The Importance of Feedback – Beyond Ratings and Reviews

In order to truly become part of the global business environment, your business needs to constantly change and adapt to a variety of new constants. Welcome to leadership beyond borders with Kimberly J. Lewis. We will help you navigate these changes on today’s program and help you think beyond the boundaries. The opportunities are limitless if you are prepared. Now, here’s your host, Kimberly J. Lewis. Hello, welcome to leadership borders. I’m Kimberly Lewis, your host, and this series is in cooperation with Cinda virtual, which brings you thought leaders and business stories from all over the world. Now you can learn more about Cinda on www Now this show, not only brings you thought leaders from all over the world, but we also have listeners from all over the world. So good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, wherever you may be listening from today. And if you’re new to the series, and we tell you that this series is about leadership beyond borders, about the impact globalization, digital transition and the connected world is having on our organizations and what this impact is doing to the kind of leadership we need to drive long term success in today’s economy. In this series, we’ll talk about everything from business issues such as artificial intelligence, digital transmissions, and data protection regulations to leadership issues, such as gender balance and business values and ethics that may impact your organization or your individual career. So please listen to us live every Tuesday at 3pm specific time. And if you miss us live, don’t worry about it because we are on every major podcast platform, from Apple to Stitcher all over the net. Just look for leadership beyond borders. And also drop me a mail. Let me know what you’d like to hear about on this show. You can mail me at leadership beyond And if you’re a leadership if you’re in a leadership position or aspire to be in one regardless of your businesses, international or local, make sure you join us each week and we’ll make sure that you take away something useful for either your business or yourself and to now onto today’s episode. You know today’s episode we’re going to be talking something about a subject that really kind of I’m quite interested in because I’m one of those, those people who leave customer feedback everyplace, okay. I don’t care if it’s on ratings or reviews. If I get a survey mailed to me, I pretty much do this all the time. And why do I do it? Because I feel customer feedback is important. And when I do it, I think I’m giving up the business information, insights and issues and input to about my experience with their company or their product. And I’m hoping this provides information and can help them guide improvements with their customer experience or also encourage them to keep on doing what they’re doing right. Because it’s not just about improvements. It’s what the positive fact. Now by giving customer feedback. It can be tiring also, sometimes I get long surveys that seem to go on forever. And I find myself struggling sometimes to decide if the experience was four stars or five stars. Okay.
And but there is one thing that I always wonder about, you know, when I do this, what are the businesses actually doing with this? Now our guest today has found technology to help customers like me give feedback in a more consistent and easier way while giving businesses data that they can use to ensure companies give their customers a positive customer experience. Our guest today is Adam Alfia, a serial entrepreneur and founder and managing director of real time feedback. real time feedback is an award winning customer engagement platform that allows customers and employees in stores venues companies to give feedback instantly and instantly communicate with their management by using QR codes, customers and guests employees can easily let management know not only about the issues and concerns they have, but also information from employees such as and also things like recognition. Adam is a big customer service not and can’t stand when companies deliver a subpar experience. He hopes that feedback will help companies learn more about customer experiences as they happen and give the correct and pay attention to the correct issues. Now Adam graduated from SMU and only 2.5 years on academic scholarship and then he started a European Auto Repair Shop. Motivated by a business plan assigned by his professor. Within five years he expanded the auto repair facilities four locations and sold them all in 2005 for 7.5 million payout over three years. So Adam, welcome to the show.
You know it’s kind of exciting to have somebody on the show that also cares about feedback because it is kind of one of my pet peeves. And so you know you’re a serial entrepreneur. Was this passion about feedback why you wanted to start to look into technology about it.
Yeah, exactly. So um you know, the other thing that I did after I sold the auto repair shops I started a company called Maestro that is still in business. We have a national contract with for auto manufacturers, and it’s sort of like OnStar where you push a button and car and you get a live agent. And we do that for Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Infiniti and with those brands, whenever somebody calls and has an experience with one of our call center agents, and I’m sure you have over the years called up customer service for our business and right off the bat within the first three, you know three or four words that that other agent says, you know, you’re about to have a bad experience or good experience just from the tone you can hear people smile, etc. So for the last year since 2005 You know, I’ve been really really insane about making sure to deliver beautiful experiences when people call our call center, and that when they hang up the phone, they go, Wow, that was really, really a good experience and I can’t wait to talk to them again. So having that kind of mindset when I go and I interact with businesses, whether it’s picking up the phone and calling customer service at a company, or I’m actually you know, physically in the store. And I see that the way that people just interact with the customers that really people you know, the art of caring has really died down in the last six or seven years for, in my opinion, numerous factors. But when I see that it drives me crazy, but I know that the owner or the manager of that business really cares about the experience. There’s just not a really good way to communicate both bad experiences and a good experiences that manager and an easy format. So that’s why we built feedback. And it’s really it’s the most it’s the most fun I’ve had working in my career. I you know, I really liked what you just said the art of caring, okay? Because that really puts it in you’re absolutely right. You call one of those call centers and you know In, in two words the two words they say on the phone, if it’s going to be good for it’s going to be bad. Okay, so so that that you know, with that experience behind you with the call center, you start this technology, but let’s just in general, you said you know, over the last six years things have changed. Okay.
