The modern way to get customer feedback
Businesses have always had a rough time attempting to understand exactly what their customers think about their product, especially criticism. Of course, ultimately a company will see the results in the form of reduced sales, but by the time this happens, it is usually too late to do anything. No mid-course correction can be made. A business has already lost a great deal of money.
The problem with customer feedback
Marketing researchers often attempt to discover what customers think about certain products, but the tools available to do this are limited. Customer surveys, for example, can provide some information, but in the end, these are only the opinions of those willing to take a survey. How are these customers similar to the customers in general? Most people are not willing to take surveys to begin with, so in order to get more people to take surveys, market researchers offer incentives. This can be any number of things, including money. However, these incentives can influence the results of the survey. Instead of getting valuable information, market researchers end up with another problem: how to determine the value of the opinion given by the customer.
Cards and letters offered valuable information
There was a time when the most valuable type of customer feedback came from customers writing letters or jotting down an opinion on a postcard. These comments were always paid attention to because behind each complaint or comment by a customer were many others who shared the same thought. Companies would always have their address on a product’s package. Later, phone numbers were added, but when people called, it was a phone operator who would simply tally comments by category. This was not as informative to a business as letters were, but it was still more accurate than a survey. All of this has changed. No one bothers to call about a product unless it is defective, and no one writes letters about anything anymore.
What about emails?
For a period of time, emails did take the place of phone calls, and businesses were getting the information they wanted and needed again. People would write the same type of information they did in a letter; it was simply in an electronic format, but this slowly gave way to the rating concept.
Reviewing and rating products
Web pages sprang up everywhere, allowing people to make comments and leave some sort of rating in the form of numbers or stars. This type of customer feedback was different because it was not directed at the company offering the product or service but was written for other consumers. The business providing the product or service was cut out of the process. Of course, not being involved in the review process is not a problem. What is a problem is finding a way to find the whereabouts of all of these reviews, and then finding a way to process the information. It is not likely to be cost-effective to have employees, sitting at their desks, reading review after review as they attempt to quantify what they are reading. There is a better way.
Review tracking software
There is software available that combs the internet for reviews on websites for your business’s products and services. All of these reviews are gathered together, so they can be analyzed in a convenient way. All of the work needed to find the reviews is done for you. All you need to do is begin your discovery of what customers are thinking. This software, sometimes called CEM software, also has features and tools to help you analyze the comments made by users. Compared to a labor-intensive process of attempting to do this yourself, this type of program offers great cost savings, and it will provide better results.
The truth is that there is a lot of guesswork that goes on when it comes to understanding customer feedback that companies engage in, but it is also true that a business does not have to rely on guesswork. The customer reviews software that is available, can eliminate guesswork and provide your business with the information you need for success.