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Alida chief strategy officer suggests how brands can ensure customers feel heard

360 Magazine 
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Alida chief strategy officer suggests how brands can ensure customers feel heard

Alida global trends report

If companies want to gain credibility with the one in 10 consumers who are skeptical their feedback is ever used, the chief strategy officer at Alida suggests they consider how they respond on both an individual and systemic level.

Toronto-based Alida (formerly known as Vision Critical) released the results of a global survey on Monday of more than 5,000 people, the majority of whom (75 per cent) said they believe their feedback is rarely used. This is despite the fact nearly all (97 per cent) said they would be more likely to share feedback if they felt it was acted upon.

According to Nicole Kealey, the customer experience management firm’s chief strategy officer, the findings show how important it is for brands to consider the different levels at which they need to address feedback. This starts with being responsive to a specific individual and ensuring that they know they’ve been heard, and to demonstrate that something will change as a result.

Nicole Kealey, Alida
Nicole Kealey

“At the systemic level, if you have something like a perennial shipping problem and you’re getting beat up on social media about it, you have to be ready to be very public in sharing what happens next,” Kealey told 360 Magazine. “Organizations sometimes don’t feel their customers want to be bothered with that information, but it’s better to make sure the details of your plan are available through all possible communication channels to create the necessary awareness and understanding.”

Kealey said this marked the first time Alida had undertaken a research project of this scale. The idea, in part, was to demonstrate how it can use its own tools to study and analyze common customer pain points.

Another possible takeaway from the report, she said, was the need for more brands to consider not only direct feedback such as surveys but indirect or inferred feedback. Brands can use Alida’s platform to comb social media sites, for example, in order to understand customer preferences and patterns of behaviour to build upon the direct feedback they already collect.

The Alida study also showed that 86 per cent of consumers are more likely to spend with a brand that has values that align with their own. A good example is diversity, equity and inclusion: 80 per cent of those surveyed said they care about a firm’s stance on DEI. Kealey said the action here needed to span both internal practices (such as hiring) but also CX.

“Listening to what your customers and even non-customers are saying is incredibly important, and taking it into consideration and how you can adapt the products you deliver and to be more inclusive and address wider set of needs,” she said.

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Alida’s findings are broken down by demographics such as age as well as industries. Retail was among the sectors where older generations, for instance, were more likely to express dissatisfaction with their experience. Kealey said this may be a result of many firms taking more of a digital-first approach amid the pandemic, where foisting chatbots and mobile apps may not have been universally welcomed.

“The need to layer in a more omni-channel approach will continue to be paramount,” she said.

Some common sense basics also apply: Over half of consumers who participated in the Alida survey said a sincere apology is their most preferred recovery measure following a service failure.

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