How much do you know about your customers? Knowing personal tastes, preferences, income bracket and birthdays of your customers forms just the beginning of understanding customer needs. Often, the challenge is to study the data properly to understand what is effective and what does not make any sense.
While the right data helps, it also boils down to how you collect the data.
Formulating an effective customer feedback management system isn’t an easy job. It requires in-depth understanding of what your customers are looking for and what you can do to meet their expectations. With increasing competition across all the major domains, it is essential that you deliver a great customer experience to have a profitable run on the market.
Despite having everything right, you might be experiencing difficulty in meeting the expectations of your customers. By finding out the issues and then resolving them, you’d not only win over the confidence of your existing customers but also get new ones, thanks to word of mouth.
Here is a list of some of the major challenges businesses face that hinders customer experience.
Delivering consistent customer experience across multiple channels: Customers no longer evaluate your services based on individual touch-points. Instead, they look at the service, on the whole, as a single entity. Regardless of whether you’re interacting with the customer in the store, via email or through a phone call, they should receive a consistently good experience.
Systemizing the ‘customer feedback process’: Customer feedback is an essential component of any business that can help you in providing a better customer experience. Voice of the customer is important in finding out issues and helping you find a solution. Experts suggest implementation of three feedback loops that can help gather opinions of customers.
Choosing the right technology: With the help of modern technology, not only can feedback be collected faster but also escalated to the concerned departments without any delay. However, if you’re looking to make the most of this technology, you’d have to decipher a new plan that makes the process of gathering feedback and then processing it a lot easier.
How can Zonka Feedback come to your rescue?
Zonka Feedback is a tablet – based feedback that is capable of performing in-depth analysis of feedbacks that have been given by customers. From customer satisfaction measurement to customer satisfaction analytics, this single app is competent to handle everything by itself. Once you’ve registered your business with this app, all you need to do is login to your account and hand over the tablet to a customer.
Features offered by Zonka that can boost your customer experience
- Capture on-premise feedback: By placing touchscreen tablets with Zonka Feedback capture app at all major checkpoints, you’d be able to collect customer feedback in real time.
- Maintain detailed records: Zonka Feedback would also allow you to maintain a detailed record comprising of your customer information and their preferences.
- Issue escalation: The Zonka feedback management app allows business owners to filter feedback on the basis of complaints. You can also assign tasks depending on this feedback.
- Manage your teams efficiently: This app can help all your teams collaborate and collaborate better from multiple locations.
- Accountability: Your staff members would no longer be able to hide their incapability or no good effort will go unseen if feedback is captured using a tablet device.
Challenges in collecting genuine feedback
Customer experience cannot be improved if there is no way by which you’re collecting feedback. Here are some of the problems that companies face, which prove to be a hindrance in offering great customer experience.
- Lack of tools: When there is no system in place that is capable of gathering authentic customer feedback.
- Lack of a unified way of maintaining customer data: You wouldn’t be able to maintain customer information and sales trends, owing to lack of a management system.
- Difficulties in an escalation of issues: When you wouldn’t get to know about critical issues, how would you raise a ticket and find a solution to it?
- Issues being hidden by staff: Your employees might hide complaints that highlight their incompetence.
- No customer satisfaction analytics: How would you assess customer satisfaction analytics when there is no data to begin with, in the first place?
An ineffective feedback management system is as good as not having one at all. Zonka Feedback is a one-stop solution to all your needs about customer feedbacks and analytics. With information obtained from this, you’d certainly be able to address all the critical issues and provide timely solutions.
To know, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Time to change the way you take feedback.
Once upon a time existed a company that didn’t pay attention to customer feedback. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist anymore.
Where is your organization headed? If you’re in the hospitality industry, you are aware that customer feedbacks have played a pivotal role in the growth of businesses. So, how do you look at feedback? Do you have separate mechanisms in place for different feedbacks? How quickly does the voice of customers reach you? How many customers actually care to express their views? The quicker the feedback, the better can be the critical assessment of whether you’re going in the right direction.
Simplifying the process of collecting feedback means customers don’t find it a tedious job to evaluate your services. Let there be no reminiscence of the stone age – it’s time to take feedback without pen and paper. Web and tablet feedback are the two most common ways through which you can reach out to customers. But, which one should you implement and why? Read on to find out.
