Marks & Spencer is expanding its use of a customer and staff feedback system that it trialled last year.

The Fizzback system allows the retailer’s customers and staff to submit feedback on any issue via text message or the internet. Comments are automatically analysed to identify trends and allow tailored responses to be created and sent.

Other retailers to have adopted the system to collect customer feedback include Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U.

However, Marks & Spencer has taken the system’s use one step further by also allowing staff to communicate this way. Front line staff will be invited to use the system to comment and pass on ideas abut the state of the business, its plans and objectives.

The Fizzback service was used at the retailer’s latest quarterly staff conference early this month, where significant feedback was collected from the more than 600 employees who attended. As part of the pilot project the service was also promoted through the retailer’s staff magazine.

Marks & Spencer head of internal communications Sam Harrop said: “Our employees have a critical role to play in driving the business forward and it is important not only that they encourage customers to give feedback, but also that they give us feedback. After all, the majority of our employees interact with our customers every day and as a result have great insight into how we can continue to improve.”

The deal will also see the service rolled out in-store and used by the retailer to interact with its customer panels. It has already been trialled in 15 stores and with customer panels, allowing customers to comment immediately, even while they are shopping.

Marks & Spencer head of customer service Jo Moran added that the retailer wants to make it as easy as possible for customers to express their views. “The Fizzback system allows customers – whose needs constantly change – to tell us what’s on their minds, allowing us to learn from them and build stronger relationships,” she said.