Quit guessing – start asking: Customer feedback closes the perception gap

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Do you know what your customers (really) think about your business? Or do you just think you know? Having a 'pretty good idea' or even a 'solid gut sense' is not cutting it. Instead, you should be relying on real intelligence obtained by … wait for it … asking your customers!

 
Agreed, the solution is simple. The best solutions often are. But, despite it being very straightforward, many businesses fail, forget, or cannot be bothered to ask their customers about their experience. These businesses miss out on valuable insights that could set them apart from the competition.
 
Other companies do in fact ask but then fail to acknowledge or otherwise act on the feedback. Which is worse: Not asking, or not listening?
 
We all know that positive feedback is much easier to listen to and act upon than negative feedback. We are affirmed that what we are doing is excellent, and we can pat ourselves on the back. What a great day at the office. Perhaps somebody even made a cake. 
 
Negative feedback, on the other hand, ruins the vibe like a dark cloud on a nice summer's day. While you can hope the cloud will pass without spilling a drop, hopes and wishes do not make negative feedback go away, nor do they make the underlying problem disappear.

 

The value of feedback

There are five distinct objectives in customer experience service delivery that should be considered: 

  • FCR or first-contact resolution, which is the traditional objective
  • Cross-selling when it is appropriate
  • Preventing future unnecessary service contacts with education
  • Creating emotional connection and value added when appropriate
  • Collecting information for the Voice of the Customer

 

The last objective is essential in order to understand the customer at different touchpoints. Customers are everywhere, and they are taking action towards your services. Those customers who are providing feedback may represent the majority of customers who are experiencing similar issues and problems. For example, ten people reporting a certain issue could mean that 200-1,000 customers are having the same experience.


A study has found that loyalty drops 20% each time a customer encounters a problem. Five minor issues could thus be enough to lose a purchase opportunity – possibly even for good. As a company, would you not like to know if this is happening? If your customer service is not measuring these critical touchpoints, it will miss out on crucial customer insights that could have a significant effect on the bottom line. This value can be counted for every business and service. 
 

Getting customer feedback has never been easier

Not that many years ago, getting customer feedback could be quite the hassle – for customers and businesses alike. Today, with the right tools, such as Surveypal, you can send out engaging surveys that customers can answer whenever and wherever, and you can ask customers for feedback in real time when they interact with your business. By email, via online chat, in a text message following a call, on social media, at the end of a support article on your website, and numerous other instances.
 
You can ask for feedback relating to the products or services you provide, the customer experience, or the overall perception of your brand or company. In any case, your customers are the experts. You will want to know what they think.
 
You may believe that your products are the best on the market, that your customer service agents are efficient and helpful, and that your brand is trustworthy and loved. If your customers think differently, however, their opinion is always the truth.
 
Regardless of your purpose for gathering feedback, and which questions you ask, you will need to handle the data received from customers who are either very satisfied, very dissatisfied, or somewhere in between. Again, with the right system in place, the handling is almost as easy as obtaining the feedback. 
 
With Surveypal and Zendesk paired, the data is presented in a simple and organised way that provides a great visual overview of the current state. The data can be analysed, compared, and processed to track patterns, follow developments, and see opportunities. And this is where the hard work begins.
 
Asking the questions, getting the feedback, and handling the data were the easy yet essential parts. What you choose to do with the feedback is what really matters.

Utilising the data to optimise your business

One of the main purposes of feedback is to achieve a continuous dialogue with the customer. When your services are gathering data via multiple touchpoints, digital or physical, that data is transformed to valuable customer insights. You can understand the customer journey and act on the appropriate pain points. 

End-customers can share feedback when they have faced an issue, customer service agents can be praised for doing a great job, and managers can use these insights to lead the customer service in the right direction. 

All of this requires continuous research so that all periodic differences can be captured. Strategic decision-making becomes easier when you can link customer experience to a certain value. 

Using Surveypal and Zendesk, you are always up to date on what your customers think of the experience they had with your services or products. Turning the feedback into action – tweaks, improvements, enhancements, etc. – will then be up to you, but at least you have the advantage of basing your decisions on something concrete. No more guesswork. Just proper, value-adding work. 

 

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