What what has changed in this customer journey? I mean, why has it changed? Why don’t we why have we lost the art of caring? So several reasons. A, you know, for a long time in the golden years of customer service. You know, whether you are having a bad day or not a bad day, you know, the Disney experience you know, as they call it, you don’t care what that person kind of what kind of day that person’s having, you want to get good customer service. So you have to put on a smiling face. You have to speak nice, you have to, you know, make people feel like you really care that they’re coming and doing business with you. And I think that now that so many things have gone online, and purchasing has online purchasing has dominated everything.
And yeah, and I think also the younger generation that grew up without really that face to face communication skills, has really attributed a lot to it, because, you know, reading facial cues, reading people’s body language, etc. Lets you know, you know, if a customer, you know shows up, let’s say at a grocery store and you’re in front of the cashier, they can tell if you’re frustrated if you’re in a hurry, but they don’t really react any differently. They’re just doing their job, and they just want to get out of there. They’re doing their nine to five they’re out. So you know you see what really when you have customer the when you have employees that are really shine above and beyond and they interact with you Hey, how’s it going? You know, how’s your day to day but, you know, just try to, you know, really make you feel special for being there. Those really stand out but much of the younger generation just don’t have that skill set of making people feel comfortable and etc. I’ve got six kids and my kids I’m originally from Israel. And my parents, you know, growing up, it was always you know, we would go went to restaurants we had bad service. It was always a spectacle. My mom would call it the manager and her in her broken English demand that you know, they give us another meal or something right. So I grew up with that. And I did sort of the same thing. When I got bad experience. I’d raise my hand and say I need to speak to a manager and my kids grew up with that as well. And when they go out with their friends, let’s say their brunch or whatever it is, and you know, they’re having a subpar experience and my daughter’s with four or five of her friends. And then the waiter comes over the waitress comes over and goes excuse me can I can speak to the manager and our friends are saying what’s going on? What are you doing because let me go on over the manager. I mean, you complain about your meal, you complain about your meal, we still haven’t gotten half our food yet. I’m going to let the manager know and they’re like, petrified because No, no, we just won’t come back or Let’s leave him a negative review because no the manager needs to know about my experience and if I’m getting subpar service I don’t want pay for you know, for meals that I’m not enjoying. Yeah, you know what, that that’s such a great example and I have to I have to laugh because I just I just had my 11 year old niece here for the summer in Europe and I would do the same thing Adam, you know if something and she’d go like Oh, no, this is so embarrassing. This is so embarrassing. Okay. And I’m thinking, you know, what happened here? Is it you know, is it that you know, there we have not learned to talk to each other. I mean, is it because of the other technology and the kids are growing up on iPhones and chats and they can’t read the body language. Do you think that has something to do with it? I think it really has a lot to do with anxiety. They get anxiety from being in a confrontational situation with another person face to face. And we all we call them keyboard warriors. You put them behind a keyboard where they’re not interacting face to face and know that you have it. And they’ll tell you about every single thing that they think is wrong with your business. But you know, you ask them face to face. And so I own a chain of restaurants as well. You’re in Dallas we used to have, you know, we had a mandate that the manager would go in touch every table before a customer left Hey, I’m the manager just checking in and it’s happened to me when a manager swings by and the food really isn’t. The experience isn’t great, but they asked me and I still say fine because I might be with you know friends or business associates and I don’t want to be that you know, quote unquote care and that’s complaining.
But it’s really when they catch you off guard. And when you’re in the middle of a meal and suddenly you know manager comes by and goes Hey, how’s everything? You’re not really prepared to go into that confrontational mode because they kind of snuck up on you. However, if you give it a customer an opportunity to go hey, you know, I want you to tell me about your experience and I’m going to make it easy for you to do so. People are when they’re ready and they’re more relaxed and they think about what they want to tell you in a digital format are much more likely a To be honest, and be to tell you how you can improve their experience but really what feedback does is not really just gives you feedback to the business. It allows the business to fix that experience in real time while the customer is there. And that’s really the difference between and I know we’re going to get into some of this here later on. But that’s really what we want to build is how do I not only just know that that customer XYZ had a bad experience but I want to be able to fix it before they leave. Yeah, and that’s important and we’re going to get into that and we’re going to get into you know how your technology works but real quick, I just want to touch on you know, the giving digital feedback Okay, so though you know, we have ratings and reviews Okay.
