16 Additional Answers
The best way in addition to drip marketing is with surveys set up as part of the marketing module in your CRM system. You can track trends this way and cusitmers needs and satisfaction.
There's a few ways companies could collect customer feedback with CRM. Depending on the CRM solution your using I've recommended companies can tracking communications such as responses to email/mail out blasts, track customer issues (cases) and/or creating a separate entity in the system to track survey information.
I believe the key here is not only the ability to track the information but what are you doing with the information now that you have it.
Pandora's box is forever opened now with Social Media and its direct pertinence to CRM. With it, CRM now has the opportunity to become 'real time' along with the customer populating their CRM profiles with those companies successfully using CRM (that's another story....). The key is going to be how well, and more importantly, how it will need to be designed as part of a CRM solution employing 'Useful Use' (the philosophy I used in co-inventing and designing ACT!). This needs to become more than just another tab in a customer record, it must help to streamline relationship effectiveness, leading to more production in sales.
I agree with Lisa's comment on 'what are you going to do with it?' Although this is not really an answer to the original question, I think it does merit some related discussion. There is a lot of information available that is 'nice to know' for a company but to the point, can/will the company take action on what they have collected? I believe it's a disservice to ask for my preferences and keep communicating with me via mass e-mail blasts, for example. Mike's point is also on target- is the info just another tab in the customer record? My suggestion is that companies start with agreeing on the end goal-deciding on WHAT they plan to do with the information- and then work backwards to figure out how to collect it. The latter is the much easier part of the equation.
(CRM Manager, Freeman)
First thing to do is setup channels to gather feedback. For what projects/products/solutions does the company want? Then determine the best method for collecting that feedback. Finally tie those methods back to CRM for a clear 360 view of the customer.
- Customer Net Promoter Score (or CSI, customer feedback, etc). Have customer survey engine feed back into CRM system
- Social media suggestion boxes: like Dell's Idea Storm or MyStarbucks Ideas - give customers a platform to not only comment on your current services/widgets but suggest new ones
- Social media integration: get on Facebook/Twitter, et al and own your brand. Use these as ways to respond to customer needs/questions.
Key ingredient - how will you tie all of this together into CRM. It can't be ancillary - must be core integration.
Have you come across PhaseWare which is a company dedicated solely to customer service & support software – providing a powerful, flexible solution that manages the complete customer service spectrum from Help Desk to Self Service.
The key thing is the self-service and knowledge base functionality we provide. You can help your customers help themselves to resolve issues faster. This way you’ll get a lower # of inbound calls and emails – so you don’t have to increase the customer support team with increasing customers AND the current team can spend more time on high priority customers.
Secondly, PhaseWare comes with an inbuilt chat system. Getting connected to customers in real time will really help improve customer experience. And remember, you won’t need to add more support reps to man the chat software because the team is better equipped with a cutting edge support software. With self-service and many other rich features, you’re adding additional support channels without increasing costs!
(President & Founder, Avinta Services Inc.)
You can use a CRM in 3 ways to capture customer feedback & more importantly communicate the value and direct actions of thier feedback:
1. Pushed Requests for Feedback - Whether one-experience promoted after a sale, service issue, website visit or webinar, you can use technology to determine the customer movement and dynamically send requests for feedback based on the experience. There are a myriad of systems that can trigger off a customer event.
2. Proactive Requests for Feedback - By and large, social media will drive this. So keep current and make yourself in the know on where to be on the internet given your trade. Places include social networks, blogs, vlogs and your consumers' places. But don't also underestimate the power of human resources to solicit feedback - whether a sales rep or a service rep. Develop a place where it is easy for customers to enter the stage and even for those who interface with customers to enter the stage and speak on thier behalf. Today, any ability to capture on the wisdom of crowds and allowing consumers to empathize and 'promote' the relevance of thier feedback is powerful. We all know one thousand things that we could do better, but allowing the crowd to tell us which of these 1000 is most relevant and important will help us better allocate dollars on improvements from customer feedback.
3. Bi-lateral Communication on Feedback Action - As important as getting the feedback is articulating the action plan on feedback. The more you can demonstrate instant action on feedback, the more your customers will see you as a partner and less as a vendor. Whether it's a steering committee meeting to review feedback and apply actions or simply showcasing a site that demonstrates action based on feedback like Mystarbucks, the more your customers know, the more you will grow.
(Cloud Computing Evangelist, Currently seeking employment)
Make it easy and use creative low cost incentives to get more customers to tell you how they feel. Put a graphic banner on your website with a link to a short survey that includes free entry into a weekend getaway for two. The survey should take the participant no more than 2 minutes to complete. Most resort companies in the hot travel destinations (Las Vegas, Miami, Disney) will give you big discounts -- even freebies -- for running corporate promotions like this in these difficult economic times, especially if you are willing to do the promo on a recurring basis.
I have to agree with Kevin Richardson (above). There is little value in gathering customer feedback if that data is not directly tied to back to the customer in your CRM system.
This data needs to be tracked historically and needs to be actionable.
I also believe we are on the verge of historic change in this area as more and more CRM initiatives realize the potential of incorporating social media feedback and responses backk into their CRM.
