How can Smiles surveys upgrade customer feedback for retailers?
written by Giles Corbett
Blog14th January 2020
Most business projects start with this requirement.
Whether you are building a new website, creating a new product, running a marketing campaign or launching in new territories, the advice is the same: you have to know your audience.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that businesses value customer research.
We all want to have a better understanding of our customers. We want to know:
Businesses need to know their customers.
But customers don’t always want to talk.
This is the central problem with customer surveys that every business is dealing with.
Customers are assailed daily with requests for feedback when they call a contact centre, or buy a sandwich for lunch, or order a new sofa online. In a typical day, you might get a request for feedback by email, phone, SMS and in person. Even with infinite time, patience and enthusiasm, no individual can satisfy all of these requests.
Brands are asking the questions, but customers don’t have time to provide the answers. Bombarding customers with more surveys might actually put them off – and add to their sense of irritation.
Given these challenges, and that a badly executed survey can prove brand damaging, what can you do to overcome objections and get accurate insights into your customers’ preferences?
A popular method for increasing survey participation is to offer an incentive. Offering a gift or a chance to win a prize is certainly effective at driving up responses, but it often produces a corresponding decrease in quality.
You will get more people completing your survey, but they may be motivated by self-interest, rather than any desire to report their experiences. You may even find that some respondents are simply clicking boxes or giving generic responses to get the gift – even if they’re not a customer at all.
This doesn’t mean that incentives and rewards should never play a part in your customer surveys, just that their ramifications must be explored and mitigated. For example, you might cleanse the survey data of incomplete or rushed responses so that you have a genuine sample of insights from genuine customers.
Our Smiles survey solution is an alternative to traditional methods of gathering feedback. Smiles are deployed on interactive kiosks within your stores. Customers see a simple question, such as: “How are you feeling today?” and they answer by tapping a smiley face that corresponds to their mood: sad, neutral or happy.
The playful start of Smiles surveys means that customers want to take part. They appreciate having a simple and fast way to share their feelings.
Customers are then asked a series of questions. They can either choose pre-prepared answers with a single tap, or they can elect to give specific feedback in free-text fields.
This approach addresses both the desire of some customers to give simple, fast feedback, and the need for other customers to describe the details of the things they loved (or hated) about their shopping experience.
Smiles surveys can capture both the big-picture view and the detail of individual customer experiences. You can track the net promoter score (NPS) over time, and also identify specific issues affecting the customer experience within individual stores.
There are a number of reasons why Smiles surveys are an effective way to gather feedback:
Most surveys suffer from lag between the interaction and the response. Customers may give feedback hours, days or weeks after the shopping experience. Their memories may have faded and their impressions softened – or been influenced by others.
Smiles surveys overcome this problem by placing the survey in the moment, and within the context of your store. The survey kiosks can be placed in waiting areas or at points near tills, giving customers an easy way to report their live impressions of your store.
The feedback you gather with Smiles is more accurate and more timely than other forms of customer survey.
Some survey solutions leave you with heaps of raw data. You might get a few charts, but the reports are unwieldy and difficult to interpret and use.
Smiles surveys turn the responses into clear charts that you can review, download and share from an online dashboard. You can give store managers, regional supervisors and senior leaders access to the dashboard, so that all key personnel have live store analytics.
Customer behaviours and changes in store performance are less likely to go unseen or misunderstood when you have a live survey harvesting insights from every store.
Smiles surveys are easy to complete. The smiley faces are tempting to touch, and quickly lead customers into completing a survey that they would have avoided if it arrived by email or SMS. Smiles surveys don’t feel like work.
With Smiles surveys in your stores you can get more responses, which in turn improves the accuracy and relevance of your data.
Placing Smiles surveys in your stores gives you a live view of the performance of each outlet. You can easily track performance over time, and also compare the performance of different locations.
These insights can help you identify the best-performing stores and explore what makes them excel. Over time, you can optimise the performance of each store so that customers get greater consistency across your territories.
While other surveys formats can be open to influence from non-customers, Smiles surveys are only available to people who are inside your stores. This improve the integrity of your customer data, giving you insights you can trust when shaping your business strategy.
At Ksubaka, we help retailers around the world to answer some of the thorniest questions about their customers. Smiles surveys use the language of games and the power of play to draw customers into our bright and colourful surveys.
Want to know more about Smiles, or our other retail technologies? Our team have deployed a range of powerful technologies for retailers in China, Japan, the UK and US, and we understand how to bring the power of digital into your real-world stores.