Changing technology can pose challenges to business, especially as they strive to keep up with ever-evolving developments, but it also comes with many advantages. Among them is the fact that customer feedback is more accessible than it has ever been. With the help of new technology, businesses are more connected to customers and can get nearly instant feedback, which can change their entire strategy and lead to great results.
One of the key ways feedback can be incredibly beneficial is throughout the product development process. After all, it is better, easier, and cheaper to make adjustments throughout the process than after the product has been finalized. Developing a new product or business can take the creators away from their customers and keep them in their own bubble. It’s easy to get caught up in the design of something new and lose sight of the ultimate goal and who will eventually use your product. With today’s systems, it only takes a few lines of code or clicks of a mouse to create, prototype, and finalize a new product.
With modern technology, companies can send customers virtual prototypes of a new product and conduct focus groups and customer councils via video conference or chat. Instead of being limited to only customers they can reach in person, technology allows companies to expand their reach to a greater pool of feedback from potential customers. They can also use digital analytics to dig deeper into data to find the real story behind what customers think about their new product or business.
There’s also customer feedback as it relates to an existing business. Services ranging from doctor’s offices to retail stores are always looking to improve the customer experience, but it can be difficult to get honest feedback from users. A recent survey found that 80% of companies think they deliver superior customer service, but only 8% of customers think those same companies deliver superior customer service. This is clearly a disconnect between the the businesses are doing and what customers are experiencing. Traditional methods like phone surveys tend to only get responses from people who feel strongly in favor or disfavor about the company. However, simplifying the process can greatly increase the response rate.
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A lot of customer information can be gathered simply by observing what customers are already doing online. Many businesses monitor review sites like Yelp to see how customers are reviewing and sharing their experience. On-site analytics and remote video monitoring systems can easily measure how customers interact with your website or store. These programs can track how long customers spend on a website and how often they click through and make a purchase. These systems can also measure how customers are finding your site and can likely address pain points. For example, if customers are spending a short amount of time on a certain page of a business’s website and then leaving the site, it could be a sign that the information isn’t clear and isn’t driving them to stay and make a purchase. Measuring existing data can be an efficient way to get honest feedback without being skewed by asking for customer responses.
Technology can also be used to seek out feedback from customers. Basic methods include using social media to ask customers questions and run simple polls and surveys. For more advanced feedback, businesses can reach out with quick survey questions via chatbot or text, follow up on purchases with personalized email surveys, or direct customers to an app that allows them to provide feedback. Instead of a long survey that customers have to seek out, these methods put quick questions right in the hands of the customer and allow them to easily provide feedback on a mobile device.
The beauty of these systems is that they offer companies nearly instant feedback that allows them to implement changes quickly. If customers are repeatedly complaining about a certain aspect of the customer journey, service, or product, the business can know that changes need to be made quickly.
Taking time to reach out to customers and potential customers can have a huge impact on your business’s bottom line and allow you to stay more in tune with your customers, leading to great revenue and satisfaction results.