How to improve customer experience with customer feedback
In the past several years, Google and other search engines have been shifting the value a brand has from the optimization it offers to the actual benefits customers can reap from it. So, rather than focusing solely on optimizing its website and content, a business should always prioritize the needs of its customers. Customer experience (CX) has always been a fundamental element in creating a strong and lasting brand. Today, we discuss how to improve customer experience with customer feedback, why the two are so important, as well as the benefits and methods for gathering customer feedback.
What is Customer Experience (CX) today?
- The customer experience (CX) presents the summary of experiences that consumers have with your business – from being targeted by your marketing efforts, visiting your website, and reaching out for a consultation – to converting into customers, using your products/services, and rating the entire process.
The basic rules of creating a good customer experience
Customer experience has always been the very core of any successful company. Today, more than ever before – modern consumerism controls the direction in which the development of a brand will go. That is why every smart company still maintains the idea of going the extra mile to ensure the satisfaction of the majority of its customers. However, given the long-term complexity of such an undertaking, this strategy is one that requires a holistic and well-planned approach in three fundamental ways:
Diversity in brand exposure
You need to make sure that your brand gains as wide a presence as possible. To achieve this, you need to research all the different channels your target audience uses and establish their expectations. From advertising your business to developing a strong website with engaging content, you need to establish a digital foothold. The next step would be to boost your presence on other websites, social media platforms, business listings, etc. Add to that the interaction of your sales team with customers and the support for the use of your products/services, and you get a strong foundation for positive customer experience.
Consistency in execution
The strength of your exposure goes beyond its range and into its depth. Your actions need to portray devotion to your customers and their experience with your business. From your products/services to your marketing, software, sales, and support efforts – it all needs to meet high standards. By delivering top-quality value to your customers, you gain the chance to ascend as a brand to an authoritative image in your niche and market. This means that everything from the website design and choice of content, to visuals for ads and the language of your support team – need to excel in quality.
Constant monitoring and adaptation
The experience of your customers is a fragile and sensitive matter, one that you need to nurture and guide constantly. The best way to accomplish this is by monitoring any changes in customer feedback, consumer trends, social events, touchpoints, etc. By monitoring all activities and shifts, you will be in a better position to react with haste and adapt ahead of your competitors. This can help you maintain your place in a competitive market, and even improve it on certain occasions.
What is Customer Feedback?
- Customer feedback is the information a business receives from customers, expressing their satisfaction with the performance of its staff, products, services, brand, etc.
Basically, it is a way for a business to receive confirmation of whether or not they are doing a good job in the eyes of their customers. Simple enough. But that is only one side of the coin, where you get a YES or NO answer to whether or not others are satisfied with your company. On the other hand, going deeper into the answers and asking more specific questions can easily help businesses gain more valuable insight which can lead to boosting customer experience.
What deeper role does customer feedback play?
Although modern consumers might consider “customer surveys” to be outdated and useless, the truth couldn’t be farther from this claim. Companies still use customer surveys, be it through direct contact, email marketing, or social media channels. After all, with such a high level of competitiveness in the modern market, potential customers need every advantage they can get to choose the best brand for their needs. And boosting your customer experience through customer feedback is a well-establish means to accomplish just that, as extensive studies demonstrate as well.
Studies from 20 years ago show the same (if not stronger) confirmation of the claim that customer feedback plays an essential role in raising brand awareness. Basically, when you cross-compare a group of customers that are surveyed with one that is not, the results are staggering:
- Surveyed customers are more likely to create new accounts and return to the business. They are also less likely to defect so long as their experience was a positive one.
The psychological effect is obvious – customers respond better to getting the opportunity to offer their feedback and express their CX to both the company and other users and potential customers. It gives them the opportunity to express their satisfaction while also offering suggestions or raising concerns on how a business can do better. And this is the basic example of just how one can improve customer experience with customer feedback.
The potential benefits of customer feedback
It helps companies establish a connection with customers
Brand humanization is one of the larger obstacles that most companies face. You have a trained and experienced staff, equipped with all the resources they need to provide customers with top-quality products/services. But you still need those same customers to look past the company logo and put a face on your business. You need users to connect with your brand through emotion or experience, or anything that will help them form a long-term bond.
A company that fails to show any concern for the opinions or concerns of their target audience is one that is most likely operating on a third of its capacity. According to MarketingDive research, over two-thirds of modern consumers are more likely to opt for a business that portrays concern for their opinion. Whether or not the customer feedback is positive or negative, there is a lesson to be learned on both sides, and the sooner a company realizes that, the better its position will be to improve its customer experience.
You can improve customer experience by responding to negative customer feedback
Although consumers are more likely to leave a review if their experience was a bad one, it is still far from your preferred percentage of feedback. If a business doesn’t establish itself as a brand that cares, customers are much less likely to respond by offering their opinion and more likely to switch between different businesses until they find the perfect one. Some companies might consider this to be a good thing because – who actually wants to get negative customer feedback for their products/services? The answer is simple.
Companies that truly care about improving their business and growing their brand will want to take every opportunity to do so. And dealing with negative customer reviews is one of the ways to show others just how much your brand is aware of and how much it cares. In truth, customer feedback, good or bad, gives you a map of potential moves that you can make to repair your pre-existing or potential issues. And the sooner business owners realize this, the less likely they will make mistakes that might cost them much more in terms of customers and revenue.
