3 benefits of leveraging technology that helps you translate customer feedback into tangible actions




For any type company the dialogue with their customers plays a key role in growing a successful business. Many companies are aware of this and make it a priority to constantly engage with their customers to receive feedback in order to improve the quality of their service and/or products. However, most of them face the challenge to maintain this dialogue while within their time and budget and to properly translate these findings into a clear action plan for improvements.


The most common way of collecting customer feedback is by simply talking to your customers. This traditional way of engagement has a benefit that it addresses the human aspect of the customer relationship, so if done correctly it can attend to the customers’ emotional needs as well. One of the downsides of this way is the limited reach and scope it provides. It is difficult to truly engage with the majority of your customers, while receiving valuable feedback. In return the received customer feedback can be scattered and is mostly unstructured due to the collection method. This can lead to misinterpretations of the feedback and difficulties in translating the feedback into customer service improvements. Moreover, this can be time consuming and expensive without delivering results.


By leveraging the power of technology along with the human aspect of customer engagement, companies can maintain a strong dialogue with their customers, while collecting and receiving actionable insights for future improvements. The availability of digital customer feedback systems has lowered the barrier for companies to integrate technology into their current ways of having a dialogue with their customers.


More specifically, the return on investment of the upfront costs for the set-up of a digital feedback system can be noticed within a few months. As for the monthly recurring fee for the software and service, these costs are like any other SaaS products nowadays; minimal and agile to the course of the company.


The use of these systems supersedes the aforementioned traditional way by providing the following key points:

1) Consistency in maintaining customer engagement/relationship;


Due to the time constraints followed from personal customer engagement, it is not always possible to collect feedback from your customers through the traditional way. By using a digital feedback, along with personal customer engagement, can provide you consistency in engaging with your customers by offering them the chance to provide feedback 24/7.


2) Precise feedback on specific areas;


Digital feedback systems allow you to target key areas of interest, and provides you with the flexibility to modify this as you progress. These systems can be used to either provide information to customers or gain insights from them. Providing information on specific topics, such as extended opening hours, new flavors and promotions, can make your business grow. Receiving information from customers, such as willingness to refer to a friend and satisfaction level of the service, can help the business improve.


3) Structure in the overall feedback process.


A big plus for digitally storing the precise information mentioned above is how the ease of access. By storing all this information and categorizing all the collected feedback it provides structure in the feedback and improvement process.  


The combination, of being consistent with the customer feedback process and targeting specific areas of interest in a structured manner, provides results that can be translated into tangible actions.


These three benefits can have a big impact on how companies maintain and strengthen the dialogue with their customers as customer feedback will always remain the most important aspect in establishing a sustainable business. Luckily due to modern technology it has become easier to do so.



Is your store ready to compete with e-commerce?


Since 2000, around 75% of retail sales growth has occurred through online channels. Meanwhile, Amazon will be opening its first physical store in the heart of New York City. Are those trends contradictory? How can classic retailers get advantage of digital tools and not see the increase of online as a threat?

When someone opens an account on Amazon, the company is already starting to collect data in order to provide personalized offerings. This gives the company a strong position to turn a one-off customer into a loyal one. Economies of scale, minimal staffing needs, data and the worldwide market they are tapping in provides Amazon and other  e-commerce websites a powerful competitive advantage.

In a multichannel world, brick-and-mortar stores are finding it more challenging to compete with price discounts offered online.

However, the game is (by far) not over. Traditional retailers have a large amount of opportunities that they should consider to be more attractive to  their today’s tech savvy customers. They should capitalize on their own unique strengths to build effective value propositions.

More specifically, the fashion retailer Oasis use Shutl, an online service that connects retailers with same-day delivery companies that deliver goods to customers within 90 minutes. Some brands such as Camper or Burberry also understood the power or importance of in-store experience; equipping sales assistants with iPads to help consumers place orders if certain items are not available in the store. How convenient!

Customer service is one of the critical differentiators, and one that continues to present a huge opportunity for all retailers. A UK retailer has replaced its cashiers with check out terminals, only to replace these terminals again with people. The presence of actual humans seems to be a simple but powerful way of selling as it helps to engage with customers on a more personal level. Those employees have to be well trained and motivated to provide an excellent customer service. Measuring their performance on a daily basis has shown to be motivating.

Having continuous customer support plays a key role in custormer retention and acquisition. The retail chain Best Buy made a platform that provides 24×7 technology assistance to its customers.

Traditional retailers should also build loyalty programs that work seamlessly across channels, to deliver a multichannel retail customer experience. A Swiss based startup, Fideliz, has made an app that allows customers to get rewarded for their loyalty by just one tap on a terminal with their smartphone.
In many countries, stores still account for the bulk of retail sales—more than 85 percent in the United Kingdom, 91 percent in Germany, 98 percent in Italy and 95 percent in the United States. Stores clearly differentiate traditional retailers from the retail e-commerce players. Think about the current status of your customer service, loyalty program, accessibility and spot the weaknesses. Try to see what you can improve starting from today. For bigger challenges, find partners that have in depth knowledge of available technologies and they will support you to take advantage of the power of the web.

Nina Maurer, co-founder @speedyrating
On site customer feedback http://www.speedyrating.com