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Why customer feedback is becoming more important

  • Opinion
  • April 2, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Why customer feedback is becoming more important

Customer feedback is becoming one of, if not the most, important aspect of improving business. Reviews and customer surveys are quickly holding fast as the main way generational shoppers decide where to go, and how business can decide to react.

This year at the Chicago International Homewares Association expo, Tom Mirabile, trend expert for the IHA, stated being reactive to things like customer feedback and reviews will become a growing importance in retail.

eMarketer data finds that roughly two-thirds of U.S. internet users reference product reviews at least often before making a purchase. So, its important businesses must be able to collect, and react to that in a timely manner if they’re going to use it to their advantage.

For retailers, collecting and reacting to customer reviews can be a challenge. Bad reviews on Facebook or Google are often hard to amend, and customers often forgo writing positive reviews due to timing or often forgetfulness.

Customer feedback is an insight into what is working well about your product or service and what should be done to make experience better. And retailers are quickly moving to use feedback how they can, when they can get it. 

You might have the best expertise in the industry in which your company operates, but your professional knowledge will never be more valuable to business performance than customer insights. There are many ways in which you can go about collecting that data, places such as SurveyMonkey create online surveys on your service which can be emailed out to your data base. Or there are options such as USABilla, which is an online tool that questions your customers on how the experience of their site went.

It’s things we’ve all seen before as consumers; we either comply and rate the experience, or we move on. The new feedback economy is in no way obtrusive to our lives, nor is it a breach of our privacy. It is an important part of helping businesses grow and react how the consumer thinks they should. If you don't wish to do a survey, rate the experience, or give feedback, as a consumer you don't have too, a choice which is often appreciated by customers. 

You may have seen different methods around, such as bathrooms in malls asking you to rate you experience, or those little smiley face buttons at the airport. They come from the fact that retailers, surprisingly, are not mind readers. If we as consumers expect our businesses to improve their offerings based on our opinions, then feedback and reviews are increasingly important to that process.   

Kathmandu, New Balance, Nike and Bendon are a few retailers in New Zealand who have adopted instore feedback solutions to gather real time feedback at the point of sale. Although not a new concept, asking customers for their review at the point of sale is a way that engages them, and encourages them to be honest.

One such system that has launched in New Zealand, TruRating, the supplier to the above retailers. Quickly, the UK founded company has led the industry with its 'one response' POS feedback system. They tackle the ‘silent majority’ of customers, people that don’t mind supplying feedback if promoted, but also gives the option to skip for customers who don't want to rate the experience. 

TruRating POS Feedback 

Backing TruRating, ANZ managing director, Dylan Berrington, says these POS feed back systems give customers a stronger voice, and allows retailers to deliver better customer experiences.

“Collecting customer feedback at the point-of-purchase, gives companies a real-time view of customer satisfaction and overall company performance on key metrics such as service, value and product selection,” says Berrington. “By listening to customers, businesses can then use this knowledge to improve their offering and grow customer loyalty.”

Most of the time, retailers can operate smoothly without customer feedback. But the voice of the customer is becoming more increasingly important, says Stephen Domancie, Kathmandu GM retail stores & operations.

Dylan Berrington

“As a result of this feedback in conjunction with key business initiatives, we have seen a direct positive impact on customer satisfaction… we are excited to see what successes we can replicate based in this market.”

Places like TruRating deliver that feedback in real-time, allowing your business to be more reactive. This again circles back to Mirabile’s trend report for 2019, where he states reactiveness, to both positive and negative feedback, will be more important than ever in the coming years. 

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