Customer feedback is, arguably, the most valuable information your business can receive. After all, just because a customer has paid you money, it doesn’t necessarily make them a happy or satisfied client and won’t prevent them from shopping around. Delighting your customer with an exceptional experience tailored to their needs, is one of the most effective ways to drive loyalty, so any opportunity you have to gather customer feedback should be seized – as well as proactively pursued.
Here are some of the ways you can integrate customer feedback as part of an overall marketing strategy.
Methods for gathering customer feedback
Online surveys, feedback forms, and product review sites are all common methods for capturing customer feedback but there are also several informal channels that should not be overlooked for gathering valuable insight into the perception of your brand and offering.
Your sales and service professionals are the eyes and ears of your business and as front line staff they are able to tactfully draw out honest, unfiltered insights from your customers through their day to day interactions. With good CRM integration, you can ensure all of your teams can share the benefits of that up to date prospect knowledge.
Social listening tools, such as Hootsuite, allow you to monitor mentions of your brand name and accounts across social channels. This allows you to see indirect mentions, where users may be informally discussing opinions and experiences with your company. Similarly, you can monitor other online communities by setting up Google Alerts to notify when particular keywords appear online.
However, as we mentioned earlier, it is vital to be proactive in soliciting customer feedback to capture insight across a representative segment of your audience, not just from those who are most vocal. In this respect, more traditional, personal approaches offer many benefits.
Phone surveys can be targeted to reach parts of your audience that aren’t responsive to digital channels and at any stage of their journey with you. Through human to human interaction a specialist interviewer can build rapport and probe gently for information below the surface, digging deeper to fully qualify the customer’s response and build richer insight, at the same time taking account of tone of voice and emotion conveyed.
Similarly, focus groups that capture feedback from customers face to face using guided or open discussions also have the ability to capture more detailed information about customer feelings, perceptions and opinions. In addition, a skilled moderator can steer the discussion to clarify particular elements of feedback or unveil insight around key aspects of a product or service.
Strengthen your customer service with deeper insight
No one customer is the same, which means that there is something to learn from every interaction you have with them. Take the opportunity to embed their feedback and your learnings into your support processes, whether that’s in continually educating your teams for better, more thorough customer service responses or flagging the need for action or additional communication at earlier stages in the journey. Fully understanding feedback is essential, particularly in respect to negative feedback. For example, rather than just capturing ratings earned by agents managing your web chat function, where ratings are poor, understand which aspects of the experience were poor and why, and how could they be improved.
Devise smarter channel strategy
The more you know and can find out about your audience, the better you’ll be able to reach them through channels and media that resonates.
Your insight can inform the customer personas that feed your overall strategy, it can help tailor your message across each of your marketing channels, and inform the content you deliver on your website. Whilst this can’t necessarily be personalised to every individual, it can ensure you can segment strategically, targeting a relevant message to the right people at the right stage of the customer journey, increasing the likelihood of a positive response. It can also help you understand communication preferences and inform how you interact with each audience to ensure your message is visible and your customer experience optimised. If, for example, you know that a particular subset of your target audience is more responsive to email marketing, whilst another prefers to interact with your brand’s Facebook presence, you can tailor your language and key messages according to those preferences.
Boost conversions with actionable insight
One to one channels such as telemarketing or telesales/inside sales provide a real opportunity to glean valuable insight from prospective and returning customers to inform your sales efforts, particularly where a systematic approach and clear lead definitions are applied via a dedicated lead generation or lead qualification team. Through personal, real-time voice interactions, your teams can build a full understanding of the needs, concerns and objections of prospects and then tailor a response in real-time, with a relevant proposition for that individual. With this level of prospect intelligence, not only can poor prospects be qualified out so they don’t waste sales time, the leads that do reach sales are thoroughly qualified and sales-ready, enhanced with valuable insight that increases their chance of conversion.
Share feedback regularly
Ultimately, unless the intel you have gathered is shared regularly across your business, you will forever be chasing your tail. It’s vital to close the feedback loop so that you can harness the voice of your customer and adapt your customer experience consistently across each business function, at the same time demonstrating that you listen and care about the needs of your customers.
At The Telemarketing Company, we have delivered high quality, unscripted telemarketing, telesales and market research services for almost 30 years. Our specialist market research and telemarketing agents can help gather valuable prospect, customer and marketing intelligence to inform your strategy and drive business growth.
If you would like to find out how we can help you refine your approach with a deeper understanding of your customer and prospect needs, contact us today.