In 2005 an influential report by a UN body predicted "The Internet of Things" - a ubiquitous wireless network linking household objects and appliances, all talking to each other. The Internet of objects may encode and track up to 100,000 billion objects. Every human being is surrounded by between 1,000 to 5,000 objects.
No more lost keys, no running out of milk, waste is a thing of the past, and so on...
In our industry that means that "things" will report back to home base on their operation: "Running out of disk space - help!". For CustomerGauge of the future, it may mean that systems have their own built-in survey mechanism that gathers feedback at the most appropriate moment. And, yes - we are working on that.
In the meantime, I can report that CustomerGauge has a small part of this future available from the November release.
We call this new report "Recommendation Score of Products" - or more snappily: "Score by SKU", to help show customer satisfaction of each product. The results are compatible with the Net Promoter Score®, (jointly developed by SatMetrix and Fred Reicheld, also known as NPS®), and come from the question "Would you recommend this product to a friend?"
Until now, manufacturers have struggled to keep track of what customers thought of individual products (or stock-keeping units), and at best have relied on omnibus surveys taken once or twice a year. Results can be poor due to lengthy time lag, and low response rates (which mean that similar products can show markedly differing results).
CustomerGauge can be used to survey ALL transactions of a manufacturers online shop, or ALL product registrations. Automatically. And in a volume that gives reliable scores.
Results are shown in real time, and feedback can go straight to Product Managers.
We have already been piloting "Recommendation Score by SKU" with some of our clients over the last 90 days. One organisation has been using the report to sort their 2000 products by ranking into "Top 20 Best" and "Top 20 Worst" products, and examining the related voice-of-customer feedback. They distributed customer comments to product managers, de-listed many of the poor performers immediately, and changed instruction manuals on several others to help usability. On the best performers, some actions taken included more prominent marketing, re-pricing, and including some customer testimonials on web pages. The results have been impressive, with overall Recommendation Score (compatible with NPS®) increasing by several points.
Another organisation is taking the product feedback and recommendation scores from the direct sales division and distributing to product managers in the entire organisation. Although the direct division represents only small percentage of overall sales, the results give an excellent representation of total sales, and are available within 15 days of product purchase. This contrasts with 90 days or more from channel sales, and the results are unfiltered by store managers and account managers.
It's one of the many new features on the ever-growing CustomerGauge platform that is already helping major organisations understand and measure customer sentiment. So until your products start to phone home with the latest user gossip, please let us know if we can arrange a demonstration for your organisation.