3 Actions Marketers Aren’t Taking With Customer Feedback, But Should

By: Clarabridge Team

March 6, 2015

This post originally appeared in Direct Marketing News on February 23, 2015.

When it comes to providing quality customer experiences, there’s almost no such thing as a bad review. Nearly 90% of customers claim that online reviews influenced their buying decisions, according to a 2013 survey conducted by Dimensional Research and help-desk software company Zendesk. While a bad review can certainly discourage patronage, brands — especially the marketers at those brands—can study this customer feedback and make improvements based on that input. But marketers often stop short when reviewing and internalizing this valuable feedback.

“[Marketers] should really dig into the next layer. The emotion, the sentiment, even the sarcasm that people publish about companies, products, and services,” says Susan Ganeshan, CMO at customer experience management company Clarabridge. “If you aren’t paying attention to the voice of the customer now, and you don’t plan to do it in 2015, your competitiveness in the marketplace is going to tank.”

There are many ways to improve the customer feedback process at a company, with the best being dependent on each particular business. However, marketers may find it beneficial to start with these three actions:

Asking customers what they think

Part of using data better is understanding it. Though surveying customers is still  popular practice, too many marketers construct these surveys in a counterintuitive manner. Long surveys that continuously prompt customers to rate their experience may end up doing little to improve those experiences. To remedy this, Ganeshan recommends marketers ask more open questions on survey, while keeping the surveys short. “Instead of asking [customers] to rate their experience ask them to describe it,” she says. “That way the customer tells you what they experienced at the root versus you leading them to a particular outcome. It’s about letting the customer drive the conversation.”

To read the rest of this post, please refer to Direct Marketing News.