The possibilities are endless when you commit to collecting customer feedback. However, collecting feedback can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.
However, collecting feedback can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Regardless, we highly recommend you clear your thoughts and focus on taking a proactive approach to collect customer feedback.
In this extensive guide, we discuss the ins and outs of customer feedback, share reasons why you should collect customer feedback, and most importantly, shortlist ways you can successfully collect customer feedback.
So, let’s cut to the chase and get started!
|Table of contents|
|What is Customer Feedback?|
|Why should you collect customer feedback?|
|How to collect customer feedback|
|How to encourage customers to leave feedback|
|Understand WHY you’re collecting feedback|
What is Customer Feedback?
Customer feedback is essentially the information customers or clients provide that businesses can use to gauge their satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
The feedback can be about a product or service, or can also be about the general experience customers had with your company.
Brands should treat customer feedback or opinion as a rich source or base for improving their CX and changing the course of actions to deliver better.
Most top-performing companies realize the importance of customer feedback and do their best to consistently listen to the customers’ voices.
They incessantly look for opinions from their clients, especially the ones published on social media and other review sites.
Such companies deliberately ask for feedback through different methods. To be precise, collecting customer feedback is one of the most critical aspects of staying ahead of the competition.
Why should you collect customer feedback?
Can we list the reasons why customer feedback is important to business success? Yes, we can. Here are some of the most compelling reasons to double down on collecting customer feedback.
1. Helps consistently improve products and services
One of the most reliable ways of beating the competition is investing in product and service development. If you keep at it, sooner or later, you will find your company leading the market.
However, making changes to the products and launching the product are two different things. The latter requires proper market research to find if the potential customers want the new changes/products or not.
The idea here is to learn what the customer needs from the products and services. When you collect customer feedback, you give yourself an opportunity to learn about the potential advantages, disadvantages, flaws, and other product characteristics.
But, how does customer feedback help improve the products consistently? Customer behavior and expectations evolve with time. Therefore, the more consistently you collect customer feedback, the easier it will be to stay on top of customer expectations.
Regardless of the expertise and level of experience you have in the market, your knowledge about how the industry works will never trounce customer feedback. This is because customer insights help magnify the problems in your products and services.
2. Shows that you listen to and value customers
How can you show that customers are valued at your company?
Many companies communicate the message that they value their customers, but in reality, they couldn’t care less.
Remember, customers, if involved strategically, can effectively help you shape your business. At the same time, these customers will feel more attached to your company if you listen to and consider their opinions in the product design process.
When you listen to your existing customers, you automatically generate valuable brand ambassadors that will help you leverage the most effective form of marketing — word-of-mouth marketing.
Companies that value customer feedback easily open the door to the cheapest way of acquiring new customers while looking more reliable in the eyes of the audience.
More importantly, customers want to know if you care about their happiness and satisfaction. If you are not there when customers want to talk about your products and services, you are leaving money on the table.
3. Improves customer retention rates
What makes a customer stay? Well, there are several factors responsible for customer retention. But, the rule of thumb is that satisfied customers will only improve your company’s rate of customer retention and customer lifetime value.
So, you should focus on ensuring customer satisfaction. After all, an unhappy customer will always look for better alternatives. Customer feedback helps identify if your customers are happy or not.
The collected feedback allows you to measure service performance and determine areas of improvement. This is why we recommend brands look for customer feedback and opinions on a regular. It allows them to keep a finger on the pulse.
Not just that, asking for feedback helps unhappy customers vent their feelings and emotions. At the same time, this gives you an opportunity to immediately react to the customer’s issues and offer a solution.
In other words, collecting user feedback gives companies the opportunity to win a client back. This further increases the customer’s level of loyalty.
4. Reliable source of tangible data
Solid business decision-making doesn’t rely on guesswork. When the stakes are high, guesswork goes right out of the window.
You need data-driven decision-making that can only be done through collecting and managing different kinds of data, especially related to customer behavior.