With stars, okay, whether it’s on Amazon or whether it’s on Google or whatever. And you know, I like them, but I find them not completely effective because sometimes even as a customer I struggle will Is it four stars or five stars? Or is it three stars? Or is it four stars?
What’s your opinion on these kinds of rating systems? Well, the good thing about having star ratings that’s quick and easy. Probably star ratings is it usually doesn’t tell you what’s wrong. Yeah. And how I can fix it. So and now if you’ve bought anything recently on Amazon, you know, you have manufacturers that are offering you $20.10 I don’t know how this is not. It probably is against Amazon’s policies, but a lot of businesses are sending out $20 gift I just bought something on Amazon and I got a letter from the manufacturer separate from my product that said, hey, we’ll give you a $20 amazon gift card if you give us a five star and you send us a screenshot of it. So I mean, can you really trust those you know, because if a business has a bunch of five stars and their product wasn’t all that great, but I gave it to my daughter here, you want a $20 gift card you fill that out and she didn’t get five star but you know now they’re bribing people to leave. So you can’t really trust that. Yeah, yeah, that’s true.
And I’m we’re going to take a short break and I want to when we come back, I just want to have a couple more questions on the star rating system and then I want to talk about what you’re doing and why it’s different than giving feedback. So for our listeners, our guest today is Adam Alfia. And he’s a serial entrepreneur and founder and managing director at real time feedback. And real time feedback is an award winning customer engagement platform that allows customers employees to instantly give feedback and communicate with management. And it uses smart QR codes and we’re going to learn a little about that after the break. And Adam is a big customer service not as we do here. He’s been talking about that. And he doesn’t like when customers deliver a subpar experience. And he hopes that feedback will help companies learn more about customer experiences as they happen and give them a chance to correct this issues or keep doing the good things that they’re doing. Now if you’d like to learn more about real time feedback, please go to www real time And if you’d like to get ahold of Adam, he is on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter under Adam elfia And that’s a LFI A, so please reach out to him. And this broadcast is also brought to you by Cinder and Cinder is one of Europe’s fastest growing nonprofit digital marketing and local search associations. Cinder holds virtual trainings, conferences, market research and legislative white papers focused on digital. So please go to www For more information, and Cinda does hold conferences and their next live conference is held in Florence Italy, October 16 to 18th and to sign up for that go to www And with that, we’re going to take a short break and we’ll be right back.
become our friend on Facebook. Post your thoughts about our shows and network on our timeline, visit forward slash voice America. Today we live in a truly global environment. Business can more easily be conducted now in almost any part of the world. How do you as a business owner or professional navigate the ever changing business landscape? Tune in to leadership beyond borders with host Kimberly J. Lewis with a worldwide resource of guests you’ll find out what opportunities and challenges surround divers and virtual organizations listen live every Tuesday at 3pm US Pacific time on The Voice America Business Channel. Find out what’s happening on the voice America talk radio network by keeping up with us on Twitter you can find us at voice America T R N
Thank you for joining us on leadership beyond borders. Please tune in again next Tuesday at 3pm US Pacific Time for another edition featuring your host Kimberly J. Lewis on the voice America business channel. Have a great week. Welcome back to borders, really Lewis your host and today we’re talking about customer feedback and the customer journey and how important that is and, you know, how does how do businesses actually get information to help them improve or even help them keep doing what they’re doing right? And our guest today is Adam Alfia and he’s a serial entrepreneur and founder and managing director of real time feedback. And real time feedback is an award winning customer engagement platform that allows customers employees to actually instantly communicate with management and give feedback that counts.
We’re going to get into Adam, you know how this platform works. But you’re also you’re also quite the customer service net.
Not you have you know call centers and other business where you’re providing customer service for the automobile industry. So you certainly do know a lot about this. So let’s get let’s keep talking about this this customer journey today. And before the break, we talked about ratings and reviews and you kind of said that you there quick and easy and that you know helps, okay, but you really people don’t always leave info about it. You know why? Why is it two stars or, or bias three stores and I’ve one more question on the ratings and reviews.
