I spoke with Terry Anderson, Senior Analyst on the OpinionLab Insights team, the Verint Digital Feedback Management Solution, about critical strategies for leaders to harness the power of digital feedback.

What is digital feedback?

Digital feedback is a way of capturing direct customer insights through an online platform, such as a survey or forum. Digital feedback is a great strategy for capturing important data all in one place, while enabling your customers to leave open-ended comments that highlight areas of improvement and bring value to the business.

Why is it important to listen to the customer?

It’s important to remember that there’s a distinction between letting your customers speak to/at you and listening to what they say. Listening is a two-way exchange of communication, where your customers speak to you and you then take the time to consider what they are actually saying.

Given that more and more exchanges between customers and businesses take place online, there are fewer opportunities to have the kind of two-way exchange that face-to-face communication provides. Listening will instil in you a greater sense of empathy, and enable your organisation to truly see business processes from the perspective of the customer.

How does digital feedback improve the customer experience?

One of the main goals in gathering digital feedback is to enable communication between you and your customer. Information is delivered (by the customer), and a message is received (by the company). Ideally, your customers’ messages should compel your company to take action.

As an analyst working with businesses to improve their digital customer experience, I often encounter situations where companies have gaps in their perspective on drivers of the customer experience.

This usually happens because key site sections, sub-domains, or even specific digital tools lack a continuous-listening solution. In these situations, companies tend to assume that no problems exist on these neglected touchpoints, simply because no feedback is being relayed on or about them.

My advice is to offer your customers the capability to provide feedback across all your digital touchpoints. Let the customer talk to you from every single page of your website, mobile apps and other platforms. Feedback should be initiated by the customer, and available at the touch of a button.

How can digital feedback deliver ‘moments of truth’ that drive business impact?

If you want digital feedback to be actionable, and related to in-moment pain points, make it easy for your end users to speak to you as close to the actual moment of truth as possible. That ‘moment of truth’ could be a page itself, or even an aspect of a specific page, such as search results or account details.

Familiarising yourself with verbatim digital feedback is the ultimate way to challenge your own assumptions about your customer experience, gain a true sense of customers’ desired outcomes, and shed light on unmet needs that you never even considered to be factors in their overall satisfaction with your company.

What are some action points leaders can take to harness the power of digital feedback?

To get the true and honest digital feedback you require, be careful not to influence customer responses in any way. When requesting digital feedback, think about the following points:

  1. Let them speak in their own words

    Enable your customers to leave open-ended comments about what they want to tell you.

  2. How you ask is important.

    Invite online feedback with an open-ended comment so as not to influence the nature of what your customers want to tell you. If, for example, you ask a specific attitudinal question such as, ‘How do you feel about content of our site?’ – odds are that the information you get will focus specifically on content.

  3. Ensure the location for providing the comment is front and centre

    By prominently displaying the comment box when your customer opts to leave digital feedback, they will tell you exactly what first came to mind when they elected to speak with you.

The impact of digital feedback on the customer experience – both online and offline – can be immense. By following crucial steps to maximise its full potential, leaders can uncover key insights that enhance the customer experience and drive business growth.