Many companies use feedback on a daily basis as a way to measure and tweak bad practices. Today, the average consumer can simply go online and give feedback or write a review on a highly used consumer transaction site, such as Amazon.com, on a commonly purchased item such as the Amazon Kindle, or some might even write a review for a cheap, do-it yourself skin or anti-aging beauty routine that they happened to read about online in the New York Times beauty treatment coverage.
In the consumer pet industry, it is estimated that total consumer spending is likely to surpass $70 billion by 2018. This simply means that overall demand for pet product consumption will ultimately result in more buyer feedback for purchases made by pet enthusiasts in the long haul, for even a hard-to-find item such as an innovative pet toy that is able to self-clean after use and consequently lasts longer than other products at the same price point. If you provide feedback on this product, critical information that manufactures and retailers use to market to you are analyzed in your feedback. These pieces of information might be reviewed on factors such as safety, design, quality, functionality and cost. Based on your insights, businesses are able to make more informed decisions on how to improve this pet toy.
Although these reviews can be quite popular with online consumers, no matter the industry, smart businesses and organizations will commonly put these aggregated sources of feedback to good use quite often. The feedback collected allows them to create tailored and more customized products and services through data-mining performed on the feedback. This also enables them to learn exactly what their consumers’ interests are, which can help their businesses become more sustainable.
Similar to learning from product feedback, many companies also learn about their mistakes and your experiences through service feedback. Through online customer feedback surveys, particularly ones that involve the collection of personalized ideas from feedbackers, current customers or potential customers, businesses are more equipped than ever to gain insight on how service delivery industries such as the restaurant industry, banking industry, or even the retail industry, are performing. With the proper assessment of customer experiences in such industries, businesses are able to eliminate potentially expensive errors and deficiencies that may result in the loss of customers, a damaged brand image and a decline in sales.
In this age of connection, where we have our smart phones with us while we’re away from the home, consumers now have instant influence over the things they spend their money on. With the number of smart phone users expecting to reach close to 240 million by 2019, mobile usage plays a huge role in how feedback is delivered to many business. Over two decades ago, feedback data collection on such things as customer related issues, complaints and requests, primarily began with a telephone call. Mobile devices with text capability started some 15+ years ago, and the data supplied was mostly handled over a call center.
The use of mobile devices during real-time experiences while shopping has made it easier for businesses to position themselves more accurately to meet changing customer demands, and has permitted customers to receive solutions to their problems at a much quicker rate than before. Having happier customers is more profitable than having angry customers…who, perhaps, had to wait in line 45 minutes just to purchase one item at a well-known clothing store.
Putting it all together
All customer feedback processes, whether they involve new or old methodologies of collecting data, should be integrated directly into the customer enhancement process. For example, after talking on the phone to a representative about a lost package, you might recall a time where you, the customer, was offered the chance to provide feedback directly after the conversation had ended. Your feedback data was probably among thousands of comments sorted out into a customer management system database and analyzed for patterns.
In one study conducted by Dominoes Pizza, the executives got together to address some of the negative reactions customers had to report about the taste of pizzas they ordered. Despite receiving harsh criticism, Dominoes actively listened to the feedback, and applied a solution. The implementation included a restructured pizza, with fresh new ingredients and a more appealing recipe to enhance taste. The final changes included the addition of herbs and spices such as garlic, red pepper and basil. In the end, customers reacted more positively to the changes, and Dominoes experience an increase in sales, coupled with less negative feedback.
Give me the clothes I need to look good
In some retail store chains, such as American Apparel, for example, the feedback data collected from customers help the company to create new, tailored improvements to online advertising strategies. By simply understanding what their on-the-go shoppers’ spending habits are, and where they spend their money, the clothing company launched a Google ad campaign that allowed it to increase mobile conversion rates by 100%. This underscores that understanding hidden information about your customers can yield profitable margins in any business you choose to pursue. Most importantly, understanding customer behaviors and feedback through questionnaires creates many opportunities for companies to solve problems that are often broken in the value chain; it also enables the business to develop faster, better and cheaper ideas that yield more opportunities to make money.
The voyage of your feedback data
As your feedback data is distributed through a company’s customer management system, it gets filtered and processed and routed into various categories. These categories get sorted into common topics, which are then translated into analytics. At this point on the journey, your customer insight data is broken and filtered into customer experiences, complaints, demographics and reviews, solicited and unsolicited feedback. Finally, if the organization is one with an avant-garde business approach that puts high emphasis on customer loyalty, the feedback data will perhaps then be grouped, filtered, and solutions will be fed into the deficient sectors within the organization. Even the Starbucks coffee shop that you enjoy visiting every day on your way to the gym makes use of the recommendations and the complaints you have made while consuming your favorite Chai Tea Latte or Latte Macchiato espresso.
I’m texting feedback and there’s no reward or incentive?
Sometimes, a simple call-to-action, such as a customer texting, a short code, or even something as effortless as asking a yes or no question can create new efficiencies in a business. Some benefits to using feedback submitted from text messages include:
- Creating new channels for customers to explore and consider
- Helping to drive the customer purchasing decision forward
- Influencing how, when and what customers make decisions about
Despite the simplicity of your question, offering a reward or incentive for feedback tends to result in a higher likelihood of receiving feedback. High customer satisfaction-dependent markets, such as the airlines and hotel industries, make use of this mode of feedback daily. The airline industries make use of continuous SMS feedback and some surveys to cut call center costs, send out delayed flight notifications and cut airport wait times for boarding passengers. In fact, one study revealed that airlines in general faced less inbound flight issues and delay by addressing passenger complaints one day ahead of scheduled flights. Similarly, hotels also use SMS feedback as a way to manage inventory, correct booking issues, address room complaints, provide tailored services and essentially learn what customers’ interests are. In both industries, customers can simply be offered rewards or points as compensation, to not only alleviate bad traveling or hotel experiences, but also to motivate the customer to send feedback.
On Ideacoil, you can create the same streamlined experience for your business by capturing a myriad of feedback from your customers, or key market beneficiaries for your product or service. It does not matter if you are just starting a new business or have been in business for 10+ years. The responses you get from your feedback questionnaire will offer you an incredible amount of hidden insight and present you with information to make better decisions on issues such as marketing, branding and customer reaction from the viewpoint of a feedbacker, a client, or a potential customer, consultant or an expert. Coupled with the ability to add a reward with your project to offer to increase feedback, you’ll be in a better position to win customers over, gain ideas for growth, and ultimately succeed with resolving the issues that are preventing you from moving forward and making more money now.
What does this all mean?
Collecting feedback is no longer synonymous with filling out meaningless surveys for big name companies that offer no value in return for the ideas you give them. By adapting a steady feedback campaign in your business, you can channel new ideas to learn from and avoid weak ideas that might provide low returns on investment. Today, machine learning and algorithms seem to be gradually making their way into our mindset, and into the complex, but incredibly fast decisions we make as consumers and businesses. Nonetheless, feedback systems, whether they are integrated in a nano-processor to correct electrical signal errors or are integrated in the customer value chain, are here to stay.