It boosts customer retention rate
The fact is that customers who manage to find a brand that cares and is responsive to both good and bad reviews are easily swayed to stick with that brand. To put it more plainly – customer feedback leads to a chance to improve customer experience, which results in long-term customer loyalty. And this is especially important for companies that wish to retain as many customers as possible, as it lowers the volume of resources they need to invest to accomplish that goal.
Happy customers are customers that are willing to return and do business again. Not only that, but they are also more inclined to refer your business to others, offering strong arguments as to how your business stands out from the competition. And as we already know, word-of-mouth marketing remains one of the most effective forms of advertising and gaining new customers.
Gain a better understanding of your customers
Every feedback you get from customers is a chance for your business to learn and adapt. When you look beyond the simple notions of responding to feedback from customers, you can also come across a more in-depth truth of who your actual customers are. Rather than relying just on market research and consumer trends, you can learn from first-hand opinions from your customers. And for companies that are willing to take the time to go through it and analyze it, they can gain a competitive advantage.
By learning the behavior of your customers through their comments on your business, you can indeed improve customer experience. Not only that, but you can further re-center your targeting efforts to attract just the right crowd to your website and brand. You can tailor your strategies and efforts into a perfect answer to the needs of the majority of your customers.
The different ways of collecting customer feedback
Having gotten to the answer to how customer feedback can help you improve customer experience, we need to tackle another matter – how to get it. Simple as it might appear, there are different approaches to gathering feedback from customers, depending on the niche and type of products/services. Just like the professional NYC digital marketing solutions our agency provides, the best way to get the most from customers is by combining different tactics. The more data you gather, the higher your chances will be to improve your business and secure a higher level of customer experience in the aftermath. So, here are four basic approaches that you can take:
#1: Customer Feedback Surveys
Your textbook example of how to gather feedback from customers. Everyone had at least one experience with making a purchase or using a service and receiving a customer feedback survey to fill out. However, despite popular belief, there is a good and a bad way to approach this. A typical example of customer feedback surveys is those that include either too many questions or questions that are irrelevant and can offer no real insight. Instead, a company needs to focus on asking the right questions and limiting them in terms of time and energy it takes to answer them.
Customers thrive under limitations, whether we are discussing short ads, engaging content, or customer feedback surveys. You just need to take the time to consider the questions you are asking customers and limiting your survey to a particular interest area. For example, if you are aware of the strong sides of your company, why even focus on them in your survey? You can point all your questions toward the arguable or experimental products/services that your business provides. Consider a switch-between combination of the following types of surveys:
- Multi-step single question surveys. They keep the customers focused on each question and offer the incentive that the survey could end with any question asked.
- Short online surveys. One or two questions long, these surveys can focus on specific interest areas that can influence your customer experience.
- Long online surveys. Much like specific forms that customers can fill out to provide more general information when it comes to your company and their experience.
- Descriptions surveys. Sometimes, companies have difficulties finding the right questions to ask. Here, you can offer customers a topic on which they can elaborate in their own words, much like a review of their experience.
#2: Email Campaigns
In the past, we explore just how important email marketing still is for businesses. Despite the introduction of social media networks, email still remains to be the primary channel for businesses to communicate with customers. Whether you are looking for a way to advertise your business, retarget customers, or get customer feedback necessary to improve customer experience – email campaigns can help you achieve that. In this particular case, it’s a simple matter of sending a follow-up email, asking customers for feedback. Why is it so effective?
- Since it is a private communication channel, not visible to others, customers tend to be more honest. The feedback you receive here can express the true feelings customer have towards your business.
- You can personalize your relationship with customers for more detailed insight. By providing customers with an actual personalized response, you can gain more feedback from them, helping you humanize your brand in their eyes. Additionally, this can also help a business improve the overall customer experience instantly.
#3: Online Review Sites
With consumers coming to rely so much on feedback and reviews before making their buying decisions, they’ve come to rely on third-party review sites. Since they are basically neutral ground, reviews are more honest and open for all to explore. More than half of online users rely on third-party sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Reviews, etc. to gain insight on companies before opting for their services. Additionally, roughly a quarter of consumers today search through social media reviews when vetting businesses.
That is why establishing a strong presence on third-party review websites is so important for strengthening your brand. Not only is it important for gaining customer feedback, but SEO agencies also recommend it as a means to gain value for your business. The approach here is simple enough:
- Create an account for your business on an online reviews site;
- Respond to concerns from customers and thank them for their feedback;
- Resolve as many issues as possible, and offer promises of tending to the ones that require more time to confront.
#4: Social Media
Consumers have become very dependant on the information they gather through social media networks. So much so that they’ve become the first source customers (especially younger ones) turn to when looking for more information about a company. That is why more and more agencies are committing their resources and services to social media marketing solutions. The basic rules for social media engagement are what we’ve already learned:
- Engage in conversations.
- Act like a human being.
- Ask specific questions with a goal in mind.
Social media is a great place to share surveys and incentivize clients to partake in a customer feedback questionnaire.
Start focusing on the improvement of your customer experience
Much like digital marketing, quality products, or business software, positive customer experience can bring a lot of good for your business. It is one of the ways to gain a competitive advantage while expanding your customer base in the process. And customer feedback is the way to achieve it. So, if you want to improve customer experience with customer feedback, take notice of all the advice we offer here and start making your case. In time, you will find it to be an invaluable resource in building a lasting brand with strong relationships and partnerships.
- For any additional questions in regards to how you should approach this task, feel free to contact Digital Dot and schedule a consultation with our team.