As consumer behavior trends drastically shift and meaningful connections between customers and brands becomes increasingly vital for success, more and more brands are turning to customer feedback management. With the power of direct customer feedback, even your most unhappy customers can prove to be an integral opportunity for growth and improvement.
By putting customers at the very core of your decision-making process and proactively acting on the insights drawn from their feedback, you’ll be better equipped to deliver products and solutions that exceed their expectations—ultimately driving long-term business success.
While capturing both positive and negative feedback from customers is critical to navigating today's business landscape, most companies are challenged with the ability to generate action-driven customer insights that decision-makers need to quickly and efficiently improve the customer experience.
As a result, several businesses suffer the risk of losing customer trust and loyalty. When these businesses fail to demonstrate that their customers’ voices are valued—they can’t deliver the experiences that are expected or drive NPS scores to meet business objectives.
But when traditional tools aren’t driving the kind of impact experience leaders need, how do you re(engage)customers, improve poor experiences, and increase brand trust?
The bad news? Competition is fierce and NPS scores are nearly one third of what they were 5 years ago. The good news is, companies that are prioritizing customer feedback, engaging more deeply with customers, and shifting away from traditional techniques and into modern approaches that draw on a diverse pool of customer voices will win in the end.
In addition to surveys, brands that invest in other techniques to continuously engage with customers and give them a voice gain a considerable advantage over the competition. They’re better prepared with the right tools to target both customers and prospects in the future.
In this guide, we’ll explore why proactively asking your customer base for feedback matters, how to run successful customer feedback surveys, and why now more than ever you need to prioritize listening to your customers to gain valuable insights that allow you to drive satisfaction levels and get ahead of tomorrow’s trends.
The Power of Listening (& Why It Matters)
Listening is one of the single most powerful tools for businesses to grow and build meaningful relationships with their customers. Organizations that ingrain a customer-centric culture that prioritizes listening and continuous testing to better understand their customers will be the brands that achieve success and differentiation.
It doesn’t end there. Companies that want to deliver extraordinary experiences must also keep a close pulse on their employees feedback and ensure they’re listening to their voice to continue driving experience management (XM) improvements. But how exactly does listening impact your business and drive overall customer success? Below are just a few of the main ways.
Gauge Current Satisfaction Levels
In order to make predictions or plans for the future, you first need to understand how you’re currently operating and whether there are opportunities for sustained growth. Understanding customer pain points through different types of customer engagement techniques—including continuous feedback—is a great way to get a better sense of what your audience thinks and feels about your business, and how you can best respond to behavioral changes.
By equipping CX leaders with the right customer feedback tools, you avoid making assumptions about how your customers feel and instead get deep, timely insights about their expectations, how your brand compares to competitors, and what you can do to provide clear direction so decision-makers can turn feedback into action.
One of the best methods to gather feedback quickly at various customer journey touchpoints is by using an NPS survey. These short, easy-to-create, one-question surveys ask users to rate the likelihood of recommending your business to a friend, colleague, or family member on a scale from 0 to 10.
NPS data are extensively used by customer service and experience teams to gauge customer satisfaction levels and monitor improvements in product development. By leveraging additional data alongside your NPS score, you’ll be able to more accurately assess the implications of your efforts and whether or not your strategy is built to succeed.
Discover New Opportunities to Improve CX
Getting your audience to like your product or service isn’t always an immediate result. In fact, when you first launch a new product, you’ll likely have improvements to make based on ongoing feedback you receive to ensure your delivery exceeds customer expectations.
Running customer surveys is especially crucial in the early stage of any product launch. You need to get ahead of significant issues to avoid the risk of product failure, low NPS scores and ultimately, a negative impact to your brand's reputation. Brand building becomes a challenge for some, while others lose their customer’s loyalty forever.
Luckily, running product feedback surveys is not difficult. By implementing automated feedback softwares, it becomes easier than ever for brands to engage with customers and manage their ongoing relationship with them.Customer feedback softwares automate parts of the process and provide you with useful templates that cover the most important aspects.
As you learn more about what isn't working well, you’ll also discover features of your products that are most valued by customers. This in turn gives you an opportunity to double down on those features and use it as a key to building winning products, more targeted campaigns that align with the needs of your audience, and most importantly, building a clear picture of your next steps to improve CX.
Increase Customer Loyalty
More than ever before, customers today want to work with companies that truly value their opinions. Brands that take the time to run programs that encourage two-way engagement are able to demonstrate to customers that they care and listen to their input with empathy—driving significant impact on customer loyalty.
When you proactively reach customers to hear their concerns, you not only start improving product quality but also create brand ambassadors that use their authentic voice to share positive brand and product experiences they’ve had.
Ultimately, customers that are confident in the products you deliver and feel as though you are consistently making improvements that matter most to them are the customers that will stick around and advocate for your brand.
Get Data-Driven Actionable Insights
A relatively new problem CX leaders are facing is becoming overwhelmed with the amount of data they have available. Without context, data is little more than noise that ends up clouding the most important insights that could be gained.
However, at the same time, the right type of data that’s in-line with the problems decision-makers need to resolve remains an invaluable resource. Teams that can consistently gather first-party data and work with cross-functional teams to fine tune survey questions will help discover the most meaningful data that drives positive change.
