Last updated: Customer feedback strategies: The best survey methods for brick & mortar retailers

Customer feedback strategies: The best survey methods for brick & mortar retailers


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Brick and mortar or digital? For 2020 and beyond, the answer is both. Successful retail brands will outpace their competition by reaching customers with both physical and digital presences.

Make no mistake: brick and mortar is still an incredibly relevant component of the omnichannel retail experience.

Listening to your customers and incorporating customer feedback strategies can heavily influence brand health, sales, and major directional changes.

Some traditional online-only retailers, like Indochino, are creating successful in-store experiences based on insights gathered from their online customers. Kyle Vucko, Indochino’s CEO, explained their decision to open physical stores was driven largely by obtaining customer insights.

Leveraging customer feedback can lead to product enhancements, streamlining operations, and optimizing employee training to better serve customers.

There are some easy-to-implement survey methodologies and delivery mechanisms that brick and mortar retailers can use to keep a finger on the pulse of customer needs and expectations.

Customer feedback strategies: Which survey methods are best?

Choosing the right survey method to collect feedback from customers can dictate the relevancy of the information collected and response rates.

With increasingly shorter attention spans, simple, quick, and easy-to-understand surveys are the key to high response rates.

3 survey methods that are a retailer’s best bet for customer feedback: 

Net Promoter Score (NPS): This method measures the loyalty of customers by asking them how likely they are to recommend your brand, product, or service on a scale from 1 (unlikely) to 10 (very likely). Identifying the promoters of your business can help influence marketing, sales, and other business decisions.

Example question for retail: How likely are you to recommend Hem & Stitch Clothing to friends or family? 

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): This method helps brands understand how satisfied customers are with your company, or products and services provided. CSAT surveys are useful for making product enhancements when satisfaction scores trend low.

Example question for retail: How satisfied are you with the fit of your new jeans?

Customer Effort Score (CES): Customer effort is a key driver of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customer effort measures the difficulty (effort) for your customers to accomplish their sought-out intent. It is measured by a retailer providing a statement and the customer rating the statement as on a scale from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’.

Example question for retail: Hem & Stitch Clothing made it easy for me to return my order

All three of these survey methods contain an optional, open-ended follow-up question designed to collect deeper insights into why a customer gave a certain answer.

How should brick and mortar retailers deliver customer surveys?

While there’s a variety of ways to distribute customer surveys, a few customer feedback strategies are more suited for brick and mortar:

  • survey kiosk
  • email
  • link

A survey kiosk collects customer feedback quickly and painlessly. Customers can leave in-person feedback within seconds via an easy-to-navigate interface, typically loaded onto a large touch screen or portable tablet.

Survey kiosks allow customers to voice their thoughts before leaving the store — essentially capturing their opinions in the moment, as they form them.

Email is another popular method for brick and mortar retailers to solicit customer feedback, and obviously requires email address collection at some point during their shopping journey.

Here’s how to best do that:

1. Collect digitally: If a retailer is taking an omnichannel approach, email addresses can be captured digitally when an online purchase is made, then cross-referenced when an in-store purchase is completed.

2. Collect in-person: Many retailers ask for an email address after an in-person purchase, incentivizing customers with discounts for current or upcoming purchases and rewards programs.

While collecting email feedback may not be as instantaneous as a survey kiosk, some benefits of using email to deliver a survey include:

  • Optimal timing: Retailers can send out the survey emails when they think is best
  • Deeper customer segmentation: Retailers can email surveys to a customer base that they’d like to see additional data collected from, while not spamming irrelevant audiences

Lastly, many retailers add survey links to receipts, posters, or in-store displays. While this is an easy way to deliver a survey, some customers find typing a printed link too much effort.

Using a QR code on a receipt or display allows customers to quickly pull up a survey without any typing.

Don’t forget to collect customer feedback about employees

Keeping tabs on how employees influence customer experience may seem quite an undertaking for some retailers, but measuring the relationship between CX provided by employees and customer satisfaction can be easily accomplished with the same survey methodologies and delivery mechanisms noted above.

Using CSAT methodology, you can ask the following: How satisfied you are with the help provided by Sharon? Why did you give this rating?

Stay human

Incorporating customer feedback strategies is critical to making product, store, or service enhancements, and also for remaining human in an increasingly digital world. The human element of retail is one of the biggest reasons brick and mortar shopping experiences are still so desired by many consumers.

A top-notch CX strategy begins with selecting tools and methods to make listening to your customers easier, while organizing feedback in a way that’s easy to dissect.

Following the mantra “listen, measure, and act” allows brick and mortar retailers to make in-store improvements and remain attentive to their customers.

Check in on your customers today.
They’ll appreciate it tomorrow.
Learn more HERE.

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