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Capturing customer feedback in physical locations

20th Jan 2022
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Customer Feedback at Physical Locations
Customer Feedback at Physical Locations

Customer Feedback is important information that every business needs. While most big businesses have a digital presence nowadays, still, there are many small and middle-level businesses that do not have an online presence.

These businesses usually don’t capture any details of the customers. And in most cases, many customers would not be comfortable sharing their details like phone numbers and email addresses. Customers step into such physical locations and stores, buy the products or services, and leave the place. Sometimes, the store owners or staff ask the customers personally for feedback. Still, in-person feedback is not so reliable and accurate as many customers hesitate to share negative feedback bluntly.

This article is for you if you are into any business where customers come, buy, eat, get their services, pay money, and go! In this article, we will tell you some great ways of capturing Customer Feedback at physical locations and stores.

Let’s list out some great ways to capture Customer Feedback at physical locations and stores:

Ways to Capture Customer Feedback at Physical Locations and Stores

  1. Paper Feedback
  2. QR Code
  3. Survey Kiosks
  4. Web-based Feedback
  5. Feedback Terminals
  6. Link-Based Feedback

Let’s explore each of them and tell you what these methods are, how they help capture Customer Feedback, and some of their pros and cons to decide which way is best for your business.

1.   Paper Feedback

Paper Feedback is an old traditional method of taking Customer Feedback. In this method, either you can straightaway reach your customers with a pen and paper feedback form and request the customers to fill the form, or the paper feedback forms are available at touch points or counters within the premises.

Also, suggestion boxes are installed in the location, and the customers can take the feedback survey forms, fill them and drop them in the suggestion boxes. Although with the advent of digital technology and online feedback methods, this way seems a bit outdated, it is still used by many brick and mortar businesses to collect Customer Feedback.

Pros

  • Simple and Easy Way - It is effortless to set up this feedback system, and the feedback process is simple for both the businesses and the customers.
  • Suits small Businesses - It is a perfect way of taking feedback for very small businesses like shops, small departmental stores, and food outlets. The business owners can personally view the feedback received and ensure action on them.
  • Cost-Effective - The method is cost-effective; the only cost involved is printing survey forms and installing a suggestion box.

Cons

  • Limited to Small Businesses only -This method doesn’t suit large-scale businesses as it is hard to collect and compile paper data for bulk customers.
  • Doesn't work to analyze feedback trends - This method doesn’t work to analyze the trends of feedback over time, unlike the Customer Feedback Software nowadays.
  • Difficult to follow up - In this method, it’s hard to follow up with the customers as they do not necessarily provide their details like phone numbers and email addresses to contact them.

2.   QR Code

QR Codes are machine-readable codes that are made of black and white squares. Information like URLs is stored in these codes and accessed through QR code machines, apps, and nowadays cameras of smartphones too. In this process, QR codes are printed and framed in the areas of business premises where the customers can easily scan them to open and fill the survey on their smartphones.

Pros

  • Easy to Promote - QR Codes are super easy to promote and display. They can be easily printed, framed, and kept at a place where they are easily visible, like a wall, a table, or a counter.
  • Easy for the customers to open surveys and provide feedback - The process is very easy for the customers. They don’t need to type in any URL or write their answers with a pen and submit physical forms. They can quickly scan the codes with their smartphones and take the survey.
  • No Paper Work involved - In this process, no paperwork is required as the process is entirely run on a digital platform. This saves the cost of paper and is also good for the environment.

Cons

  • Not Feasible without smartphones - The only limitation is that it can capture feedback just from those customers who own a smartphone. Although 80.76% of the global population now uses smartphones. However, if you have a customer base that involves a considerable number of people who don’t use smartphones, then this method is not successful for you.

3.   Survey Kiosks

Kiosk Surveys take customer feedback by setting up Survey Kiosks at appropriate areas in the physical locations and stores. A survey Kiosk is a physical device, typically a touchscreen tablet set up on a small kiosk platform. The customers can tap the kiosk screen to take a survey and submit the responses without much assistance.

Tablets are set up as unattended kiosks at key locations where the customers who want to share feedback can take the survey easily and submit their responses.

Pros:

  • Highly Visible, don’t require promotion - Survey Kiosks are highly visible and do not need any promotion. The customers who have some feedback in mind themselves approach the kiosk and take the survey.
  • Easy process for the customers - Customers do not have to write or copy a URL for taking the survey. Neither do they have to fill a paper survey form. They just have to approach the survey, tap the touchscreen kiosk to fill the survey, and submit their responses.
  • Capture At-the-moment Feedback - One of the advantages of Kiosk Surveys is that they can capture the real customer insights and emotions when they visit the stores and avail your products and services. This increases the accuracy of the responses, as the feedback is fresh in their minds.
  • Covers Non-buyers also - This method is not limited to only those customers who purchased your products, but it also captures the emotions of those non-buyers who canceled making a purchase. This is really helpful as it captures the feelings and reasons which caused the customers to decide not to purchase. It can be the lack of variety of products, non-welcoming staff, or any other experience that leads to a no-purchase or cart abandonment.