Web Feedback Surveys and forms help gauge the general mood of your customers.
A source that customers increasingly look to, web surveys are handy when it comes to recording feedback from customers. Email surveys are often emailed to guests by airlines, online shopping portals, hotels and restaurants, among others.
Advantages of capturing feedbacks through Web Surveys
So, why do companies invest in it? The reasons are logical.
- It allows customers to give feedback as per their convenience.
- It is easier to build and roll out surveys.
- The process is faster and wouldn’t require much man power.
- It is fairly inexpensive to implement.
- The process of implementing and collecting feedback isn’t resource – intensive either.
Most often, customers report feedbacks on their own when they experience the extreme emotions of happiness or sadness. Web surveys help to measure everything in between.
Drawbacks of collecting Web feedbacks
A coin has two sides, and this medium of collecting feedback has its fair share of disadvantages.
- Your customers might either ignore your mails or forget to give their feedback.
- It isn’t very accurate as customers respond after days or even weeks.
- There is a high risk of complaints reaching social media or consumer forums.
- Failure to immediately resolve the issue.
The other popular way is collecting feedback from tablets. With a customer base that’s often mobile and gadget friendly, you might want to tap onto them while they are on-premises. It’s a smart way to engage them and impress them.
When you deploy a feedback management system on-site, the response rate is considerably high. You manage to portray a friendly brand image that cares for its customers, truly interested in improving your services. Regardless of whether you’re taking feedback on Android Tablets or taking feedbacks on iPads, it is important that you ask the right questions that relate directly to your business and ways in which it can be improved.
Also, recording customer feedback on iPads or Android tablets offers an upmarket feel to your business set-up.
What gives tablet surveys an edge over web surveys?
While tablet feedback systems certainly take all the positives from web surveys, they also address the negative aspects with ease.
- Customers respond in real time and also get personal attention.
- Higher response rate.
- Because there is very little time between consumption of service and recording the feedback, the rate of accuracy is pretty high.
- The issues can be resolved in lesser time.
- Once you’ve picked the right ecosystem, building surveys is just a matter of a few clicks and taps.
We wouldn’t suggest you to completely obliterate yourself from trying to gather credible web feedbacks. Instead, a two-fold strategy can help you reach more customers and improve on customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
There is an age-old question, “When is the best time to collect feedback from my customers”, finally, the answer has been nailed down. The absolute best time to gather feedback is right now. Feedback is vital to your business, and it is important to get that information as soon as the customer has engaged with your company to get the most valuable feedback. The main reasons you need to be proactive about getting clients to complete a feedback survey are outlined for you below.
Keep the Brand Fresh
Companies need to be collecting feedback as soon as possible for the sole reason of the customer may be busy and could confuse their visit with your business and another. Being able to recall an event with clarity, a customer service agent, or even an employee all play a part in getting a score that allows you to improve. If you wait several weeks before sending out a survey, your client may have very well forgotten all about their visit with you!
Ask For It When It Matters
While knowing about a customer’s experience is important, for most data, you want to be able to hone in on one aspect. It is important to remember that not every moment of the experience needs to be inquired about. Instead, you may ask about their visit on that day if they tried a particular product or the similar. Narrow your scope for more conclusive data.
Catch Them While They Are There
Most often, customers will neglect to leave feedback just because it takes more time out of their day. Instead, if you approach the issue by simply asking your clients their current thoughts, through prompts or small pop-up surveys, you can quickly address issues before you negatively impact your customer satisfaction. For instance, in restaurants, hand over feedback capture tools to customers while they wait for their bill to be processed; in hotels, while they’re checking out; in spas, after their spa experience is over and they’re enjoying a cup of tea in your lounge.
Collect Feedback Every Time, from Every One
When you are collecting feedback, you cannot be selective about who you collect it from and when. In order to get conclusive feedback, you must attempt to gather feedback from each and every customer you engage with, no matter the platform. Also, make sure that all of your surveys are consistent with each other. Not only will this make processing the data much easier, you will have a much clearer view of where your company is excelling, and where it could use some work.
