In a scenario where achieving consumer satisfaction is the primary goal, the starting point always lies with getting their feedback on the product.
Continuous and meaningful interactions between sellers and buyers via different channels is a prerequisite for keeping consumers engaged. Apart from boosting the brand image, effective communication with buyers facilitates uninterrupted feedback loops, and helps companies to easily retain and expand their target group.
A customer feedback loop, in this case, is defined as a strategy used to collect users’ opinions and make product improvements based on these suggestions.
You might be wondering if a feedback mechanism is even necessary for commodities that are unique or are currently facing minimal competition? Why bother when we have data analytics to give us all the information we want, be it purchase patterns or buying behaviour.
A study conducted by RXL suggests that 68 percent of customers tend to switch from a brand when they feel that the seller does not care about them. Another report by Monetate shows that 79 percent of buyers will make repeated purchases if their experience was good, whereas 89 percent will immediately shift to a competitor in light of any inconvenience.
Also, 95 percent of these consumers are bound to tell their friends about their bad experience. These statistics make it clear that regular communication paves the way for an organisation’s success and helps them capture a larger market share. Also, mere number crunching is not sufficient to answer the ‘why’ behind consumer’s disinterest towards a particular product.
Once a brand decides to incorporate a feedback structure in its operations, they usually think it is required at the after-sales stage. However, customer engagement at every step is equally essential to establish a robust assessment system.
Here are the few areas wherein you can gain access to consumer preferences via effective communication:
This segment includes individuals who form a part of the brand’s potential buyer category. These consumers interact with your company at a point when they have barely any idea about the offering. Usually, they end up on a business’s page through a social media ad or recommendations from a friend. This stage decides whether the consumer wants to engage in further interaction with the brand or not.
Hence, the focus should be on maintaining such websites and social media pages, which encourage communication with buyers and keeps them engaged. A short survey, interesting quizzes, or witty blogs are some elements that are highly appreciated.
At this point, the potential buyer shows interest in the offering and tries engaging in direct conversation with the brand. Since this is the first interaction between both parties, organisations should strive for promptness and efficiency in all such communication.
Usually, a live chat widget is used across industries to help consumers gain easy access to relevant information. It is very important to listen to what the customers want and provide them with product/service features that either meet or surpass their expectations.
This is the stage where a potential buyer has turned into an actual customer. Yes, it does call for a celebration, but it also means time for detailed feedback. These consumers are probably making their first purchase from the brand. Hence, their suggestion will help in understanding how the product/service is different from others in the market and what can be done to improve the customer experience.
However, while collecting feedback one must avoid lengthy forms. Instead, these should be short, crisp, and to the point. One can use different modes to collect feedback either via physical forms, digitally mailed forms, telephone calls, and prompt boxes on websites among others.
For online portals such as mobile apps, users can be urged to rate their experience as soon as they complete an activity and are switching to another. The more creative the mode for collecting customer’s opinions, the keener they will be to share the same.
This is yet another very important segment that a brand must include in the feedback loop. It entails all those individuals who were once users of the products. However, they have now either changed the commodity or switched to another seller. Gaining feedback from such buyers helps in understanding the downsides of one’s offerings and provides insight into what competitors are doing better and explains the popularity of their products/services.
Collecting feedback is not where the journey of such loops comes to an end. Once opinions of the consumers are attained, brands must strive towards resolving these issues and concerns. If ignored, these can lead to heavy losses. Thoughtful and quick implementation of feedback helps to gather brand loyalty and earn goodwill.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)