Brand Management – How Retailers can be on a “first-to-know” basis with their customers!

Using in-store market research tools

Thanks to advances in mobile market research tools, retailers and service organizations now have the opportunity to solicit feedback, while customers are still in the store experiencing their products or services. With access to real-time in-store customer feedback, merchants now have the opportunity to solicit feedback and respond to service issues before an unhappy customer can leave the store and broadcast their displeasure through social media. Like it or not, user-generated review sites have become very popular and never has it been so easy for consumers to broadcast their displeasure with a brand. Brand management requires that consumers have the opportunity to provide instant onsite feedback to retailers and merchants. If a retailer can capture this feedback and be the first to know, instead of the last to know about issues experienced by their customers, they win on several important levels. Not only are they in sync with their customers and on a first-to-know basis, but they avoid always being in damage control mode, reacting to user-generated reviews or complaints that have make their way onto social media. Retailers now have the market research tools to be on an intimate “first-to-know” basis with their customers!
Today’s market research tools provide retailers with multiple modalities for gathering instant point-of-purchase feedback: either through mobile-web surveys (triggered by scanning QR codes from point-of-sale signage or strategically placed throughout the store and in the aisles). Other options include placing point-of-service survey kiosks or mounting touch screen survey devices at end-caps, checkout counters, or in-aisle. There are many mobile research options available to retailers, whether the retailer utilizes the consumer’s smartphone directly, provide in-store touch screen survey devices, or ideally – both!
As important as real-time in store feedback is, it’s only really the beginning of the process! The real fun begins with how the data can be implemented for actionable change – even in the moment. For example, smart survey technology can trigger real-time alerts that notify onsite staff responsible for the customer’s experience so they have the opportunity to intervene and respond to the service incident before the escalate to the social media sphere. This provides retailers with a huge advantage to catch the incident in the “bud” and deepen the relationship with the customer.


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