How the customer voice impacts your growth
We all know that customer reviews are critical for businesses. But it is entirely possible to have too much of a good thing. If you’re trying to read and react to every piece of customer feedback, you’re going to wind up stressed, frantic, and ineffective.
Of course, it’s completely natural to check consumers’ opinions on review websites PissedConsumer.com or Google Reviews, but the sheer volume of feedback can be overwhelming. Customer feedback in online reviews and the data they produce is important, but without a systemic means of handling that data, it eventually just becomes noise.
You need to listen to the voice of a customer, but just like everything else in your business, you need an effective procedure to follow.
Collect only the data that you can use.
Review websites and forums are a goldmine of consumer feedback. But in our effect to capture every customer's voice, we occasionally go overboard on how much data we collect. We send a follow-up email with every transaction. We ask customers to fill out surveys, rate their transactions, and leave reviews all over the place.
Customers are typically good sports, but it is possible to give your customers feedback fatigue. They aren’t going to want to rate every trip to the business website or every phone call. And, if you’re being honest, you’re probably not going to use every piece of feedback you’re getting from those interactions.
Instead of trying to take the pulse of every interaction, focus on collecting the information you can and will use. Consider limiting the attempts to gain customer feedback and on the surveys that you do send out, eliminate questions that are vague or meaningless.
Use the appropriate timing for data collection.
Timing can be everything when it comes to collecting feedback. A customer who is trying to make a quick purchase or read the information on your site will be annoyed with pop-ups and survey requests.
A customer who is interacting with your product, perhaps assembling something, may have several thoughts they’d like to share with you. Likewise, the customer who has called customer service with issues multiple times probably has a lot of feedback you’d rather go directly to you than be shared all over the internet instead.
When asking for customer feedback, consider the best times to do so. Consider asking for feedback at different times for different types of interaction:
Simple transactions on your website
Contact the customer immediately after the transaction is complete, not with a pop-up during the transaction that is easily closed, dismissed, and forgotten.
Follow-up with customer service
Rather than sending an immediate survey or asking the customer to stay on the line, give it a bit of time. Ask the next day about customer service to be sure the solution discussed actually worked correctly.
Relationship and brand surveys
If you want to know what a customer thinks about your company in general, don’t pester them. Consider sending out something every six months or so and rewarding their feedback with a good coupon, discount, or freebie.
Use a system to aggregate data.
Positive survey feedback and complaints on review sites are all equally useful if you know what to do with that data. A formal system of data collection can be powerful for your business growth, as it will help identify the trends that are occurring across the field of compliments and complaints.
To create a field of data you can analyse, you’ll need a method to codify what you’re seeing in reviews, complaints, surveys, and other feedback requests. While surveys often have multiple-choice options or ratings that make it easy to calculate data, other forms of feedback, like written reviews or content boxes for extra messages, must be analysed by keywords or content.
Your data collection system might try to capture the voice of the customer by coding various messages. A social media manager can tabulate responses across various social media channels and review websites, for example.
If there are clear categories like “delivery time” or “item quality”, it’s easy to quantify reviews. Even more so if you capture keywords in the reviews for analysis.
Customer voice is a powerful resource for customer growth. You’ll learn what customers like, what they don’t like, and where you’ve completely overlooked some great possibilities for new development. But while customer feedback is powerful, it’s not as helpful if you don’t have a way to effectively listen, compile feedback, and act.
I'm a Head of Marketing at PissedConsumer.com, a review platform and consumer advocacy website. I’ve worked in the marketing area for over 14 years and have gained extensive experience in communication with businesses, customers, and media representatives. Aside from helping customers be heard, I also intend to help businesses improve their...