Newsflash: the customer has a big, public megaphone… and his feedback now comes from a growing number of channels, such as in-person, phone, surveys, social networking, and email. Now, the challenge doesn’t just lie in the collection of feedback, but also in what to do with that feedback once you have it. Remember that customer feedback enables communication between you and the customer. This can very well become your competitive advantage because customer feedback allows you to understand customers’ needs, wants, and concerns. Effectively managing them, therefore, can lead to an improved customer experience, which at the end of the day, is what makes customers stay.
However, the problem with most feedback is that apart from people being generally inclined to simply reporting something exceptionally good or bad, whatever feedback is collected isn’t necessarily translated into meaning. Furthermore, many companies fail to take action or let their customers know that their voice was heard. According to Forrester Research, less than half of companies (42 percent) are using one or more technology to support their voice of the customer (VoC) programs, and less than 20 percent of companies use customer feedback management (CFM) platforms to solicit feedback.
So, how can you make the most of customer feedback? CFM platforms are well suited for this task, supporting VoC programs in four ways:
1. Listening: What are my customers saying about me on all channels?
2. Interpreting: Making sense of the information collected while listening.
3. Acting: Based on insights gleaned during interpretation, prescribing and deploying appropriate actions through resolution.
4. Monitoring: How am I doing? What is my customer satisfaction score? Are the actions I am taking result in loyal customers?
In order to establish and maintain a healthy flow of communication between you and your customers, customer feedback must result in change your customers can see. Needless to say, CFM is a critical part of a VoC program because it helps a company solicit feedback across channels, centrally collect solicited and unsolicited feedback, analyze structured and unstructured feedback, distribute insights across the organization, close the loop with customers, act on the insights, and monitor progress continuously.
How are you managing your customer feedback?