According to IDC’s Worldwide Customer Experience Spending Guide, customer experience technology spending will reach a whopping $641 billion by 2022. With so many options on the market today, that number might not come as a surprise to you.
But even for the world’s most experienced customer experience executives, choosing the right stack of feedback tools remains a huge challenge. For starters, how do you determine which options are best for your organization? And more importantly, how do you ensure that your feedback tools keep you connected to your customers?
We’ve learned a few things as we’ve built our own customer feedback tool stack over the past few years. We’ve also made a few mistakes along the way. So based on our learnings, here are a few ways to ensure that your feedback tools help you understand your customers’ needs in the short and long-term.
Don’t overlook “outdated” technology
Several technologies are reshaping customer experience in 2020. Innovations in augmented reality (AR) and video will likely play a critical role in connecting businesses to their customers. And that’s an undeniably positive development for the entire industry.
But even as companies develop new customer feedback tools, it’s really important not to avoid technologies that aren’t quite as exciting. And when it comes to tools that might seem “outdated,” the first thing that comes to mind for many of us is good old email.
We don’t need to tell you that email has been around for decades. And that’s the thing: email has been around for decades. A recent study by OptInMonster found that 58% of users still check their email first at the beginning of the day, ahead of popular social media platforms and even breaking news updates.
It’s also no secret that email is also an effective way to stay connected to your customers. As recently as 2017, we outlined a few ways that you can triple your response rates with one-touch email surveys. And Kaye Chapman of Business2Community recently wrote that a large majority of customers still prefer to fire off an email when they have a problem.
It’s tempting to build a customer feedback tool stack that consists of the most modern technologies. But some of the oldest options are ideal ways to understand your customers’ needs today and well into the future.
Match your tools to your customer experience strategy
Lisa Nikolau of HubSpot shared a few things the company learned as it built its marketing technology stack. And according to Nikolau, the team tried way too hard to fit tools into their marketing strategy—even though it should have been the other way around.
As companies grow, it can be tempting to rely on technology to support processes that are still evolving...[But] what sets apart truly powerful tech stacks isn't just about the technology.
The same can (and should) be said about your customer feedback tool stack. Brooke Boyarsky of McKinsey and Co. says that a customer experience strategy starts with an aspiration centered on what matters to customers and empowering frontline workers to deliver. Nowhere in that statement does she argue that customer experience or feedback begins with technology!
With that in mind, use the worksheet below to map out how technology might empower your team to collect feedback and stay connected to your customers. We’ve included some key questions that Boyarsky and several other McKinsey analysts identified to underpin successful customer success strategies. The answers to the strategy questions will ultimately determine which customer feedback tools you add to your technology stack.
Document your learnings in real-time
Technology stacks are subject to constant change. One day, a tool might appear to be the obvious choice. The next, it might stand out as a colossal mistake that you need to correct as soon as possible. The good news? That’s perfectly normal. But if you don’t track what you learn about each tool in your customer feedback stack, you won’t be able to shift gears as quickly as your organization needs to do so.
DeAnn Poe, Vice President of Demand Generation for DiscoverOrg, says that her team audits its marketing technology stack every quarter. Sure, marketing technology doesn’t serve the same function as customer feedback tools. But Poe shared some questions that are worth asking regularly about each tool in any technology stack. We’ve adjusted them here slightly to help you audit your customer experience feedback tools.
What do we use this tool for?
Which team(s) within our organization use this tool?
How much does this tool cost us yearly?
What is the quantifiable value that this tool brings to our workflow, team performance, or the quality of feedback that we collect?
If you’re just getting started, you might determine that this kind of audit is necessary on a frequent basis. For more established teams, perhaps a quarterly or bi-yearly audit is plenty. But no matter the case for your team, document how well (or not) each technology in your customer feedback tool stack is helping (or not) connect you to your customers. And whenever you determine that something needs to change, adjust as quickly as possible.
You’ve probably noticed by now that we haven’t given you a list of feedback tools to add to your stack today. That’s because every company on the planet has unique needs. A set of technologies that work for your customer experience team might seem absurd to several others. And that’s OK! In this post, we wanted to give you a framework for evaluating feedback tools and choosing the technologies that help you connect to your customers.
Want to learn more about how GetFeedback can help you collect more valuable feedback and understand your customers on a deeper level? Start your free trial today.