Is there any statistics around them that people really only tend to do it when they’re really satisfied or quite unsatisfied? Because it seems like they see things they’re always like either four or five or one or two? Yeah. So in regards to, you know, capturing feedback, usually when somebody is really happy with a business, and you have to be really happy, we’ll go online and you know, give them a good review, or the opposite of when they’re really unhappy. Everything else usually solicited. So people who are having an OK experience, you know, they’re not going to five three stars usually doesn’t get anybody to go in and leave a review unless that business asks for it. So one of the things that we’ve built is not only, you know, a QR code system where you can leave management feedback while you’re at the business and hopefully get a resolution. But we also built a interactive platform. That if that business collects your information, and it knows that you are doing business with that with that company that we send you out a text message within seconds of you finishing your transaction to let us know whether or not you’re having a good experience. And we do use a star rating but that star rating is not for public review. What we do is if you had a five star experience, and you say now everything was great, we can you can still let the manager know, you know how good you are, you know about your experience, but that usually doesn’t require a follow up. So what we do is we let you if you leave a five star that we say great, we’re happy we’re thrilled you had a five star experience. Can you do us a favor and tell the rest of the world by leaving us a Google review or a Yelp review or whatever it is? However, if you leave the company anything but a five star then we asked you know we say where we apologize, we haven’t provided you a five star experience. Can you please let our manager our store manager now. We know how we lacked and how we you know we didn’t provide you that experience. And that generates a feedback that doesn’t go into some database for somebody to look at and you know, you know, try to analyze, it goes straight to that store manager in real time and insights and the store manager will respond to you. So we’re trying to get you as soon as we can. As soon as you interact with our business to try to fix the issue. Because the way that you know traditionally how it works is if you had a bad experience and nobody took care of it, you left and you’re left unhappy. You’re either going to tell some friends, it’s going to fester. You’re going to think about it more. I can’t believe I got such bad service. And now you’re going to start you know the you start telling your sphere of influence about that experience. We want to catch you beforehand. Have a manager call you turn your experience around you say you know what, because sometimes you just got to take blame. You know what? I’m really sorry, you had a bad experience, but I’m the manager here. Please do me a favor and next time you’re here. Come ask for me and I’ll take excellent care you and if you tell somebody that they’re less likely to go and you know, talk bad about you or put a negative review because you’re owning up to it. Yep, yep. So that I mean, that’s a great example. So let’s just talk about that. Okay, so I How does it work? Okay, because I know that on your website, you kind of you kind of describe it as a web based feed box, a feedback box, okay. And I had this in my image in my head years ago when we’d go in to a restaurant and you had those little cards on the table and I still think they have them someplace so it’s okay where you fill it out, and the waitress or the manager would look at it right away. So talk to me about how the platform works. Yeah, so actually, when you say that I actually saw one of those at a Costco. And I stood there for like half an hour while we’re getting rung up. I wanted to see if anybody stopped. And that’s just such an old school. I mean, first of all have the populations losing their ability to write I don’t know if you ever saw that study that you know, they’re now not teaching I think cursive anymore in some schools. So I think we’re going to we’re going to we’re going away from the art of writing, and you know, penmanship and all that stuff so people don’t write anymore. Just think about the last time you wrote a letter. So to get people to do that and fill out a comment box is really, really hard. Number one, number two, you know, we live in a digital age customers want a digital platform. So the way the service works is, you know, we would outfit a brick and mortar location with QR codes throughout the throughout the business that says, you know, compliments or concerns, let our management known or we will respond immediately. So we let people know that but by scanning this QR code, and we make it super simple, there’s no questions and how would you rate your service are it just an empty box that says, Tell us about your experience, and they just type out hey, I’ve been here. This is my third time here. I love it. Great job or, Hey, I was just in your, you know, just in your electronics section and the guy that was helping me really didn’t want to really help and he left and never came back. So now that would go immediately. We have an app specifically for management. They would get a push notification on their phone as well as a text message saying, you know, Kimberly, left feedback, and then they’d open it up, they see what the issue was. And then they can immediately respond saying, hey, Kimberly, this manager just got your feedback. I’m in the electronics section. Now come see me, I’ll take care of you. So now they can fix that otherwise, I mean, what do you do? You’d be walking around the store looking for somebody else. And it’s, you know, I go to Home Depot all the time, and sometimes I’ll walk around for five, six minutes looking for somebody to help me and nobody, you know, everybody’s No, no, go talk to that guy. Or, oh, I don’t help with that. It just gotten to the point where nobody wants to help anymore. And it’s very frustrating.
I mean, that sounds so simple and you know, I kind of like what you’re saying that there’s no questions because you know, one of the things that drives me crazy is the I’m a frequent flyer on a very big European airline. I won’t name which one, but you can probably guess.