Cons:

  • Expensive - As Kiosk Surveys involve a physical device, i.e., a tablet and a podium, it becomes somewhat expensive to capture Customer Feedback.
  • Captures immediate emotions rather than overall experience - Now, it was one of the advantages to capture the immediate customer insights, but at the same time, it can become a limitation when Kiosk Surveys fail to capture the overall experience. At times, people visit a store and have a good shopping experience, but they face one bad aspect of the experience, which disturbs their current frame of mind, and they give negative feedback before leaving the store.

On the other hand, if they just scan a QR code or provide feedback with another means that gives them some time to analyze the experience, they tend to consider all the aspects of the overall experience, and based on that, they respond to the survey.

4.   Web-based Feedback

Web-Based Surveys is one of the most common methods used for capturing Customer Feedback. This method is used both for capturing online as well as offline feedback. When we talk about in-store feedback, certain URLs are provided to promote the feedback survey. The URLs or QR Codes are printed and framed in those areas of the physical stores where the customers can easily view them and use them to take the survey.

The customers log in to that link provided through the URL through their smartphones and other digital devices like tablets to take the survey.

Pros

  • Easy and Simple way to take Feedback - It is one of the easiest ways to take feedback from your customers. You just have to create and share a URL link with your customers, and using the link; the customers can open the survey, fill it, and submit the responses.
  • Cost-Effective Way - It is a pocket-friendly way for shopkeepers to take web-based surveys. No pen and paper, suggestion boxes, a digital device, or podium is needed from the shopkeeper’s end. Just a URL to provide to the customers, and they can take the survey using their smartphones.
  • Runs on easy Promotion - The method doesn’t need any special promotion. You just need to make the URL and Survey invitation message clearly visible to your customers at your store.
  • Suitable for asking Logical Questions -With the help of good Survey Software, you can set up logical questions in your web-based surveys so that different questions are open for different respondents according to their responses to the previous question.

Cons

  • URLs seem complex and time-consuming to type - People nowadays don’t have so much time to type the URL manually to open and take the survey, so it seems hard for them to type a URL in their devices and then provide responses. For this reason, customers tend to avoid taking the survey and providing feedback unless they have a specific important complaint or concern to share. All this results in a low response rate.

5.   Feedback Terminals

A Feedback Terminal is a physical device installed to capture a large amount of anonymous feedback data at locations like stores, airports, hotels, and institutions from customers, travelers, students, guests, and employees.

These devices have buttons that indicate the respondents' feedback, like smiley buttons representing their emotions. The customers can press one of those buttons that match their feeling about their experience.

Pros

  • Good Response Rate - Feedback Terminals helps you get a good response rate on your surveys because of their simplicity and ease of use. Customers can easily understand and press the button depicting their genuine emotions, and they are done with the survey.
  • Effective for capturing Basic Feelings - You can install multiple feedback terminals in different areas to know and track the customers’ basic feelings at various touchpoints. They help to track the sentiments of the customers easily with every aspect of your business.
  • Simple and less time-consuming to use - These devices are very simple to use and do not consume much time for your customers. So the customers need not wait for anybody to give feedback; they can simply approach the terminal, share feedback by pressing the appropriate button and submit their response.

Cons

  • Expensive - The method involves the cost of the device and the setup of the feedback terminal that makes it a bit expensive.
  • Can capture inappropriate data - Sometimes, children in the stores press buttons of the device playfully, thus causing irrelevant data to be captured.
  • No way to Follow Up - As the feedback collected is anonymous, you cannot follow up with the particular customers to understand the WHY behind their feedback and take corrective action. Especially in the case of negative feedback, you can just make improvements in your business, announce the changes if possible, and wait for the customers to give you another opportunity to serve you.

6.   Link-Based Feedback

It is another common way of collecting feedback through offline and online channels. In this method, a link is shared with the customers through email, SMS, or displayed in the physical locations and stores in various areas.

In this method, the customers go to the link that opens in seconds, and they can view, fill, and submit the online survey form. With the help of effective Customer Feedback Software, this process becomes effortless and convenient. They help create customized surveys as per your business requirements and share them through multiple channels.

Pros

  • Helps create Effective Surveys with Logic - Survey Software nowadays helps create great surveys with logic so that the survey asks the next question depending upon the answer to the previous question.
  • Less Expensive - This method doesn’t involve huge costs as they do not require installing a complete system like a kiosk or feedback terminal. The process runs with the help of simple promotion or sending of emails and SMSes, which is not very costly.

Cons

  • Need details of customers in case of sending the link - This process is more effective when you have the contact details of the customers like phone numbers and email addresses so that you can send them the links to provide the feedback along with the feedback invitation.

In the absence of this data, you can print the feedback links on the boxes of the goods, or display them in the store itself, but there are fewer chances that customers type the whole link into their smartphones or other internet devices to provide feedback.

  • Response Rate can be Low - The response rate of these surveys can be low as the customers can postpone this task for doing later and skip or forget it afterward.

To Sum Up

When deciding on the method to collect feedback, you should consider various factors of your business and the need to capture feedback. It would be best if you looked for your priorities and the reason for which you care to capture the feedback. You should consider these factors while deciding the channel.

  • Level and scale of your business so that you invest wisely.
  • Need of Follow up with your customers one on one.
  • How the feedback can help to improve Customer Experience.
  • The cost involved in the method you choose and the worth of that cause in your business.
  • Your budget for collecting Customer Feedback.
  • Areas and touchpoints where feedback should be captured.
  • Nature of your business.

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