highly impactful strategies and help them extract valuable business intelligence from the customer feedback data. It also help them communicating with the customers and closing the feedback loop. When your customers know they will be heard and actions will be taken as per their opinion, suggestion or complaints, they feel more valuable and feel emotionally connected with their favorite brand. The happy customers become more loyal, they have higher tolerances for the negative or unpleasant experiences, and they tend to be a good brand advocate. Loyal customers are a key to success and long term sustainable growth.
RSI Concepts is a leading customer feedback system provider in Dubai, UAE. If you want to learn more about the subject or if you want us to help you with your next customer feedback campaign. Please feel free to contact us through our Contact Us page or leave a comment in the comment box below and we will get in touch with you soon.
Check out this: How to get feedback from customers in a restaurant