Overall, collecting feedback is one of the single most important actions a business can take. The worst feedback you can get is no feedback at all, and customer will typically want to share their experiences with you. When it comes to taking your business to the next level, be sure to collect feedback each and every time you engage with your clients.
Collecting customer feedbacks is an essential part of running a healthy service-oriented business. It is the one activity that results in actionable insights for the business, letting the managers know which parts of their service demands correction and which parts need to be promoted and set as an example for boosting employee morale and establishing benchmarks. Hence, any business serious about improving their customer service must collect as many feedbacks from their customers as possible, and supplement this with thorough and accurate data analysis.
When choosing the proper mechanism for collecting feedback from customers, business managers must keep the above in mind. The popular channels for feedback collection are – paper and digital (through tablets). Here are the advantages that are present only in the digital feedback collection mode:
Let’s face it. Paper based feedback forms are passé. Presenting a shiny new tablet to your customer for collecting their feedback provides a novel new way of capturing their attention. Not only will they feel that you really care about their opinion (hence the investment on tablets), they will also feel a lot more encouraged in voicing out their opinion, letting you collect far more feedbacks, yielding much more actionable insights for your business, compared to paper forms sitting quietly in a corner.
Ease of maintenance
Paper based forms are much more “permanent” in nature in the sense that once printed, they cannot be modified very often. In fact, one has to wait till they run out (which can be quite a while since they are not filled that regularly!). In contrast, a feedback survey designed on a tablet is virtual in nature; it can be modified at the click of a button.
Feedback forms filled out on paper run the risk of getting lost, or worse, being tampered with. But all feedbacks collected on a tablet will get stored securely in cloud servers, accessible only through a password decided by a manager. The business manager can also decide which participants get what kinds of access – including what they view and how much can they modify.
Reporting- Analyzing the vast data collected via paper-based forms can be excruciatingly tedious. But when you add the processing capabilities of even a modest modern-day computer, analyzing reports becomes a pleasure that managers will look forward to. The collected data is presented in the form of interactive graphs and charts showing trends at a glance and telling the business owners what they need to do to improve their performance.
Any digital feedback collection tool that is worth its salt has the feature to send in automatic SMS alerts on negative feedbacks to the manager-in-charge. This can help them solve the issue then and there, ensuring all customers go back happy and satisfied
Continuity of Reports
The tremendous effort involved in carrying forward reports from paper-based forms from one period (month/ year) to another almost makes it a fruitless exercise. With digitally recorded information, it is done by default. Managers can view their reports carried forward since the beginning of the business and ascertain the trend created by their actions. The reports get updated as soon as the data is captured, maintaining the latest data trends.
Services are rated on many parameters- price, timeliness, politeness of the server and of course the quality delivered. Each of these may have a different impact on the overall “score” thus calculated. Few of these parameters may even have conflicting results, e.g. price versus quality. With interactive reports, managers can control for the effect of one particular parameter while keeping all other constant, and slowly narrow down to the “real” problem a business may be facing.
Electronic forms are particularly suited for chain franchises. Collecting and analyzing data collected on paper is tedious enough for a single location, leave alone a large chain with 100+ locations around the world (or even in a city for that matter). But with automatic, real-time updating of data of electronically collected data, analyzing location-wise reports becomes simplified to an extent one can’t stress enough.
Easy access to reports
The reports are store on a cloud based server and can be accessed from any device having a web browser – a smartphone, computer or tablet. Managers can view their reports even while on-the-go.
When servers know they will be rated on their politeness and speed, they will make efforts to ensure the same. There is also a metric to determine the number of responses collected by a server, thus incentivizing more data collection and hence, better performance.
Last but certainly not the least. Not only does the presence of a tablet in vastly improves the ambience, it also tells the customers something about the company – it’s dynamic and changes with the times. This conveys the message of modernity to the customers and raises the morale of the employees.
That is quite a long list to be ignored. The point here is clear – feedbacks collected on tablets offer advantages that paper-based forms cannot match. It is in the best interest of a business to extract the maximum value out of digital forms before its competitors do.
