Mobile technology has bought a revolution in how customers interact with stores, restaurants and hotels. Customers can now comment, review or rate a business instantly via mobile technology – they can tweet, post to Facebook, or rate your business on review sites. They share their comments with friends, family, colleagues, and their wider social network. Consumers now expect to be able to share their opinions on goods and services simply, easily and immediately.
In comparison, many companies are still using traditional techniques for collecting customer feedback (including on-line surveys). These methods have a number of drawbacks, and it can take some time to get the results about what customers think about your products or services. In the meantime, customers are instantly commenting online.
The only traditional way to receive instant feedback is via Customer Feedback cards, but even these rely on the manager reading them on a daily basis, and often make it challenging to follow-up. In addition, companies have to monitor Social Media to find customer comments. Lots of people will share their experience at a store, hotel or restaurant on their personal accounts, rather than the business site. This means that collating Social Media data can be time consuming and difficult. It also impacts on ‘footfall’, as Social Media acts as ‘word of mouth’ recommendations. ‘Word of mouth’ is a key marketing technique, and can make a significant difference in whether people use your company or ignore it.
By using the Suggestar Survey system you can ensure that comprehensive feedback from consumers is collected in one place, and can be acted on immediately. A customer can complete the Suggestar survey ‘in store’ on a mobile device, or can access it on the business website. You can even use QR codes. Alerts then arrive on any designated mobile device or PC at the business, giving instant access to your customer’s current thoughts and feelings – as soon as they are ‘posted’.
If a customer knows there is a simple, reliable way to provide feedback, they are more likely to use this channel than post on Social Media about their experience. By responding immediately you can turn a negative experience into a positive one. This means you can focus on building your ‘word of mouth’ recommendations via customer’s Social Media networks. With our real-time notifications you can regularly review and respond to feedback.
Real-time notifications are important as they help a business improve customer retention and build trust. When a customer identifies a problem or issue with a product or service, managers can immediately deal with the issue, and respond to the consumer. This helps improve customer recovery. In the past a customer might never return to the business after a poor experience, with Suggestar, customers receive timely solutions to their issue. Customers will return, leave good reviews or high ratings on your service - if problems are resolved in a timely and professional manner. A simple check on Amazon reviews shows that if a customer’s issue with a product or service is dealt with quickly, the customer will leave 4 or 5 star rating. How a company responds to an issue can either build or destroy a customer’s trust. With real-time notifications you can focus on building that trust, and in turn the competitiveness and profitability of your business.
Another advantage of real-time responses, to issues or compliments, is that it improves customer engagement. These days, customers expect to be responded to immediately – they are used to Twitter and email – they want their views to be heard and acted on. Quick responses are important, just because a customer leaves positive feedback, it does not mean they will return to your business – improving customer engagement is vital.
Before the advent of mobile technology, surveying customers and managing feedback was extremely complex, and it was unlikely that customers would know if their suggestions have been implemented. It was even less likely that they received a direct response about the problem. Real-time notifications ensure that customers know that their opinions have been heard. Using Suggestar, customers can be informed about how their feedback has been used, and how it will improve company performance. Changes to products, policies and procedures can be made quickly, so improvements to products and services are made in a timely manner. It also means customers can tell you if they are satisfied with the outcome, based on your response. If they are not satisfied, you can dig deeper, and find out why you did not meet their expectations. These comments, in turn, can be fed into the feedback process, and improve how it works.
Finally, real-time notifications can help build customer loyalty. This is because it builds trust, as mentioned above. By encouraging customer engagement, real-time notifications help build this trust, as it keeps the lines of communication open between a business and its customers, in turn loyalty increases. If customers are thanked for their feedback, it makes a real impact on their perception of your business. This is especially true if you publish the results of feedback. If other customers can see you are acting on feedback, they are more likely to leave feedback themselves, strengthening your feedback process, and in turn loyalty.
General Benefits of Using the Suggestar Feedback Process
Overall, there are several real benefits to using a real-time feedback, as it enables a continuous feedback process.
- It gives customers and guests a channel to have their problems resolved quickly.
- Managing and gathering customer feedback is simpler - no more collecting surveys once a year, or organizing roundtables.
- The feedback is instantaneous – and that includes compliments – so you can focus on the good, as well as the bad.
- It gives you instant data, so that you can quickly create lasting improvements in product quality and customer service – building your brand’s reputation.
- It improves staff morale, as they can get feedback on their performance. Used correctly, feedback ensures employees get support to improve their skills, or recognition for their outstanding customer service skills. Both training and positive performance feedback reduce staff turnover, and encourage commitment to the business goals.
Real-time notifications improve customer retention and customer engagement, building trust and loyalty. With real-time notifications, you can be assured that feedback can be dealt with in a timely manner, meeting the modern customer’s expectations, and strengthening your business’s reputation for excellence.