But, you know, they’ll send me these, these feedback things. And I’ll be sitting there 20 minutes. I’m thinking when is the end of this? I just have one thing to say so this you know, this was great, you know, people has put it down. So do you have any stories like you know, of, you know, where it changed one of the customers where you implemented and you know, kind of a testimonial or an example you could share with us of a of a fenced in SME or an enterprise place that uses it? Yeah. So we just recently, we have a bunch of car dealers on our platform. And in the car dealers, either you get a text message as soon as you check out from the service drive, or we’ll have the ones that aren’t integrated. We’ll have like a hang tag on their rearview mirror when they pick up their car from service. And it has a QR code it goes is how was your experience today? Let the manager let our manager know right now. And somebody submitted something they brought in their car for an oil change and they said, hey, my air pressure is low on my tires.
You know, can you please check it so they did anything or they cheated or change the guy get better it gets back in his car, and his tire pressure still shows low on the dash. So the guy immediately wrote in on I don’t trust you guys. You guys told me you guys charge me for rotating my tires and my lights still on and so on and so forth. I placed a order for an undercover for my car. I want to go ahead and cancel that I’m never coming back over here. I don’t trust you guys because he still sees light on the stash. The manager immediately Hit him Hit him back and said hey, this the manager kind of give you a call and gave him he called the customer said look, you have to drive the car for 15 minutes. I’m sorry, the technician should have told you that. It has to reset driver for 15 minutes 20 minutes that will turn off and he’s and part of our platform is whenever you take care of a feedback, it automatically sends the customer a text message that says I hope are resolved your feedback. If you could please leave us a review and it takes them to a site that we own right as If they give them five stars and it takes them straight to Google. So the guy wrote back through the platform because it’s when you respond to a customer they get a text message. You respond to the text message you know, John, thanks for calling me I really feel much, much better after you called me. And now I understand. I got your review link. I went ahead and give you a five star review on Google thanks for everything. And then you know, the manager got as soon as he leaves a Google review. We scrape it and send it to him. He goes hey, you know XYZ customer just left Google review and in there he says at first I thought they were lying to me. The manager called me took care of it. I’m very happy now great place. But when you can capture that that experience, you know who knows how many people that guy would have talked to on the phone after you left the dealership? So yeah, I just left my car. I just picked up my car from XYZ dealer and they lie to you now that’s out there in the world. So yeah, if you can capture that and take care of customers and let them know hey, my technician didn’t tell you I’m sorry. You know I’m making right now. Yeah. And you know, you know, do you think about you know, customer satisfaction psychology and obviously if you’re calling me back or if the managers you know, texting me back right away and trying to solve it, then the likelihood that I’m going to go on to, you know, rate this and or to Google or something to put a pretty good rating increases tremendously. I’m sure the statistics say it Yeah, that’s great. So I mean that good. I wanted to talk on the on the you said about the surveys that drives me because I take surveys all the time. See what we know does anything ever new in the world? That’s one of the things that people go oh, we already have a survey program. We have to educate them the difference between our system and in the survey program because we’re not trying to replace a survey program. But I always comment on them. I said hey, can you send me your surveys? I can give you some pointers. Number one thing is they never tell you how long it’s going to take or what step in the process you’re actually in. So that way you’d like to know because it’s going to take five minutes, 20 minutes, etc. Number one, Number two, you should always put the comment box In the beginning. because if they have a comment box, it’s always at the end. Yeah. and there’s so many people that just drop off during that survey because it’s just too many questions that they you know, a lot more than anticipated. And you know there is a phenomenon that once you get to a certain point of serving you spend enough time, you just go in start checking boxes to get to the end. So now you’re not getting real data. And the final piece of it is and I’m sure it’s since you filled out so many surveys, how many times has anybody ever called you. or responded to you and say, Hey, we got your survey? You know, we’d like to talk to you about it how we can get but in your cars, you know that they want to pretend like they care, but they really don’t otherwise somebody be there responding to people that hey, we got your feedback. Sorry about the experience. You know, here’s 10,000 bonus miles for next time. Yep. Yeah. And you know, it’s absolutely true because you can I just took one the other day that seemed like it went on forever. Okay, and you’re absolutely my human reaction towards the end was Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check.
Just to get to get through it, I mean, app. Really, really clear. And you know, the other thing, what I really like about this QR code and on your technology is I’m thinking about in a store or even on a website, and I’m going to ask you, you know, how it works.
On You know, somebody who’s doing e commerce, okay, we’ll talk about that after the break. But, you know, I don’t know what the states are the laws are in the States about I know, we have EU legislation that every single website has got to make sure that it’s easy to give them feedback. And right and even this same airline, I had to do something or do a claim the other day, and I’m on this website all the time. And it took me forever to find even where I could give feedback.