Successfully running your business in a competitive industry is no easy task. Particularly in the service sector, where customer is king, and more so in the modern age, where information spreads like wildfire and any inconsistencies in service trend on the Internet at the speed of light.
Given that, it appears that customer-centricity of businesses in the service sector is no longer an ambition – it is a need. It is not something that great companies can thrive on – it is something that all companies will need to practice to survive in the game.
We already discussed how customer experience may well be the cornerstone of the Blue-Ocean strategy in the customer-service industry. What remains to be discussed, however, is how your business can go on to become customer-centric. Here are six things you need to watch out for once you decide to adopt a customer centric approach for your business, if not already done so:
Clearly establish and commit to your brand value
The very first thing you need to focus on is the promise that your brand makes, and set up procedures to consistently deliver it. This is crucial, because brands are essentially promises. And a company that consistently delivers on this promise will by default, gain strong brand recall among its customers.
For example, a budget restaurant associates its brand with economic pricing, attracting customers by the promise of “low prices”. Over time, sensing shifts in the industry, it may desire to improve its service offering, but if it dilutes its original promise of “economic meal”, it will witness a steady decline in its customer base.
Integrate all your business units
The first step in making your business customer-centric is probably to integrate all of your (seemingly) disjoint business units into one cohesive army dedicated to providing the best customer service.
The company’s goal of customer-centricity must be clearly communicated throughout all business units, particularly the front-line staff, which actually interact with the customers and act as representatives of the company.
The same message must be communicated to the hiring team, to ensure that only the most customer-oriented candidates join the organization. An on-board training program upon recruitment will strengthen this philosophy. In short, customer-centricity is a paradigm shift that will require all hands on deck.
The senior management must be sensitized about the importance of investment in systems and procedures to enhance customer experience and proper feedback management.
In short, it is imperative to have all hands on deck to achieve thorough customer-centricity.
The devil is in the details
Putting your customers in the centre of everything you do would require paying acute attention to the minutest of details that other businesses wouldn’t. This will create an indelible impression on your customers about their experience, effectively insulating them from an aggressive competitor snatching them away with lucrative campaigns.
As an example, a hotel looking to make itself more customer-centric would go an extra step in hospitality by perhaps placing a set of fresh flowers in its appointed rooms to welcome its guests.
This point overlaps to some extent with the concept of “customer delight” discussed earlier, but differs slightly in the sense that it can be achieved at a fraction of the cost involved in delighting a customer.
Embrace technology to incorporate customer feedback into the business model
The customer-centric culture thus developed will produce the best results when supplemented with customer feedback. Well, by default, a customer-centric organization must obviously incorporate customer feedback to know how well it is satisfying its customer’s requests.
But our problem is a little bit more complicated than that. If you are to truly rise above the competition in terms of customer service, you need reliable systems that can not just collect customer feedback, but quickly slice and dice the collected data to quickly know which areas you are clearly lacking in, which areas you are really doing well in, and how the various units fit in providing the customer the best of experience when dealing with your company. This information gathered via incisive customer feedback management processes can help you refine your customer service strategy accordingly. Key metrics such as the NPS © may be employed to measure the success of your approach.
A robust customer feedback collecting and reporting mechanism with these features is a vital component to enable customer-centricity in any business.
Develop the culture
Ultimately, it is the people that run and affect the organization. All technologies, procedures and brands amount to nothing if not accompanied with and attitude of “putting the customer above all”. A systematic culture of treating the customer like royalty is crucial to any business wishing to go customer-centric.
A very crude example of this culture would be the staff members of the Taj hotel, who selflessly came in the way of flying bullets to save their guests of a few hours. Was their ultimate sacrifice due to the expectation of a very generous tip, or the threat of some punishment from their management? No – their sacrifice was the epitome of hospitality that has become a part of the legendary history of Taj hotels worldwide.
No customer gets left behind
Here are some statistics about the need for customer retention and the potential magnitude of negative customer experiences:
- A 10% increase in customer retention rate translates to a 30% increase in the value of a company
- It is 6-7 times more costly to attract a new customer than to retain an old customer
- It takes 12 positive customer reviews to make up for one negative experience
Word of mouth travels geometrically – even exponentially in the digital age. As such, any business having an ambition to become customer-centric would be wise to implement system wherein any customer’s grievances are resolved instantly, while they are still in the process of transacting with the business.
