In order to develop a base of loyal, repeat customers, retailers must keep a constant pulse on satisfaction and sentiment. By collecting data on customers and their expectations, retailers can ensure they create a great browsing and buying experiences across all channels.
Blinds.com puts a heavy emphasis on customer feedback when deliberating over any decision. Katie Laird, Public Relations and Social Media Manager at Blinds.com, referred to the Blinds.com team members as “total data junkies” who collect customer feedback on a variety of touch points, including social media, product reviews and customer service calls.
“We ask specific questions that an average consumer might think would be nitpicky,” said Laird in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “For instance, we want to know if color samples are too small to see on the [computer] screen, or if our web site design didn’t help a consumer accomplish a task. Different channels sometimes gather different information.”
In May 2011, Blinds.com implemented the iPerceptions Active Research Platform to further engage with customers and better understand their needs, desires and frustrations with the shopping process. Specifically, the iPerceptions platform provides Blinds.com employees with detailed insights regarding various areas the company web site, including design, content and the overall helpfulness of product pages.
Team members who use the Active Research Platform can conduct customized surveys and disseminate comment cards to engage customers and capture a 360-degree view of their interactions. Survey questions can range from multiple-choice questions, to ratings or even open-ended questions. The iPerceptions software also includes third-party platform integration with programs such as Google Analytics and Tealeaf, and can track behavioral metrics and trends through an advanced reporting dashboard.
Blinds.com taps into an extensive data security system from iPerceptions, which ensures vital company information is protected, Laird explained. The Blinds.com team also was searching for a solution that was agile and could be customized based on company goals. “We wanted the flexibility to be able to do whatever testing or experiments we were currently working on,” Laird said. “We wanted the survey tool to provide that to us, whether it’s running multiple surveys at one time or being able to implement some sort of customer segmentation.”
Encouraging Feedback With Personalization
The company culture of Blinds.com goes far beyond the usage of a specific platform to collect customer feedback. Approximately 30 days after a shopper purchases an item from the web site, Blinds.com CEO and Founder Jay Steinfeld sends a personal letter to each customer, asking for suggestions on improving the customer experience.
“That post-sales survey is gold,” Laird said. “The things that we hear range anywhere from web site, to customer service, to product satisfaction, all the way down to the color that we’re using in our Twitter background.”
Blinds.com also created the SureFit Guarantee, which was designed to prevent buyer’s remorse and ensure customers receive the best shopping experience possible. As part of the SureFit Guarantee, customers who order inaccurately measured blinds from Blinds.com can exchange their product for a new one, free of charge.
“Because of all the feedback we’ve been receiving,” Laird explained, “we realized that if we really wanted to shift the way that people buy this product, we had to do something to alleviate that stress point for them.” According to Laird, less than 1% of customers return products to invoke the guarantee.