The best part of collecting customer feedback is that it makes you gather so much information, tips and insights about your company just by asking the right questions to your customers. Probably one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our century and the mind behind the Tesla Motors and SpaceX Project, Elon Musk, agrees with our opinion about feedback :
“I think it's very important to have a feedback loop, where you're constantly thinking about what you've done and how you could be doing it better. I think that's the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”
With quality customer feedback, you don’t only measure your customers’ satisfaction, but also gain valuable insights to improve your product or service; learn what your customers need or want, so, also improve customer experience. You can make your business decisions easily since you have a better vision of your company's current situation. But how can you gather quality feedback? How we can even measure the quality or as we say in the title: the feedback IQ?
Here is the good news! Since we have been working on feedback technologies for a while, we might have some little tips for you and questions for you to ask yourself to improve your feedback process. :)
In Pisano, we usually divide the whole feedback loop into smaller sections, because makes it easier to analyze the whole process and helps us to define what we need the most.
- Collecting Feedback
- Engaging with Respondents
- Analyzing Data
- Taking Action
These four sections are the must-haves of a healthy feedback process and also what determines the feedback IQ. Let’s take a more detailed look at them and see how to increase feedback IQ, step-by-step.
1. Collecting Feedback
It’s obvious that if you don’t collect, you wouldn’t have the data to work on :) But that doesn’t mean that you should start collecting without even thinking about it. Before you start, plan your feedback flow; which information do you want to gather, what was the reason that made you decide to collect the data, or just an easy WHY?
It is very important to ask this first question and answer it properly because it will take us to another significant point: the channels you collect from.
Channels are the paths that transmit feedback directly to you. Whether you have an online business or a physical store, a restaurant, or a service; channels are the touchpoints to gather feedback from your customers or audience. To increase your feedback IQ, you should use all the channels that are relevant to you effectively. From which channels do you collect feedback? Do you have only one channel or have multiple channels at the same time? Are these channels integrated? Are the purposes of each channel the same? Gathering feedback from multiple, integrated channels is great for your feedback IQ.
Volume is another important part of the collecting process. How often do you collect feedback? What about the volume? How many questions do you ask? Asking more questions might give you more information about your customers but it affects their experience too. Don’t hold them too long, you don’t want feedback from someone who is bored.
Are you able to design dynamic surveys, or push different questions on different channels/nodes? Dynamic surveys enable you to dynamically tailor a survey, based on how people answer questions. So you can show different questions, to different members of your target group or change the flow of the survey based on previous answers. Don’t ask more questions, ask smart questions.
How easy is it to give feedback to your customers? Is the customer identified or do you collect anonymous feedback? Knowing your customers and knowing who prefers what is very important in terms of your decisions. Depending on their complaints, you may need to respond to your customers or offer promotions based on customer profiles. You do this by obtaining permission from your customers and getting them to share their data with you.
2. Engaging With Respondents
Lots of people confuse the whole feedback process with the collecting part. You ask questions, get the answers and that’s all? Not at all, that’s just the beginning!
Thanks to never-ending development of technology, we can do things that we couldn’t even imagine ten or twenty years ago, in the age of classical, paper forms paper froms - yes you guessed right: customer engagement. Right now, we quickly gather feedback and we can speak to the customers immediately after. So ask yourself: How long does it take for you to receive feedback? And do you get back to the respondent?
If you quickly get back to respondents, communicate effectively and finally solve issues; yes, that means you are closer to be a feedback genius! Unfortunately, everything doesn’t go so smoothly all time, and even if you're responding to feedback effectively, you still might have some missing pieces: Do you collaborate on some feedback/cases/issues? How are you being notified/informed about feedback? Who is responsible for engagement with respondents?
It is a good idea to turn feedback away from a one-time interaction and transform it into a continuous structure. For example, you can regularly share the developments in your product or service with your customers and request feedback from them. It is very important for you to communicate well with your customers beginning from their first feedback. If you are looking for a loyal customer base, you should approach the process holistically from the moment your customer first arrives with your product or service, and consider the feedback process accordingly.
You can easily measure the success of your engagement process with a systematic approach. Define what to measure and how your organisation is going to track it.
What are your metrics? For example, do you use any of the criteria listed below?:
- Closed Ratio: After the request or complaint in customer feedback is resolved and the case is archived, we classify feedback as closed.
- Response Rate: It is the stage of communication with the customer, immediately after receiving the feedback.
- Time to Close: The time from when the feedback is given until the closing
- Time to First Action: The time until performing one of the specified actions.
Do you have an Organisation of Engagement with Respondents? If you do, is one of the following actions included in this organization?
- Escalation: There may be cases when the customer is not happy with the interaction with the employee they are addressing and there is no progress on the interview. In such cases, the customer is contacted by a more qualified employee and this process is called escalation.
- Routing: The process of transferring feedback to the specified person or persons.
- Closing: It is the archiving of the feedback by resolving the request or problem.
- Tagging: Categorisation of feedback based on context
3. Analyzing Data
Analysis means, an examination of data and facts to uncover and understand cause-effect relationships, thus providing a basis for problem-solving and decision making. To be honest, this is a very cool way of saying reports. Reports are made of numbers, outcomes, statistics, and all the data that is pulled out of your feedback loop. But every organization has different reporting habits and structures that directly affect their feedback IQ.
How do you get reports? On a webpage, Excel table or as a presentation? Even if the content is the same, the type of a report can change your focal spot. What do you have in your reports? Feedback stats, engagement stats, hierarchical or flat… The frequency of reports and the people who get the reports are as important as the reports themselves. Daily, weekly or monthly… Determine your frequency and stick with it. Based on your organizational structure, you can share your reports with all of your colleagues or just with related departments.
Reports can demonstrate what your customers want you to change in your business, and as your business changes your reports should be able to evolve too. Flexibility in reports can enhance your company’s vision. Are you able to generate your own report in formats such as PNG, PPT, PDF, CSV or Excel? How often do you need a change in your reporting? What is the process of changing your reporting?
4. Taking Action
It’s the last step but let’s go back to the beginning for an instant. What led you to consider collecting feedback in the first place. More traffic to your website, more happy customers in your hotel, more purchases on your company’s web store? Do you have a specific purpose for this project? You should take action based on the feedback you gather and implement what you see in the reports, into real life. Do you take any action according to the feedback collected? What are the actions you take; are they micro or macro?
According to a research by Aberdeen Group, The ROI on Customer Feedback, when it comes to establishing a team or a committee dedicated to customer feedback management, for example, Best-in-Class leads Laggards by only a narrow margin (35% vs. 21%). The same report says that 85% of companies don't take immediate action on individual customer feedback. That means you can shine out with a well-defined organization when taking action.
You might be a part of a big organization and you might have a whole team dedicated to acting on feedback. Who/Which team runs the feedback operations? Do you or your company measure the success of the action you take? Do you have a Metric/KPI set defined and are these linked to bonuses? Do you have an operational structure to run this program?
Action is like the tip of the mountain or the cherry on top, if you worked hard to increase your feedback quality, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts at this point.
Decisions supported by feedback data are stronger and more objective, of course. But to make decisions, you need to have strong and objective data to start with. All the questions above serve to make you have a better, more detailed, and healthier feedback process. But if you need a little more help to answer them, we’d be more than happy to meet you :)
At Pisano, we come to work every day to make the world a better place for people, by empowering decisions with feedback. We serve hundreds of international brands and teams of experts in almost every sector imaginable.