Analysing Feedback Data – How to spot trends

July 28, 2017

A lot of companies still use questionnaires and feedback surveys for gathering feedback. Gathering feedback is pretty much essential when you’re trying to figure out where your company is doing well, or doing poorly. Letting these things slip means that small problems like a rude employee driving customers away can snowball out of control, and employees exceeding at their roles aren’t acknowledged or complemented. New customer service methods or tricks that your employees might inadvertently develop will get ignored rather than adopted across the workplace, and so on. In a customer facing industry like retail, gathering feedback data like this is nigh essential for further success.

Questionnaires, despite being made obsolescent by online surveys and feedback apps, can do something quite well: they can help you track customer and employee trends over time. Business decisions that you make can affect customer and employee satisfaction severely, so knowing how they’re reacting to changes in the long term can potentially save your company from any bad decisions made by short-term estimations.

While some think adding an open-ended question to a questionnaire is a bad decision, since some customers won’t bother to fill it in, many customers need to explain an issue they’ve had that can’t be explained with a yes/no answer. This is the information you need to map out trends, as while they may vary in content significantly, they can usually be sorted into categories: positive feedback and negative feedback, with subcategories for the subject of the question like pricing, speed and accuracy of the response to a complaint, politeness, product shortage or abundance, opening times and so on.

Some of these subcategories will only have one or two relevant questionnaires to add to, but some of them will likely receive multiple relevant answers which can indicate a trend in customer or employee behaviour – repeated complaints about the speed or accuracy of your employee’s responses to customer queries could mean that your staff isn’t meeting the needs of your staff. Tally them up into positive-negative, then by category of subject. From here, you can see trends in your company and avert a crisis, or strike gold: either way, it’s better to know the unpleasant truth than be blind to it and end up in a situation you couldn’t have anticipated.

At Soft Intelligence, were passionate about gathering customer feedback and soft intelligence from your clients and customers, transforming it into straightforward and accurate data that turns the hassle of feedback processing into a breeze. Take a look at our consumer mobile apps (Ask Dan) and see if your company would benefit from them.

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