Every e-commerce professional tracks traffic and counts orders once a day, but rarely (if ever) checks customer feedback daily, weekly, or even monthly. Let's look at some reasons for this, and why regular customer feedback will benefit your business.
Reasons we have heard for not taking regular customer feedback included: "not standard business practice", "it's extra workload", "how will it benefit?" and "just too difficult".
Here is what every e-commerce manager needs to know about daily feedback:
- It's becoming the norm. World-class companies DO survey EVERY transaction for customer feedback. To mention a few: Sony, Philips, Canon, Avis, Hertz, eBay and many more. Feedback is an essential part of their daily business routine with comments distributed around the organisation. Also there IS an Industry Standard Methodology for measuring loyalty: the Net Promoter Score® - a simple, one-number approach, as understandable as page-views or profit.
- It's not extra workload. If a customer complains in a survey, you would likely have to deal with that customer issue anyway (so it's not additional workload, just time-shifted forward). More usually an unhappy customer will silently defect and never return. Unless you ask customers, you may never know how much business you are losing.
- It's free consulting. Customer suggestions can help shape your business. We have seen examples where customer feedback helped merchandising give instant additional sales, and comments on manuals and packaging delivered cost-savings. In addition, positive comments can be used as testimonials on your site, which helps reassure future customers.
- It's simple to implement. You can start a feedback project with a simple online survey tool and do it manually (actually, we started that way by doing monthly reports), but due to time lag we highly recommend that you automate it. Products like CustomerGauge have plug-ins for major e-commerce systems that automatically survey customers.
If you are still hesitant, here are some other points to consider:
Responding fast is impressive: When was the last time you had a response to a comment you made? You can transform customer experiences by responding quickly to feedback. Some large companies we deal with read and react to customer comments within 24 hours. That can turn the most hardened complainer into a delighted evangelist for a business.
Customer Focus: As a result of measuring, these same companies have become more customer oriented. Staff are bonused on Net Promoter Score, and welcome the feedback that customers give in order to improve service.
Give Us This Day Our Daily Feedback
Our customer feedback solution is CustomerGauge: a simple plug-in to your e-commerce site, paid monthly on subscription. All the hard work of integration and setting it up is handled by us. We arrange the emails, surveys (in different languages), automatic sending and reporting in real time. We deliver daily and weekly feedback to your staff by email. You can use positive comments and publish them on site as testimonials, which increase conversions significantly. CustomerGauge also helps keep your promises to customers: track open and closed customer issues with built-in workflow. And identify your most valuable returning customers with our real-time reporting.
In summary, Customer Feedback can become one of your essential Daily Metrics, tracked like your other Key Performance Indicators. You can receive it on a daily basis in your mailbox, and use metrics to check improvement. It is the business transformation you are looking for this year.
Join us today on our Campaign for Daily Customer Feedback and benefit from a January 2010 CustomerGauge offer: Free 30-day trial on your e-commerce website*