Today's consumer is inundated with customer feedback forms, polls, surveys and market research calls. So how do you make sure your customer feedback initiatives stand out from the crowd and deliver a good return on investment (ROI)?
The key is to ensure the feedback program provides real value for your customers and your business. After all, market research is expensive. If you can't use it to realise measurable business improvements, it's just a white elephant.
But how do you achieve real business value? Planning and implementing customer feedback programs is a complex process, but as a starting point, here are our top five requirements for feedback programs.
Internal buy-in. There's no point starting a feedback program if there isn't a genuine commitment within your organisation to listen to customers and make improvements. Each program should have an executive sponsor - otherwise you're unlikely to see any real change.
Detailed planning. Decide on the target market, resources and funding for project before planning details such as the type of feedback mechanism, the frequency and the questions.
Strong value proposition. To increase response rates and ROI, you need to explain to customers how their feedback will improve service, and ensure the program only includes questions that will generate valuable feedback for your business.
The right balance. The program should include both quantitative feedback for measurable metrics and qualitative feedback for deeper insights. It should strike the right balance between convenience for your customers and eliciting valuable business data.
Actionable insights. As well as identifying and quantifying trends, the program should deliver insights that will help staff take action and make improvements.