Building a successful business does not end with finding buyers for your product or service. The feedback that you garner from your customers completes the marketing life cycle and is absolutely essential to drive the future strategies for your business. Like it is with every other component of business, the power of customer feedback lies with its tools. Picking the right customer feedback software for your business can make or break your decision making process.
Passive Vs. Active
There are four time-tested ways to get real customer feedback and these are broadly classified as passive and active forms of feedback gathering. Surveys, for instance, help businesses reach out to the customer soon after they consume your product or service. The objective is to gather honest opinion about the various parameters you want to be evaluated upon. A food delivery startup may, for example, get feedback on parameters like food quality, packaging and delivery promptness. An on-demand cab hailing service like Uber, on the other hand, may want customers to rate their service on the professionalism demonstrated by their drivers, how clean the car was and how easy the service was to use. Gathering feedback actively helps businesses drive the conversation on topics they would like to know about.
Passive feedback mechanisms like social media pages or forums let customers drive the conversation. Such forms of gathering feedback are open-ended and help customers provide feedback on issues that the business may not even be aware of, but may benefit from knowing about.
Identifying your KPIs
The first step in identifying the right tools to gather feedback from your customers is to know what your KPIs are. KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are the fundamental metrics that drive the growth for any business. At the outset, the KPIs for a marketer may be metrics like customer acquisition, number of business transactions, number of repeat buyers and percentage returns/refunds. They however only paint a superficial picture of your business. Each of these metrics are in turn defined by customer-centric parameters like product quality, price point, product packaging and so on.
What metrics drive your business cannot always be deciphered by looking into your business analytics reports. To get around this, marketers must look at setting up passive forms of gathering feedback. If you are an online business, it is recommended that you set up a social media page, community portal or message board within your company portal. This provides an opportunity for customers to start conversations on topics that help them make a purchasing decision. Internally, businesses need to make use of these message boards to gauge the topics that customers are concerned about and identify the metrics that move the needle.
Building an active feedback mechanism
Once you have made use of passive feedback tools to identify the KPIs for your business, the next step is to build an active feedback monitoring tool. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, active feedback monitoring tools help businesses know what’s going wrong before it is too late. Also, an active feedback mechanism helps businesses set the tone for the conversations that customers are passionate about. This way, marketers can hope to turn angry customers into helpful evangelists who provide constructive feedback on your product that strengthens your feedback loop.
Survey tools are extremely useful when you want to measure customer feedback on multiple parameters like product quality, packaging, delivery and customer support. It is however important to remember that active feedback mechanisms only work when the customer is open to it. Lengthy survey forms intimidate customers and reduce form completion rate. To avoid this, it is recommended that you pick a software that offers multiple levels of feedback gathering. You could, for instance, use an NPS measurement software to receive the first level of feedback from your customers. And depending on their rating, you could customize the followup surveys to focus on any one aspect of your business that the customer is not happy about. A customer that rates your business poorly on delivery may be ready to share their feedback about shipment and perhaps not want to fill out a survey regarding product quality.
Mapping feedback with analytics
There is a constant evolution in the way customers view and evaluate businesses. Customers using a cab service before the Uber-era may have only been concerned about pricing and professionalism and not on convenience. However, thanks to on-demand ride hailing services, convenience plays a key part in commuting today. It is important to map the data you gather from your active feedback tools with your analytics to measure the impact it has on your business growth. Metrics that do not drive real growth in any of your KPIs may be moonlighted while new metrics garnered from passive feedback tools may be added to your feedback systems.
There is no one software that can provide you with end-to-end customer feedback monitoring. As a marketer, it is important to understand the current challenges and pick a software that will best fit your product and customer profile.
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