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The Four Barriers to sharing customer feedback with own brand suppliers at scale

The Big Challenge presented by Big Data

The growth of Big Data presents a big challenge for Quality Managers, Product Developers and Technical Managers at traditional retailers.

With the continuing social media revolution, the world of customer feedback is a prime candidate for the benefits espoused by Big Data evangelists. Customers are empowered to feedback on the minutiae of the product experience and retailers are expected to listen, learn and act.

The problem with all this is that the accumulated data across the numerous feedback channels is just too “big” for any single team or function to handle. Therefore, the majority of customer feedback is offered lip service at best and ignored at worst – until a tiny blip on the retailer’s radar develops into a major issue that is.

Your secret weapon

Own brand departments at retailers have a great, often unutilised, advantage over other retailer divisions: They have a small army of suppliers and manufacturers who not only have the capability to resolve customer issues directly but have a direct invested interest in doing so.

Sharing customer feedback, like call centre complaints, with suppliers helps to go beyond the “tip of the product quality iceberg” by enabling the review of more complaints by a community of experts – your own brand suppliers.

However, there are several challenges to overcome before own brand teams can leverage their suppliers in this way…

Barrier #1: Information security

It is not feasible to send hundreds and thousands of pieces of customer feedback manually back and forth by email. Customer information is precious and importantly protected by law (GDPR).

Sharing and managing this information is governed by a strict set of rules for the data owner and data processor. Navigating these rules is a blocker that must be overcome.

Barrier #2: Size

The sheer volume of data that arrives into retailers systems is hard to comprehend. That feedback is then typically dispersed across multiple disparate systems, maintained by multiple departments, in widely varying formats and reporting sophistication.

Collating, aggregating and sending this data outside of its native systems is another significant barrier.

Barrier #3: Noise

All feedback is valuable, but some is more valuable than others. The consolidation of all this data can generate a great deal of noise. From habitual complainers after another gift voucher to random Tweets from those meeting friends outside of @Retailer, it’s easy to see why feedback gets lost in the noise.

Without being able to filter out the noise and direct the supplier network towards the comments where the real issues to solve actually exist you will be wasting your own time and theirs.

Barrier #4: Technology

Being able to pull data from across the organisation into one single queryable data set is a project many organisations have spent millions of pounds and many more people hours on. This is before trying to engage people in the organisation with the right skills and tools to analyse the data, build the reports and then turn the handle every month to send across to hundreds of suppliers.

The Solution

At S4RB we are passionate about the value that can be gained by sharing and collaborating you’re your suppliers. And that’s why we developed the Affinity™ platform - designed specifically to address these barriers to unlock the time savings, sales increases and Own Brand growth through  sharing customer feedback with suppliers.

 

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Jay Ramsay

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