It’s actually a new metric that we’re starting to track called CES, customer effort score, or how hard is that customer have to work in order to communicate with you let them know about issues and they have a strong correlation between CES and loyalty? So I’m sure you’ve heard about the, the phenomenon that if you have an issue at a store, it’s called a service recovery paradox that if you if you’re familiar or not familiar with the, if you have loyalty to a business and they screw up and mess up and you reach out to them and let them know and they take care of it, you will be more likely to be loyal to that company that took care of it and never had an issue at all. Absolutely, yeah. That’s ces that’s measured quite a bit here in Europe. And it’s interesting that how many people don’t even, you know, even pay attention to the legislation and they do have a place here in Europe where you can complain about that, but that’s a whole different story, but we’re going to we’re going to take a break and when we come back and want to talk about you know, how this works when it’s on a product level or in E commerce because we’ve been talking about foot traffic, okay. And, you know, a lot of stuff is done on the web today. And, you know, and also talk about where you think we’re going with all this because I think this is great technology. I would love to have this in some stores here when I walk in, I think it’d be super, and I’d like to see it you know, what happens when it’s on the web. So for our, for our listeners, we are talking today with Adam Alfia and he’s a serial entrepreneur, and founder and managing director at feedback at real time feedback. And he this is a great customer engagement platform. We’ve just been talking about how it works with a QR code and giving instant feedback back to the manager and getting in touch with your customers. Basically, Adam that’s what you’re doing is drying that human communication between and company or manager. And if you’d like to learn more about this, please go to real time And Adam himself is on Adam is on Instagram, Linked in and Twitter under Adam Alfia Okay, and you can find him there and this broadcast is also brought to you by sender and send it is one of Europe’s fastest growing nonprofit digital marketing and local search associations. They will trainings conferences, legislative white papers, they do a series a learning series on Thursdays 17 cet. So to learn more about sinda go to www And they are holding their network digital conference in Florence, Italy, October 16 to 18th And with that, we’re going to take a short break and we’ll be right back.
become our friend on Facebook. Post your thoughts about our shows and network on our timeline, visit forward slash voice America. Today we live in a truly global environment. Business can more easily be conducted now in almost any part of the world. How do you as a business owner or professional navigate the ever changing business landscape? Tune in to leadership beyond borders with host Kimberly J. Lewis with a worldwide resource of guests you’ll find out what opportunities and challenges surround diverse and virtual organizations listen live every Tuesday at 3pm US Pacific time on The Voice America Business Channel. Find out what’s happening on the voice America talk radio network by keeping up with us on Twitter. You can find us at voice America CI RN
thank you for joining us on leadership beyond borders. Please tune in again next Tuesday at 3pm US Pacific Time for another edition featuring your host Kimberly J. Lewis on the voice America business channel. Have a great week.
Leadership borders and I’m Kimberly Lewis, your host and we’re talking about the shift in the customer journey giving customer feedback.
And we’re talking with Adam Alfia was a serial entrepreneur and founder Managing Director at real time feedback, which is a really great platform that is kind of changing the face of how we give customer feedback. And so before the before the break Adam we talked a little bit about you gave the example of the car dealer hanging the QR code in the car and you know the manager giving feedback and just kind of the process and the chain in in a store that has foot traffic. So you know since the pandemic, you know Ecommerce has increased. We’re seeing foot traffic again here in in Europe, but you know, we were all on the web. Okay, so how does this work? On the web, can you implement it to even you know, e commerce shops or even products grow? So one of the things that you know is I’ve noticed in the last probably 10 years is our attention spans gone down. We can’t stay focused on anything for very long, especially when it’s a digital experience. So it drives me crazy and I’m sure you’ve had the same experience when you’re chatting with somebody online for customer service through their web chat, is that I started looking at other tabs while I’m waiting for them to respond and doing other things. And they go Yeah, I’m in the middle of a conversation. So then you go back and they’ve already hung up on you because you didn’t respond.
So what we’ve done is we’ve taken that experience and converted it into a text message because that’s on your time and people are much more likely to respond to text messages. So you can actually start the customer service experience through their web platform, and then put in your cell phone number and then we convert that experience and that conversation now to your text messaging. So you don’t have to stay on a webpage and wait for somebody to respond. It’ll hit you on your cell phone, we’re actually integrated into WhatsApp as well. So free international outside the US and Mexico and in Canada, we have WhatsApp for Europe, Mexico, etc.