Companies that do this are best at adjusting their products and services to better serve their clients.
Why does customer satisfaction data matter?
Such tangible customer data can be collected through customer feedback. It is one of the most reliable sources of data that can be used in making groundbreaking business decisions.
With customer feedback, you can generate customer insights to dive into the realms of your target audience and realize their part in the business more profoundly.
Not just that, customer feedback also gives direction as to where you should allocate more money in the business operations to generate more return on investment.
Only the companies that use such valuable sources of feedback data can translate the insights into actionable takeaways.
5. Reliable source of information for other customers
Modern-day consumers are smart and can sense the brands that are more likely to dupe them.
We are living in the times of social media, and trusting advertisements isn’t something that is recommended, especially when you know the customer is bombarded with ads left, right, and center.
Customers look for customer reviews!
So how can customers make informed purchasing decisions? It’s simple. They look for what other customers have to say!
In other words, consumers rely on opinions and online reviews left by other customers that have already experienced what it’s like to use a certain product or service.
Customer reviews (read customer feedback) are reliable sources of information for finding accommodation in a new city or for finding a new restaurant.
It’s because you get to read the reviews beforehand. In other words, collecting customer feedback is as essential for your business’s success as it is for the customers to find the right products and services.
6. Helps create the best customer experience
People’s experiences with products and services count and companies know how to leverage them. Believe it or not, modern-day marketing is largely based on the kind of experience people have with products and services.
Why experience counts?
The overall customer experience with the brand can often act as a foundation for a marketing campaign. Think about it for a minute — why do most people buy Apple products?
Well, Apple products are good. But there are many other products on the market.
They go for them because they want to sense belongingness to a particular group that prefers Apple products. They go for them to demonstrate their status and willingness to shell out extra $$ to buy the good stuff.
The same goes for clothing brands like Balenciaga, Nike, and other expensive brands. These brands focus on providing the best customer experience at every touchpoint. Collecting customer feedback allows companies to do that.
7. Allows companies to measure customer satisfaction
Companies factor in customer satisfaction and loyalty while determining their financial performance. Studies confirm that such factors lead companies to focus on benefits like increased market exposure, higher revenue, lower cost of operation, and more.
We have found a close relationship between business performance and customer satisfaction. Therefore, it only makes sense to measure customer satisfaction and ensure that customers are happy with what you have to deliver.
But how can you measure customer satisfaction? This is precisely where customer feedback comes to the rescue. You can use rating-based questions to get an estimate of how satisfied the customers are with your company’s performance.
Customer satisfaction surveys methods
Customer feedback survey methods like NPS do an excellent job of providing straightforward questions to the customers to measure customer satisfaction or investigate whether or not they will recommend the brand to another potential customer.
Remember, not planning is planning to fail. Companies that double down on collecting customer feedback are in a better position to determine the likes and dislikes of their customers.
This alone sets them months ahead of the competition regarding future planning. The feedback allows brands to discover areas that need improvement in the coming months.
The insights into the weaker points of the business make it easier to pivot, improve, and become more competent.
How to collect customer feedback
Let’s go ahead and discuss the multiple channels you can use to collect customer feedback.
1. Customer feedback surveys
A customer feedback survey is the most common way companies seek and collect feedback. However, developing the survey can be quite challenging.
After all, you have tons of questions to ask! So, how can you prepare customer feedback surveys while addressing all the possible questions?
Customer feedback tools
Use the short slider surveys! You can go for feedback management tools like Qualaroo, SurveyKing, Alchemy, and more to serve long-form surveys. But, that doesn’t mean you need to ask all the questions that come to your mind.
Only ask questions that are related to your business goals. Make sure the questions are mostly open-ended and coupled with consistent rating scales.
We are still to find a channel that functions as diversely as email. It is the easiest method you can use to generate qualitative feedback.
Since email is the most common medium of communication present today, asking for attention to make customers leave feedback wouldn’t be a struggle. However, you will have to make sure you set clear expectations in the mail.
