How To Listen To Customers

listen, listen to, listeners

There has never been a time where the voice of customers has been more accessible to businesses. They are voicing their opinions out on Twitter, endorsing products on Instagram and shooting branded TikTok content with subliminal messaging- all so that they can tell businesses what they want and how they want it.

It falls on businesses to proactively collect their responses, track their experiences, analyze them and use it to grow future sales revenue. To effectively track the voice of your customers, here are some ways to acquire customer feedback:

Web Surveys
Web surveys are the most traditional form of collecting feedback.

Growing customer experience data through email campaigns or surveys placed on digital assets is a tried-and-tested feedback collection method. These surveys are often used to calculate metrics like Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Scores and Net Promoter Score (NPS). These analytics give businesses clarity about their product and brand penetration in the market.

While creating a web survey, it is very easy to fall into the trap of creating framed questions that put your customers in a box. It is important to give them options more than a simple yes or no and to make sure they have room to express themselves instead of solely giving you answers to questions you ask. If the survey is highly structured with no room for the customer to express their thoughts, the results can often misrepresent the reality of your customer’s experience.

In-App Ratings

In web and mobile applications, embedding surveys within an application has proved to be highly successful. Since it is integrated with the user journey, the conversion rate of customers leaving feedback is high. A rating scale to gauge how a customer has engaged with the whole experience is a great start to understanding their experience. Having the number on a scale removes any ambiguity and helps businesses make strategic decisions based solely on the numbers.

In-app ratings are a great start to acquiring customer experience analytics, but they can’t be the only way a business obtains customer feedback. When a customer leaves a rating, it is difficult to understand the reason behind their rating. Businesses make assumptions about what is working and what is not, without having heard the voice of their customers.

Voice Feedback Collection
When a business proactively talks to their customers, they gain authentic customer sentiments. Voice feedback can be used to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your business, gaps in your customer journey and find out who your promoters and influencers are.

One way of collecting voice feedback is through an agency model or a dedicated Customer Experience team that makes regular phone calls to a set of customers. This can often be expensive and heavy on the manpower. Even analyzing the results takes time, which results in the delay of timely analytics for market growth.

Another way to directly listen to your customers is by organizing a focus group. This is an interactive way of getting extensive customer and market feedback. They need to be well-structured both in terms of the questions used to gather feedback as well as the sample of customers chosen for the focus group. Fine-tuning a focus group that represents your entire customer experience is one of the most challenging aspects of managing the focus group.

There is no doubt that the quality of acquiring feedback over phone calls and focus groups is high, but they are extremely dependant on manpower and resources. The delays in making sense of the data can make it an inefficient process considering the dynamic market changes.

Alternatively, incorporating applications that use technology to automate customer feedback acquisition is a great way to collect feedback in high numbers efficiently. The automated phone calls and voice-based surveys once recorded can give businesses direct access to voice testimonials and feedback. Advanced data and speech analytics products can help in converting recorded feedback into business intelligence quickly and in a cost-effective manner.

These innovative technologies are just entering the market but aligning their customer experience strategy with such solutions can help them gain an edge over their competition.