Voice of the Customer programs shouldn’t leave customers hanging. Too often, companies gather feedback without sharing research results, with a predictable outcome: survey participants feel less inclined to participate in future surveys. This isn’t just a market research problem. Sure, the available respondent pool shrinks as consumers become frustrated with cliffhanger research. But even more importantly from a business perspective is the effect lack of follow-up has on customer engagement. Poor customer feedback management sends customers the message that you are willing to use them to get ahead—that you are less concerned with their time and effort than you are with meeting your research quotas.
Below, we've listed several techniques you can use to close the feedback loop with customers by following up post-survey.
Social Media Sharing
Social media is a lighthearted, easy way to let customers know that you’re listening. Plus, it’s easy to tell customers at the end of a survey that they can follow your Twitter or Facebook feed to learn about survey results. Finally, because social media outlets are public, they can achieve another Voice of the Customer goal: letting your customer base know that you’re dedicated to improving the customer experience.
Newsletters for Respondents
The downside of social media content is that it usually doesn’t last too long. For customers who are especially motivated by seeing their feedback become policy, consider publishing a private newsletter just for survey respondents. One example of well-executed feedback management comes from Marriott, which maintains a private community for respondents called My Marriot Voice. Additionally, Marriot creates regular newsletters telling customer respondents about the survey results and the innovations they inspire.
Individual Action Based on Feedback
The most advanced feedback management model available today takes anonymity out of the research process. This is especially appropriate for B2B firms allowing htem to harness individuals’ feedback to improve client relationships. For instance, if a client’s survey responses express dissatisfaction with the way that an audit is delivered or a tax return prepared, a Voice of the Customer program can forward this feedback to the appropriate account manager. Our Voice of the Customer solution sends a Recover Alert to the relevant employees when a respondent’s responses indicate he or she has received less-than-stellar service – and the problem can be quickly resolved
But it’s not just about solving service failures. A good Voice of Customer system should also alert you to opportunities for business growth, let you know when an employee has gone above and beyond, gather new ideas from your clients, and also find the clients who are your absolute biggest fans. The problem that many customers have with market research, is that their voice will never be heard on an individual level – so what’s the point?. By taking quick, appropriate follow-up on feedback companies increase the likelihood that this same client will return and willingly offer their feedback again.
It isn’t unusual for customers to receive several survey offers over the course of a single day. The restaurant where Jill ate for lunch offers her a small incentive for completing a survey via a 1-800 number. The hotel where she stayed last night on a business trip sends her an email survey. Which survey Jill chooses to complete has a good deal to do with how each company “closes the feedback loop” by sharing results with her. No one likes to feel that they’ve wasted their time, or that their opinions don’t really matter. Yet companies send this message every day by keeping market research results totally in-house. By sharing your Voice of Customer program results with your customer base, you are protecting both your market research resources and your customer engagement levels.