As consumers, we’ve all been through this: You call a help centre, and a few moments after hanging up, “Ding!”, you get a text asking you to rate your experience on a scale of 1-5. You have a little think: the brand representative answered your question, but they kept you on hold for 15 minutes, but they did apologise, and they wished you a nice day. You weigh all this up, and dutifully text back… “3”.
But “3” means nothing. The brand doesn’t know what experience you had, or how it could have been better. At best, you forget about the experience, because, realistically, you know they can’t make any meaningful changes by knowing you received a 3* service. At worst, you’re frustrated by the process, feeling like the brand you just gave 25 minutes of your time to doesn’t want to know what you really think.
Far too many brands create experiences like this in order to quantify their services, products, adverts, and so on, and most of the time only reactively – when a customer has contacted them. But it needn’t be this way. We spoke to 1000 UK consumers* to discover whether they want to give more or less feedback to brands, whether they feel listened to, and which brands they’re itching to talk to most. Read on to discover what consumers really want.
“I wish brands listened to my opinion more often”
A huge 85% of UK consumers agree, they want to be asked for their feedback more often. In fact, just 2% of consumers disagree with the statement, feeling overwhelmed by too many opportunities to give feedback, or not interested in giving it. Clearly, consumers are chomping at the bit to have their voices heard by the brands that matter to them.
This enthusiasm seems to stem from frustration with the current system. 81% of consumers feel that the feedback they do manage to give brands isn’t heard by the people in charge. Again, a tiny percentage – just 5% – feel that their feedback does reach the people able to make meaningful changes.
When it comes to how they’d like to speak to brands, consumers are happiest filling in online surveys. 77% of respondents were willing to give feedback online, a slightly smaller 59% willing to respond to an email from a brand, and 40% happy to text their feelings.
We’ve established that consumers want to be heard by brands, but what do they want to say?
“Keep up the good work”
No brand wants to hear that they’ve made a customer unhappy, but it’s not true that all consumers want to do is complain.
55% of consumers are very likely to respond to a request for feedback from their favourite brands, and 34% of consumers are slightly likely to do the same. Just 3% of consumers say they’d be unlikely to respond to these requests from the brands they like the most.
This gives brands a crucial opportunity to use the wisdom of their brand evangelists to innovate and better serve their market. 26% of consumers would like to speak to brands because they have an idea for a new product, while 3% would like a feedback channel to enable them to offer the brand praise for their good work.
The complaints that customers do have, though, are also a goldmine of opportunities, illuminating their priorities, frustrations and the urgent areas for your brand to address. 52% of consumers wish to help brands improve their customer service channels, 51% to point out problems with products, and 26% to help improve adverts and marketing materials.
Asking for consumer opinions, rather than waiting for them to raise concerns with you, means you can get an accurate picture of the ongoing priorities that stay with consumers over time. While asking recent customers for feedback can be a powerful tool, it’s important that customers feel valued even when something hasn’t gone wrong. Gathering proactive – not just reactive – insight shows that your brand is seeking the help consumers can give, because you want to improve your products and services.
“I’d be less likely to vent my frustrations online”
52% of consumers have taken to review sites to vent their frustrations with the brands they use. A further 50% have done so on social media. Negative reviews can be extremely damaging to your brand, and a social media storms can quickly spread, harming your brand’s reputation as they go.
So, how to stop disgruntled customers taking to their keyboards to give you a piece of their mind? Ask for their opinion, listen to it, and action it. 61% of consumers agreed that, if a brand asked for their opinion, they’d be less likely to vent their frustrations online.
Only 43% of consumers feel that the last piece of negative feedback they gave to a brand was listened to and resulted in actual changes. It’s not enough to ask for consumer opinions if you’re not doing anything with it, if anything, that can make their frustrations worse. If you’re gathering consumer insights already, you’re sitting on a goldmine of actionable data that can improve your products and services, keep consumers loyal to you, and, ultimately, drive revenue growth.
“I’d like to give feedback to Sainsbury’s about online shopping”
We asked consumers, if we could give them a direct connection to speak to the people in charge of one brand, which brand would they most like to give feedback to?
The top 10 most mentioned brands were as follows:
Overall, 217 brands were named by consumers as companies they’d like to offer advice to. These brands, and the most-named ones above in particular, must listen to consumers, and take their feedback on board. Everything your brand does aims to create a product or service consumers want to buy, so by listening to the pain points and priorities of your target consumers, you can create products that better suit their needs.
The benefits of consumer intelligence are two-fold; your brand better understands its weak spots, direct from the mouths of those who matter most, while consumers feel appreciated, understood, and receive better products and services as a result. Brands that do actively listen to consumers can expect their customers to take their frustrations direct to the brand, rather than airing them elsewhere and spreading a poor reputation. They can also commit to keeping consumers at the heart of the decisions they make, being constantly aware of the opinions of consumers in their market.
Whether you want to quiz consumers on their opinion of your customer service, products, adverts or anything else, Attest can help you launch surveys that answer your most pressing questions, and help consumers feel valued.
Get in touch with Attest today, to get started. Consumers want to be heard, are you ready to listen?
*Survey was a nationally representative sample of working age people in the UK (18 – 54).