Without a system that ties all of these together the value of customer feedback is negligible.
(Founder, CEO and CRM, BI, Data Warehouse Consultant, Ridge Group LLC)
Feedback comes in may forms from customers; pro-active as in the form of customer service desks and re-active in response to marketing or other stimulus. There is enormous value in consumer/customer data once you decide to look at it.
For instance, in the recent past I architected a consumer response collection and reporting system from the company's call centers. We collected every inbound contact from around the world, inducing as much contact data as was possible. Importantly on phone call, we had agents record the essence of the call in a text summary, plus the product or issue that was of interest. Then we culled through all the data looking for trends and behavior data that could be re-used. In the end a very valuable tool for the company.
Remember not all good data needs to be individual customer specific, although that is nice. Sometimes being able to spot trends or be able to apply predictive practices as just as important.
Some great suggestions here. My question might be slightly different, not what but who ? Who in our businesses has the necessary time and skills to first accumulate the knowledge of these processes and then to undertake the time consuming work of collection and analysis. All this presupposing that they have the right CRM software and know it's full capablities. Suggestions welcome.
(CRM Consultant, RSR Business Consultancy Ltd.)
All of the options need to consider not just the collection of feedback but what are you doing with it and how are you going to react to what the feedback is telling you.
With an integrated solution you can see which customers need more TLC and more importantly where your organisation is letting you down.
The level and frequency of feedback collection will also dictate how effective your analysis and feedback can be.
As to who should be gather feedback, all I would say is that every part of the organisation that has contact with a client, since this will enable the gathering
Simply you can push ad hoc based on a gut feel. More intelligently you can configure parameters in a CRM integrated solution to trigger on a predefined events, type of interaction, type of outcome etc.
To this you really need a tool that has been built to handle the development of feedback requests, collect the responses from the feedback channels and then do the analysis work in the background, such a tool does exist for Microsoft Dynamics CRM http://www.rsrbusinessconsultancy.co.uk/csd_add_ins.htm
Having said that I am sure that there are many other tools out there, and that many will other will integrate, but the key question has to be the pedigree of the solution, the CSD feedback tool comes from an established and well used very powerful EFM background where the toolset is used by Organisations such as Orange, DHL, Old Mutual Health Care to name a few organisations across a diverse range of industries that do take customer feedback seriously and use it effectively.
And finally just collect the fact that an interaction has taken place and asking was the experience good may not elicit the really valuable information that can be extracted from a client interaction through the use of a professionally developed survey or questionnaire that can build on the client experience and derive untold benefits from the additional feedback extracted, but this could be another story.
(Health Economics/Public Policy, Richard Hom Consulting)
With all of the potential channels of customer communication, I find that traditional deployed software is incapable of accounting for even the most rudimentary of customer concerns.
For instance, I think that most negative comments about a vendor wont' be delivered directly to the vendor but will be posted on any number of blogs, microblogs or social network sites. In my personal experience, social networking managers recognize this phenomena but are unable to convince IS/IT internal managers that this accounts for the bulk of customer complaints.
Even the customer forums of fore only curry favorable concerns or complaints or request for features. They don't or aren't the usual venues for negative comments.
My question really concerns whether any vendor can incorporate social networking?
(President, Mondo Media, Inc)
Some CRM's have lead capture tools built in.
For ACT!, you should use www.swiftpage.com
. It offers a web-site signup form system. This feature can bring in new leads into ACT! or update existing records.
With WiredContact, it's just part of the system. You create a lead capture page, and clients can even update their own information.
Without this integration, it's a huge potential to lose hot leads in the CRM.
(Executive, Guardian industries (India))
The basic question first comes, is company really interested in finding out customer's feedback. I have seen so many times repeated feedback by customer going to dustbins for several reasons. Sometimes it is eye wash. If company is really interested there are several ways it can acquire the feed backs given by the customer.
The correct manner is logging of feed backs into right domain. the chain should be like this,
Receiving feed backs from different quarters, logging the feed backs into right domain, like feed back about late delivery of consignment goes into common domain of shipping, warehousing, sales & logistics department.
once logged the feedback should pop up on the screen as urgent once all concerned department opens there computers.
There are several ways of collecting feed backs & acting upon it but the main factor is combined will power of the organization to improve upon there efficiency.
(Consultant, Self Employed)
Customer feedback forms should include choices to measure customer satisfaction and a free-form text area where they can provide suggestions, describe why they are happy/unhappy, etc.
If the interaction itself is web based, then include the feedback link as part of the web form. For example 'Here are is the automated price-quote that you requested. Please click here to provide feedback'
For other interactions that you want to collect feedback on, automatically send the customer an email that contains a hotlink that they can click on to provide their input.
Note: If they take the trouble to provide detailed feedback about problems with your service, customers will expect you to act on it. so it is better not to ask for feedback, than to request and then ignore it.
If you are looking for a CRM system that can provide this kind of functionality, the following white paper contains a list of vendors that can support it in one form or another, but the level of support and flexibility will vary so be sure that you ask the vendor to demo it for you. See http://www.focus.com/ugr/research/crm/how-pick-right-crm-helpdesk-bpm-vendor
for more details.