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Omnichannel customer feedback: Connecting the dots

11 min read
Omni-channel measurement allows organisations to capture feedback and assess every interaction or touchpoint. Traditionally, businesses limit themselves to capturing customer feedback and engaging with customers through just a few channels, but with omni-channel feedback, organisations can gain a deeper and more holistic understanding at every stage of their customer journey.

Why omni-channel feedback is critical

Many organisations rely on one or two channels to measure and optimise their interactions with customers, which limits the accuracy and depth of customer insights. Without an omni-channel feedback tool, customer experience and voice of the customer programs offer incomplete information about customer preference, behaviour, and satisfaction.

Additionally, leading brands and organisations want to collect customer feedback everywhere their customers are so they can create a more seamless customer experience. In order to identify which channels your customers use to interact with your brand, you’ll want to perform customer journey mapping to help you identify the best channels and methods for reaching customers and influencing their experience.

Customers can view their conversations and feedback moments as part of a larger, continuous relationship. From a customer’s perspective, feedback they give at any point in their experience should be seen as part of a longer and more complete conversation with the brand.

Direct, indirect, and inferred feedback

There are three primary types of customer feedback channels: direct, indirect and inferred. Direct channels are methods used by companies to proactively seek customer feedback. Indirect channels are methods of collecting feedback initiated by sources outside of a company’s control. Inferred feedback refers to data that can give insight into your company’s customer experience. We’ve included descriptions of each customer feedback method below.

Solicited customer feedback methods

Email survey

Emails are the most common method for proactively gathering customer feedback and there are a few good reasons for this. For starters, on a per-response basis, email surveys are one of the cost-effective methods to gather customer feedback because they allow companies to collect a massive number of responses with minimal effort. Secondly, email is almost universally used across the consumer domain, which makes them an accepted method for a diverse consumer landscape. And finally, modern survey design and rendering engines make the survey experience engaging. This allows companies to optimise the brief period of time customers are willing to dedicate to the feedback process.

Short message service (SMS) survey

SMS surveys are an excellent option for companies that have access to customer cell phone numbers and are looking for a way to gather a limited amount of feedback. The cost associated with SMS is slightly higher than emailed surveys due to the cost incurred with sending text messages, but the open rate (percent of customers that start a survey) is significantly higher.

Short message service (SMS) shortcode

SMS shortcode is a blend of the previous two channels in that respondents receive an SMS message with a link to a mobile-optimised survey. With SMS shortcode you get the benefit of high open rates with the ability to gather in-depth feedback offered from emailed surveys.

Interactive voice response (IVR)

IVR is a technology that doesn’t require human interaction, but rather, allows a person to use their touch-tone phone to enter information into a database and receive information back. IVR technology is often used for telephone surveys.

In-app feedback

Mobile customer interactions are increasingly app-focused. In-app feedback allows organisations to seamlessly embed key questions and feedback forms in the app itself. Profile and action criteria can ensure the right feedback is solicited at the appropriate time.

Site intercept

Companies that have a high volume of visitors on their website use web intercepts to push or pull information to users based on their activity on their site. Intercept surveys are best implemented to gain responses from visitors browsing your website or using your online application.

Kiosk / offline app

Offline apps are useful when you want to collect feedback remotely or in a location where you might not have an internet connection. There are generally three main use cases for these feedback methods: event surveys, kiosk surveys, and consumer surveys. Event surveys help you collect survey data from event attendees right after the event itself and while the event is still fresh in their minds. Consumer surveys are administered in public areas such as a mall or out on the street. Kiosk surveys are typically set up at a trade show, with or without internet access.

Phone interview

There are two primary types of phones interviews: calls made by an actual person and automated polls. Automated polls offer the benefit of ensuring consistency across all polls, while interviews done by actual people have the benefit of higher completion rates. People answering the phone are best for companies with a lot of human capital and that aren’t on a set timeline because they can be slow in collecting data since there is some unpredictability in people answering the phone.

Mailed survey

Mailed surveys typically ask recipients to complete a short survey and mail it back. These surveys work best when mailed to current customers that aren’t likely to be reached through the internet or SMS. They can also be useful in reaching out to long-time customers since they are often administered with a letter thanking them for their business. On the other hand, mailed surveys aren’t likely to be very effective in reaching out to millennials and can be costly.

Contact forms

Contact forms are an excellent way to capture customer feedback from website visitors. Primarily used by customers to submit questions or report issues, contact forms help companies easily gather open-ended feedback.

Indirect customer feedback methods

Social media

Due to its popularity, social media can be a powerful tool for collecting customer feedback. This feedback can come in the form of likes/dislikes on a post, comments left on a post, or just simple tweets. However, pinpointing and interpreting the exact source of an issue can be difficult and you might need specific tools to interpret and analyse social data. Visualising social data side-by-side to other metrics can give a complete view of customer perception, and enable more appropriate
follow-up actions.


Indirect email can be a great source of feedback from customers that may not partake in solicited channels. It should be noted that this form of feedback tends to be negative as customers are more likely to engage after a negative experience.

Inferred customer feedback

Website user experience

Digital sites can tell us a lot about what customers would say about their experience, if asked. Useful data includes clickstream data, conversion rates, and other data sources.

Call centre

Useful sources of data you can collect from your contact centres include call wait time, interactive calls, and the number of times a customer must call to have an issue resolved.

Multiple channels, one journey

The same person will interact with many touchpoints as part of their customer journey.

For example, a customer wants to buy a new mobile phone. They research models online and perhaps visit a few review sites to see what others are saying. Then, they go into a store to take a closer look and to get advice from a sales assistant.

Then, they may buy the phone in the store, online or when they phone to talk about their contract renewal.

The customer journey takes place across multiple platforms both on and offline and with so many touchpoints, it follows that your customer experience program should monitor them all to understand how each one contributes to the experience.

After all, how do you know what was the key driver for the consumer in the example above in choosing to buy? It could have been the online reviews, but equally it could have been the service from the sales assistant in store.

Unless you’re consolidating your feedback from the various touchpoints, it’s almost impossible to say.

All your channels on one platform

In many organisations, the view of the customer experience is fragmented at best. You may have Google Analytics tracking your website visitors, a feedback kiosk in store and an SMS survey that follows up after a phone conversation.

When they’re all stored on different platforms, understanding the customer journey and what impacts the experience can be a time-consuming if not impossible task.

Bringing all your touchpoints into a single system starts with mapping out your customer journey – see our useful guide to building a customer journey

Once you’ve identified where customers and prospects are engaging with your organisation, you can start to collect feedback at each stage.

The right feedback from the right channels

Gathering customer feedback from multiple channels isn’t simply a case of serving the same survey at each stage – think about the nuances of each one before you start designing your customer experience surveys.

For example, in a store you might want to understand things like how the products are displayed or the friendliness of the staff. While after a phone conversation, you’ll probably want to know more about the personal interaction and how easily their issue was dealt with.

There are of course some things you’ll want to know at every stage, like measuring the customer NPS or CSAT score – this allows you to compare a CX metric consistently across touchpoints and start to identify which ones are performing best.

So make sure you design your CX program to adapt to different channels and ask questions that will help you not only identify what the overall CX metrics are, but also interrogate the key drivers at each stage.

This will allow you not only to take a customer-view and see how each touchpoint is driving the customer experience but also drill down at a journey level to identify improvements to impact the overall experience.

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