How to Collect Feedback to Deliver Customer Experience Excellence

Feedback can be a great tool to discover what your customers want, but you need to make sure you don't alienate your audience with poor surveys.

To be able to provide an excellent customer experience it's key to constantly evolve and improve the service you provide. But how can you make sure that your CX is targeted to your audience and really caters to what they want?

Continuously collecting feedback and implementing the findings is an important step to achieving customer experience excellence, and this one of the main topics of discussion at last week's Customer Experience Exchange for Retail in London.

SEE ALSO: Highlights From: The Customer Experience Exchange for Retail in London

Kamilla Cedro, Insight Analyst Strategic Marketing at retailer Wilko, and Gary Topiol, Managing Director International of cloud-based optimisation platform InMoment, highlighted the importance of collecting in-depth customer feedback at the plenary titled "Collecting Customer Feedback and Linking to Business Outcomes".

Gary opened the session by saying that customer experience is the last battleground where companies can compete and it's important to implement this across the entire business.

"Feedback from customers about bad experiences should be used across all departments, because cross-company engagement is very important," he explained. "To genuinely improve customer experience it needs to be a corporate initiative."

Kamila added: "What is important to your boss, is important to you."

So how do you improve customer experience by utilising customer feedback?

One thing not to do is bombarding customers with surveys that achieve the opposite of what you're trying to achieve. If the experience with the survey is horrible you risk actually alienating your customers, not to mention you won't get a lot of helpful feedback.

"Asking people their experience and then giving them a terrible experience while asking is not right approach," Gary said.

He highlighted the importance of design when it comes to surveys and optimising interactions. Surveys should be thought through and not feel like an interrogation.

It's also imperative to not just ask for "yes" and "no" answers but to get genuine customer comments. Gary added: "They are a little window into how we can change things going forward."

Kamila gave a great example of a time where they received feedback around customer experience at the tills. They discovered that speed wasn't the number one factor for elderly customers, instead they wanted engagement and a human touch when being served. So Wilko personalised the interactions at the tills and saw a 5 per cent increase in customer satisfaction year on year.

The key take-away from the session was that it is imperative to pay attention to the stories customers are telling you. Changing feedback surveys to allow for more in-depth comments is fundamental to the success of the programme. Using real-time text analytics and active listening can help change the behaviour and culture in store.

On a feedback form a customer might tick the box that their experience was "good", but how do you improve your service from there?

Kamila said that they included one simple question in a survey to solve this issue: "If we could do one thing better what would you like us to do?" This method of active listening has helped store managers at Wilko uncover what they need to do to reach that extra mile in delivering customer experience excellence.