When a brand improves the customer experience, they’re likely to see repeat customers and increased patronage. According to several surveys, loyal customers are five times more likely to repurchase and are four times more likely to refer others. Meanwhile, a customer experience study on Forbes states that 32% of consumers will drop a brand they love after a single negative incident. These underscore the role that actionable customer feedback has in every organization. The world’s present circumstances have reshaped how valuable feedback can be gathered. But there are still time-tested methods that all brands can benefit from employing.

Use Multiple Platforms

Getting the full picture is crucial. Don’t short-change yourself by creating CX strategies based on limited data. Statisticians say that reliable data collection should only have a 10% margin of error. This means if your sample size is too small, your data is inconclusive.

By utilizing multiple platforms, you are able to connect with a wider audience. Some of the most successful mediums are all user-friendly. These include surveys, micro-surveys, apps, emails, and phone interviews. These should be purposefully easy for your target market to access and accomplish. The questions need to be direct and concise, meaning they don’t take a lot of time to complete.

By using different platforms, you are also sensitive to the various demographics with varied technological literacy. So don’t overlook more traditional resources, with Verizon Connect’s post highlighting the importance of accessible contact points such as snail mail or the telephone. These will also help companies to cater to specific (older) demographics. If you focus primarily on a younger market, understand what their preferences are and how you can best service them, which will most likely be through digital means.

Incentivize Feedback

Most people won’t even answer one-question surveys. But consistently missing out on data drastically reduces your CX efficacy. The best way to get those answers, in this case, is to incentivize. If customers provide their feedback, give them something commensurate in return.

This means coupons, discount, or special freebies. It need not be something that will cost you or your team. Often, people just like the idea of getting something “free”. If you can’t afford to give something away with every feedback, you could give raffle entries for one major giveaway instead. If you have a reviews page setup or social media, gather insights from there.

Remember, though, incentives are not bribes. You’re not here to buy flowery comments. Not only is this useless but it is also in clear violation of the FTC act. Ensure that your messaging is clear. You are meant to encourage customers to give honest and helpful feedback. Not only will this show them you are sincere and transparent, but you will also receive valuable information.

Build an Online Community

The numbers don’t lie. Social media has taken on a bigger role in the customer experience. A staggering 64% of consumers say they want brands to connect with them. When 1,000 consumers were asked which channels brands could best connect with them through, social media ranked number one. When they feel heard online, 57% are likely to increase spending.

If you don’t have any social media, look into opening a few official accounts. Popular sites like Facebook and Instagram are great ways to foster community dialogue. You can even use features like polls and forums to reach audiences. Empowering your team with CX training can help you better maximize this approach. When done right, this can be an avenue for social listening. And it should go without saying that after gathering CX feedback, you need to follow through. Customers appreciate seeing brands adapt to their needs. Inaction after gathering data will look like lip service to your patrons.

Businesses worldwide took a hit last year. But if CX is one sector you’re considering saving on, think again. Behemoths like Amazon and Netflix have invested heavily in CX and have enjoyed massive growth even through 2020. Follow the above tips to collect good actionable customer feedback.

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Jackie Rodgers is a business consultant and blogger. She pays particular care to ensure excellent service is provided to customers. In her free time, she also enjoys reading and film photography.

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business C-suite customer customer experience customerisking cx CX benefits CX measurement CX professional CX strategy feedbackly feedbacklycxm kpi success