The importance of becoming customer-centric cannot be stressed enough in today’s competitive scenario. But managers are often at sea when it comes to implementing it is practice. They key lies in identifying technologies that are available to help them address this gap – and absorbing them into their business model, along with steady development of a culture and attitude of always placing customer before self.
The business of dealing with and serving customers is tricky and unpredictable. What works for one segment of customers may not be the most suitable option for any other customer segment. To complicate matters even more, customer experience is often manifested over several “layers”, depending on how much the service delivery matches their service expectations.
In an age where businesses are competing tooth and nail for every incoming customer, merely satisfying customer may no longer suffice for retaining old customers, much less acquiring new ones. Sample the following scenario:
Imagine you walk into a hotel upon entering a new town, with the expectation of a clean lodging and food, and a decent ambience. Any hotel or inn meeting these expectations will provide you with satisfaction. Delight will result when a hotel exceeds your expectations of these basic necessities and possibly even surprising you – for example, arranging for your transfer when you leave, or replacing the linen in your room without your asking for it.
Meeting customer expectations of service are crucial to customer satisfaction and running a business successfully, but true customer loyalty can be gained only when the service exceeds customer expectations.
“Customer delight is that phase of customer experience when the service offered exceeds the service expected.”
While satisfied customers may leave the business feeling happy, they may not return. They may well be swayed by swanky advertisements or deep discounts offered by competitors the next time around. On the other hand, a customer who is delighted by a service exceeding his expectations will become a loyal patron of the brand forever, since the brand will always evoke a positive memory of association for him.
There are four reasons to invest in additional effort in delighting customers, as it can pay rich dividends in a very direct way:
Increased customer retention through loyalty
A delighted customer will develop strong loyalty for the brand that provided him with the delight, and will be far less likely to “experiment” with a new brand. Studies have shown that it may be 4 to 9 times more costly to attract a new client than retain an existing one.
More profitable customers
In addition to retaining existing customers, customer delight can also induce customers to spend more on their dealings with the business. Research has shown that, on an average, delighted customers end up spending more than merely satisfied customers.
Delighted customers turn into brand evangelists for the company. They will spread word of their positive experience around, shooting up the NPS score© of the company. 92% of customers consider word-of-mouth as the most reliable source of information, so delighted customers may well become a strong asset for the company by bringing in more and more customers, leading to a virtuous circle.
The enhanced network of customers developed over time may turn the business into an industry leader on the basis of service differentiation. This will enhance the brand recall of the company. It is common knowledge today that brands such as Xerox, Google and Jacuzzi have become synonymous with the product or service they are offering. That is the power of brand recall – when potential and existing customers will think of your company first and then consider what they need to purchase from it!
While it is established that concentrated efforts by businesses to delight their customers with enhanced levels of service will produce results in terms of increased customer loyalty and a much stronger brand, prudence is advised as this strategy comes bundled with two pitfalls:
- It may be a conundrum for businesses as to what lengths they need to go to delight their customers. After all, budgets are shrinking, and the profit gained from incremental investments begins to decrease after awhile – the iron law of diminishing returns.
- Add to that the burden of raising the bars of your service level forever in your customer’s eyes. Delighting a customer once might alter their opinion of what constitutes a fair level of service for the price they are paying.
As with any other conundrum, the solution lies in the middle – identifying when and how to delight customers. Certainly, in today’s business environment it is not advisable to delight every customer, every time; it would be unwise to even attempt that. In fact, in most business dealings, it would make sound commercial sense to just suffice customer’s expectations. Exceeding customer’s expectations will produce the best results if offered when the situation demands it.
In our example of the hotel cited earlier, arranging for the guest’s next travel plan would make sense when the guest is checking out at an odd time, such as late at night, or has to catch an early morning train or flight.
Building brands and NPS © takes time and can be perfected with judicious experimentation. Delighting customers by surprising them with unexpected service may turn out to be a unique way to create value and build a strong brand legacy. And the right start would be to implement instant customer feedback systems telling you what your customer’s opinions are about your service at present.