The right customer feedback solution can give you great insight into how customers experience your digital enterprise, and help you delight visitors and customers alike. But which feedback solution is right for your business? And if it’s right for today, can you be sure that it will still meet your needs as your business grows? Which solution gives you the most business value? Do you just need a megaphone to amplify customer feedback so you are sure to hear it? Or are you also looking for a solution that will help you act based on feedback to improve business performance?
The first step to finding a solution that’s right for your needs is to pinpoint just what those needs are. The questions below are designed to help you clarify what capabilities and features make a feedback solution right for you.
If your enterprise is omnichannel, should your feedback be too?
Today, mobile devices account for more than half of all retail site visits. Customer self-service is on the move too, as utilities, financial institutions, healthcare givers and even government offices seek to reduce call center costs and customers take care of their personal errands while commuting or watching TV.
But mobile is just part of the story. As often as not, a customer that browses for clothes on his tablet completes the purchase on his desktop, or picks up his online order from the local bricks-and-mortar store.
The customer journey encompasses numerous touchpoints. If you want insight into the full customer experience, your feedback should be omnichannel as well. Look for a feedback solution that delivers integrated insight into customers’ end-to-end experiences with your business.
What’s your approach to visitors who are undecided or stalled?
Browsers and dawdlers pose a challenge for digital and brick-and-mortar enterprises alike: Do you approach them and offer help? Leave them to browse? A skilled salesperson might ask if he can help, and then either back off or provide helpful guidance that results in a sale, based on the customer’s response.
A good feedback solution should also be able to identify dawdler, browser and abandonment scenarios and gently engage visitors before they drop off. Go beyond getting insight into dawdlers and browsers to help promising prospects become buyers: Make sure that based on their feedback, the solution can direct visitors to the information they need… and into your funnel.
Is it important to escalate issues in real time?
Knowing about glitches and malfunctions that frustrate customers and depress conversions is a good start: But in many companies, there’s a wide gap between knowing about problems and resolving them.
According to the Temkin Group State of Voice of the Customer Programs, 2014 Report, 70% of companies using voice of customer solutions do well at soliciting feedback but only 34% say they do well at designing solutions to problems based on insights from feedback. Even fewer – 30% — succeed at making changes to the business based on the insights.
For most enterprises, a feedback solution that can automatically escalate issues to the organizational departments responsible for addressing them helps break down the silos that block action on feedback. When you are choosing a feedback solution, investigate whether the solution is designed to help enterprises make the most of the insight they generate. in both real time and the long term.
Should customers be ‘saved’?
OK, you’ve found a feedback solution that escalates issues for quick resolution. But what about the customer who reported the problem?
Close the feedback loop by acting immediately to help the customer accomplish what he hoped to do. Look for a solution that lets you support success of individuals, as well as improving the global customer experience, by redirecting stymied customers to the content they need or to an online chat, support resources or other helpful options.
Do customer motivations interest you? Or just customer actions?
Analytics are great at showing what your customers do on your site. But do you also need to know what’s driving customers to act as they do?
Look for a solution that lets you choose the exact triggers for feedback invitations and integrates seamlessly with analytics data. Get rock-solid insight into the thoughts and feelings that lead to customer actions at each point throughout their journey. Speed A/B testing and get valuable guidance by gathering feedback to complement analytics results.
Do feedback interactions need branding?
Because many customers are squeamish about giving negative feedback directly to a salesperson or clerk, surveys have traditionally been conducted by third parties in the interest of obtaining unbiased results. But for digital enterprises, which are inherently impersonal, engagement around feedback can help companies create a warmer relationship with customers and prospects.
If you’d like to reap the benefits of customer engagement, choose a solution that makes it easy to clearly brand all interaction elements – invitations, feedback forms, thank you’s, follow-up emails and all other communications – without extensive and costly support. Make sure your customers know that it is your company that is listening, understanding and acting on their feedback, not a faceless third party.
Can you ask the right questions to get the information you need?
The answers you get depend not only on what you ask, but on how you ask it. Make sure your feedback solution supports a full range of questions, rating scales and free text options. Make sure that the options provided leave room for customers to direct the conversation, so you can learn about “unknown unknowns” – potentially important issues you don’t know to ask about.
Can feedback be integrated with other business systems?
Today, with businesses awash in data from diverse sources, the last thing they need is yet more siloed data. Make sure that the VoC solution that you choose enables customer feedback to be quickly and easily integrated with analytics, CRM and BI tools so it adds additional dimensions to the big picture.
What does deployment entail?
With enterprises depending on increasing numbers of highly complex SaaS solutions, professional service costs are rapidly increasing. Investigate what it takes to deploy the feedback solutions you’re considering. Keep IT costs down by choosing a solution that is easy to deploy and, critically, easy to update.
Ideally, the solution should feature a tag-based approach that can be deployed just once, regardless of changes to the site, and enables feedback elements, feedback touchpoints and triggers to be changed through a management application.
Does it scale?
Make sure that the solution you choose can handle as much feedback as your customers dish out. Look for enterprise-class security, too, to ensure that customer data stays private and protected.
Want to know more about choosing the right solution for your business? Contact us today!
 State of Voice of the Customer Programs, 2014 by Bruce Temkin, Tempkin Group Insight Report, October 2014