Poor customer feedback measurement hurting
Udesh Jadnanansing, Founder and Managing Partner of customer feedback management software specialist Mopinion, is warning that many businesses are failing to fully understand their customers’ needs because they are still using outdated feedback methods for modern online transactions. Mopinion is urging online marketers to look more closely at the way they gather feedback and to consider using more proactive tools to comprehensively understand their potential clients’ needs.
“Traditional online customer satisfaction surveys have always had trouble reaching customers at the moment when the experience is still fresh in memory. But the technology is available, so what are we waiting for?” says Jadnanansing. “Many companies measure satisfaction and loyalty on relational and transactional level. On one hand, organisations would like to know what the relationship is with the brand (relational). On the other hand they want to receive feedback on all major touch points to be able to implement improvements immediately (transactional). Passive feedback methods are neither very reliable nor timely enough to react to the fast-paced world of modern online transactions.
For the transactional part, many organisations are still focussing primarily on traditional touch points, like telemarketing or contact with employees like support agents and account managers. Often this method of measurement does not go beyond sending a questionnaire by e-mail after contact and is based upon strategies designed to evaluate telephone-based sales and interactions. “A few organisations are using telephone surveys by IVR (Interactive Voice Response) or SMS, but that's it most of the time. We believe that many businesses are losing out by using such passive tools for such an interactive portal as online” adds Jadnanansing.
Whilst assessing telephone contact was traditionally fairly straightforward, an agent asked questions and recorded the feedback. However online customer traffic and interactions can be far more complex – but at the same time this offers a potential mine of more detailed and potentially more useful information – with a greater focus on non-transactions and clues as to why the business may be missing out on this custom.
Jadnanansing believes companies are focussing too much on the measurement of data, missing that the key to improvement is in qualitative data in combination with metrics about effort and use. “This requires another structure of online teams and handling with data. And, if online isn't complex enough, companies also have to deal with different web devices like mobile and tablet. To get a good impression about the overall online experience, a company has to obtain feedback from all web devices.”
The advice is straightforward, as Jadnanansing concluded, “Companies should realise that every customer reaction is a possibility for a conversation that can result in a better customer experience. In addition to collecting data, companies have to listen a lot more and take action immediately. Many companies are waking up to the benefits of fully monitoring their online touchpoints – which means it has never been more dangerous to be neglecting your customers’ need. If you don’t fully understand and cater for these needs your competitors may well be doing so!”