Customer feedback systems: what to look for
Customer feedback systems are evolving rapidly, from static single-channel surveys to multi-channel customer engagement platforms, offering rich analytics. Here’s what to look out for if your company is in the market in the next year.
Core features and functions
Mid-to-large companies should have a checklist of “must-haves” when evaluating a new feedback platform, and it’s important to always compare apples to apples.
Best-in-class customer feedback vendors will offer the following array of features as standard:
- Easy to use self-service functionality
- Multi-channel surveys (email, web, SMS, IVR, in-app)
- Real-time visibility of customer feedback that can easily be organised and shared
- Real-time closed loop feedback process with automated notifications, assignment and escalation of negative feedback
- Text analytics to extract insights from verbatim customer feedback
- Automated customer experience measurement across the whole customer journey
- Conversational analytics software which uses AI to ‘listen’ to customer conversations and tease out insight
- Integrated customer listening across surveys, email, voice and social media
- A complete view of the customer from sentiment to interactions history (“Single View of the Customer”)
Advanced functionality for larger organisations
For large enterprise, the feature-set can be even richer, including:
- Advanced analytics for strategic differentiation and business case justification
- Ability to support multiple brands and divisions in an integrated way
- Ability to process large volumes (e.g. millions of surveys a month)
- Real-time integration with multiple data systems, including two-way integration with CRM
- Conversational analytics which transcribes every customer interaction so it can be automatically analysed for customer sentiment and other insight
- Advanced statistical reporting, such as multi-variate and predictive modelling using business, operational and customer perception data to determine the relationship between experience performance
The ROI and effectiveness of a customer feedback system
Comprehensive research has determined an extremely high correlation between Customer Experience and Loyalty, showing that improving customer experience positively impacts loyalty. This research also shows that a moderate improvement in loyalty will result in a revenue increase. These additional revenues comprise retention of sales, additional sales, new products, word of mouth and forgiven mistakes.
Improving customer experience provides numerous other efficiencies:
- Reduces workload of research and insight teams – the use of AI in conversational analytics also helps automate the insight process
- Frees up resources to focus on improvement rather than measurement and reporting
- Reduces the number of customer complaints
- Generates positive brand stories
- Empowers employees, and
- Drives a customer centric culture
Customer feedback trends and best practices
There are five distinct trends in the way companies are using customer feedback software:
- The first trend is to get more value from existing data. Companies should ask the hard question, is the customer feedback data truly translating into insight and change? Which after all, is the point of gathering it in the first place!
- Secondly, it’s time to consider other feedback sources, e.g. email boxes and voice calls can be automatically analysed by conversational analytics software to supplement feedback and provide 360-degree insight.
- Customer insight executives are challenging themselves with the question, what other operational and business metrics can we integrate with our feedback data to learn more about the cause and effect of poor service delivery?
- It is now best practice to align customer feedback with operational improvement programs that are supported top-down but executed from the ground up.
- And finally, in recognition of the correlation between employee experience and customer experience, companies are integrating employee feedback for an inside-out perspective.
Ask less, analyse more – and how this works in practice
There is a need to rethink traditional surveys as participation rates decrease and customers’ attention shrinks. Companies are evolving their surveys into customer engagements, requiring a new perspective on customer feedback. The idea of “ask less, analyse more” is driven by the fact that we can learn a lot about how customers are thinking without even asking them. This plays out through the use of advanced text analytics to understand customer experience drivers and sentiment. Refined analytics engines are achieving over 90% accuracy. Greater customer insights means companies can:
- Shorten surveys, only asking questions that are absolutely required, e.g. moments of truth. Statistical techniques can inform which questions are redundant.
- Adjust the language and tone of surveys to be more conversational and aligned with the brand.
- Give something back to customers who provide feedback, such as a useful tip.
- Integrate surveys with existing notifications. “Your order has been processed, please take a minute to share your experience?”