Archive for Customer Feedback

What Can We Learn From Hillary’s Biggest Campaign Mistake?

election

 

This election season, it doesn’t matter which way you voted, or who you most wanted to win – this was hands down the craziest election in some time, and it’s likely you looked like the woman above when the final results were in. As a data geek, I have been fascinated throughout the entire process. Once the election was over, I was eager to see the post election analysis – how could so many get it wrong and the country be so surprised with Trump’s win?

 

I wanted the dust to settle and look at all the theories before writing this. It took some time for the shock to wear off in the media so they could start looking at what happened. It looks like there is one theory out there that played a big role in Clinton’s loss, and it is a good lesson for marketers.

 

The initial thought was “How could the polls be so wrong?” Now that we’ve got some time behind us, we’re seeing they really weren’t that wrong. Clinton does lead in the popular vote by quite a significant difference. So, if the polls weren’t that off, what happened exactly?

 

In listening to a few post election analysis segments, it was interesting to me that one theory rests on simple marketing. Clinton perhaps did not do enough research into what the electorate looks like in terms of economy, demographics, and the like. It is thought that she was following the 2012 model, especially since part of her strategy appeared to be creating a third Obama term. She gauged her campaign based on the data from 2012.

 

The problem? The electorate in 2016 is not the same electorate. Things have changed, demographics have shifted, and in essence it’s a different “customer” than it was four years ago.

 

This is where Clinton may have gone wrong; she didn’t get a handle on her true “customer” and therefore, her message was not effective enough to lead to the landslide victory that many were predicting.

 

As a marketer, this is fascinating and important to remember – your customer of yesterday may not be your customer today, and by making the assumption that things are as they have been, it can be detrimental to your marketing efforts.

 

What can you, as a marketer, do to ensure you are aware of your ever changing customer and market appropriately?

 

Continually review data: take a look at your data on a regular basis. Do you see any shifts in trends? Are people spending more or less? Is there a shift to an increase in online vs in store visits? Any changes should be investigated further to learn how your customer base may be changing.

 

Keep in touch with your customers: feedback programs are not only helpful to gauge satisfaction & loyalty. They can be a key indicator of a shift in your customer base. Continually monitor feedback and make sure you are reaching new customers – don’t solely focus on those who participate in a loyalty program, for example. This may be a segment of your customer base that may be more traditional in how you see your consumer demographics, but there may be a new segment you’re not seeing.

 

Use social media research: this is another tool that can give great insight into your industry. While many brands will use social media monitoring to keep tabs on their customers, another great use is to expand the social research to your competitors and industry as a whole. See what people are saying about products/services in your industry – are their expectations, pain points, and satisfaction standards changing at all compared to what they once were? If so, you may be targeting the wrong customer base if you’re using “old” marketing.

 

This was no doubt the most painful loss Clinton has ever experienced; candidates in future elections will study her strategy and learn from it, no doubt. There were also many good lessons for marketers to learn as well. Keeping tabs on customers and realizing that changes will happen over time is one key to ensuring your marketing message stays relevant and effective down the road.

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Take A Deep Dive Into Your E-Commerce Site

 

ecommerce

 

Creating a compelling, informative, and user friendly e-commerce site can be tough. There is a lot of testing, planning and feedback collection that needs to happen to ensure a successful site.

Many companies will use tools such as Google Analytics’ in page analytics, which essentially shows a website with statistics at various touchpoints of a webpage, which gives a visual of how often links are clicked, pages are visited, etc.

 

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Google Analytics also offers a behavior flow chart to show where website visitors start, which pages they go to after the landing page, and other useful information. This can be helpful in determining where customers tend to “drop off” or abandon their visit.

 

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There are other ways to get deeper insight into website performance, pain points, and other information that will allow companies to improve the customer experience for their e-commerce customers.

 

Collect feedback: when customers place orders, or provide contact information at registration on your website, reach out to them to get feedback about their experience. This won’t capture those who abandon the site though. Enter exit intent technology – services designed to detect when a customer is about to leave your website, and make one last attempt to get their attention. This could be a pop up window that gives a special discount or offer if they stay to make a purchase, or another similar activity.

This can be helpful in gathering feedback from those who are ready to abandon the site, but it would have to be quick and easy in order to try to capture that information. Try a simple question such as, “Please let us know why you’re leaving!” and offer responses such as “It wasn’t what I was looking for” or “the website is running slowly/I’m having technical issues”, etc. This may detect trends other methods cannot pick up on.

 

Use mystery shopping: mystery shopping is an excellent tool that can be used to evaluate the e-commerce process from many different aspects. Not all companies think of evaluating their website using mystery shopping, but incorporating these evaluations can provide a deep dive of ease of use and valuable feedback. There are a couple of types of shopping programs that can be used:

  • Standard experience evaluation: this looks at all aspects of the e-commerce experience. Instruct shoppers to make a purchase and report on ease of use, quality of information, and overall experience. Dig deeper by including a call, email, or chat to customer service to ask questions to evaluate that piece of the journey, and finish with a product return to look at the final piece of the journey.
  • User experience: this is more detailed in that shoppers are instructed to use the website to purchase a specific type of product or register for a service. This looks more like a website video capture or journal in which the shopper provides commentary and suggestions on each point of the process – what was their impression of the website? How many clicks (pages) did it take to get to what they ultimately wanted to do? Where were the pain points? Was there enough information on the website to make an informed decision that would lead to a purchase? What is missing, and what could be improved? These are just some of the aspects that can be captured with this type of shop.

 

Pop up focus groups: thanks to online technology, this is easier than ever. Reach out to customers that have made online purchases, and offer them the opportunity to provide feedback in a focus group type format. This can easily be done in an online meeting room – listening to the conversations and collecting feedback in this type of setting is useful because people tend to offer more details in a group setting. One person may comment on something that triggers a memory from a past experience for another person, and that person will offer more insight and feedback that builds on a theme. This group conversation can be extremely valuable.

 

Online shopping is becoming an everyday event for many consumers, and it is only expected to increase in volume and activity. There are many tools to make sure your e-commerce site is as strong and functional as possible.

 

How Can You Get More From Your Feedback?

 

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There is one very simple way to get even more from your customer feedback surveys – it can give you ideas, and assist in creating ready-made, authentic content for your marketing efforts.

Many feedback surveys offer a space for customers to provide comments regarding their experience with the company. By adding a simple disclaimer, those comments can become material to incorporate in future marketing efforts.

I’m seeing this more often when taking surveys as a customer; the simplest disclaimer with an offer to opt in, serves as a great way to curate content. Take a look at the examples below:

Let them know their words may be used: a restaurant offers optional space for customers to provide comments, and is sure to include the following statement:

The fine print: We reserve the right to use your comments to improve the restaurants or quote you to share the love.

This is a little vague, though it does inform customers that their comments may be used to “share the love.” There is not an opt in (or opt out) feature, so it may prohibit customers from providing this extra detail. It’s a great start, but not ideal.

Make it clear, and let them decide: the example below is perfect. It discloses that the comments provided may be used by the company, allows customers to opt in (or not), and offers a link to the terms & conditions.

feedback auth

Marketing has become challenging, and research points to the fact that customer reviews and word of mouth have more weight than company driven information. By taking this additional step in the feedback process, companies can easily and effortlessly collect this type of information to enhance current marketing efforts.