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The ‘non-feedback’ feedback.

We work with a lot of very progressive and customer oriented companies from around the world including powerhouses such as Microsoft, Amazon, McDonalds, Volkswagen and several others. They are universally focused on understanding their customers’ experiences and use several methods to capture that insight.

A common challenge they face is enticing their customers to actually take the 30 secs or 5 mins to share feedback. Several methods can help improve this process including incentives, better awareness and the right context. However, a good majority of customers simply can’t be bothered to participate in a ‘survey’. What’s the marketer to do?

The very flexible and powerful know’N’act ‘non-feedback’ system of collecting feedback is often the answer to increasing participation rates significantly amongst end customers. It’s simple – do NOT start by asking customers to share feedback, whatever the incentive. Instead, engage customers in something that they actually find interesting – e.g. a trivia game that is contextual, or a poll that is interesting, or other gamification ideas that are relevant, appealing and can have a ‘community’ aspect to them. E.g. vote for your favorite team in today’s game and see how others voted instantly.

As part of this ‘gamified’ experience, the know’N’act system allows you to slip in a question or two that can help gage how your audience feels about your product or service. Allowing the rules-based know’N’act system to take over from there and help close the loop with the customer, responding appropriately based on their inputs.

Try it – we guarantee a significant increase in response rates and a happier set of customers!

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How to be anti-social

Every restaurateur or retailer we talk with tells us how much they hate Yelp! Hoteliers aren’t particularly fond of TripAdvisor either and businesses in general are still struggling to deal with the consequences of ubiquity, universal publishing capability and viral natures of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and others.  Businesses big and small complain about being dis-intermediated from their customers by these social networks where customers are reaching out to the networks first to post their grouses and the business is relegated to working in damage control mode.

There IS a better way. Where the business can establish and maintain a direct line of communication with their customers. Where unhappy customers are identified and their issues addressed BEFORE they consider going up to social media to vent. Customers in general are decent folks – they don’t want to go to social media to ruin your business. What they do want to do is to have their voice heard and addressed respectfully by the establishment.

This is where know’N’act helps – by providing the customer the opportunity to share in real-time as things happen. And empowering the business to respond instantly and in a relevant manner.

But there’s more – know’N’act also allows the business to identify which customers are likely to post positive reviews and direct them specifically to the social media channels. Effectively driving up your positive reviews and stopping the negatives from getting into the social media sphere.

Simple, but effective.  You can make Yelp, Facebook, Twitter and TripAdvisor your friends finally!

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Real-time information and associated power

everal tomes have been written about the power of getting instant information, which empowers organizations to act upon the insight gained. What is not often mentioned is that enabling the capture of that insight and generating the appropriate response is a non-trivial exercise (and often expensive) in a distributed physical environment where the input needs to come in from people who are using the relevant products or services that may be facing issues.

We at know’N’act of course believe that we have changed that forever and for the better with our proprietary system that lets you capture and address issues in real-time. While we’ve seen success in more traditional and expected scenarios such as hospitality, we were pleasantly surprised to see know’N’act being used effectively at a large Seattle based corporation. The said corporation was interested in improving and enhancing their operational effectiveness at different places including conference rooms, vending machines, cafeterias and shuttle buses. With a campaign that took literally just a couple of hours to create and implement, the organization now has a real-time dashboard on how things are working across these various elements of their infrastructure and facilities.

With the new Alerts Escalation system, they are also able to ensure transparency in the system because if an issue is not addressed in time, it automatically gets bubbled up to the next level manager. With full reporting available at any time on what issues are arising, where and for whom. And how quickly they are addressed, or not.

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The power of good service.

Those who know me well know that I’m a huge fan of the value of good customer service. The lack of which is becoming painfully obvious at many businesses today, with economic pressures not allowing for requisite training of staff and low motivation levels. The result is a slew of unhappy and dissatisfied customers who are ready to switch.

Just a couple of days ago, I had to go pick up a bunch of pizzas from a local Seattle chain. Unfortunately, when I got there a little after the appointed time, I was told that they hadn’t even started making them. With several teenage kids (my daughter was having friends over) waiting for pizzas to arrive quickly, the pressure was on. Waited longer still and still no pizza while other customers came to the store and went. At this point, I was ready to throttle someone and go flame the company on Yelp and Facebook. However, I was able to connect with the district manager for the store, who immediately called me and quickly offered to refund the entire bill. Further, the store manager was profusely apologetic and just more than made up for the lack of service earlier in the evening. So much so that a potentially apoplectic customer was quickly converted to an ambassador. Since that evening, I’ve told at least a dozen people about my experience.

Simple lessons to be learnt here.

  • Things go wrong – you can’t avoid them completely. But you can change how you as a business deal with bad customer situations
  • Knowing how a customer is feeling at the point of service is critical
  • Timeliness of this knowledge is even more critical. It would have been too late if they reached out to me the next day or based on some random survey later on
  • Ability to address the customer situation instantly can make the difference between pissed-off customer and an evangelist.

You need to KNOW what your customer feels in real-time and then ACT on it immediately. That’s the future of customer engagement.

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Airlines can do better

I returned from an overseas trip a few weeks ago on Delta Airlines. The service was surprisingly (and pleasantly) better than my family and I expected and we were especially pleased with some of the flight attendants’ attention to detail and demeanor. There were some issues with the airplane itself that needed attention which I wanted to point out to someone.

The inside cover of the inflight magazine had a full page ad from Delta inviting my feedback through a URL. Purportedly, they wanted me to go home after a 10 hour journey, remember the URL, then take the time and remember to go online to the URL and enter my feedback.

I’d wager that almost no one on the flight took the trouble to do that. With the result that Delta never learnt either the good or the bad that happened on the flight. No way to truly improve based on customer feedback. No way to reward staff for a job well done.

Ok Delta – so you clearly value customer feedback. Why not do it in a more effective way?

Like using know’N’act. Our service will allow you to get customers’ feedback right as the plane lands – through their smartphones, or during the flight on their laptops or the inflight entertainment system. The know’N’act system will let you get real-time feedback from customers, respond immediately to issues, incent your staff and truly engage your customers on their devices.

And save precious real-estate in the inflight magazine for advertisements!

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