Samantha Lang is Marketing Communications Manager for Clicktools, the premium survey software for businesses. Since joining the company in April 2012, she has rallied around the brand promise to help companies better understand and serve their customers by leveraging feedback and CRM. Samantha has contributed to B2B software marketing teams for more than 14 years, specializing in messaging, branding, content creation, and social media. She holds a BA in English from Fordham University and an MFA in Creative Writing from American University.
August 7, 2014
All eyes are on the customer. Finally, it seems, experts, execs, and analysts agree that engaged, loyal customers are the foundation of a successful business. At Clicktools, we’ve observed and promulgated this point for a long time, and love that numerous statistics have risen to support it — particularly those confirming that customers buy from companies that provide superior customer experiences. The fact that they’ll also pay more for that experience speaks volumes about the monetary value of customer experience, but that is another blog in and of itself, which we'll address at a later date.
The C-suite has certainly taken notice of the customer experience trend. You may have seen an increase lately in executive roles such as Chief Customer Officer, Chief Loyalty Officer, and VP Customer Insight, all of which are positions that may have been viewed as ridiculous five years ago. Trendy titles aside, the industry emphasis upon customer service is good news for businesses and customers alike, as it means better communication, accelerated change, and greater innovation in service.
Put the trend into action. Ask customers for feedback.
Smart people agree that great customer experience drives success, thereby forcing companies to examine how to deliver that experience — a classic “easier said than done” situation. One undeniably important step is to ask customers for feedback along their journey. Customer experience can not be improved in a vacuum, nor in a conference room with your best and brightest — customers must be consulted. If you incorporate and act on their input, you can jump on the fast track to delivering excellent customer experience.
There is much debate surrounding how feedback should be captured, managed, and shared across the organization. Some companies still use a standalone feedback application to collect feedback across multiple channels, distribute role-relevant reporting, and provide action management tools. This may seem like a comprehensive solution to the feedback process. But if you consider customer feedback as part of the broader customer experience strategy, it becomes clear that keeping this data separate from your primary storehouse of customer data — your CRM system — does not serve the greater purpose.
Housing feedback data in isolation from your CRM is like keeping one closet full of left-footed shoes and a separate one full of right-footed shoes. Ultimately, you need shoes on both feet. So why spend time and effort trying to match them up from separate locations just to perform a basic function such as taking a walk?
To extend the metaphor, your customer-facing agents certainly want both shoes when stepping into external conversations. No one wants to get caught off guard by a customer who provided feedback, but didn’t get the response they desired. Keeping this input outside of CRM makes it that much harder to equip your agents with complete information, which, in this day and age, includes feedback. Here are our top three reasons for integrating customer feedback with CRM:
Who doesn’t love eliminating complex, time-consuming processes like building and importing lists or spreadsheets and manually sending out survey invitations and reminders. An integrated feedback-to-CRM solution does this for you.
You’ll get closer to a true, single view of the customer by putting feedback (including social media posts) into CRM. Plus, you’ll develop more effective, informed service agents by automatically showing survey responses in CRM records.
Combining feedback and CRM enables a more sophisticated approach to personalization and message targeting. You wouldn’t send the same offer to very satisfied and very dissatisfied customers. Similarly, you’ll identify up-sell and advocacy opportunities more readily when feedback is integrated with other customer data.
If you want to avoid the problems, costs, and lost opportunities associated with standalone feedback apps, contact Bluewolf about strategies and technologies. As a partner, Bluewolf has implemented many successful Clicktools solutions integrated with Salesforce to enable brands to collect, centralize, and act on customer feedback.