Customers say online retailers ignore their feedback 40 per cent of the time

Delivering the best customer experience is crucial to the success of online retailers and, by optimising the “moments” and things that matter most to customers, online retailers can deliver superior experiences. However, according to our new research, a significant proportion of online shoppers believe their feedback never reaches someone who can enact change.

In a global research study, we surveyed 1700 online shoppers including respondents from Australia and New Zealand. When it comes to online shopping, customers believe their feedback is overlooked nearly half of the time (40 per cent), regardless of whether complaints are given via social media, surveys, or made directly to staff. Online shoppers have high expectations for how promptly online retailers should reply to questions and complaints. Some 46 per cent of online shoppers expect a response to their social media posts on the day of posting while the majority of online shoppers expect a response within a few days (82 per cent).

The research also revealed how the experiences of others can effect new customer acquisition for online retailers, finding that for 61 per cent of shoppers their expectations about online retailers are set through social media or referrals from family and friends.

Retailers must ensure they are continually collecting, analysing and acting on feedback given by online shoppers. Feedback will not only identify potential areas for business growth and further success but will also highlight areas for improvement. Retailers may amplify a shopper’s negative experience if they fail to act on feedback and risk unnecessarily losing customers without an opportunity to regain their loyalty.

When online retailers receive feedback they must act fast for customers to feel their voices have been heard and their suggestions considered. However, managing the experience of customers takes more than this and, to be successful, businesses must gain an insight into customer behaviour as well as learn how to identify and attract key demographics to their brand. By implementing feedback channels, business leaders can learn what customers like and dislike, leveraging this information to design and deliver experiences that their customers value which encourages them to purchase more.

By seeking the feedback of your customers and, importantly, acting on that feedback you can establish greater brand loyalty. You are more likely to optimise your brand’s image when customers feel valued, heard and understood.

Businesses should continually review the customer experiences they are delivering as there are always improvements to be made, which can improve your position in the eyes of consumers. Retailers’ ability to collect, analyse, and act on feedback in real-time is an essential element in successfully closing the customer experience gap. Doing this across all customer touchpoints and moments that matter will deliver the greatest benefits.

Vicky Katsabaris, Voice-of-Customer subject matter expert, Qualtrics

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