We recently wrote about the shifting dynamic of customer interactions—specifically, listening for customer feedback where customers are most likely to offer it. But how, exactly, do you do that? Which tools and techniques can you use to collect that valuable data?
Just as there are more ways for customers to express themselves, there are also numerous options available to you for listening. Some traditional practices—such as observations, interviews, and focus groups—provide important qualitative feedback but may involve a time commitment from participants. There are, however, newer methods that collect input from targeted individuals wherever they may be. These solutions send participants optimized emails or SMS text alerts that include survey links so they can register and complete it all on their mobile devices. Follow-up text messages can be sent at specific times to thank participants or remind them to respond. By better integrating feedback methods into participants’ daily activities, these techniques help strengthen engagement and increase participation.
With all of these options, deciding on the best way to collect meaningful customer data can take a degree of creativity. But, basically, you want to match the right tool to each particular customer population. ORI has tackled many interesting data collection challenges over the past 30 years, giving our clients the data they need for making smart decisions and strengthening their customer relationships. Our team increasingly finds that mobile technology allows us to collect timely and thorough customer input. SMS text alerts, for example, let us gather data from customers in real time using “experience sampling methods” instead of relying on their memories. Clients tell us that precision and the ability to cost-effectively test hypotheses are the major benefits of this approach.
Cell phones have become so integrated into daily life that few of us can imagine being without them. This ubiquity has dramatically improved our ability to reach out to target audiences. A 2015 Bank of America Trends in Consumer Banking Report found that 89% of respondents check their smartphones at least a few times a day. This illustrates how reaching out via mobile devices can make participants more accessible.
So, if you want to connect with your customers where they are, using cell phone and SMS technologies can help you collect unfiltered feedback. You can be more targeted about what you measure and have faster access to responses. These tools can enhance how quickly you address customers’ concerns, which in turn fuels retention, improves experience, and increases customer loyalty. As you develop your customer listening strategy, reach your customers where they are and show them you’ve heard their feedback by taking action quickly.