After you’ve collected data across various touch points using various survey types, you can use the quantitative and qualitative feedback you receive to make informed decisions across the entire buyer journey.
Whether your objective is to improve response rates, increase customer retention, aid product development, or help marketing find the right messaging angle, using continuous feedback to design extraordinary experiences is an invaluable asset that will propel your business forward.
How to Analyze Customer Feedback and Actually Use It
Gathering customer feedback can be a fantastic resource to drive better business outcomes—but only if you have a strategic process in place to help you leverage it. The crucial part of the equation is understanding how to collect valuable insights from the raw feedback you receive. This often requires careful planning and a modern approach to the way you make critical CX decisions.
Let's explore some of the key steps that go into analyzing customer feedback and then discuss how that information can be utilized to drive improvements in your business and customer programs.
Contextualize Customer Data
Although the data you collect gives you a clear picture of what your customers and prospects want, data without context is meaningless and doesn’t give you enough insight into the “why” behind the decisions they make. For example, if you don't know why your customer gave you a low rating, why they decided to switch from one service you offer to another, or in some cases what stage of the customer journey they’re in, then the lack of insight could potentially kick you to the curb if decision makers don’t have additional context to make the data useful. This will lead to undesired customer behaviors and poor CX.
Therefore, when you collect customer feedback and track customer behavior at every touchpoint, it's crucial to always tag and note where the input is coming from, the context of the interaction, and validate various solutions and what it might point to.
When powered with deeper insights, decision-making improves and the solutions you build become more targeted and relevant to the audience you’re reaching. By enabling your organization to uncover customer preferences, habits, and the “why” behind their reasoning, you set yourself up for success and are able to focus on the actionable insights that help you make more informed decisions. You gain a better understanding of the complete customer journey and how you can amplify each and every experience.
Capture Feedback with a Variety of Techniques
Another essential part of driving effective customer engagement is getting a diverse range of feedback types to work with.
For instance, you can gather direct customer feedback from online surveys, interviews, or using customer feedback software. You can also collect product feedback organically—looking at product reviews on your own website, referring to third-party sites, or by simply analyzing social media interactions to keep a close tab on customer and prospect interactions.
Getting the right data to take action on is critical for businesses to succeed today. But with brands collecting more and more digital feedback, the volume of feedback can actually end up being paralyzing more than useful.
Diversifying the ways in which you reach and engage with your target audience is important so you don't risk losing out on your customers' voice across all touchpoints and instead meet them wherever they are with the right message at the right time. That is the only reliable method for creating a better product experience while also improving business performance.
Identify Meaningful Data Patterns
When you deal with an overwhelming amount of customer feedback—both positive and negative—you’re most likely going to see a range of opinion and feedback shared.
What’s important for leaders is to keep a close pulse on customer feedback shared at every touchpoint, ensuring each one is addressed with a follow-up action that involves the customer's voice. While every feedback you capture matters, organizations must work closely with cross-functional teams to determine the best course of action and which solutions will bring the most value for customers considering the company’s bandwidth and growth strategy. What's more, even though some of the advice or suggestions you receive might not actually be productive, brands must be willing to track similar concerns to ensure that if they would become more prominent in the future, they could be addressed promptly. This is a more proactive approach that can only be achieved by using deep insights.
Therefore, you should instead try to solve problems by looking at patterns from customer interactions. Through the variety of customer touchpoints you have, try to find the common threads that are repeated often, as these are probably the things that matter to the most people and should be addressed the soonest.
You can then categorize complaints based on the type and sentiment shared. For instance, you could look at product delivery issues and sort them by unhappy, neutral, and happy customers. Following this, compare how these interactions differ and why some people were happy while others were frustrated.
Make the Results Presentable
Collecting and analyzing the customer feedback data is a great way to demonstrate the success of your work. But, you also need to make sure that everyone on your team understands the data and can use it to make better decisions in the future.
In addition to making sure data is accessible to teams in an easy and consumable way, you also need to make reporting a continuous part of the experience design and feedback management process so improvements are made at every stage. Reporting and visualization tools help make this possible. These tools help CX leaders share and collaborate on reports—taking complex data and customer responses, revealing patterns, and ultimately making it easier than ever to collaborate on key metrics that demonstrate the impact of your efforts.
Being able to present the data in a visually appealing way is essential since it not only increases comprehension but also makes your arguments and solutions much easier to grasp. In an effort to win buy-in from leaders in your organization, having a visually-pleasing and well laid out presentation can add immense value to the data and objectives you come forward with.
Managing unhappy or difficult customers is a challenge many businesses have to overcome to save their customer churn from rising and avoid losing to their competitors. But unfortunately, with companies struggling to analyze customer experience metrics and effectively measure their efforts, critical insights about their customers and potential targets are lost through the cracks, leaving brands with solutions that don’t represent the voice of their most valuable audiences.
The truth is, you can't escape negative customer experiences so building and optimizing a process for integrating continuous feedback is critical. Brands must truly understand the why behind customer decisions before designing solutions to prevent negative experiences from occurring in the future.
By leveraging the strategies discussed above, not only will you collect valuable insights about what your customers think but you’ll be able to see improvements in product innovation, employee and customer experience, and brand management. Learn more about how Alida can help you realize the power of continuous feedback so you can stay ahead and build solutions for tomorrow.