November 4, 2013

A great many companies continue to use market research institutes that collect data through extended surveys in order to evaluate their websites.

Every quarter, a bulky PowerPoint presentation then puts forward the collected data and analyses mishaps and improvement actions. Those customers who encountered a problem on the website have by then long gone to never return. Why would you risk this when current technology allows you to be right on track every single moment?

If you really want to exploit your qualitative customer data analysis, you should be able to address your customers directly. However, traditional web surveys will only show you where it went wrong when it’s already too late, whereas the customer would have liked help straight away. Let’s say a customer needs more information right in the middle of the online order process before going through with the purchase. If he receives a generic survey right after abandoning the order process whose results will be analysed by the management no sooner than a month later, this customer will be long gone by then. If, however, your helpdesk had been able to contact the customer at the very moment he stepped out of the order process, you might have created a loyal customer for life. 

Closed loop feedback

When deploying a closed loop feedback programme you will first of all analyse the most important stages in the customer’s online journey (in your sales funnel for example) to facilitate feedback possibilities at these exact moments. But those are merely the first steps to success. Companies should be aware that each and every form of customer feedback is a gateway to engaging in conversation with the customer, which can then result in a better customer experience. We should not content ourselves with mere data collection but listen more carefully and truly learn from customer feedback in order to immediately take the appropriate actions. Whereas some companies are getting much more aware of this and apply the actionable insights method more and more (Temkin Group, 2013), there are still a lot of organisations – about 80% - that do not seem properly informed on the numerous advantages that the closed loop feedback solution offers.

Real time action

When relying solely on your quarterly conversion analysis to track down what went wrong, it is often too late to engage your customer in conversation.  The latter will by then have forgotten the details of the problem and will have long found the requested service or product somewhere else. It is highly unlikely he will return to your website after this unsatisfactory experience. A sophisticated closed loop solution with built-in escalation alerts will automatically designate problems to front desk customer service employees who will seek a solution together with the customer. This will improve your customer satisfaction rate and therefore automatically increase customer loyalty. The closed loop feedback solution gives the customer a direct solution to his problem and is solid proof of the company's pro-active approach. Because of this excellent service, visitors with an already positive customer experience will build up an even stronger positive image of your company.

For a business, this way of handling customer feedback is likely to generate higher turnovers, stronger customer loyalty and increasing customer satisfaction.

 As this solution allows you to address your customers with much more relevant and specific questions, the customer himself will find the data collection process helpful and more rewarding. Whereas nobody wants to sacrifice precious time to endless questionnaires with generic questions, most people seem to be interested in sharing specific relevant information about a just encountered problem. Even more so, if this is then is followed up by an on-the-spot action. 

Higher customer satisfaction

The ultimate goal is to create a constant learning and improvement cycle. Your employees will be able to offer direct help to customers in trouble, and your customers provide you with crucial information on where your service is failing them, which processes do not work and where additional service is needed. Needless to say this will result in increasing customer satisfaction! The times where you would ask yourself how to improve your customer service are long gone, now you can just ask them yourself!


November 4, 2013

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