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29, August 2016

Why good feedback is the key to better customer experience

The business of sharing feedback has come a long way. Called by new and fancy names now, it has several variations such as ratings, review, feedback, evaluation or recommendation and is gaining increasing momentum.

Calls at an inappropriate time, a sudden popup recommending what your next buy should be, an online form seeking ratings, and rewards for sharing reviews about movies, trips, hotels and books, enterprises are seeking guidance all the time. However, this activity of reaching out to customers for feedbacks can be, unfortunately, ill-timed and sometimes unsolicited.

Annoying yes, but as customers, we are all guilty in the matters of unsolicited sharing. Through our social media feeds, we are more than happy to give our share of a mouthful of both appreciation and contempt alike.
In the industry of customer service, when superb customer service is a reality, some credit is to be given for good feedbacks. These feedbacks can be of two kinds – Structured and unstructured.

When customers offer their feedback through a questionnaire or a survey created by the brand, the feedback is structured. While, unstructured feedback is in real-time, interactive and needs a little more analysis. A brand interacting with a customer review or complaint on social media falls under this category. Structured feedback is much easier to handle than unstructured feedback.

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This post on last mile series, we will take you through the cycle of feedback. Starting with you (customer), the feedback you want to give the enterprises and how these feedbacks are handled. What traverses when businesses come face to face with the customer (B2C) is discussed in a 3 step process.

1. Collect feedback
2. Analyze feedback
3. Implement feedback (when valid)

Collect feedback – The raw material

Churning customer’s thoughts and emotions into concrete numbers and statistics is no easy affair. With customers spread across the globe, cultures, demographics, and time zones, getting it all together is the tedious first step. This is where market research organizations come into play. Survey applications can be used to build forms, templates and tools at the click of a finger at hardly any costs, which brands leverage to reach out to their customers. They create surveys, find the audience and share through the relevant medium at the appropriate time to be back to the enterprises with a golden pot of raw data, to be processed into valuable information and insights.

Sorting, plotting and Mapping – Analyzing feedback

Feedback is just another part of the Big Data box. This is when the Voice of Customer (VOC) proceeds to evolve into VOC analytics. There is meaning in every word you share, every vote that is cast, the tone of your voice and even the thought in your mind.

Just like the other elements of data, it is of no avail if it is not put to good use. This is where text analytics, voice analytics, social analytics, intent analytics, sentiment analytics, repeat drill downs, charts, and graphs, play a crucial role. It is at this stage that is a moment truth for most organizations where numbers dictate their policies, strategies, and rules.

When rubber meets the road – Time for action

Such valuable insights are communicated with associated parties within the enterprises to determine the ‘Next Best Action’. This is where new solutions surface. Tactical corrections are included in enterprise processes to recover from the drawback of the inconvenience experienced by customers. By offering replacements or bonus services, this type of ‘service recovery’ can go a long way in preserving the reputation of the company and customer loyalty.

At this stage, brands use insights to recalibrate their branding, operation metrics, customer service policies and service design. The call center strategies are revisited and call center solutions are integrated with systems that allow relevant information to be presented to the agent – intelligent menu options on the IVR and integrated reporting for call managers, resulting in higher net promoter score, lower customer churn rates, and higher customer loyalty.

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With this knowledge about the three step process, do you think it diligently assures customer satisfaction? If not, then how to measure customer happiness?

The three-pronged metrics of measuring customer delight

Customer delight can be ensured following a feedback if the response to these three parameters is in affirmative.

1.Resolution to the purpose for which the customer interacted with enterprise – why did the customer offer a feedback? What does the feedback address? And is the feedback valid?

2.Customer Effort – what is the quantum of effort that has gone into it? What is the customer effort score (CES)?

3.Emotional gratification – Studies prove that there is an intangible element beyond effort and satisfaction which result from the feeling that the customer walks away, which ensures loyalty and a good net promoter score (NPS).


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