More Articles

Follow the Signals to Improved Customer Experiences

Hint: It’s not just with a survey

We may not realize this, but our customers are giving us signals every time they interact with our brands.  These signals can be in the form of what they say during a call, an off the cuff comment to an associate at check-out, an abandoned cart online, or a comment in the social sphere. There’s no shortage of ways customers are providing feedback as guidance. However, we still see so many organizations solely rely on the survey, which although impactful, lacks the ability to engage all of your customers in their channel and mode of choice.

As a leader with Medallia Canada, I have the privilege of meeting with organizations spanning all verticals across the country.  In doing so, I’ve noticed that organizations who are winning the customer experience game are expanding beyond feedback surveys.  This is not to say that surveys are obsolete, but that they’re not giving you a full picture of your customer base and their individual needs.  In this article, I will share 3 signals that I am seeing expand the breadth and reach of customer feedback to drive meaningful personalization and an improved customer experience.


Just this week, I was speaking with leaders from a regional credit union who repurposed one of their branches into a contact center in order to manage the uptick in call volumes during the pandemic.  According to The Wall Street Journal, they are not alone.

In fact, at the peak of the first wave, many organizations were seeing call volumes 2X the previous year.  

To cope with this influx, organizations have expanded their workforce capacity by leveraging employees from other areas of the business with client-facing skills.  

The majority of contact centers are recording calls for QA and compliance, but are not mining this data at scale to identify improvement areas for their business or agents.  In fact, ~1% of calls are actually proactively monitored. With Speech by Medallia, lightning fast transcription and analysis provides real-time agent coaching and call summarization and categorization for operational leaders.  What this means is that agents have A.I. powered insights to manage the call in a personalized fashion that is meaningful to the caller.  This real-time coaching has proved to be invaluable for employees who have not worked in a contact center before, but are doing so during the pandemic through quick and efficient coaching at scale. Additionally, the ability to mine 100% of calls arms leaders with the data to understand why customers are calling in, what needs to be done “upstream” to improve self-service and where precious and finite investment dollars need to be placed.


How often have you, as a customer, provided feedback to an associate regarding an important improvement opportunity for a brand?  I know I have, but questioned if it would ever make its way to the right person to consider and champion this suggestion.  It’s not that these suggestions are intentionally disregarded, but that employees lack the tools to route these great suggestions to the right people in the organization.  

In fact, by simply having a tool to capture customer feedback through your employees, you can engage as much as 20% of your “silent” customer base who may never respond to a survey.

Your frontline teams can serve as your corporate eyes and ears to report on evolving customer wants and needs, they just need the tools and training to do so.  With Medallia, associates can identify sources of customer frustration and have them automatically routed to the right people in the organization to take action. Recently, we saw the power of employee feedback on behalf of the customers of a global retailer.  Employees reiterated customer complaints which lead to: the identification of regional stock issues as they occurred, allowing for mid-course corrections prior to sales impact; feedback surrounding fit and quality requests to change product specifications; and an adjustment to visual merchandising for maximum impact.  Each of these improvements were routed to the appropriate teams -- operations, clothing design and visual merchandising, respectively to understand and champion.


According to Forrester,  “...images and video bring customers to life, helping stakeholders establish a connection with them and integrate this understanding into day-to-day activities.”  The ability to hear and see customers' feedback creates the human connection required to build a culture of CX within an organization.

Leveraging video feedback provides 6X more information than a traditional survey by providing rich, qualitative insights.

There’s no shortage of video feedback use cases.  With MedalliaLiving Lens, market researchers, private label marketers, CX teams and operational leaders are tapping into the power of video to gain insights.  As an example, one global automotive manufacturer is combining the power of QR codes within-the-moment video feedback to inform their decisions as they revamp their physical dealerships.  As new dealership maker-overs are rolled out guests will provide feedback to inform any suggested tweaks for a better experience. If customer expectations are not met, this feedback serves as a tool for immediate customer recovery.

Another use case is grocery brand managers who are leveraging video feedback to conduct remote focus groups and taste tests for their private label foods.  Even after the pandemic, I expect to see the use of video feedback to conduct these projects to continue and grow given the cost reductions and rich insights provided.

Finally, one QSR client could not understand why certain menu items were a hi tin their test kitchen, but struggled to gain traction when out in the field. Through the power of video and testimonials, executives quickly realized that some ingredients were substituted in the field which had a dramatic impact on these new menu items.  Without seeing the meal and only leveraging written feedback, this likely would have been missed.

Remember, your customers are giving you signals with every physical, online and call interaction.  The question is, how is your organization listening and analyzing these signals at scale to drive loyalty, satisfaction and revenue?

Andrew Cudmore is the AVP of Sales for Medallia Canada. Over the last four years, Andrew has been at the centre of transforming organizations across Canada. He’s implemented Medallia’s world-class SaaS platform at countless businesses, changing the way companies operate and how customers experience brands every day. Andrew has partnered with some of the world’s largest retailers to marry the worlds of technology, sales effectiveness and change management in order to drive a cultural focus of customer experience from top to bottom.