Many times the focus of customer feedback is to learn about the “nuts and bolts” of a customer’s experience – was the cashier friendly, did the customer find what they needed, would they return and/or recommend the business to others?
However, there is other great information that can be gleaned from feedback surveys when the surveys are used in atypical situations (see below for more on this) or when the surveys are revised after a baseline collection of feedback to drill down even further.
Here are some examples:
- Quieter shopping environment: Marks & Spencer, a large retail chain in the UK, recently learned from its customers that they very much dislike the piped in music. The retailer has recently decided to cut this out of their locations to please their customers. Who knew? Personally, I am used to music when shopping. My local JCPenney does not have music in the store, and its eerily quiet to me. Not a fan of that!
- Email marketing: you may have a great volume of people on your list – some customers, some not yet customers, and some…well, you’re not quite sure why they’re there. They read your emails, but never engage with them in any way, and they never buy your products. Why not? Well, if you want to know….ask. Some who have done this very thing report that people choose to stay on an email list because they may not need the product right now, but may in the future so they want to stay in the loop. Others may just be interested in the value added content, but don’t need your product or services. You won’t know until you ask.
- Zombie customers: if you have a subscription based service, you may find that you have many customers who subscribe but never use the service. Find out why – you may see that some have simply forgot they subscribed and are paying for a service that they don’t use. Others may simply have a limited need, or may not have found the exact features they were hoping for. Ask these customers more questions and you may learn about needed updates and features.
The above are good examples of how to effectively use customer feedback to go beyond the nuts and bolts of the service provided. Think of ways to use it to better engage customers and learn more about their needs and the value you bring to them; you may have some surprises along the way!