Covid-19 is making real-time customer feedback an essential tool

Your customers are spending more time at home and more time shopping online. They expect a seamless buying experience, from browsing to delivery and after-sales support. The current Covid-19 crisis and its lockdowns are giving birth to a new home-centred economy, where delivery of products and customer services have become critical touchpoints in the customer journey. Collecting accurate customer feedback is crucial if businesses are to take full advantage of the challenges and opportunities this new reality presents.

How do you collect accurate feedback from customers? By asking a few key questions at the right time in the customer journey. Our experience reveals that the right time is in real time at the critical touchpoints. Real-time customer feedback will provide businesses with valuable insight to manage their customer experience.

In the current situation, capturing customer feedback in real time provides businesses with the following additional benefits:

1-Accuracy of feedback

Your customers have a lot on their minds right now. They’re anxious and distracted. If you take days or even hours to ask for their views, they are likely to have forgotten their experience with you.

Conducting real-time surveys on delivery experiences during lockdown is likely to yield revealing results. Customers may report high levels of satisfaction with their online shopping experience but, if they pay for next day delivery and it arrives four days later, it will have an inevitable impact on their perception of your brand; even if you outsource delivery to another provider.

Conversely, companies who employ their own delivery team may face a different challenge. Many may be completely unaware of the positive effect their team’s hard work has on customers, until they start measuring the impact of their delivery service on their brand.

Scheduling real-time feedback for when customers receive their goods, rather than when they complete an order, means you can check they are happy with the entire process. Making it a short, simple, effortless experience also increases response rates.

2-Brand perception, customer loyalty and trust

Negative feedback can go viral in no time on social media. Real-time feedback gives you the opportunity to act on any issues right away and go the extra mile. If you resolve the problem quickly, your customers are more likely to forgive you and repeat purchase rather than complain publicly.

Never underestimate the effect that an apology and speedy resolution has on customer recovery. Back in 2001, in their book Service America in the New Economy,   Albrecht and Zemke noted that:

“Of the customers who register a complaint, between 54% and 70% will buy again if their complaint is resolved. The figure goes up to a staggering 95% if the customer feels the complaint was resolved quickly.”

This concept still holds true today. A more recent Harvard Business Review study found that responding quickly to customer complaints makes people willing to pay more in the future. What customers dislike most is the sense of being ignored or not feeling valued.

That is why you need a real-time feedback loop. Waiting a week or more for the results of a customer satisfaction survey just gives them the feeling that they are being ignored or not valued enough.

When customers feel they are important to you and that their opinion matters, they are also more willing to provide feedback in the future. That means you can ask follow-up questions and get to know them better. They are also more inclined to engage with your brand on social media and share positive messages with their network.

3-It gives you a chance to improve

Getting constant real-time feedback sets up opportunities for learning and improving within your company. When you understand the shortcomings that are making customers unhappy with your product or service, you can adapt. It also helps your customer services team to respond sensitively to customer needs and build rapport. 

Positive feedback also boosts employee engagement and stimulates further improvements in customer service. Imagine being a customer service executive who goes the extra mile for a customer and then instantly receives a positive, personalised comment back from them. You’d be much more motivated to continue delivering great service.

Forwarding real-time feedback can also be illuminating for senior leadership teams.  It brings them closer to their customers and drives more customer-centric decision making. It also means you can identify issues, change behaviours and reward top performing employees.

Real-time feedback can help companies adapt quickly to the uncertain times ahead

Powerful real-time feedback means there’s no need for guesswork or lazy assumptions about what customers are thinking in this new home-centred economy. The road ahead is unclear but we are likely to face prolonged periods of physical distancing and intermittent lockdowns. Companies will have to adapt quickly and sensitively to survive in this new world.

Real-time customer feedback can drive performance improvements in your customer services team. It can also encourage customer centricity in your executive team. Above all, it will help you to support your customers during these difficult times in the best way you possibly can.

Would you like to know how our Happ Customer Experience Management Platform can give you real-time customer insight? If so, you can contact us

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