In our 20-year history we’ve seen instances where a company’s commitment to capturing feedback has been short-lived. Invariably, this has been down to a failure to understand the link between feedback, service improvement and financial performance. Too often, feedback data has become an end in itself rather than a means to an end.
How can I improve my customer retention?
According to Esteban Kolsky, only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. What do the other 25 do? Some will continue as dissatisfied customers but others will vote with their feet. They will quickly become ex-customers and you won’t know why. We have encountered organisations that invest a lot in marketing; they run successful marketing campaigns to capture new customers but as they usher them through the ‘front door’ existing customers are disappearing out the back. It should be easier, and less expensive, to retain existing customers but this is too often overlooked. The insights gained through customer feedback can enable you to identify sources of dissatisfaction. Using real-time, transactional feedback, you can respond quickly to issues raised demonstrating that you listen and are responsive.
How can I create advocates?
By responding quickly to issues and negative feedback, you can turn a negative into a positive. It’s well established that dissatisfied customers who have had their issue addressed quickly and effectively are subsequently more satisfied than those who didn’t have an issue in the first place! Your would-be detractor then becomes an advocate.
According to a study conducted by Convince and Convert, answering a complaint increases customer advocacy by as much as 25%
How can I be more credible?
Advocates give you credibility. Testimonials and positive reviews engender trust and people are more likely to do business with organisations that are seen as trustworthy. Negative reviews can actually help in this respect, too! Allowing negative comments on your website or social media accounts shows honesty and a willingness to accept responsibility; responding to negative comments in a constructive and positive way demonstrates responsiveness and care for the customer. This in turn engenders loyalty not only helping to retain customers but potentially creating opportunities to upsell, too.
And remember, 95% of customers share bad experiences.
How can I drive innovation?
Your customers could be a vast, untapped resource: a source of insight and innovation that can help you refine and improve your product and service offerings. They can help you keep in touch with changing trends and can provide you with reassurance that you’re heading in the right direction.
Moreover, implementing changes suggested by users can directly help word-of-mouth sales. But first you need to listen to them.
How to implement real-time surveys to increase customer loyalty
Once you have an understanding of what questions you want to answer as an organisation, you need to put systems and processes in place. Using a feedback loop to capture, analyse and improve you can quickly start making organisational changes that will help increase customer loyalty.
So how do the best organisations measure real-time feedback to increase customer loyalty and sales? Here are our top 5 tips for getting the best insights.
Make sure it is convenient
Allow customers to decide when they give you their feedback. Your role is to gently prompt and let them know how to give it when they are ready. Encourage your audience to complete the survey by making the survey design compelling, attractive and by letting them see how you use the insight you receive. The best surveys are intuitive and entwined in the customer journey, for example a kiosk near a store exit or an online link post purchase.
Let customers tell you what they want you to know
Whilst generic questions are great for easy reporting, they can be somewhat frustrating for customers who have something to say that falls outside of your pre-determined questions. Take for example a customer who has visited your store for a particular item to find it is out of stock. Imagine that same customer has visited 3 times to find it is still out of stock. They want to tell you!
Questions about store cleanliness, staff and parking can all render positive answers but it isn’t always letting them tell you what is important. A simple “Is there anything you want to tell us today” question will. The benefit is this type of information provides clear operational data that the local team can act quickly.
Agree minimum standards and set alerts to monitor them
Live alerts can notify you when feedback falls outside of acceptable parameters so you can intervene and avoid escalating problems.
This technology also helps to forecast the future. Some call this ‘predictive analytics’. An alert to a falling service level can enable tactical intervention, preventing a much larger service failure
The biggest reward for those giving you feedback is to see how their feedback is being used. “You said, we did” boards, posters, screens or emails using infographics are great ways to communicate this information.
At the end of the day, customers, employees, patients, visitors or students are all people. People like to be listened to and responded to – and the positive effect of this is that they will more loyal and will continue to give their valuable feedback.
Thank them for their feedback and make it as easy as you can for them to see the results.
Ensure you listen regularly
If you are giving feedback continuously it’s important to also be making necessary changes and improvements at the same pace –customers do not want to wait a year to see action!
This doesn’t have to be time-consuming though, with intuitive reporting you do not need to be looking through individual responses to track problems; tools such as Sentiment analysis and interactive dashboards present this data in easy to digest and visual ways. This helps you to tackle the tactical issues whilst collecting further insight for larger-scale improvement plans.