Design A Customer Feedback Strategy That Doesn’t Annoy Customers

Asking customers for feedback is one of the most direct ways to understand their experiences and needs across touchpoints. However, we’ve all experienced an organization’s attempt to execute this . . . usually poorly.

Surveys are too long. Callbacks are interruptive. What are they going to do with my feedback anyway?

Combatting these types of complaints is core to recent conversations with organizations who are establishing voice of the customer (VoC) programs. Some questions include: How do you ensure you are engaging with customers at the right time in the right channels, what is the main metric you are asking to ensure consistent data collection, and what is the best way to ask the question to encourage participation?

Recently I used Forrester's internal collaboration platform — Chatter — to collect stories about when colleagues were asked for feedback. I received a litany of the good, the bad, and the ugly of customer feedback designs. Below are the main takeaways from my internal and external conversations along with examples to consider as you think about the best way to collect information from your customers.

1. Make It Easy

Uber and a local food delivery service Peach make it easy to give direct feedback on a specific experience. They provide visual cues to remind customers what they are giving feedback on and a simple mechanism for providing it (a star rating). There are various ways of executing, including emojis (think Facebook’s recent updates) and scales (e.g., 1 to 5, 1 to 10). Any of these tactics work, as long as they align with your brand and are asked consistently across touchpoints. Both of these examples also provide an opportunity to give more feedback afterward to provide context to the rating.

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Part 2: What Do I Do With My Data?

Kara Hoisington in an Associate Consultant in Forrester's Customer Experience Consulting practice

Organizational Alignment Is Key To Data Sanity

During the first part of this series, I talked about how clients are constantly asking us what to do with their data and how they usually go right to “what technology do I need to solve this?” We learned in that post that technology is most likely not the issue (or solution). In this post, I will go to the core of the issue: your organization.

Many companies are their own worst enemy. They have set up systems and priorities that don’t align, leaving everyone in a lurch when it comes to sharing insights and making data more actionable. IT doesn’t talk to marketing. Marketing only gives requests to data analysts. Analysts don’t ask questions. This chain leaves everyone with just a sliver of the story.

In order to break down silos and open up a dialogue across business units, you have to start by asking, “What do we want from the data?” This question will start a path that first leads to where the data needs to end up and which audience is digesting it. From there, dig into where it lives (possibly in a top drawer, behind the socks . . . ) and see if what you need is there. In order to have that conversation, marketing, technology management, and analysts need to get in a room together to discuss possibilities and limitation.

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What Do I Do With My Data?

Part One: Don't Use A Technology Band-Aid 

While kicking off a project last October, a client showed us slide after slide of reports, architectures, and data flows. Overwhelmed by information, the client looked at us and asked — what do I do with all this data? It's a plea for help I have heard on almost every engagement since. Due to this trend, I am starting a blog series answering the question from a multitude of perspectives. Each blog will dig deeper into a particular dimension including organizational communication, analytics processes, reliance on technology, and creation of actionable data dashboards.

Clients usually start conversations thinking they need to re-evaluate their technology in order to more efficiently automate their insights-to-action process. However, after digging under the surface, this is rarely the crux of the problem. Technology is usually just the easiest target. In addition, vendors usually overpromise on what they can deliver.

Due to the marketer’s pursuit of a magic bullet to automate data into insights and insights into action, leaders enter into contracts with solution providers boasting “omnichannel” capabilities that “connect data across channels to personalize communications.” Unfortunately, technology companies rarely focus on or understand the process and organizational changes that need to happen in order to successfully leverage these capabilities.

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