The Impact of Technology on the Human Resource Department and Its Functions
A disconnect between companies and their customers can spell disaster for everyone. Businesses try their best to serve the needs of their customer base, but when they misunderstand what buyers want, their sales can plummet, loyalty can vanish, and attempts to bounce back can become increasingly difficult.
Take Starbucks for example, a global corporation that fell into crisis during their 2015 “Race Together” campaign. This campaign aimed to encourage conversations about race among customers and employees, but was met with a large wave of backlash from those who felt Starbucks was trying to exploit a sensitive issue for marketing purposes. Overnight, social media was teeming with posts calling for the boycott of Starbuck Corporation.
To recover from this PR nightmare, Starbucks sent out an array of surveys to better understand how their customers, their employees, and the general public felt about their approach to race conversations. The result was a wealth of valuable data that informed Starbucks how to act.
They chose to scratch the campaign, devote resources to employee training on diversity and inclusion, and launched the “Upstanders” series to explore the positive impact of Starbucks on local communities. This pivot was made possible from customer feedback and allowed Starbucks to regain the loyalty of customers around the world.
To avoid misalignment with customers, companies of all sizes should leverage the power of customer surveys. The resulting insights can help businesses navigate sensitive issues, better serve their customers’ needs, and keep in touch with what decisions can help them thrive in a changing world.
In this article, we’ll explore what customer feedback means, how organizations can use it, and how an organization might start using customer feedback to improve their business.
What is Customer Feedback?
Customer feedback is the information and opinions that customers provide to businesses about their experiences with products, services, or interactions with the company. This feedback can be gathered through a variety of channels, including surveys, reviews, social media, and customer service interactions. It’s an essential tool for businesses to understand what their customers want, how they feel about the company, and what improvements can be made to enhance the overall customer experience.
By actively seeking and listening to customer feedback, businesses can make informed decisions that can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, revenue.
4 Ways Customer Feedback Helps Businesses
Customer feedback surveys are an amazing resource for businesses. Here’s four ways feedback can help organizations with real-world examples.
1. Improving Products and Services
Customer feedback provides valuable insights into what customers like and dislike about a product or service. By analyzing this feedback, businesses can identify areas for improvement and make changes to better meet the preferences of their customers.
For example, the outdoor gear retailer REI uses product and service feedback to improve the design of their products. In one case, they released a new line of tents and heard many customer comments about the lack of ventilation in the tents. REI used this feedback to redesign the tents, improve air flow, and offer a better product.
2. Increasing Customer Satisfaction
By actively listening to customer feedback and making changes based on that feedback, businesses can improve the overall customer experience, which can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
The online footwear retailer, Zappos, is known for its customer-centric approach, which includes actively responding to online feedback. Zappos’ reputation of updating its website, policies, and customer service operations as a result of feedback contributes to its high customer satisfaction.
3. Building Customer Loyalty
When businesses show that they value their customers’ opinions and take action based on their feedback, it can build trust and loyalty. Customers are more likely to continue doing business with a company that listens to their feedback and makes changes to meet their needs.
The cosmetics company, Glossier, builds a loyal following by engaging with customers on social media. The company uses online feedback on social media to develop new products, improve existing ones, and even redesign their branding. This close relationship with customers builds tremendous customer loyalty.
4. Staying Competitive
In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses need to stay ahead of the curve to remain relevant. Customer comments can help businesses stay on top of what their customers want, and therefore remain competitive in a crowded marketplace.
The ride-sharing company, Uber, uses service feedback to stay ahead of the competition. When customers began requesting more environmentally-friendly ride options, Uber responded by launching UberGreen, a service that provides hybrid and electric vehicles for customers who want to reduce their carbon footprint. By listening to customer feedback, Uber maintains its position as a leader in the ride-sharing industry.
How to Collect Customer Feedback
A company can collect customer feedback through surveys, website analytics, focus groups, and more. To get started, companies can use software like Metolius, which collects feedback from various sources, analyzes the data, and helps businesses take actions based on customer views.
Metolius makes it easy for organizations to run sophisticated customer feedback surveys by offering a depth of customization parameters, survey templates to choose from and modify, data visualization tools that allow anyone to understand their insights at a glance, and instant reporting to share and collaborate on the results.
Customer Feedback Matters
With customer feedback software, companies can avoid misalignment with their customer base so they don’t end up in a Starbucks “Race Together” situation. Instead, they can collect feedback to improve their products, build loyalty, and remain competitive in a changing world.