Tracking service levels really means keeping your finger on the pulse of customer satisfaction.
Have you ever worked in a shop – not a supermarket or a high street store but a small boutique or a corner shop? If you have, you’ll recall that customers generally let you know whether they’re happy or not. Keeping your finger on the pulse of customer satisfaction wasn’t hard. A lengthy conversation, a passing comment, a sigh or a smile were all forms of feedback. It wasn’t difficult to work out what you were doing right or wrong; it didn’t require a formal feedback programme! Moreover, making adjustments in light of feedback was often fairly straightforward for the shop’s owner/manager.
Whilst this approach to customer feedback works well for your average corner-shop, it simply doesn’t scale. Consider your large corporate with its separate divisions, its regionally autonomous units and its senior management team who are typically a few steps removed from the end customer. Sometimes, of course, these large corporates will sell to the customer via an intermediary, meaning they are even further removed.
The pulse of customer satisfaction
These big organisations look very different to the corner-shop, but the one thing the corner-shop and the large corporate have in common is that both need to keep their finger on the pulse of customer satisfaction. Keeping your finger on the pulse means becoming aware of issues, note-worthy comments and changes in trend as they happen. It’s of limited use, for example, finding out that your store’s toilets are in an unacceptable state a week after your customers told you so – or even 24 hours after; you need to know at the time so that you can address the problem immediately. Of course, another reason to gather feedback in real-time is that it’s more accurate. According to studies by Gartner, feedback given at the point of experience can be up to 40% more reliable than feedback given as little as 24 hours later. If you go to the effort of obtaining feedback from your customers you’re going to want to ensure that it’s reliable!
Asking the right questions
To keep your finger on the pulse, you will need to ask a variety of questions. These may range from product related ones such as ‘how do you rate the quality of our product?’ to questions about the service you received (‘how friendly were the sales staff?’ ‘how knowledgeable was the representative?’) to questions about the store (‘how clean were the restrooms?’ ‘How easy was it to find what you were looking for?’). Of course, the actual questions asked will vary depending on the industry and the context. However, there’s one question that you will probably want to ask irrespective of the industry you’re in and that’s the ‘open-ended question’ where the customer (or patient, employee or student) gets to give you their feedback in their own words; this is the equivalent of the chat over the counter with the customer in the corner-shop. It can yield real gold!
So how can you go about asking these questions and gaining candid “in-their-own-words” feedback from customers without an army of trained researchers at the ready? This is where kiosks fit in. Carefully positioned, branded touch-screen kiosks with engaging surveys have proved very effective at garnering large volumes of high quality feedback. Here are some of their benefits:
- They are ‘always-on’ which means you can capture feedback during unsociable hours and when no staff are available
- Because they don’t require the presence of staff, feedback is not going to be skewed – there’s no outside human influence or bias
- They can be used to capture non-buyer and visitor feedback as well as customer feedback
- Live alerts can be configured to notify you immediately regarding areas of concern
- Validation processes safeguard the integrity of the data with spurious or suspect data being quarantined
- The screens can also be used to feedback to the customer (‘you said, we did…’) and to display marketing messages
- They are low cost
- They are flexible – they can be moved to different locations and question sets can be changed
- They can promote your brand
About ViewPoint feedback solutions
ViewPoint helps organisations to radically improve the quality of their services. Our interactive feedback technology engages with customers, employees and stakeholders to understand their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the experience they encountered.
Our unique smiley face surveys attract, engage, and encourage users to leave their thoughts. Four reasons feedback kiosks are the preferred feedback collection method:
- Lower cost customer survey solution
- Suitable for all environments
- Reliable and always on
- Highly accurate insights
Find out more about how real-time surveys can help you assess customer and staffing issues, monitor improvements, and compare departments to deliver the best service possible.