How The Digital Age Changed Customer Feedback

While keeping customers satisfied has nearly always been in the forefront for any business interested in longevity and success, this ball game has changed quite a bit in the last quarter of a century. Back in the beginning the way to know if your customers were happy with your services or not was just through word of mouth. Sooner or later came the idea of handing out some sort of questionnaire or survey. Then instead of just handing them to the customer in-store, they were being mailed in one big blast once or twice a year, and soon enough consumers were being bombarded by phone calls.

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Enter the digital age, with just about everyone having access to portable internet in their pockets through their laptops, tablets or smartphones. Everyone became a lot more connected, which includes companies and their customers. Now customer feedback is being asked for and given on all kind of platforms all the time.

The evolution of online survey tools

This rather dramatic evolution of communication and technology has brought on a whole spectrum of changes when it comes to marketing, customer feedback and overall business strategy. For starters, businesses have developed a much more customer centric attitude. It’s more important than ever to make sure that you keep consumers and loyal customers happy. It was never acceptable for customers to be treated badly, but in the digital age one bad experience can haunt you forever. That’s why it’s become even more important to stay on top of customer experience by obtaining as much feedback as possible. The disconnect nearly always lies in translating the feedback into clear plans of action. This is why there are many customer feedback tools that help businesses harness the power of the digital age and use it to their advantage.  

Even though consumers have thousands upon thousands of different channels to express their feelings and opinions on a particular brand, business, product, or service, it’s a bit of a stretch if you think that’s all you need to understand them. Using forums, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, individuals like to feel like they are heard by somebody. And that’s great, except that usually when someone decides to take their time and energy to write up some feedback without being asked to they are usually really happy, or really unhappy with their experience.

While their feedback is still valuable it’s not exactly an accurate depiction of how well or how poor your customer service is. Using the right customer feedback tool you’ll be able to ask the right questions, categorize the answers and act on them to improve yourselves all in a timely manner. It can be a little difficult to seek out the right service provider for you so here are a few key elements that may help to make it easier for you to make informed choices that will benefit you the most in the long run.

Choosing a feedback survey tool for your business

You definitely want to choose a tool that allows you to reach out to the customers at an opportune time that is appropriate for feedback during their customer journey. You want the data to be relevant to your needs and goals as well as stay true to the customer’s opinions. This can be achieved by using targeted but objective questions. Too many surveys have very evidently leading questions and while that may seem like an easy way to get the results you want, it’s more important to get a candid response to important questions from your customers so you have a real basis for plans of action as well as accurate data in general.

Your supplier should also have appropriate tools for the categorization and analysis of the data collected. The data needs to be easily accessible, easily readable and just as easily understandable. Surveys and evaluations in all their forms are infamous for disappearing into some sort of corporate black hole. For this reason, consumers feel less motivated to offer any feedback because what’s the point if it’s just going to join thousands of other customer feedbacks in a pile that’s never to be seen again? Another important factor is that the suppliers make it possible for the right pieces of data to be passed onto the corresponding branches or colleagues and also aid you to find direction in the data so that you can build strategies or plan operations to improve the customer experience.

Engaging your staff to improve customer satisfaction

Now while the online surveys and service suppliers are extremely helpful and handy, that’s not to say that your business is absolved of any responsibilities. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Staff interaction is key.

With businesses being infamous for gathering feedback and not doing anything about it, the best thing to do is make sure they feel heard. It can begin as a little introduction on how much you value the voice of the customer and what you intend to do with the feedback. It’s also a good idea to follow up on certain customer experiences and feedback. Overall it is important to stay connected throughout to entire that your customers know that they are valuable to you and that you care about them.

The digital age makes it possible for us to stay connected all the time and we should use that to our advantage by not only having the customers provide us with feedback but also reaching out to them as a business intent on making them happy. Just as the bad experiences would probably stay eternally online, the good ones fueled by great relationships with employees and your brand alike will live for just as long.

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