The Problem With Third-Party Feedback Systems

third-party feedback systems

If a company’s success revolves around the day-to-day happiness of customers then asking them for relevant feedback is a good way to clarify what they want. In this day and age, most people don’t want or have time to fill out long forms or surveys, no one likes homework.

Creating customisable feedback workflows that get to the point of what the company needs to know and what the customer wants to say is the sweet spot. However, using third-party feedback platforms can create a separation between brand and buyer, and take away the ability to manage that connection. Let’s look at a few reasons why a third party route might not be best.

The timing is off

Delayed feedback is problematic. Why? Because timing is everything when it comes to responding to customers. The ideal practice is to reach out within 24 hours but many companies rely on costly third-party feedback systems to manage this process which can take longer.  

They also usually have a generic structure which sends out survey emails to customers, sometimes more than a day after an interaction.

Lack of visibility

This correspondence doesn’t always contain the context of what transpired between the company and their customers – leading to a lack of visibility over which channel influenced the commentary.

Reluctance to integrate

Adding to this, data collected by a third-party system tends to not be integrated with the customer journey, therefore analytics can be inaccurate. Feedback data shouldn’t be out of the loop.

How do we solve this?

There are established systems using urls, call recordings and other features, that can create a 360 view of the customer journey and easily integrate vital feedback data into a dashboard. It depends on whether a company requires this level of functionality or not. Frankly, it’s less costly to have it all in one place.

Before updating a CRM system, consider the impact of customer feedback on the growth of a brand, this can be done by ensuring that this data is always embedded in the original customer experience.

You Should Know What Happens Before A Customer Call

customer call

Before a customer call, they have used a path your business carefully constructed to get them there, all those digital breadcrumbs have a purpose and can create quick but meaningful conversations. It’s vital to not waste the resources you placed to manifest a potential sale.

Their context matters

The digital context for each visitor is the culmination of their online journey, it includes all their digital interactions up to the point of contact with a company – clicks, searches, Google Ad words, etc.

In this case, contact means the second they call. When that connection is made, it’s vital for the agent on the other side of the call to understand the path taken by this customer to get to them. You can do this by understanding your customer’s digital context.

Today’s caller/browser/internet ninja simply wants an automated, easy experience because that is what they are used to.

Users are just more agile and they expect companies to follow suit especially when the cost is high. Complex purchases require potential customers to heavily research a product’s intricacies. For example, over 95% of automotive buyers do their information gathering online before they visit a brick and mortar dealership.

Taking advantage of all these digital micro-moments leading up to that coveted face to face meeting can create an easy experience both online and offline. What a pleasant surprise that would be for a customer when they find out you’re already an expert on what they want.

Know the acquisition source

Acquisition source is the touchpoint someone comes from when they enter your brand realm, a lead could arrive from organic search, PPC, direct traffic, referral website or a print advertisement and use an array of devices to reach out.

It’s really important to know this information because it can help stakeholders save a lot of money. By measuring multi-channel traffic, it’s easier to know where to invest the most and the least.

It’s not all about the chatbot

Despite the multiple predictions, chatbots are not replacing human agents – yet. They are useful, but more for uncomplicated questions, quick notifications and routing callers to the right agent.

According to a study by PWC, “75% of global customers “want to interact with a real person more as technology improves”.

Before a call, it’s easy to turn off a customer if the chatbot is a dominant factor. Bridging human interaction seamlessly is where a chatbot can be useful but the emphasis [and money] should be on improving the skill set and knowledge of an agent before pumping funds into AI services that step further away from human connection.

Via: PWC, Think with Google.

The Art Of Breaking Through Customer Communication Barriers

customer communication

Conversations through technology have come a long way, the space contains both personal and professional interactions. When it comes to customer relationships, our approach to communication seems to lack much-needed personalisation. A border can form between customers and agents made of misunderstandings and incorrect data. There are ways through this.

Our CEO Anne de Kerckhove was recently featured in an article by French journalist David Abiker, in it, he comments on Anne’s speaking appearance at a conference they both attended. Her topic of choice focused on breaking down borders, both in business and life.

During the presentation, David and the audience noticed that her zipper hadn’t been done up – what the French and David call “the detail that kills” or “le detail qui tue.” Instead of shying away from the issue, Anne chose to face her faux pas and make it a funny interlude. She addressed the crowd, “Yes I know, I have the zip opened, I broke it in the bathroom, that’s how it is…” Immediately the air in the room changed from awkward silence to joyous relief.

One little zipper distracted the crowd of listeners from a vital discussion but it also proved her point. We can dissolve barriers by acknowledging their presence, it’s an age-old tenet – address the problem before you search for a solution.

Abiker also touched on this messaging in his piece and we can’t help but find a correlation with what we do – breaking borders between customers and brands.

