Instantaneous reactions are becoming the norm. Think tweets, likes, and the ever-expanding emoji screen. Certainly, customers expect us to reply as quickly as they can type on their smartphones. If they are sharing their thoughts on social media or in an email to you, these customers want an answer immediately. Sometimes sooner.

Vicky Katsabaris, Voice-of-Customer subject matter expert, Qualtrics, said, “You no longer have the luxury of surveying customers once a year for their opinions. Wait that long and they will have already moved on to your competitor who is gathering in-the-moment feedback. With so many places to share their voices, your customer won’t wait long enough for you to collect your thoughts, or their opinions”

“Customers want to share their ideas about the types of experiences they want. You shouldn’t assume to know what customers are thinking. You must ask for explicit feedback and learn how to do things differently.”

Qualtrics has identified three of the best ways to capture in-the-moment customer feedback:

1. Timing is everything

Understanding when to capture feedback is critical, so that you can learn about the entire experience and make adjustments quickly. Organisations need to move beyond understanding customer feedback based on one-off interactions to delivering great experiences that involve multiple interactions across the customer journey.

Vicky Katsabaris said, “Mapping the ‘moments that matter’ allows organisations to understand the unique paths their customers take and helps unify teams to work together to improve the overall customer experience. Businesses should also ask about the experience after the customer has been through the entire process so they can get a fuller picture of the customer’s perceptions.”

2. Get the right feedback to make the best decisions

Just asking the customer for a score is not enough. Businesses could be asking the wrong questions, which means they are collecting and measuring data that does not lead to the best decisions. It’s important to ask for more than just whether the customer is satisfied or not. Going deeper with the questions, pulling out a customer’s expectations, drivers and perceptions, will help you learn how to do things better.

3. Prioritise closing the loop at scale

The faster you can get customer feedback to the right teams for action, the quicker adjustments can be made. Making adjustments faster lets customers clearly see that you’ve listened to their opinion. This preserves and deepens trust in your brand, especially if you identify problems you can resolve for them.

It’s critical to respond to individual customers as fast as possible. However, prioritising learning and closing the loop at scale can impact many customers at once. Building a stable, repeatable process for capturing customer feedback at every customer touch point and acting on it is foundational to good customer experience management.

Vicky Katsabaris said, “Businesses need to understand that in-the-moment feedback is important and should be a priority as part of their customer experience management system. They should train customer experience teams to close the loop with customers and disseminate responses amongst the business to provide the necessary information to all those who are responsible for making changes.”

“Organisations that use sophisticated platforms like Qualtrics, and use real-time data in an effective manner, can develop a powerful and differentiating mechanism for generating an enhanced customer experience that sets their brand apart from the rest.”