How to measure satisfaction in the new retail age

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A recent report revealed just how much we all love using emojis. It’s a sign of the times – our need to express and share our emotions and experiences, in the moment, with a single touch of a smart phone.

How handy it would be if an emoji could wondrously pop up above their heads as they walk your store’s aisles and departments?

Imagine if the thoughts and feelings of our retail customers could be so simply and swiftly communicated. Are they wowed or underwhelmed? Irritated or satisfied? Leaving your store with a vow to never come back, or sharing their joy with friends? And will they shop with you again?

How handy it would be if an emoji could wondrously pop up above their heads as they walk your store’s aisles and departments. Would it be happy tears or heartbreak?

In reality, consciously or not, every time a customer walks through your doors or logs onto your website they have an emotional response. Positive, negative or somewhere in the middle, you’re unlikely to ever hear about it – given that a whopping 98% of dissatisfied customers never complain. And yet, collectively, these responses have such huge significance for your business and bottom line.

That’s why the need to collect, measure and understand customer feedback – how your customers feel (their levels of satisfaction) and how they are likely to behave (their levels of loyalty) – has never been greater. We’re in a retail age where experience ranks higher than product or price. Over half of customers won’t return to a store after just one unresolved negative experience, and yet driving value from our retained customers is the proven route to greater profit. It’s no wonder over two-thirds of businesses say an improved customer experience is a top priority.

That’s why at Critizr we are now seeing customer feedback management drive decision making at every level of business, not just in the marketing department. And the resulting data, when used in the right way, can have a transformative effect on performance and profit.

So what are the secrets to a successful customer feedback strategy?

Pick the right metrics

Choosing the right customer feedback metrics comes first – and one size definitely does not fit all! A mix of indicators will give a complete view of the customer, tailored to the unique needs of your business, but here are the top five indicators you need to know about.

Satisfaction rate: focused on perceived quality while using your product or service, offering five options to quantify satisfaction. This metric relies on emotional factors relating to the overall experience or on specific criteria (such as customer service or wait times).

Net Promoter Score: an indicator of customer loyalty, increasingly popular with major companies to measure performance and brand image. The score gives a rating between -100 to +100 of how likely a customer is to recommend you to friends and family.

Customer Satisfaction: a versatile, accessible score allowing customers to express satisfaction with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer giving a percentage score, or with a rating or number of stars. Popular among e-commerce sites.

Intention to buy again: this reflects your customers’ experiences, past and present, with your product or brand, as a percentage of responses received. A high percentage indicates consumer trust, which is good for positive word of mouth.

Customer Effort Score: another indicator of loyalty, focused on operational aspects to help you understand obstacles in the customer experience. A 1 – 5 rating measures the effort it has taken for a customer to buy something from you, collected straight after purchase.

(For a more in depth read see https://business.critizr.com/en/blog/what-customer-satisfaction-indicators-should-you-track).

Engage with customers

Low engagement and completion rates are the biggest threats to the success of a customer feedback strategy. Without sufficient volume of data, a retailer will be less likely to trust the insights it produces.

The secret to getting customers on board is simplicity and variety.

An omni-channel approach is also crucial. Customers want choice, and to pick the format that works for them – whether that’s email, web, apps, SMS, in-store kiosks, social media, or external review sites.

A broad, integrated range of feedback options suited to your own customer demographic works best.

Hand power to the people

Finally, make sure the whole team, from local shop floor to senior management, are engaged and enabled to use feedback. If precious customer data is stuck in a silo at HQ, with no visibility outside IT or marketing, what’s the point?

Use smart technology to turn feedback into insights and action plans, routed in real-time to the managers and staff who can deliver in branch.

Senior teams, of course, need data to drive the big strategic picture of your business, but when it comes to pushing up customer satisfaction scores and improving the customer experience, nothing will add more value to your business than empowered and informed local staff making it happen for your customers on a daily basis.

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