Customer feedback management services

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Customer feedback management (CFM) online services are web applications that allow businesses to manage user suggestions and complaints in a structured fashion. A 2011 study conducted by Aberdeen Group showed that companies using customer feedback management services and social media monitoring have a 15% better customer retention rate.[1]

Methodology[edit]

Various online CFM services use different approaches. The aim of most methodologies is to measure customer satisfaction, with some models also measuring related constructs including customer loyalty and customer word-of-mouth (see Webreep Model). The methodology behind each service has an important impact on the nature of the service itself, and is the main differentiator between them. The main feedback management methodologies are listed below.

Feedback analytics[edit]

Feedback analytics services use customer generated feedback data to measure customer experience and improve customer satisfaction. Feedback data is collected, then, using key performance indicators and feedback metrics, turned into actionable information for website improvement. Feedback analytics services provide website owners with the ability to create feedback forms that can be customized to fit the website and placed on all pages. This allows the website's users to submit feedback when they encounter a problem or have a feature request. A feedback button is visible at all times on each of the site's pages. Feedback analytics provide page- and website- level actionable data, and enable a website owner to read and manage feedback, as well as to get back to the users. The feedback is only made accessible to the website owner. This means that websites using feedback analytics are not exposed to the potential harm to their brand that feedback made public may cause. Feedback collection can be passive (using a feedback button), or active (using a feedback form set to appear in certain conditions), or both. The ability to choose the location of the button, as well as the frequency and conditions of the pop-up make feedback analytics a relatively non-intrusive approach from the point of view of the website user. Due to its measurable nature, feedback analytics data can be integrated with web analytics data, allowing website owners to understand what their users are doing on their site (using web analytics) and why they do it (using feedback analytics), in one single interface.

Surveys and polls[edit]

Surveys and polls provide website administrators with a high-level understanding of user behavior on their site. By asking users a set of pre-defined questions using a pop-up questionnaire (sometimes criticized by website users for being an annoyance), surveys can provide a statistical review of their answers. Surveys and polls are also characterized by their focus on the “site-level”, providing answers about the users' experience on the site as a whole and the website's general performance. With answer to questions such as “Where did you hear about our site”, “What are you looking for” or “How old are you”, website owners are able to get a high-level understanding of their site’s users, though not to find and fix specific issues at the page-level. Since survey data is statistical, it is a methodology that works best for large websites with significant traffic, meaning that not all lines of businesses can benefit equally from it.

Idea management[edit]

Idea management systems allow website users to suggest ideas, report problems, and vote for other users' ideas. Resembling a live forum, and displaying open discussions between users, idea management systems can reduce support efforts, allowing users to share their common knowledge, and to know if a problem or a solution has been reported previously. The idea management approach may also be useful for businesses looking to have their users publicly vote for their next development steps. A downside of public user management systems is the potential brand damage, when, for instance, users' complaints are displayed on a regular basis.

Customer Feedback Optimization[edit]

Also referred to as Review Forum Optimization or RFO. Similar to SEO, CFO is the process of affecting the visibility of select web pages or results in the natural or un-paid results of various customer feedback management services or online review forums.[2] CFO stands for Customer Feedback Optimization, thus the sites being optimized are those for the review, ranking, and giving feedback of goods and or services by customers. In recent years review forums or customer feedback management services have been growing rapidly in influence, with 83% of consumers saying online reviews influence their perception of a company. [3] In addition, a study states that, consumers were willing to pay between 20 percent and 99 percent more for an Excellent (5 star) rating than for a Good (4 star rating), depending on the product category. [4] Some commonly known review forums are Yelp (20 million visits in February 2013), Trip Advisor (10 million visits in February 2013), Travelocity (3.7 million visits in February 2013), and Angie's List (3.4 million visits in February 2013).[5]

Feature comparison[edit]

The leading idea aggregator based on feature set and number of unique visitors in 2009 was Get Satisfaction.[6]

Legend[edit]

  • Who voted: displays the users who voted on an item, but not each user's vote
  • Human friendly URLs: /product/Suggestion_name. Human-unfriendly URLs: /akira/dtd/6320-2416, /pages/general/suggestions/7841
  • Merge suggestions: more than deleting duplicate suggestions, merging adds votes from the merged suggestion into the main one
  • Custom URL: DNS aliasing a subdomain like feedback.mycompany.com to the subdomain of the online feedback service (e.g. mycompany.cfmsite.com)
Name Voting Who voted Categories Tags Human-friendly URLs Custom layout Merge suggestions Moderation Integration Single sign-on Custom URL API Feedback privacy Alexa traffic rank[7]
Get Satisfaction +1 with total and "best points" voting for specific replies Yes No Yes Yes Yes with Enterprise option Yes Yes Salesforce, Facebook, Zendesk, Pivotal Tracker, Parature, Google*Apps, Twitter, e-mail notifications, site widgets, open API for custom integration Yes with Connect Yes with any paid plan [2] yes with private feedback option or login-required community 2,066
Idea Informer Yes Displays users who comment on ideas Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Widget, RSS, API Available on request Yes Available on request Protected accounts available. Admins can choose to screen feedback
IdeaScale thumbs up/down with breakdown Yes custom-defined Yes Yes Yes Yes paid plans only e-mail updates, facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds (new topics, new comments), Widgets Yes paid plans only paid plans only 62,6802012-Feb
UserVoice Yes, but only vote "for" ideas Yes + ability to export user data Yes No Yes[8] Branding and white label available Yes - Currently in Beta Yes e-mail updates, API, feedback widget, RSS feed Yes w/ paid edition :: otherwise OpenID, GoogleID, Yahoo, AOL, Facebook, MySpace Yes, domain aliasing Yes, there's a public API coming and an enterprise edition Yes - Invitation only, Single Sign-On or filtered by email domain 5,144

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Omer, Minkara (2012-01-01). "Customer Experience Management: Using the Power of Analytics to Optimize Customer Delight". Aberdeen Group. Retrieved 2012-02-12. "Companies using customer feedback management and social media monitoring have a 15% better customer retention rate. [1]" 
  2. ^ http://reviewforumoptimization.com
  3. ^ http://www.webershandwick.com/
  4. ^ http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2007/11/Online_Consumer_Reviews_Impact_Offline_Purchasing_Behavior
  5. ^ https://www.quantcast.com/
  6. ^ Powell, Tom (2009-03-05). "Get Satisfaction Leads Among Idea Aggregators". ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved 2012-02-12. 
  7. ^ http://www.alexa.com - Data retrieved on February 12, 2012
  8. ^ http://blog.uservoice.com/2008/12/11/openid-friendlyurls-and-widget-changes