Breaking borders in communication

In customer communication, there are now multiple channels leading to a brand. Often there are too many, causing more chaos than is necessary. We forget that human beings exist behind all the data and that’s a major problem.

“Customers do not care about the extent of your “omni-ness.” They care about the quality of your service,” says Harvard Business Review. 

Improving the quality of service is achieved by listening to customers. It’s easy for service reps to have a disconnected relationship with their clients. Especially when it’s through chat and response time is slow or when agents are located in another country. By humanising the process and using technology to understand customers on a personal level, it’s easier to build a bridge over the gap and get the conversation going.

Much like how Anne bit through awkwardness with transparency, the same process can be applied to customer communication. Wade through the scripted conversations, chatbots and IVR. Walk right up to the elephant in the chat room.

Via: Harvard Business Review, David Abiker.

Why Buyer And Seller Trust Is A Vital E-Commerce Metric

A question that often arises with the topic of online marketplaces is, “how do you determine their value?” These channels for multiple sources of product are lauded for their ironclad business models and money-making prowess which seems to be unstoppable. “The online retail industry in Europe is expected to be worth around 602 billion euros in 2017, which would mean e-commerce in Europe will grow 14 percent compared to the situation in 2016,” according to E-commerce News. But the bottom line isn’t enough to determine the big value picture.
Success for these centres of e-commerce means a keen awareness of metrics beyond the monetary, but more in the operational structure and how it creates an environment of mutual benefit for brand, buyers, and sellers. Probably the most critical glue binding these three players together is trust.
How do you determine trust levels in the e-commerce realm? Trust metrics can be calculated in a few ways:


A solid customer review system

A 2017 Bright Local survey discovered that “85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” Amazon is probably at the forefront of this process, including both commentary and a star rating system for each product on their website. Amazon also offered a Vine Program in 2007 which, “was created to provide customers with more information including honest and unbiased feedback from some of Amazon’s most trusted reviewers.” This was an answer to the growing trend of paid online reviewers and scammers turning heads towards specific items using glowing reviews. While bad eggs are a common problem in marketplaces with a broader influence, developing a transparent system in a business reliant on a community is always a good idea.

Review response

A study by Cornell University found that “failure to respond at all to reviews is costly. Results showed that organisations that did not acknowledge or respond to reviews and customer feedback experienced lower review scores and overall ratings.” The study recommended further that successful management means focusing on the most negative reviews. “Ratings improve more substantially in connection with constructive responses to negative reviews than simple acknowledgment of positive comments.”

Seller happiness

Third party sellers will have their product on multiple marketplaces, and the responsibility falls on the overseeing marketplace to make sure these sellers are always front of mind. The general complaint among independent businesses selling on global marketplaces is the high take rate. “The key issue with take rate in online marketplaces is the tug-of-war between maximising profit and keeping customers within the network,” says The Motley Fool. Consulting with sellers regarding take rates is a necessary procedure, since losing sellers and increasing buyers is a common chicken and egg issue facing online marketplaces. At the end of the day, having a balanced ecosystem of buying and selling is the goal of most online retailers.
Trust metrics isn’t something set in stone, merely a suggestion. Though it seems more and more that in e-commerce, value is determined in multiple ways but always controlled by the community that creates it.
Via: Amazon, The Motley Fool, Cornell University, Bright Local, E-Commerce News. 

Tip Of The Month: How To Invite New Users To Freespee

Did you know that you could invite users to view reports generated by Freespee? In an organisation, data sharing is very important so that there is complete visibility and transparency of activities and their results. Many times, one person only needs to view the data while another needs to process it further. It does get tedious when you have to pull out 5 different reports for the same data, to share it with all the people concerned. This feature is extremely helpful, not just to share data with people within your organisation but also with external contacts like an agency. When adding a contact, you can choose the rights that you wish to grant to this user and also select the level of data that you want to share.
If you have the write access to your account, you have the permission to add a user. The provision to add a new user to your account is available under the Settings menu. To add a new user, follow the simple instructions as mentioned below.

  1. Once inside the Settings tab, scroll down to the bottom and click on ‘New User’. This will expand into a form.
  2. Input an email address that belongs to the person you wish to add, as shown in the image.
  3. Choose whether or not to grant  write access to this user by clicking on the appropriate button as indicated in the image
  4. Select the kind of monthly report that you wish to share with this user by clicking the appropriate button. You can choose to share
    • No monthly reports at all
    • A short one page summary
    • Or a full extended version with complete source information
  5. Click on ‘Create User’ to complete.

On completing the above process, an automated email will be sent to the user on the email address, to complete the set up process. Freespee is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Your data remains available only to you and the people you choose to share it with. You can delete users or modify rights given to them anytime.
Go ahead and share data with people and make the information flow easily. We hope that you like the tip for this month. Please share your views with us by commenting on the post or just email support@freespee.com for more information.