A guide to collecting feedback post-Covid19

Topic: How-to guides

Feedback can be invaluable to businesses and in the current climate, with reduced in-person interactions, it is arguably more important than ever before.

The economic impact of the pandemic is unquestionable and as in the UK we are still in the earliest stages of recovery, no one knows exactly what the post-Covid19 landscape will look like. However, early signs are indicating a slower recovery than that of our European neighbours. Which from a business perspective, does present some challenges.

Businesses have already had to make significant changes to their operations, in some cases overnight, to enable them to respond to the pandemic digitally. But as consumer behaviour continues to evolve post pandemic, the only guaranteed constant is change. 

Feedback can be invaluable to businesses and in the current climate, with reduced in-person interactions, it is arguably more important than ever before. Afterall, you want to ensure you are taking steps towards enhancing business recovery and securing long term success. So how can businesses effectively collect the views of their employees as well as customers?

External feedback

As aforementioned, many businesses have made significant changes to their business model during lockdown. It logically follows then, that some of these changes would’ve been more popular with customers than others. In order for recovery to be a success individuals need to identify which is which as soon as possible. 

Although businesses have government regulations to follow, once these are lifted many might choose to keep these procedures in place depending on the feedback gained from their customers

Customer communication

Unfortunately many businesses weren’t properly equipped for crisis communications at the beginning of the pandemic. As such, many had to scramble to pull something together and this has had differing degrees of success. A YouGov study actually reported that 51% of consumers felt that brands had overcommunicated with them during this time. So it’s worth gauging exactly how your most recent communications have been received by your customers.

  • Ask if customers happy with the level of communication they have received
  • In businesses where changes have been made to certain processes, check whether customers feel these changes were appropriately communicated
  • See whether there have been any changes to customer communication preferences. This includes channel, topic and frequency

Brand sentiment

A survey revealed that 43% of Brits felt brands’ current messages and advertising were inauthentic. Given how important customer retention is going to be in the coming months, it could be a really valuable exercise to investigate how customers currently feel about your brand. 

  • Have customer opinions of your brand changed at all throughout this period and if so, how
  • Ask customers whether they feel your brand has handled the current situation well. If not, where could your brand improve
  • Check how likely customers would be to recommend your brand to a friend or family member. And if you have the data, see how this compares to pre-pandemic levels. 
Illustration of customer survey on mobile

Market research

In order to continue supporting their customers and members, many companies have made changes to their business model during the pandemic. While government restrictions are easing, not everyone feels 100% comfortable returning to businesses’ physical premises and some may have found the newly introduced services more convenient. So it’s worthwhile asking what customers would like both now and in the immediate future.  

  • Ask whether customers would like you to continue with digitised services and / or processes?
  • See whether any customers think there are any additions to your new services or products that should be made
  • Have your customers particularly liked anything other brands have introduced as a result of the pandemic?

Internal feedback

As a slow recovery is predicted, it’s key that you are able to keep staff engaged and ensure they have everything they need to make the most of each customer interaction. Recent research revealed that not only do 53% of consumers feel brands must do everything to protect their employees, even if it means suffering financial losses; but 89% are also interested in learning exactly what companies are doing to support their staff. So, staff feedback could be used not only to identify areas for improvement, but also drive brand sentiment with customers. 

Returning to the workplace

Although 1st August is just around the corner, with many companies implementing a phased return to the workplace, or even opting to continue remote working, it is a great time to ask how your staff are feeling about the impending changes.

  • Quite simply, check employees feel comfortable returning to the workplace
  • Ask if there is anything in addition to the precautions taken that the business could implement to make employees feel more comfortable
  • Question whether staff would appreciate the option to work remotely more permanently? And if so, how many days per week?

Prolonged remote working

Given that many businesses had to arrange remote working in line with rapidly changing circumstances, it’s worth ensuring that 5-6 months on, employees are still able to work effectively. This is particularly important for businesses who have confirmed prolonged remote working.

  • Check whether employees need anything in addition to their current setup, to be able to work more effectively
  • Ask employees if they feel their team is communicating effectively and ask for examples. For those that answer yes, the examples could be used to assist teams who have been identified as struggling in this area
  • Ask how employees feel about their current work/life balance

Personal development

For many, this uncertain time has meant that career paths may have diverged from those originally planned. But a large part of keeping staff motivated is understanding where they want to be in 2-5 years, and supporting their development to help them get there. While this may not be appropriate for every business, for those in which it is, it is a great time to re-evaluate employee development plans.

  • Ask employees whether their career goals have changed in any way
  • See if there is anything which can be implemented, even if this is remotely to support employee development. For instance, inclusion on specific projects. 
  • In situations where employees were due to attend various conferences or courses, ask if there are any online alternatives
Illustration of customer satisfaction survey

Introducing Esendex’s Mobile Journeys

As feedback can be instrumental to business success, it makes sense to find a long term, robust solution to collecting this data. Esendex’s Mobile Journey’s provide customers a completely customisable, fully branded, mobile-first solution to achieve exactly that. 

By removing the distractions of traditional websites, Mobile Journeys benefit from higher conversion rates, can be triggered by multiple channels, including SMS and email, and enable clients to ask their audience any type of question. Clients can use buttons, sliders and free type fields, to ensure data is collected in a convenient, non-intrusive and engaging way. What’s more, clients can also include document and photo uploads, to deliver recipients a richer experience.

Furthermore, all details of completed surveys can then be fed back to clients in the form of a live intelligent report. Ensuring your business is in the best possible position to make informed, data led decisions, to help drive continual improvement.

Utilising Mobile Journeys Health Harmonie were able to collect 3 times more patient data, which in turn has allowed them to make several developments to their services and improve their patient’s experience.

Finally, we understand many businesses may not have the time nor resources, to implement customer and staff feedback into their recovery strategy, despite seeing the value it could bring. For these situations, we do have experienced team members who are able to do this on your behalf. To find out more, simply contact us at [email protected] or call 0345 356 5758.

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