Instead of guessing what your customers want and how you can enhance your interactions with them, wouldn't you rather know? While soliciting feedback can be a hair-raising experience, it's also one of the best tools in your arsenal for building better customer experiences.
Collecting customer feedback and aggregating the information to look for patterns in the service or product experience provides insights into what's working and what isn't. You can then use those insights to improve operations, better train employees, and simplify processes that add friction to the customer experience.
But before we dig into how you can leverage this powerful approach across the customer, patient, or citizen journey, let’s first look at what we mean by “customer feedback.”
What is customer feedback?
Customer feedback is information that customers provide regarding their satisfaction and experience with your product or service. Companies typically collect this information via survey after a service or transaction has been rendered.
Aggregating customer feedback with customer data collected across the customer, patient, or citizen journey gives you a better picture of your entire customer experience. It also provides you with insights into your customers’ perception of your organization.
5 ways customer feedback improves your organization
There are several ways you can optimize the customer experience and operations. For example, you can review data on average wait times and explore solutions that can help you automate part of the experience or reduce the friction from it.
Likewise, you can look at appointment scheduling data to see which services are the most in demand and which days and time slots drive the most foot traffic to your location, facility, or office. While all this information is great and important, getting customer feedback provides actionable data that directly pinpoint gaps and issues in your service delivery.
Here are some benefits you can expect by leveraging customer feedback for your organization.
Improves customer service
Knowing how employees perform can be difficult without customer feedback or reports. You may be operating on assumptions of how the service is going instead of having verifiable data to understand how to improve it.
Customer feedback removes ambiguity about employee performance. In customers’ own words, you can understand exactly what part of the experience they’re most unsatisfied with. You can then use this information to identify top performers, distill what they’re doing, and then use that information to train other employees.
Just as you can use customer feedback to improve customer service, you can do the same with products. Through customer feedback, you can determine what features customers enjoy most, which ones to improve, and new ideas that can be implemented to improve the product. Additionally, you can improve operations by understanding which products customers like best — enabling you to ensure that stock levels are kept at optimal levels.
Increase customer stickiness
Requesting customer feedback and then implementing the suggestions can help you improve retention. That's because it makes people feel like you value their opinion, making them more apt to continue working with your organization and later become brand ambassadors — sharing their positive experiences with friends and family, which can also lead to new business coming in through referrals.
Drive new customer acquisition
Word-of-mouth recommendations are extremely valuable for your customers. Just think back to a time when you were looking for a service provider or looking to purchase a product. It's likely you talked to your closest peers before moving forward with a service or transaction. Customer feedback works the same way. As we said earlier, when people feel like they’re being valued, they are more likely to share the details of that experience with their friends.
If you see that a specific experience comes up repeatedly in customer feedback reports, you can look at how you can leverage automation and other tools to make that experience more seamless.
For example, you may find that people want more virtual meeting options. You can then explore how to include virtual meetings as part of your appointment scheduling strategy. Not only does streamlining operations help you deliver better customer experiences, but you can also realize cost savings by automating repetitive tasks, providing more self-serve options, and more.
How to Unlock the Power of Customer Feedback Across the Customer Journey
While no one likes a negative review, they're a great source for identifying areas for improvement. And several points throughout the customer, patient, or citizen experience are replete with opportunities to collect customer feedback.
So how can you collect this vital information across several touchpoints?
Include feedback surveys in customer portals or appointment-scheduling tools
A great way to get pre-arrival feedback is to include a customer feedback survey in the customer portal or appointment scheduling tools. The information generated from these systems can be used to provide a personalized experience that will keep customers engaged and happy. It also sets them up to have a positive view of your organization before they move to the next step of their customer journey, which is typically arriving at your location.
Send feedback survey via SMS and Email
With the average person spending upwards of six hours on their phones daily, using this channel to get customer feedback at different parts of the customer journey makes sense. Even more so when you consider that speed matters when collecting feedback.
The faster you send a survey out, the better the chance that the customer, patient, or visitor will fill it out and complete it. To increase completion rates, customer surveys sent out via SMS can be configured in several ways to improve completion rates.
For example, you can send them a link that opens a web browser with a form, or customers can respond to individual texts until the survey is complete. The key is to keep the number of questions low.
Leverage QR codes as a way to get feedback
QR codes have more uses than just scanning them to access a restaurant's paperless menu. They can be posted at different counters, waiting areas, and other key areas. Customers can then use their smartphone's camera to scan the QR code, which provides a link to open up the survey.
Leverage feedback terminal onsite
Like QR codes, you can use a feedback terminal at key locations such as counters or reception to collect customer feedback. Once they’ve been helped, customers, patients, or visitors can rate the service provided with a push of a button. A feedback terminal facilitates this by using smiley buttons that instantly capture feedback as soon as the visitor has been helped.
Integrate feedback surveys in your app
If you have an app that customers, patients, and visitors can use to book appointments, communicate with staff, and check the status of products/services, integrating feedback surveys for each interaction in the app is a great way to get information.
Bringing customer feedback surveys to life
Knowing how you can leverage customer feedback surveys throughout the customer journey, you might wonder how you can collect and aggregate this information. After all, the idea is to collect all this information, codify it, and extract the insights in real-time in one dashboard.
The solution is a customer journey management solution like Qmatic. One that enables you to leverage all of the aforementioned ways to use customer feedback and collect the responses in one platform.
Doing so not only simplifies getting access to this information but also uses the power of business intelligence to surface actionable insights to improve the customer experience and operations.
Embracing customer feedback
Many organizations don't request customer feedback because they fear a negative review. But rather than avoid it, you should embrace it. It's one of the greatest sources of information that can enhance how you run your organization and grow.
The key to working around negative feedback is responding quickly to customers and telling them how you've implemented their suggestions. In doing so, you can turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal brand advocate and enjoy all the benefits of using customer feedback for your organization.
A customer journey management solution enables you to automate the feedback process and collect all the information you need in one place. Then all you need to do is implement the findings. Interested in learning more about Qmatic's customer feedback journey? Connect with one of our specialists to learn more.