To effectively support your customer feedback strategy, your feedback management platform must include a certain number of key features and characteristics for you to reach your goals. Read on to find what you should be paying close attention to when choosing your solution.

Openness is key to collecting a large amount of diverse feedback.

For a feedback management platform to be effective, it has to be able to receive content from all the feedback and collection channels you plan on using. If you truly want to encourage your customers and potential clients to speak their minds and collect enough feedback to draw useful conclusions, you can't just solicit reviews via email or a form on your website. Select a platform that lets your customers pick how they want to contact you. It should also use all the feedback channels that are relevant for your brand's digital and physical ecosystem,including email, a contact button on your local website and mobile app, text messaging, interactive in-store kiosks, social networks, Google My Business reviews, and, depending on your area of business, other external platforms like TripAdvisor.

The more extensive and diversified your feedback strategy, the more detailed and meaningful feedback you’ll get. It will also help you get more value out of the other features of your feedback management platform.

Ease of use for broad participation

Your feedback platform should also be as simple and pain-free as the mainstream apps we all love to use. This helps ensure all employees, including specialist teams at your headquarters office, network managers, and store managers, take part in the feedback strategy and play their role to the fullest. Your platform must be accessible at every level in your organisation and should offer each type of user an interface that is tailored to suit their role. The interface must immediately show users the information that is important to them, i.e. anything that will help them perform their duties, and especially the steps they need to take first. Generally, a store manager needs to be able to log on and immediately see how many customer reviews have arrived during the day and how many require immediate action because the customer has reported a specific problem or submitted negative feedback. Lastly, the manager must be able to interact with customers from the interface platform and have access to the key information he or she needs to personalise the response. The manager shouldn't have to open one or several tools to call a customer back or respond via the appropriate channel, be it email, a phone call, or text messaging.

Centralisation in real time for maximum responsiveness

When a customer submits a spontaneous review or reports a problem through a survey, he or she expects a quick response. Not that your response should be so immediate that it veers towards becoming an online chat.

If the reviews collected from your various feedback channels are not sent to the platform in real time, but instead just once every week or even once every 15 days (as is the case with some solutions), you will not have the resources you need to respond in a timely manner. Imagine a customer uses your mobile app to complain about the cleanliness of a store's fitting rooms. If the manager doesn't see this message until a week later, his or her response won't have nearly the same impact or meaning for the customer than if the person had been contacted that same day or the next.

Not every customer review should receive an instant response—far from it! Still, to make sure you don't miss reviews that require a fast or even urgent solution, there's really only one option. All messages should be forwarded to and centralised through a feedback management platform where they can be distributed and addressed by the relevant employee(s) in due course.

Customisable alerts to manage your priorities

For a smoother user experience, especially for store managers, select a feedback management platform that lets you customise alerts based on the criteria of your choosing. With Critizr, for example, you can trigger an automatic alert every time a customer gives you a satisfaction rating below a predetermined threshold. The reviews in question are highlighted in the user interface along with the main reason for the negative review and a reminder to call back or respond to that customer first. You can also create "quality" alerts based on the presence of one or several key words in your customer testimonials. Every time the platform spots one of these key words in a customer review, it automatically sends a notification to the people who need to know, starting with the employees whose job it is to respond to the customer.

Simple tools to track and manage your strategy

A customer feedback strategy is only useful if it's implemented over the long term. Your feedback management platform must allow you to easily track the indicators that reflect user activity and adhesion as well as the evolution of customer satisfaction regarding your main areas of focus. Every employee should have access to the metrics and KPIs regarding his or her scope and level of responsibility and be able to easily analyse them using simple and global visualisation tools that cut straight to the chase.

Maintaining momentum by harnessing feedback

Satisfaction ratings and reviews influence which store customers choose as well as what they buy. Your feedback management platform must let you make use of these reviews by easily publishing them to your store's website, Google results, in-store screen, and more. By showcasing customer reviews and satisfaction ratings, you reassure prospective customers and prove their opinions matter. Your platform must also let you use these reviews internally so you can organize and motivate your network, such as by making it easy to share the most glowing reviews and most highly rated responses.

Now you know what features and characteristics make up a good feedback management platform. All that's left to do is compare the different solutions on a point-by-point basis and make the choice that’s right for you.

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