We have many senses like a sense of time and sense of fun, and even our experiential senses go beyond the famous five – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell – into heat, pain, balance and proprioception!
We are unlikely to lose these senses quickly and until we do online retail cannot fully compete with bricks and mortar.
As we discussed, experience centres help bridge the gaps between a flat screen and our desire to explore.
But how can we tell if the environment and activities we provide create an excellent customer experience or a dud?
One way is to track sales. Even if we put aside issues of privacy (which we wouldn’t) we encounter the challenges of linking a sale to a visit or a recommendation made after a visit.
At the (online) point of sale we could ask customers if they visited an experience centre and how they enjoyed it, but such a method wouldn’t tell us about the customers we lost and would get in the way of the transaction – which most customers want to be effortless.
Measuring physical experiences in the moment is the best way to understand customer experiences, recreate the highs and address the lows. But even before Covid, I would look at the smiley face terminals in public spaces like airports (often outside the loos) and be unsure if I wanted to touch a surface touched by so many. When I learnt OMBEA supplies touchless terminals to capture customer experience as they happen, I was happy.
But the customer experience consultant in me burst out and said – what about qualitative feedback?
Using OMBEA modules, clients can collect high volumes of data using touchless terminals and present QR codes to entice customers into giving responses in their own words. OMBEA analyses, correlates and presents the data in dashboards and actionable to-do lists so retailers, leisure facilities, transport hubs, hospitals and cultural venues can quickly understand trends, the peaks and troughs of experience, and take appropriate action.
Here are some thoughts to maximise the gift of customer feedback in your physical and omnichannel experiences:
Extend your brand and experience to your in-house surveys, make questions relevant and interesting and, if you can, gamify data collection.
People like sharing their experiences with people, so make your questions conversational, use loops to follow up on information and be ready to capture seemingly incomplete feedback when your customer suddenly smells coffee and fresh pastries.
Measure the customer experience as it happens by blending tools, you may not be able to track every individual customer, but the sheer volume of data will give valuable feedback, unspoiled by distractions and time.
Democratise your data, share it with the people delivering the experience. Ask for their thoughts and suggestions. This will enhance both customer and employee experience. And while we are talking about employees…
Use the same methods to understand how well you support your employees as they support customers. You will be amazed at the insights an employee listening POD will generate.
Most of all make sure you take action, do more of the good stuff and fix the less popular parts of your experience. Encourage more feedback by telling customers how you used their insights to improve.
About the author
Michelle is a Customer Experience Consultant who believes small and medium-sized businesses deserve the competitive advantages enjoyed by big companies and understands the time and cost constraints that get in the way.
She has a long history of helping businesses, teams and individuals work more closely, more beneficially with clients and customers. She knows what is necessary and how to deliver business results, using her extensive experience in product, process and service design, problem solving and workshop design and facilitation, including more than 14 years in Rolls-Royce and leading major projects at Philips and Allied Signal.
Michelle was named as one of CXM’s CX Stars of 2021, placed in the top ten of professionals.