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Business Development,Technology

The changing dynamics of Customer Feedback

4 Nov , 2014  

The internet age has been transforming every single minute, since its evolution. From the discovery of the internet back in the 90’s to the next big concept of Internet of Things a lot of changes have took place. Product manufacturers or Service providers are also aware of this fact and hence they too had to ride this Internet Wave. Gone are the days when the marketing or sales man used to go door to door or dial every customer’s phone to collect the feedbacks about their product or service and then compile it and send them to their managers. This information was their proprietary and the unexplored markets did not know about this.

Feedbacks taken back by the E term
                After the advent of Emails and especially social media this process of collection and compilation of feedbacks have become a thing of the past. Today people blast out about their happiness or dissatisfaction about a product or service on their Social media page, Blogs or where ever there is a place to write.  This has done both good and bad to the Product/Service provider. The good thing is that there is no requirement for a special team to collect the feedbacks and opinions. The bad thing is obviously the privacy of the comments and feedbacks. Today when I comment something bad about a product or service, it acts as warning to people who see it through my Social Media Page. No wonder that companies like Flipkart are afraid on the event of people commenting bad about their services in the social media.

Feedback- A rational approach
                This dual character of the feedback process going online has to be dealt seriously due to its vulnerability. Companies cannot hide anymore and the speed of communication is too fast to put a stop or pause. So what is the best way out or rather the safe way out?  It is nothing but to follow a rational approach. There is no point in defending a negative comment or feedback, rather you can always apologize and ask them for another opportunity to serve them better. In fact McDonalds is a classic example of this. They keep a challenge for themselves stating that the order placed at their counter will be delivered in one minute. They know well that, one minute delivery is not always possible. As a penalty they will gift a voucher for 5 or 10 % discount on the next bill. What has happened here is a scenario where McDonalds will themselves get a good name for trying to deliver the order within one minute and also by giving them a punishment by themselves they win the morale battle with the customer. But when that particular customer visits the store next time to use the discount voucher,  that is where McDonalds means business.

The real facts
                When we felt cheated with a product or service in the past we never used to go to the consumer court. All that we could do was to spread a bad WOM to our friends and neighbors’. Today we use the tool named Social Networks for this purpose so that the message is heard across people. People have started to comment their happiness and disappointments alike in the Social Networks. This is done either in their own page or on the page of that particular company. A survey conducted by The Social Habit said that a staggering 32% of people complaining over Social Network expected an answer in 30 minutes and 42% percent of them expected a reply in 60 minutes. So what happens when you don’t, well you lose out, as simple as that.

Dig deep into Social Media- The Big data relationship
                Social Media is a huge ocean of data. The comments and suggestions one receives in their company page is just a percentage of it. There is a huge percentage of people who are commenting on their own pages. How do you find it? Well here is where the concept of Big Data and Analytics come into play. With the help of various technologies, brands and companies can search for occurrences of their names in the Social Media and get to know what people are talking about them. They can also derive a lot of insights from this such as the geographical location from where lots of complains are been received or even the specific part of the business which is receiving more complains. This will immensely help in the future decision making process and can touch the working of each and every part of the organization. This will make companies to work in the way their customers want them to and not the other way around. As a Big Data seller I help companies to achieve this goal and increase our clients’ sale by many folds.

This is one way to improve on your customers’ satisfaction and also to receive multiple or repeated orders in the future. Having said this, companies should also maintain a status quo in the concept that whenever you get a comment or feedback, no matter what the person has written, the customer is always right. It’s the work of the companies to respond in the appropriate way.

Deepak Chandu
( Author is Business Development Executive  @ Sesame Technologies Pvt. Ltd.)

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