Let your customers know why it is important for them to leave feedback. Only make the promises you can deliver. Use tools like Trello to organize the email feedback.
Add the feedback to a sub-board where project members can look for reports and potential customer interactions.
Lastly, ask for personalized responses. All you have to do is simply ask for a candid response through email (one-to-one request).
3. Usability tests
Conduct usability tests like Google. Such usability tests are designed to perfection for generating deep insights about customers’ experience at your company.
Usability tests can help companies uncover the challenges customers didn’t know exist. More importantly, these tests help identify the troubles customers don’t know they are facing!
You can let a small number of beta participants use your products or services and generate feedback.
4. Social media
Do you invest in social listening? Social media is an untapped reservoir of candid feedback that is easily accessible to all companies.
However, most companies ignore them or render them useless. The direct comments, mentions, DMs, and other engagements are nothing but customer feedback.
Not just that, you can use social media to ask customers questions through polls!
5. Google Analytics
Did you know that you can generate real-time customer feedback through Google Analytics? Yes, analytic tools help conduct feedback analysis and reveal the patterns with which customers use your products and services.
This is highly recommended for companies that sell digital products and services. Leverage analytics to see how customers interact with your company.
Keep a tab on the customer behavior patterns on your site, which will help discover more areas for improvement.
6. Instant customer feedback
You can collect valuable customer feedback instantly without having to ask any questions.
This is possible through on-site widgets that can be embedded and triggered any time a customer lands on your site.
A feedback widget can track customer behavior and suggest solutions to the customers. If the customers find the suggestions helpful, they can leave positive feedback.
7. Open-ended conversations
Lastly, you can indulge in long, open-ended conversations with your customers and have one-on-one interactions with them to collect feedback.
You should start the conversation with an open-ended question as it gives customers the flexibility to choose how and where to start. Customers will feel free to dive deeper into the experience they had with your brand.
However, the conversation should get more specific as the conversation grabs momentum. Most importantly, you should practice active listening to make the most of this opportunity.
How to encourage customers to leave feedback
We have discussed the benefits and ways of collecting customer feedback. But do customers automatically leave feedback upon interacting with a brand?
In our experience, most customers need a nudge to leave feedback. After all, they have already made a purchase and have the green light to start using the solution.
Customers might think of a customer feedback form as nothing but a hindrance in their shopping experience. So, how can you encourage consumers to leave feedback — an essential form of user-generated content?
Different ways to encourage customers to leave feedback
There are several ways you can do that. But, the most successful way of encouraging customers to leave feedback is by offering incentives. Extend discount vouchers and small gifts to tempt the customers into leaving their invaluable feedback.
However, make sure you let the customers know how much time it will take to fill out the feedback form. If you lower the time required to a few seconds, customers will most likely fill out the form.
You can even use star ratings as feedback instead of asking customers to write long paragraphs describing your products and services.
Regardless of what you do to encourage the customers to leave feedback, you must always respond quickly once they are done purchasing.
If you delay the conversation and let them go, customers are less likely to come back to the order page and leave feedback. So, stay responsive and make it quick!
Understand WHY you’re collecting feedback
Why do you need to collect customer feedback? We have already discussed the benefits of collecting feedback to measure customer satisfaction. But, why do YOU want them in the first place?
We highly recommend you pinpoint the reason your company seeks such inputs. Have a clear intention about the part of customer onboarding you’d want to improve.
More importantly, keep a close eye on the different aspects of the customer’s purchase process that will benefit from the feedback collection.
We hope this guide helped you understand how crucial it is to stay closer to your community by collecting and working on customer feedback. Gather customer feedback as consumers will always tell you something important about your business.
Therefore, they should be encouraged to leave feedback as this simple tactic can help transform every aspect of your company and work towards the most pressing business goals and objectives. Not to mention it helps companies measure customer satisfaction.
However, we highly recommend you start with the simpler methods of collecting customer feedback before jumping on the more complicated ones like usability testing and analytics.