The multi-channel mix for feedback
Companies today are getting better and better at collecting customer feedback through a range of different channels, whether that’s online on a website, via email, via mobile, physical kiosks, or other. Allowing various feedback options makes it easier for customers to share their experiences, so that companies can track, understand, and report on it for the ultimate purpose of improvement actions. The 2016 NGCX Report shows that 64% of companies have already improved their customer service efforts “…utilizing multi-channel customer data to guide their efforts.”
Accurately measuring the customer experience within and across channels, surely helps you understand and act on what’s happening across your business, so that you can streamline customer experience, create more loyal customers, and drive improvements in your products and/or services. But it also makes things more complicated.
The 2016 NGCX Report states: “In 2016, a multi-channel presence has become so expected by customers that it is more critical than ever to tie it in to a customer experience strategy. However, doing so mirrors the challenges of multi-channel in general, where the more opportunities you create for a customer to give their feedback, the stronger your approach must be for standardizing that information and reacting to it.”
As we expand and explore channels, however, the questions become: What’s the right mix? And how can we ensure that we’re responding quickly and appropriately to all of these channels?
In retail stores, for example, the right mix might mean customer surveys are offered in all types of settings, such as after making an online purchase, sending an email after an in-store experience, and launching an IVR survey after a phone interaction. This data would certainly benefit the retailer about all key sales touch points and help them deliver more consistent, satisfying service across channels.
But multi-channel feedback means different things to different companies. The key is getting the mix right.
If you’re a online gaming company with consumers predominantly in the 15-25 age range, they might only want to receive text message surveys. You’d certainly not expect them to respond to emails. But if you’re in the hospitality or restaurant industry, you might do best adding more touch screen tablet surveys to capture the experience while it’s fresh in their minds. Multi-channel feedback at an automotive company might include a mix of web-based surveys and emailed surveys after key transactions such as sales and service engagements. For a tech company, in-application surveys are known to drive higher response rates, as much as 30-50% above email response rates.
As you explore the multi-channel question, you’ll likely need to experiment to see where customers respond best. If you get very low engagement on telephone-based surveys, for example, it may not be worth the effort to continue them. Maybe you shift the focus to online, where you get higher interaction levels. Testing is key to a successful multi-channel strategy. When done properly, it leads to improved response rates that can be further enhanced by automating most aspects of your feedback program based on user-triggered or event-driven activities and real-time CRM data.
Regardless of where your multi-channel data is coming from, be careful that you don’t end up with siloed data. Especially with larger organizations, this can happen as a result of different channel sources, as well as within different departments. If each department is using a different solution to gather feedback, insights and info from one customer could be in multiple places. Unless this information can be readily accessed in a centralized location (ideally a single survey platform integrated with CRM), it loses much of its power as actionable and analyzable.
One word of advice: mobile is a key piece of the seamless omni-channel experience regardless of your industry. Customers expect it. Period. People are inseparable from their devices and this isn’t going to change. Plus, the lines between personal and business technologies have not just blurred, they’ve blended into one. Most business people use a single handheld device to conduct all mobile transactions – whether for work or personal.
So what’s your perfect mix? We’d love to hear from you.