Making the Most of Customer Feedback

The challenges of collecting customer feedback

Over the last decade or so, there has been a significant, overwhelming increase in customer feedback data available to retailers. 

The latest mind-bending Big Data stats say that, in 2020, there will be around 40 trillion gigabytes of data (40 zettabytes).

It’s estimated that less than 1% of data is actually properly analysed and therefore understood to the point where it can support high-quality decision-making.

In retail, the ability to consolidate data from an ever-increasing number of sources and provide a holistic view of customer experience, product quality and sales information gives any retailer an unquestionable advantage over their competitors.  We talk about bringing together all this data to give retailers One View of product performance, empowering retailers to act upon customer insights.

Gathering customer feedback from multiple sources

There are plenty of tools to allow retailers to gather customer feedback from all of the available streams. In this blog, we look at Bazaarvoice to illustrate our case for retailers needing One View of their data.

Bazaarvoice offers a great solution for collecting and using customer ratings and reviews. Their Boots case study is just one example of how effective their service can be.

In this case study, Boots is using Bazaarvoice to listen, acknowledge and act, turning unhappy customers into brand advocates.

Bonnie, the Customer Service Specialist interviewed for the case study, explains how she is now able to quickly and authentically communicate with customers about their specific issues and find a suitable resolution - something that was extremely difficult before.

However, although Boots has the ability to react well to issues and turn them to its advantage, it still remains in a reactive position. Each incident exists in isolation and doesn’t necessarily help Boots stop that same thing happening to other customers in the future.

Retailers need One View of their customer feedback

Often feedback about own brands gets lost in the wider chatter about the retailer as a whole. Yet the feedback on the products when collected together to form One View will provide a retailer with a unique view of the customer sentiment towards and quality performance of their own brands. This becomes a total view of a retailer’s ability to deliver on their own brand value proposition and becomes a rich source of customer insights and opinions about the brands.

At S4RB, we help retailers and brand owners link communities of value (like customer service teams, product developers and suppliers), empowering them to seize the opportunity provided by every customer compliment or complaint. Great customer experience and excellent product quality are made possible because information about products is shared with all relevant parties.

Let’s return to Bonnie and her customer complaint. A customer had an allergic reaction to a product, and Bonnie resolved the issue by investigating and identifying alternative products which might be more suitable for the customer’s skin type. This led to a very satisfied customer. But the same information is actually of interest to lots of others.

How to better utilise customer feedback

S4RB’s Affinity™ platform helps retailers and brand owners seamlessly pass information between retail teams and suppliers. In the same scenario, using Affinity could mean that:

  • The web team and in-store merchandisers are notified and can add the alternative product recommendation to the website and product displays to make sure that customers get the right product first time. This product recommendation demonstrates Boots’ expertise and provides a personalised experience to those with sensitive skin - without them having to make a complaint first.
  • The product developers and suppliers have access to information about every product issue (as well as sales figures, product testing results and social media data), giving them one view of product performance. They have complete oversight and can decide whether a reformulation to make the product suitable for a wider audience is commercially beneficial.
  • Brand Managers also have the same one view of product performance. They have access to data to inform wider changes - like clearer labelling across the range to further increase customer perceptions of Boots’ expertise. Imagine Bonnie’s customer if she could search for a product by skin type and easily find the product right for her, accompanied by a little logo she could identify in-store.

Affinity from S4RB creates a closed loop between customer services, other retail teams and suppliers to empower continuous improvement and innovation, all with the ultimate goal of a great customer experience.


Retailers are hard-pressed to gather and analyse all of the customer feedback that exists about their products and brand. There are many tools that will collate customer feedback data, but the problem is that these tools keep the data in silos which means opportunities to prevent the same problems from repeating, are often missed.

Using S4RB’s Affinity platform to collate and share customer feedback with the wider retail team and, crucially, suppliers, enables retailers to go the extra mile with complaint resolution and delight customers.

Find out more about Affinity by S4RB.

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Find out how this major multinational retailer implemented online quality dashboards that shared customer feedback with suppliers, resulting in a 17% reduction in complaints in less than twelve months.

Tags: Customer Feedback Optimisation

David Taylor

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