How to use contextual customer feedback to become a truly customer-centric organization

Customers appreciate surveys when there is context but how do you ensure there are no lags and loopholes?

Date published
May 11, 2021 Categories

30-second summary:

  • The customer feedback loop can be long, clunky, and complex making it a mammoth task that even the largest brands struggle to optimize for
  • The customer journey is already influenced by a lot of factors right from their personal state to SEO, UX, and more that impact the decision making which impact the business bottom line
  • This is where contextual customer feedback can help turn the key to a treasure trove of customer insights
  • CXO Digital Transformation Advisor, Cyril Coste unlocks a new dimension to becoming a customer-first business through an optimized customer feedback process

Contextual customer feedback is an essential internal feedback channel, ecommerce companies must pay attention to. It evaluates the customer experience by collecting feedback from all touch-points within the customer journey.

This feedback can provide insight into what customers are thinking and feeling during their journey such that ecommerce managers, executives, and marketers in charge of improving customer conversion rates can make informed decisions.

As the CMO Council highlighted, “Delivering on a data-driven, customer-led, individualized, real-time experience is no longer a point of differentiation — it is the baseline of engagement that customers expect. And many marketers believe that their organizations are struggling to meet this new foundational need.”

To understand how customers feel and improve the various aspects of the conversion funnel, it is essential to speed up the customer feedback loop to gain insights into why customers abandon their missions.

It’s a fact, some companies are more customer-centric than others. What does this mean? While many companies treat customers as lumps of data or faceless individuals, those who are customer-centric always nuance their approach to their customers, checking in with them, learning firsthand how they feel, and leveraging data to deliver the best possible outcome.

The importance, as always, is relevance. These customer-centric organizations understand what a customer wants when they offer something new. They don’t waste time on anything the customer is not interested in purchasing or anything that could influence them.

Why do we need a contextual customer feedback survey?

Much of the current ecommerce landscape is about deciding what to show customers on a page to get them to click, download, or buy.

At the same time, ecommerce conversion optimization can be a daunting task. There are many nuances such as UX, SEO, email marketing, and others that may affect conversion rates. Customer feedback is one of the most important aspects of conversion optimization, and sometimes it can be tricky to find a lot about it when applied during the journey.

This approach often leads companies down an iterative path of tweaking the content, color scheme, display format, and testimonials across pages in the hopes of making a sale.

But is this an effective approach?

The reality is that most ecommerce sites are simply confusing for many customers. Optimizing your site in a half-baked effort to implement a quick fix by adding some content here and removing some stuff from there does not resolve what customers find difficult to navigate or discover what they need. It just covers it up with some cosmetic changes.

These challenges may be why a growing number of organizations are becoming more customer-centric by adopting, measuring, and optimizing the customer experience and conversion via contextual customer feedback.

Does your company use actionable customer feedback to grow its business?

It’s important to know which metrics matter when analyzing customer feedback so that you can focus on what’s going right.

In short, contextual customer feedback evaluates the customer experience by collecting feedback from all touch-points within the customer journey.

The specific areas of focus may include:

  1. Website design
  2. Product features
  3. Product availability
  4. Ease of checkout and payment processes
  5. Delivery times and prices
  6. Customer service

These are the metrics that customers care about instead of what the company cares most about, such as revenues or the number of orders.

One of the most significant mistakes merchants make is viewing customer feedback as a separate campaign. But contextual customer feedback is best used to understand the buying cycles and pain points of individual customers.

Why is customer research not good enough?

If you’ve ever managed or built a product, you know it is hard to collect and analyze information. It takes a lot of time. You have to spend hours looking at customers and followers, air record interviews, there’s mostly no process stage assigned for collection inspections. The responses received are, in general, not specific to the context and too vague for an in-depth analysis. Not only do you need to gather, clean, and organize your data, but you also need to be relevant and meaningful.

Can you rely on your sales team to collect contextual data?

Relying on your sales team will require you to dedicate some time, resource, and process to train your sales folks. Why? Because you will expect your salespeople to ask the right questions at the right time during the sales journey, capture the responses in a particular format, and analyze the responses.

I am not saying you shouldn’t have customer research and interviews. But can you have tens of them per day? Even large organizations won’t have the resources to proceed effectively.

What are the benefits of contextual customer feedback?

Real-time trends! Once these surveys are embedded into the customer lifecycle, you’ll get a constant stream of data that will help you understand how your product is improving over time.

We need a fast, reliable, efficient way to collect data and analyze the results, so developing an efficient and effective feedback tool for online customer experience and comment is critical.

There are several customer feedback solutions (software and SaaS) to collect, sort, and analyze data accessible.

Using contextual customer feedback, you will see an immediate impact on survey engagement. The post-chat survey response rate is about a third higher than a standard email survey response rate.

This figure confirms that customers like to participate in the survey in context, and they do not consider the surveys to be intrusive. It’s more accessible from the customer’s perspective to share an opinion about an event that has just happened rather than a day or a week later.

So, how does contextual customer feedback work?

There is no secret sauce to stay ahead of your competitors and meet your customers’ expectations. You have to listen to what your customers say to you and about you, then act fast. And you can do that by establishing proven contextual customer feedback.

Customer feedback surveys are one of the most popular ways to collect customer feedback about your ecommerce site. However, traditional surveys can be time-consuming and costly, making it difficult to get the feedback you need to improve your website. Contextual customer feedback helps you get feedback by adding surveys to your website at critical points, using subtle reminders, notifying customers when they need to act, and tracking how they respond.

The word “contextual” is used in its broad sense. In other words, the term “context” doesn’t only refer to the physical environment, where a customer is, and what they are doing at the time of taking a customer feedback survey. It can also be used in a broader sense, for example, a customer’s emotional state, mood, recent experiences, as well as their expectations and hopes for the future.

Your customer is your best source of information.

Contextual customer feedback surveys let you collect direct customer feedback efficiently and anonymously (if necessary).

Contextual customer feedback surveys are much more effective vs email surveys – consider time, cost, quality. They are not as intrusive and provide you reliable and actionable insights in a short time.

Cyril Coste is CxO Digital Transformation Advisor, Founder and CDO of Digital And Growth. Cyril is also part of Huawei’s Key Opinion Leader program and has been associated with brands such as Ted Baker, Barclays, GSK, Rolls-Royce, Nivea, and others. He can be found on Twitter @CyrilCoste.

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