Why in-moment feedback may the best option for your business

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In my previous post I mentioned why email surveys may not be working if you’re a business with a brick-and-mortar presence.

In this post, I’m going to shed some light on why you should be using in-moment feedback as your number one option.

First things first, what is in-moment feedback? Simply, it is collecting customers’ opinions on your product/service usually before, during or shortly after the point of sale. However, in today’s highly customer-centric economy, it just isn’t enough to collect feedback. For you to derive any meaningful value from in-moment feedback, it must be interpreted and analyzed almost instantly. Are pen-and-paper surveys considered to be in-moment? No, not unless someone is reading and analyzing responses simultaneously. That would be expensive and highly unnecessary.

Fortunately, technology has made in-moment feedback within reach of most businesses today. Here are 5 points that explain why in-moment feedback is awesome:

  • You save everyone time (and save yourself some cash).

As Ben Franklin once said (or so I’m told), “time is money”. By having an in-moment feedback system, you can save time by requesting feedback immediately rather than leaving it as a separate exercise. The time saved can alleviate your costs in two ways: 1) You can minimize your administrative expenditures related to other research methods; 2) You can minimize any future losses by taking action whenever someone leaves a scathing review (more on that later).

You also save customers their time. Even if your feedback process takes two minutes, realize that not all minutes are created equal. Two minutes spent giving feedback in-store is far easier for a customer than giving two minutes of her “me time”. Humans are not logical creatures. Akin to the theory of mental accounting, understand that when customers are at your location, they have mentally provisioned to spend that time – so an additional 2 minutes won’t hurt the bank. However, if you ask for feedback later, irrespective of whether the process takes the same amount of time, your customers will be much more reluctant to spend that time which is unaccounted for (sorry, but it’s true).

  • You get better qualitative data and save customers from burning mental calories.

I remember my consumer behavior professor once stating that “humans are cognitive misers”. The more I read and the more I analyze my own behavior, I have no choice but to concede to that statement.

When you ask for in-moment feedback, experiences are still salient in the minds of your customers. This way, your customers don’t need to access their memory banks and can provide better data that is more descriptive and accurate, ultimately giving you a truer gauge of how they are feeling.

  • You can ask more relevant questions and match responses with experiences in real-time.

When properly executed, in-moment feedback can allow you to ask very specific questions that would otherwise be difficult for customers to answer later. An auto service shop could ask: ‘Did the mechanic go through your car’s diagnostic report in detail?’ and match the response with the mechanic on the floor. Or perhaps a restaurant could ask ‘what was your favourite dessert?’ and assign numerical values to the number of desserts on the table. Whatever your case, in-moment feedback can allow you to ask more specific questions and understand what’s working and what isn’t in real-time. That cashew sundae? Yugh! Scrap it. In-moment feedback is proactive. Everyone remembers an incident when they’ve experienced terrible service. Some of you may have given a piece of your mind, while others may have made a mental note. Whichever bucket you fall into, were you a repeat customer? Probably not.

The good thing with in-moment feedback is that it takes into consideration a wider set of opinions from a variety of different customer personalities. In addition to that, should you receive a horrible review, you can rectify and improve the customer’s experience immediately. Showing your customer that their business is important to you is a much better way of getting a second chance than leaving it up to fate.

  • You can bring elements beyond text into the mix.

Text is great, but how many people actually write in the comment box? Unless you’re the dedicated person in the group responsible for feedback forms (we all have that friend), no one enjoys that – it’s tedious. Fortunately, with the arrival of voice technology and advancements in artificial intelligence, it’s now possible to ask customers to leave comments with minimal effort and derive even more insight through sentiment, emotional, and tone analysis. Not only does this provide richer data, but it also allows you as the business to take in feedback from multiple customers at once, not just the dedicated feedback person (if I’ve just taken away your role as the dedicated feedback person, I apologize). However, for the rest of us normal folk, that sounds like a win-win for everyone.

Whatever your customer feedback collection method, know that you are still ahead of the game. There isn’t a single approach that is applicable to all. What is important is that you put yourself in your customers’ shoes and experience their pain-points across the customer journey. At Twistar we’re trying to help businesses improve not only customer feedback, but the whole customer experience. If you’re interested in finding out more or want to partner with us, shoot us a message and let’s start a conversation.