Today’s consumers are used to having their customer experience tailored to their exact needs. They’re accustomed to companies going out of their way to impress them. It’s a digital world, and one bad review can circle the globe in just a day or too. Feedback from consumers is gaining in importance as buyers look to peers for recommendations and reviews. The ability to gather real time consumer feedback is one of the most important tools organisations have in this battle to win (and maintain) the hearts and minds of consumers in a fast-paced, conversation and review- filled marketplace. Here’s why.
Business at the speed of light
In a world that’s gone not only digital, but mobile as well, business is quite literally taking place at the speed of light. At least, communications are. That means that any firm, whether it’s big or small, must react as quickly as possible to stop customer disquiet spreading, pinpoint areas of concern before they become a crisis and spot changes in tastes and consumption habits. That’s a daunting task, and especially so if the organisation has only partial information, misinformation or out-dated data to hand. Real-time customer feedback can be an incredible asset during times of change, and for those who rely on the web – and its immediacy – to generate sales.
Feedback at the speed of business
Consumer surveys can be a boon to any business that needs to make decisions quickly. Surprisingly, many firms have failed to realise this and are yet to embrace the consumer survey model, preferring instead to engage with their customers via other mediums such as social media. While social media is quickly growing in popularity as a customer service channel, it serves a very different purpose to real-time consumer surveys.
For one thing, social media interaction, or indeed most interactions initiated by consumers, is usually contingent on some sort of special circumstance. The customer needs a refund, or has a question, for example. Consumer surveys are different.
Consumer surveys aren’t aimed just at those who had a great time or a terrible time when doing business with your organisation. They’re trying to capture a large, random swath of your customer base. That information can be used to predict buying trends or to determine target demographics for your products.
Surveys also give the business a chance to exert some control over the conversation and to steer the dialogue towards information that the organisation needs.
Receiving that information in real time and monitoring it makes it much easier to see at a glance and at any given time if things are going great, going poorly, or simply changing. An influx of a different demographic, for example, might invite a review of the marketing strategy – with a quick response potentially having a very positive impact on the bottom line. React too slowly due to a lack of data pointing to that trend, and competitors can quickly get ahead.