Have you ever heard the saying, “what you don’t know can kill you”? The term holds true for retailers now more than ever. Customer loyalty is, in large part, driven by what a customer experiences throughout their journey with a brand. That journey may include things like shopping online or in-store, picking up curbside or having items delivered, and interacting with a call center. And not knowing what that experience was like in the completely new world we're shopping in can mean the difference between keeping and losing customers.
Moving Beyond Tried-and-True Consumer Surveys
As retail brands invest in building long-term customer relationships that drive loyalty, they've embraced customer feedback tools and platforms to understand how they're faring. These platforms have traditionally focused on customer surveys to help determine the brand’s Net Promoter Scores® (NPS) and identify key areas for improvement.
The challenge with traditional surveys is that they don’t allow retailers to truly understand how their customers feel about their experiences. Rating an experience on a scale of one to five doesn’t provide a complete picture. It doesn’t allow the capture of rich, deep, human emotion that shoppers feel when an experience is amazing or awful. And in today’s environment, this level of understanding seems critical to building loyalty.
Retailers Turn to Video Feedback to Truly Connect With Shoppers
Retailers are embracing a new and effortless way of obtaining shopper feedback, and it’s video. Customers want to be heard — literally — and they truly want to connect with the brands they love.
Would you send your most valuable customers a three-question survey asking them to rate their online shopping experience with zero context, or provide them the opportunity to express their sentiment in a rich video, chocked full of human emotion?
Many retailers are turning to video feedback at various stages of the customer journey — e.g., after their order arrives when they can share their glee or dismay; after an interaction with the call center to applaud the agent who handled their call; or to express frustration with an automated chat function that didn’t solve their issue.
When retailers give consumers the ability to record a short video expressing their level of satisfaction, they obtain a gold mine of rich, human feedback that cannot be mined with a survey only.
More Than Just Feedback, Video Drives Customer-Centric Decisions
Capturing rich customer insights connects retailers with their customers, but it also offers a gold mine of insights to help drive revenue-impacting decisions from corporate headquarters to the front lines.
Here are just a few ways video feedback is helping retailers change the way they make customer-centric business decisions:
- drives intelligent action as business-crushing issues are surfaced when artificial intelligence is applied to thousands of customer videos and suggested actions are recommended;
- helps reduce churn as in-the-moment videos create a level of employee accountability to immediately close the loop with unhappy customers and keep them loyal;
- uses real positive customer testimonials as a way to recognize employees; and
- connects executives to what’s really happening with their customers.
The Impact of Video Feedback for Years to Come
We see the opportunity for video feedback to really change the way retailers conduct business. In the future, we'll see more proliferation of video feedback technology being used to pilot new initiatives and products with its ability to identify customer tone, gestures and emotions. It will serve as the foundation for understanding what a customer experiences online.
This year's holiday shopping season doesn't look the same as in years past. We're in a digital-first environment. Capturing rich video feedback from shoppers will help retailers identify key sticking points along the customer journey so they can address them and drive growth. It will serve as the foundation for merchandising, shipping, ordering and fulfillment decisions. And it will finally give customers the voice they've been longing for.
Footnote: "Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld."
Erica James is the global head of the retail practice at Medallia, a customer feedback management software platform that empowers every employee to improve the customer experience.
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