A great deal of attention has been paid to the importance of the customer feedback loop process – it goes something like this: gather continuous customer feedback, forward data to employees in real-time, analyze the data for the underlying root causes, identify areas in need of improvement, implement change, continue listening!
Although the continuous improvement process is well understood, and the value of real-time data is appreciated, not enough attention has been paid to the importance of how the process itself begins: when and where the customer feedback is gathered. No matter how sophisticated your feedback process, your conclusions and change implementation will be handicapped by the quality and freshness of the incoming customer feedback. I would argue the most important step in the feedback look is how the process begins.
Capturing real-time customer feedback as close as possible to the time and place the customer experiences your business is critical to ensure fresh, spontaneous and accurate feedback data. We at Opinionmeter refer to this as the Point-of-Experience (POE): the time and place of the customer forms a purchase decision or experiences your business’s products and services. The goal is to get as close as possible to the POE when soliciting customer experience feedback regardless of the touch point – be it on the shelf, at the cashier, online or in the waiting room, feedback can be solicited using a variety data collection tools. All these touch points should be capturing continuous, real-time feedback creating a rich stream of input to initiate the feedback process.
In addition to ensuring quality input into your feedback process, when you have a spontaneous real-time POE data stream directly from all touch points across your enterprise, you then have an extremely rich conduit directly to the customer: Voice of the Customer from the POE!