To facilitate the holy grail of the digital customer experience you need a lot more than just some general online feedback or survey tools.
What you need is a customer experience strategy with a focus on the customer journey, for proper segmentation and ultimately relevant feedback. When this is in place correctly it is the first step to turning insights into action.
The Four Phases
There are four phases that companies go through in order to reach a mature stage of digital customer experience management. In phase 1 the focus is primarily on web statistics and numbers, phase 2 has a focus on periodic quantitative and qualitative research and phase 3, which is the point that continuous feedback is collected real-time via onsite feedback forms. Phase 4 is all about turning insight into action to reach a mature stage of digital customer experience management.
Capturing customer feedback can be done through periodic questionnaires, as happens in phase two of this model, or as in phase 3, continuously through a “one size fits all” feedback form on the website. In the latter case, there is usable feedback within, but that is not always related to what the visitor is doing at that time. Why ask what a visitor is doing on your website when you can see it happening?
A professional approach means looking at the goals of the customer, user or visitor, depending on the online journey being made and then asking the right questions when it is relevant for a visitor to give feedback. For example, when you detect a visitor has a problem with ordering the product. Just like in real life, customers do not want store personnel bothering them with questions about customer service or registration when they haven’t even bought the product yet!
Align with Customer Goals
When feedback is too general it is hard to define what drives a customer. Taking action is possible, but it is not as refined as it could be. The questions to be asked in order to capture relevant feedback should therefore be linked to the goal that a customer or visitor has set themselves within your digital channel. Does the customer want to order a product, adjust his account, solve a problem or maybe get something done with a self-service tool? People use your website or mobile app to get a certain job done.
With a generic feedback form or website evaluation survey, people can leave an open comment like a suggestion and that can be valuable information. But when relevant questions are asked at the right time, not only are the visitors more willing to provide feedback, but the feedback is also much more relevant.
The more the questions are tailored to the various points in the customer journey and what someone is trying to achieve in a digital channel, the more relevant the findings are. This allows an organisation to optimize the processes and remove bottle necks within the journey. This way, organizations are continuously working on improving the digital channels and thus the overall customer experience.
Capturing feedback continuously that is focused on what the client is doing at that time, means having closer control. If someone is stuck within an online ordering process you must be able to identify the problem directly and immediately and ask the customer what goes wrong. And that mechanism should be in place on all digital processes in such a way that a company is able to collect useful information to optimize the digital experience continuously.
Ultimately, a better customer experience is good for customers, and therefore also for companies – in both the short term and long term. The easier an online shopper can achieve his goal, the sooner something is ordered in the shop and how often they repeat their business. A better customer experience can lead to more sales in the short term. Thanks to customer feedback the bottle necks within the digital customer journey can be removed and customers reach the end of the journey more often. Make sure that the huge budgets that are spent on shiny advertising campaigns are not useless because customers switch to your competitors faster than you can say “feedback”, when the product is easier to order elsewhere!
In this digital age, churn is an increasing problem for large corporations. In the long-term, customer loyalty is already vital will become more and more important. Customers expect the same experience online as offline. This means a customer experience that matches the brand values of the organisation that they have chosen for. If your product appears to evoke low involvement from your business, (such as an insurance product for example), then offering better service than your competitor is something to excel at!
Depending on those brand values a company chooses points within the customer journey to differentiate. This also goes for customer journeys within digital channels. But there must be understanding in how you are scoring on these parts. How do visitors experience the self-service tools on the website? The better the customers’ journeys are connected to the brand values, the better the customer experience and the more loyalty and in the end a healthy and profitable organisation.
About the Author
Udesh Jadnanansing is Managing Partner at Mopinion. Mopinion offers a full SaaS (Software as a Service) solution for setting up and maintaining Voice of the Customer programs according to the Closed Loop Feedback mechanism. Mopinion’s software provides real time insights from the most important touch points giving a direct view on the customer experience and where improvements can be made.