Ask and You Shall Receive: The Power of Customer Feedback

Aug 20, 2012

If you’re running a loyalty program and you aren’t soliciting customer feedback, you’re missing out on valuable intel that not only can help you improve the program, but can actually build brand loyalty. Customers who feel that their opinions are valued and, possibly, used to enhance the program, are more likely to continue to purchase with your brand.

According to a survey released by Cint, 62% of global consumers say they are fairly or very likely to purchase a brand’s product if the brand asks for their opinion in a study, compared to just 3% who are not likely to do so. The majority of respondents (56%) also say they feel more loyal to the brand if it takes the time to ask them their opinion, more than double who say their loyalty is not influenced (24%).

Feedback… Fast!

When seeking feedback, customers want to be able to respond quickly and in the most convenient way possible. Accordingly to the survey, people stated that they were willing to spend up to 10 minutes or less responding to a given survey, while the majority said that they were willing to spend 1 to 5 minutes. It is important to keep surveys short and to the point as only 1 in 5 were willing to spend more than 15 minutes providing feedback.

But don’t be alarmed! On average, respondents will take only 30 seconds to answer a question, so approximately 10 questions will be answered in 5 minutes. Ten questions may seem like a small number, but you can gain great insights in a small amount of questions. Your most important question should be first as customers will spend the most time on that question, which is about a minute (including time spent reading any survey introductions).

The best survey channel is via smartphone, with more than half of the respondents stating this was the preferred way to participate in market research. One-third voted for online participation, while SMS (5%), traditional mail (4%), face to face (4%), and telephone (1%) participation proved far less popular.

Show Me the Money

If all else fails, money talks. In fact, 55% of those surveyed stated that they were more likely to participate in surveys if they were provided with a monetary incentive, but 34% said that they would settle for a free product. However, there is still more to gain within a loyalty program. Points, special offers or discounts, and rewards go a long way. Why not reward a customer with points to put towards a redemption of their choosing. Product upgrades are also minimal impact to ROI while still satisfying the perceived value customers desire most.

Verticals Take Notes!

So who are feedback’s worst offenders? According to a recent survey, 41% stated that the retail sector would most benefit from communicating with customers more regularly. Interesting, you say, haven’t I been asked in a pop up online? Perhaps you have, but was it personalized, targeted and relevant? Maybe not.

A smaller proportion noted that the banking (14%), travel (11%), and mobile technology (11%) sectors could gain from increased customer communications. These figures are substantially smaller than retail, which makes perfect sense considering how much feedback is requested when you are on your online banking site or telephone IVR.

Still, it seems that the Retailers are listening and actively making changes in their approach. According to an RSR Research report, most global retailers believe that they can drive marketing opportunities when focusing more on customer rather than product (61%) and strategically targeting customers through more detailed customer preferences (59%).

All-in-all, the best way to unveil Intel and valuable feedback is from the source. Don’t bombard customers with meaningless surveys that are too long to hold anyone’s attention, especially someone who just wants to provide feedback within a few minutes. Showing your customers how valuable their opinions and ideas are to your company will result in brand loyalty to a degree you simply cannot reach on promotions alone.