So if you start your conversation online, we then take it offline into more of a digital experience through your cell phone because that’s what everybody wants anyway. So that’s how it works. We’re we’re taking that experience and then converting it to your cell phone when you’re online. So if I’m online because if I’m online, so I text a I put something in okay, I put some kind of experience in there. Hey, and then you’re going to take that off and then text me. How was that driven? Is that AI driven or is that people driven or is yeah, you know, is it predestinated subjects or keywords? No. So our, our core program, we do have an AI layer, but we find that customers love engaging with a real person way more than an AI layer. Now if you’re looking for where’s my shipping, etc. Yeah, AI is easy to do. But if you really have a complaints and you want to talk to somebody, and that’s the key word is talking to somebody, you know, the robots or the AI bots can only answer so many things before people get frustrated. And so this is not what I’m wanting I want I want somebody who has empathy for my issue to tell me hey, not a problem. I’m looking into it, I’ll take care of it, etc. Rather than just an AI bot responding with something that was programmed to fit you know, your your request, which is not really most of the time doesn’t.
I think there’s a lot more frustration when people have feedback to give you and a robot responding to you. Yeah, oh, I’m so glad you said.
Just, they make me crazy because it doesn’t seem whatever I put in there. It gives me something different than I will match. So that’s good. So how, how is this? You know, what’s your experience with the brick and mortar online? You know, we had this pandemic.
You know, I saw what was in the States also because I do go to the U.S. quite a bit, you know, everything was closed down.
You know, a lot of small and medium businesses did start offering services online, especially restaurants, but you know, other industries also.
And they’re now they’re kind of parallel. We’re kind of in this partly online, partly, you know, foot traffic. How are they implementing it? Are they are they SMEs grasping the technology? Because it seems like it was kind of a long learning curve for them.
Right. So one of the things that we’re doing is outside just having it physically in the store, if you have if you’re, you know, one of the biggest trends was to order online pick up in store where you just pull up, you know, sit in a little, you know, sit in the parking lot and somebody brings it out to you. So what we’re doing is actually QR code stickers on the package, that when we pick it up, it’ll say Is there any you know feed let us know if there’s any issues with your purchase Skandhas code and that generates a feedback back to the store where they can take care of your issue in real time. And we’ve done that with you know, not only brick and mortar retail, but you know the Go business for restaurants and deliveries and all that really skyrocketed during the pandemic. So, you know, what we’ve done is we’ve implemented these QR code stickers, same thing, where if you ordered a pizza on the edge of the pizza box that says, if your order is less than perfect, let our manager now and when they scan that, you know generates a feedback we now you can tell the management a you guys forgot this forgot that. And what we found is really, you know, most customers that have an issue with their to go order.
There’s really no solution. Unless it’s the next time. Hey, sorry about that. Next time come in. We’ll give you a free pizza. So it but that’s really you know, you’re taking care of our customer, he’s going to say oh, okay, wonderful, thank you for you know, owning up to it and I’ll be back next time. So that’s really what you know, our platform is really help businesses who are so reliant on that to go to go business is really getting that customer feedback because nobody likes on if you ever been to a fast food restaurant, he screwed up your order. It’s really painful to call that store back, get a manager on the phone, Hey, I just ordered us and you guys forgot my fries. So this way, it allows the customer to instantly communicate with the manager. The manager usually was one of the customer and our system not only allows for that communication, but also allows a manager to put on your accounts. A note saying next time you come in just show this text message and we’ll give you a free hamburger or whatever it is. Wow, I think that’s brilliant. Okay dive in on the to go. Box. I mean, I I can think of quite a few times. I wish I had that, unfortunately. But that is that is really brilliant. So I mean it. We’re moving in a direction and generally just on the customer service issue.
Do you see any trends that maybe you know with products like yours the technology like yours that that we can get back to a more customer centric service, or you know, orientation during the break you and I talked about that? Europe is probably a little bit less than the US. But where do you see this? You know, going over the next couple of years? Yeah, so you know, the biggest thing that feedback has really shone a light on is accountability because 90% of feedback that we get is is personnel related. Because you know, people drive your business, no matter what kind of product you sell, whether it’s a car or you know, hamburger, it’s the people that are delivering that experience that are responsible for, you know, the success or failure of that experience. So we find that when an employee and we did we launched a chain of grocery stores change here in the US. And what we did was we put a QR code on every cashier that we’re going to ring up and saying let us let us know if our cashier was friendly today. And it was amazing. How much I made a difference because employees know that most customers that have a bad experience are not going to go find a manager tap him on the shoulder and say hey, I just want to you know cashier for is really rude, or there was on their cell phone while they were checking me out and that’s happened me several times when they’re sitting there drives me crazy when they’re texting while they’re ringing me up. But you know, it happens all the time. But most people just don’t have enough time in the day or night or care enough to go and find manager let him know that an employee slacking off. But if you put a QR code right in front of their register and it says let us know if our if our cashews friendly today and it goes straight to a manager and that cashier noses. I promise you they shape up knowing that you have that direct line of communication very easily to their manager. Yep. Yeah, absolutely know that. That’s brilliant. And, you know, idea popped in my head when you’re saying this I’m going to come out with an off the wall question.
