Online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores are having a tough time keeping up with the ever-growing digital market and the audience characteristics that are developing with it. Shoppers are focusing less on loyalty and more on their experience, with half of them saying they would switch to a new brand after just one bad customer service interaction. However, if customer service is excellent, 78% of consumers will do business with a company again, even after a mistake.
The number of touch points and level of consistency shoppers expect across all departments and channels is increasing. Today, 74% of customers said they use multiple channels to start and complete a transaction. This means retailers need to take an omnichannel approach to successfully meet the demands of their audience.
Communication between your customers, employees and external stakeholders holds the power to unlock discrepancies between departments and show where your business model may have room for improvement to create a more seamless customer experience.
Let’s take a look at how digital surveys could be the secret to collecting the insightful data and innovation leads you are looking for.
How to Track a Customer’s Bad Shopping Experience
Digital surveys can give you insight into various areas of your business, showing the state of important customer metrics:
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): CSAT is a key performance indicator for customer service and product satisfaction for all types of retailers. The metric is measured as a percentage based on survey respondents grading elements of your proposition from a scale of one (very unsatisfied) to five (very satisfied). If you’ve noticed declines in your CSAT, it’s time to dig a little deeper into those results and look at what your customers are saying.
For example, IKEA Dubai found that many of its customers were having a hard time reaching them. Using a survey to discover patterns and highlight what the customer was most unhappy about enabled IKEA to create a unique solution called “buy with your time.” This allows customers to translate the distance of travel into a discount in-store.
Abandoned Shopping Carts: If you have a product waiting in your online shopping cart, it might be that the customer has not quite found all the items they are looking for or has started to browse another site. Creating “workflows” using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to connect your ecommerce data with your survey application can allow you to automatically send a form to your customer. This would include predetermined questions to understand what is holding them back from making the purchase.
Workflows can even be set to connect certain queries or roadblocks to a live agent who can help customers, for example, find the remaining items they are looking for. Mini purchase platforms that use expression and stripe integration can also allow customers to complete payment directly within the survey following a resolution with customer service.
Case management functions in omnichannel survey platforms have the power to provide proactive support. They work by turning individual queries into tickets, and assign an agent so that the customer can receive one-on-one support. In cases where the customer fails to respond, automated follow-up emails can be delivered to their inbox so they can complete the interaction at a time suitable for them.
In the case of an abandoned shopping cart, the email can also include the items selected and a list of possible reasons why they were unable to complete the purchase. Multiple choice answers are fast and easy for the consumer and give your organization insights to better understand cart abandonment.
Delivery Complaints: Using an omnichannel experience management platform, purchase orders and issues can be shared across the whole supply chain to drive communication and synergy. Employees can report issues using customizable forms and automatically notify the relevant departments directly.
Surveys can also be created for asset management and delivery capacity to ensure your logistics are running efficiently and sustainably. For example, recording whether delivery trucks are half empty or full, locations visited and whether there were any complications for the driver en route that impacted the dispatch can help in preparing future drops to those locations and providing accurate expected delivery times.
In-Store Complaints: If a customer complains that products were sitting above incorrect shelf labels or clothing displays were disorganized, teams on the floor can be notified immediately and the problem can be fixed before the next customer arrives. Capturing this digitally, with short questionnaires at in-store kiosks, allows improvements to be measured and tracked in real-time.
Similarly, automated surveys displaying visual merchandising guidelines can be accessed daily by employees before opening the store. Automating the process with visuals can prevent human error and simplify the process during store layout revamps.
Meet the Customer on Their Terms with the Right Platform
By recording all customer reactions via digital surveys, you can generate more informed insights and no information is lost. Surveys can help build customer profiles and filter the results so you can look at what demographics are gravitating toward certain products. With this information, you can better cater to your customers and create the whole customer roadmap based on the results of the survey.
These marketing platforms can be completely customized to ensure that surveys are not overshared. Depending on the area in which your organization requires more information, customers will need different timelines to be ready to provide feedback. For example, if a customer has made a phone complaint, you may prefer to send an SMS survey directly after the call, using the same medium of contact while the call is still fresh in their mind. There is also the opportunity to create market research surveys that ask the customer how often they would be comfortable receiving feedback requests. This way, your company can personalize even further and improve its market fit.
The Omnichannel Approach
To ensure you are offering the best customer experience and handling queries in real time, customer-centric models should be at the core of your retail store. All touch points need to be reported on continuously and relevant departments notified automatically when a red flag pops up. This way, issues across the whole customer journey can be dealt with in a timely manner, and you can even measure the time taken to respond to requests.
Omnichannel experience management platforms provide solutions ranging from online browsing and checkout to delivery and internal relations, by providing feedback channels and gathering the data in a central location. The integration allows you to connect your existing analytics applications and, in many cases, you can review the information without exiting the platform, keeping the dashboard user-friendly.
To offer a seamless experience for your customer, it is key that the branding across all customer-facing communications is consistent. You can do this by white labeling. This allows the software to be branded to fit your company visually and your tone of voice.
It is important that you are able to gather feedback across every channel. In today’s mobile-first climate, building mobile-friendly surveys could be a good start. However, the ability to communicate through email, a QR code, weblinks, SMS, social media and popular messaging platforms such as Slackbot, Teams Surveys and chatbots means you can reach every customer and employee at their preferred place of contact, any time of day. Successful integration of this omnichannel approach is what is going to set you ahead of the competition.
Shihab Muhammed is a SaaS entrepreneur who has built and scaled multi-million-dollar SaaS products. He is the Founder and CEO of conversational experience management platform SurveySparrow.