The key to growing your business and increasing your profits is putting your customers interests at the heart of every business decision you make.
This is because when you make your entire strategy customer-centric you create a customer experience (CX) journey that adds value to your customers and keeps them coming back for more.
A customer-centric business relies on varied and detailed customer feedback. This is because feedback tells you exactly what your customer wants, needs, and expects. When you have this information, you can mold your products and services into something your customers will buy.
Here we’ll cover the following:
Let’s get started.
Customer feedback is any kind of information your customers offer regarding their experience with your organization. This could be opinions, feelings, expectations, etc. It can be positive, negative, or neutral.
Customer feedback comes in many different forms, but it can be organized into two main categories:
1. Direct Feedback
This is feedback that you ask your customers for. You are more in control as you get to decide the format and themes. Examples include surveys, focus groups, and interviews.
2. Indirect Feedback
This is feedback that you haven’t explicitly asked for, though in many cases you need to actively go looking for this kind of feedback. Examples include social media activity, online reviews, and referrals.
Customer feedback can have a positive impact on the success and growth of your business if harnessed correctly. Because in order to provide a customer experience that meets your customers’ needs, you first need to know what those needs are.
Then, when you create products and/services, fix problems, or make improvements with these needs in mind, your customers are more likely to keep doing business with you and recommend you to others.
Customer feedback helps you anticipate your customers’ future needs and proactively resolve issues before they bother your customer.
Customers also want to be listened to. Research has shown that 77% of consumers think more highly of companies if they reach out to them for feedback and then act on it.
Before we go through the different methods, it’s worth noting the importance of collecting omnichannel feedback. This means giving customers the opportunity to provide feedback easily and seamlessly, across a wide range of channels, without them having to switch to another platform.
This could look like an in-app pop up, an automated telephonic questionnaire following a call with a customer service agent, or an embedded survey in an email.
Omnichannel feedback gives you more thorough feedback and is more convenient for your customer, therefore it is essential.
Now, on to the feedback methods. Here are 6 great ways to gather customer feedback:
Surveys are a great way to get answers to the exact questions you want to ask. It’s easy to send them out to large groups of people and get a lot of useful insights back.
You can deploy Customer Satisfaction survey (CSAT) after specific touchpoints to get feedback regarding particular areas of your customer experience, this allows you to fix issues in certain areas of your process. For instance, a good time to deploy a survey asking your customers opinions on the delivery process would be immediately following the delivery of a product.
You might also send Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys out periodically, for example, every 6 months. These surveys won’t be connected to a specific milestone or touchpoint, but they will give you feedback on your customers’ overall opinions about your company.
Another useful survey is the Customer Effort Score (CES), which helps you understand how easy it is for customers to use your products or services.
You’ll want to keep your survey questions simple and concise. It’s also a good idea to have a mix of open-ended, qualitative and closed-ended, quantitative (yes/no) questions.
Open-ended questions provide context for the closed-ended questions and give you information you can use to make improvements for your customer.
Email is a powerful tool to get feedback from your customers. A great time to send out an email is following the purchase of a product, or at another significant touchpoint like after an interaction with a customer service agent, or after canceling a subscription.
These emails are generally automated, making the process even easier.
The surveys that you send in these emails should be short and not create too much work for the user. Ideally they should be embedded in the email, meaning your customer doesn’t even have to click through to a different page, they can answer from within the email.
Interviews and focus groups are a highly effective form of direct feedback. Due to budget and logistics, they are generally done on a small scale.
But while fewer people will be giving their feedback, you might find the insights are richer. Face-to-face or over the phone conversation lets you ask more detailed questions and give the participants the opportunity to respond in-depth.
When conducting an interview or a focus group it’s essential to go in prepared and keep the conversation focused on getting the answers you need. While some deviation can result in interesting insights, you’ll want to avoid going far off topic and missing useful insights.
It’s becoming more and more popular to voice opinions regarding brands on social media. News also travels fast on social media and scathing reviews of brands have been known to go viral, quickly. Common channels where people go to air their views include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Monitoring your own social media channels and chatter about your brand on other peoples platforms, helps you detect small issues before they turn into big problems. You can also better anticipate any needs that your customers might need and provide them with a proactive customer experience.
Customers also expect you to be present for them on these channels. Some studies have even shown that 59% of people perceive brands more favorably if they respond to complaints on social media.
By keeping an eye on your website traffic and the different patterns your customers follow on your site, you can learn a lot about your customers and how they feel about your products and/or services.
Analyzing pages that customers spend longer on, or pages where customers abandon the site altogether, shows you what your customers like and what they don’t. You can then start to analyze that feedback to see where some of your issues lie within your customer experience journey.
It is important to make sure you have the right tools in place to monitor your analytics. There are also a number of external factors impacting how people use the web. Therefore you should take into consideration the context that exists around your insights as you analyze.
There are a number of methods customers can use to leave feedback in an open way. This can include in-app popups, feedback buttons, feedback sites like G2, product request forms, and more.
The idea here is that the customer is given a text box to write what they want. This might be prompted by something like a request for the customer to describe the problem they are experiencing. It could also be prompt for them to write their perceived pros and cons of the product they are reviewing.
A free-text box means the customer is not constrained by one single question. This can sometimes mean that you receive vague feedback, however it can also mean that the customer can give you useful, surprising insights that you might not have thought about on your own.
The real benefits come from feedback when you start to analyze it. If you don’t analyze your feedback, you’ll likely miss insights and your efforts will be wasted.
However, gathering and analyzing large amounts of qualitative, descriptive feedback is not always easy. Manually analyzing large amounts of unstructured information is difficult, if not impossible. It can also result in subjective, inaccurate results.
Here’s a step-by-step run through of how MonkeyLearn can help analyze NPS feedback.
If you don't have a CSV file you can either use our sample dataset. Or, you can download your own data. For example, if you have your own survey responses, learn how to download them from your survey tool using this documentation.
Created_at: Date that the response was sent.
Text: Text of the response.
Score: NPS score given by the customer.
Name your workflow:
From here you’ll be able to see all of your insights and:
Get in touch to see how you can analyze all of your customer feedback data and visualize your insights in an easy-to-read dashboard.
Collecting customer feedback is non-negotiable if you want to create a customer-centric culture that leads to increased growth and profits. Fortunately there are many methods you can use to gather customer feedback.
What matters most however, is that when you receive the feedback, you analyze it for insights. How you analyze it also matters. AI-powered analysis tools will always be the best option when dealing with large amounts of unstructured qualitative and quantitative data.
To get the most out of the customer feedback that you gather, sign up for MonkeyLearn today.
December 23rd, 2021