Because earlier, you know, we were talking about you know, you’re talking about personnel and we’re talking about generations that you said you have six kids and I gave you the experience with my niece all summer just saying oh, this is embarrassing. And we You said something about confrontation. Do you think do you think this kind of feedback is going to help that generation set as they come into the workforce be more comfortable with solving, you know, being more customer centric and not worrying about you know, discussions or confrontation? What’s your feeling on both a customer feedback expert and a father? Do you think we can get them in a direction, different direction? So look, at the end of the day, it’s all about starting conversations and opening up things that are pain points. One of the things I didn’t mention is a good a good portion anywhere from 25 to 35 depending on the industry 25 to 35% of our feedbacks are from employee employees of the business. So employees, employees actually see things in a different light than a customer would or manager would. And they also have a voice especially now with the equipment. It’s so hard to not only hire people but only retain them and when you know somebody offers you know that 20 cents an hour, you know company employees are jumping ship to go live work for another business, but we found that if you give that customer that employee a voice and let them let management know about any things that could make the work environment better, they’re very, very happy to do so not only that our platform allows for anonymous feedback as well. So you can actually push a button on our platform when you’re submitting the feedback and make your feedback anonymous. And employees love that because now they can they feel like they’re empowered to let management know about other employees slacking off about maybe some benefits that they like, without the repercussion of you know, being, you know, a complainer at the workforce. So that’s really one thing that we always encourage us let when we launch companies, make sure your employees know that it’s not just for your customers, but also for employees to let you know about the things that you know, you could be doing better as an employer.
You know, if you go into the psychology behind that also, when the employees feel like it’s okay to engage, then they start to kind of learn that that’s fine, then it’ll probably be easier for them to engage with themselves going forward. So excellent idea. So we’re getting towards the end, Adam. Really great insights if you have one closing comment to our listeners, you know, on the direction this is going or what they should be doing. What would that be?
Well, there’s two things I want to say hey, we actually have a tagline.
Give them help before they Yelp so you know, take care of them before it escalates out of control. People really appreciate that. And then number two you know a lot of people out there that have an issue with a business. If you don’t do your part as a customer to let the business know how they can improve. It’ll never happen. And you know, most customers think that leaving a Google review is the way for them to get in touch or let a business know about issues. When really we have seen that 99% of negative reviews that are left online that a business responds to and even takes care of usually never make it back off Google and it stays there forever. And if you’re like me, I was whenever I look at a business and decide if I want to do business with them. I was looking at the negative reviews. I look at the one stars and what people said because I want to know what’s the worst that I can expect here. And sometimes you know, it’s pretty horrifying. The thing is that businesses do but the managers might not know that they’re going on underneath the nose until they see that Google review if they ever seen it. All our platform really puts it up front and center lets that customer let you know about you know about issues and you know, positive things and opens up that dialogue for a better experience and relationship with that business. Great. Great, great I like help before they Yelp I liked that tagline to the wind. Great. Well really super stuff. Adam great technology for our listeners we’ve been talking to. Adam Alfia is a serial entrepreneur, and founder and managing director of real time feedback which is a customer engagement platform that allows customers employees and management who engage with each other. We’ve talked about how it works, works with smart QR codes and a simple solution now, madam, brilliant, brilliant technology, and we know that you’re a great customer service nut and can’t stand when companies deliver a subpar experience. So we thank you for the efforts and helping drive us in the right direction. And if you’d like to reach out to Adam, you can go to Adam on Instagram, and LinkedIn and Twitter under Adam via and that is a LFI a okay, and you can reach out to him there but you can also go to the company website at real time feed calm and listen reach out to him there and this broadcast is also brought to you by Cindy and send it is one of Europe’s fastest growing nonprofit digital marketing and local search associations that holds virtual trainings conferences, does market research and legislative white papers focused on digital. They also have a learning series every Thursday at 1700s The Central European Time and their next live conference is a digital is the digital environment and that will be hold held October 16 to 18th and Florence Italy. Center also has an E learning platform in cooperation with Boss capital. For startups. It’s a e-learning platform for startups and product managers to help them with product launches and help them succeed. So if you’ve learned more about sinda go to www And tune in every Tuesday at 3pm Pacific time. And don’t forget to tune in again next week. Thank you