How to Capture Customer Feedback That Supports Actionable Business Decisions?

Date:   Friday , February 03, 2017

Headquartered in Helsinki, Feedbackly is a multichannel feedback collection and analytics platform that enables businesses to collect customer feedback on different touch points and turn the collected data into actionable insights.

More and more companies are using online surveys as a way of capturing satisfaction feedback from their customers. Advances in technology over the past few years have made it very cost-effective to collect large amounts of data on a continuous basis. And companies are beginning to jump onto the bandwagon to gather experience feedback. But if it isn\'t done right, you can easily end up with poor results that don\'t really help support the strategic or operational decisions that you set out to benefit from in the first place.

Based on my experience over the past years, as Director in a firm that specializes in Customer Experience Measurement and Management, I often find that people are challenged when it comes to how to collect feedback that you can actually use to enhance your business. Maybe you want to gauge your customers\' experiences when they visit your stores, browse your website, or when they interact with your sales associates. If you keep these tactics in mind, there will be an inherent validity in the captured feedback and you\'ll have confidence in the business decisions that you can make as a result.

Here are three tips for you to get started:

Capture Feedback Continuously: If you do this, you are able to look at trends and cause-and-effect. A survey launched once or twice a year often just doesn\'t cut it, especially when you\'re trying to assess how customers feel about a shopping experience, dealing with your sales associates, or how the store environment feels to them. These characteristics can change over time, vary by region, or change based on who is managing the stores. If you can capture the feedback continuously and make some operational changes based on the feedback on daily basis, you should be able to see positive changes in customer satisfaction or customer experience levels over time.

Ask Why: Capture enough detail that you can take action. It\'s not enough to have your customers simply rate you on satisfaction by giving you a score out of 5. If they give you a low score, you know that there\'s a problem, but you don\'t know why. Give them room to explain why in a comment box, especially if this is a web survey. You may be able to look for groups of keywords that keep popping up in the text, such as \'no follow-ups\' or \'long wait-times\'. The \'why\' will provide you with information that makes the response actionable.

Quantity Counts: Capture enough responses in order to detect significant differences between categories. You need a statistically-valid sample size to be able to attribute your findings to the entire population. Statisticians will tell you that you need 389 responses in a specific category to have a 10 percent margin of error in your results. Businesses can get by with a 10 percent error margin; and healthcare typically needs five percent, or 1,568 responses. So say, for example, you\'re measuring customer satisfaction at the store level. In order to say that Store A had a significantly better customer satisfaction score than Store B, you need 389 responses to be able to draw this conclusion, with 90 percent accuracy. If you have less than 389 responses for a single category, say store, or gender, or first-time shoppers, you can\'t draw any reliable conclusions from your findings because the margin of error will be too large. This even becomes more critical if you\'re trying to find statistically significant differences with more granular information; say males aged 18 to 24 who shop at the store during the month of May. Your sample size for 18 to 24 year old males per store during May needs to be at least 389 in order for you to be able to compare this group reliably. Many people who survey don\'t realize this. So make sure you use methods that provide you enough feedback!

So, you can see that by following these three basic rules, you can collect a solid base of customer experience feedback from which you can make informed decisions with confidence. Anything less, and your assumptions may come back to haunt you.