It’s safe to say nobody today knows when the first documented customer service complaint was made but the first one with existing proof of record can be seen in the British Museum today in London. Circa 1750 BC a customer named Nanni received a shipment of copper ore from Ea-Nasir. Its quality was inferior to what was expected and, to add insult to injury, there had been some annoying delays in the supply.
The complaint (inscribed on a clay tablet) describes how the customer’s expectations had not been met, the ore supplied was not what had been promised, and that the customer had been treated disrespectfully. Unfortunately, we don’t know how Nanni’s complaint was dealt with by the supplier but fast-forward to today and it is clear to see the critical role that customer feedback has played in the development of our modern consumerist world.
Make new friends but keep the old
A general rule of thumb is that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. The first rule of any business has to be to build a loyal relationship with clients. The net result is customer retention, avoiding customer acquisition costs.
A study by Invesp found that repeat buyers spend 33% more than new ones, and just 20% of existing customers account for 80% of a company’s profits. Yet there is a clear disconnect somewhere: 44% of companies have a greater focus on customer acquisition vs. 18% that focus on retention. And only 40% of companies have an equal focus on acquisition and retention.
With the fallout from COVID-19 running deep and wide, something tells us that more businesses will wake up to the realization that customer retention has to be front and center in their strategy presentation. Client feedback is the most important piece of data they need to have any real chance of delivering on this though. But feedback is a strange beast.
Very few dissatisfied customers voice their opinion to their service provider, yet way more than 90% of customers share bad with people they know. Another disconnect. So why don’t customers provide feedback? The reasons may be varied but the solution can be remarkably simple.
Time is the thing consumers (people) prize most highly. Scientific or not, there is a real feeling out there that people feel busier than ever before and this has to be understood by enterprises. But many do not.
How many times have you browsed a website only to be interrupted by an annoying, seemingly random, pop-up asking you to answer some questions? Hazarding a guess, we’d say too many times to mention. Survey length is another issue that surfaces time and again.
Even if you are expecting feedback to be requested, it makes sense for the process to be made as easy as possible. Asking multiple questions with free text answers turns customers off faster than a cold shower on a winter’s day, unless that is people are being paid to respond. But then the question is how much does the payment side of things influence the actual feedback? Feedback needs to be heartfelt and genuine.
Using digital channels to source feedback
To get the most insightful answers from any survey, it needs to be sent as close to the time of interaction as possible and the process has to be as frictionless as possible. Email simply does not cut it as the vehicle for feedback today with people’s inboxes overflowing with unread emails. The feedback channel has to be ubiquitous, highly engaging and something people inherently feel comfortable with. Enter stage right SMS and chat apps such as WhatsApp Business.
Rapid, convenient, and highly customizable, feedback requests sent via text messaging with simple yes / no questions can solve so many of the issues highlighted. With Mitto’s CPaaS solution encompassing these and more, we are perfectly positioned to power any organization’s feedback requests globally. We make feedback happen. Speed and accuracy is the name of our game and we have plenty of great feedback from satisfied clients which speaks volumes. Why not join them?
Are you ready to get started? We mapped out the entire process here. Now go build those campaigns!