Customer Feedback Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide To Understand Your Audience

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Customer feedback is the lifeblood of successful brands. Here is why and how you can set effective customer feedback management for your business.

If you want to explore what your consumers need, this guide to a customer feedback strategy can become your perfect starting point. Customer feedback is a great source of valuable information about user needs, wants, and pain points. It empowers companies to build actionable strategies that address real consumer problems and shape a better product vision. In the long term, it will help you to reach a higher level of customer satisfaction.

Sales, marketing, product, and customer support teams – they all can benefit from gathering the feedback since there is always room for improvement. Keep on reading to learn how to create an efficient customer feedback strategy that will fuel your business with beneficial insights.

What Is Customer Feedback and Why Is It So Important?

Customer feedback gives you information about the experience that customers have had with your product, service, and brand in general. It includes insights about the issues or advantages that a customer experienced at the different stages of a buyer’s journey. Brands that regularly collect customer feedback can boast of a high level of customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Customer feedback organized according to the best knowledge management practices is a huge source of useful information that can fuel improvements in client onboarding and communication, daily workflow, product development, and marketing-related activities.

The brand’s desire to collect customer feedback detects professionalism and customer orientation. It shows that the community’s opinion matters to the company and guides its growth. According to FreshLime, 77% of customers say they favour companies that ask for their feedback.

Asking for feedback is an important part of customer service that contributes to building customer loyalty. It may become a significant factor influencing a purchasing decision. The survey conducted by Statista showed that for 66% of respondents customer service was very important when choosing a brand.

customer feedback statista

Source: Statista

The Main Customer Feedback Metrics

Before digging into a customer feedback strategy, let’s consider the three main metrics that assess different aspects of customer experience: Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and Customer Effort Score (CES). They serve as a basis for the three most frequently used types of surveys that enable brands to shape the vision of their customers’ real needs.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score identifies how likely people are to recommend your company to their friends. It allows estimating the level of overall customer satisfaction from products and services and then calculating the percentage of buyers who would endorse your company to their close community.

With only one question, you can receive a very informative insight into the customer experience. However, the consumer’s answer will only reflect their feeling toward the brand at that moment and won’t provide much information about product or service issues at a certain stage of a buyer’s journey.

nps survey for customer feedback

Source: WPForms

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer Satisfaction Score defines the level of fulfillment the customer has received after one interaction with a company. Most often, it refers to the experience with customer support service. For example, you can ask people to rate their level of satisfaction before closing a chat with a customer service representative.

This metric allows companies to gain a general insight into the health of customer communication and the level of support. This type of survey usually suggests five answer options: very unsatisfied, unsatisfied, neutral, satisfied, and very satisfied. These answers are often replaced by emojis with states of mood corresponding to different levels of customer satisfaction.

customer feedback csat score

Source: Getty Images

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer Effort Score helps detect the ease of experience with customer service. It asks people to rate their experience with products, services, or brand representatives on a scale from “very easy” to “very difficult.”

Commonly, a scale provides five types of answers that allow collecting customer feedback: extreme positive, positive, neutral, extreme negative, and negative. The CES calculation requires subtracting the percentage of positive (easy and very easy) and negative (difficult and very difficult) answers in your website or mobile survey.

online shop completion

Source: KPIMax

Under the CSAT and CES scales, you can add an open-ended question asking people to share more details about their experience with your brand. It gives customers the opportunity to express their opinions and allows an organization to gather quantitative data.

This tactic will let you collect more information about specific customer pain points and ideas of what the brand should do to level up the customer experience. Here is what you can ask your customers:

  1. Could you please tell us more about your issue, so we can eliminate it next time?
  2. Could you please share what frustrated you about our customer support?
  3. If you had a magic wand what would you change in our product?
  4. What was your main need that drove your decision to purchase this product?

The A.C.A.F. Customer Feedback Loop

Many companies use an effective A.C.A.F. strategy that helps gather and activate customer feedback. It comprises the following four stages:

(A) Ask for the feedback

Are you wondering what to ask at this stage? It mainly depends on the company’s goals. Would you like to know the overall customer satisfaction trends? Do you need to detect why customers are disappointed with customer service? Do you aim to identify product issues to effectively solve them and improve the product?

To receive a comprehensive understanding of all these aspects of customer experience, you need to give users the opportunity to pass surveys that identify three CX metrics: Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and Customer Effort Score (CES).

If your brand develops software products, you can provide in-app surveys with questions like,
“What does this feature help you with?”
“What features would you like to see in our product?”

Another good practice is to use a feature board that allows customers to share feature requests and help the company grow the product collaboratively, based on customer feedback.

(C) Categorize customer feedback

The next step is organizing customer feedback by categories in a database:

  • Product feedback
  • Customer service feedback
  • Marketing & sales feedback

You can also break each category down into subcategories. For example, you can organize product feedback by three subcategories:

  • Major product bugs
  • Minor product bugs
  • Feature requests

Customer service feedback can be organized by the places where you have collected it. For instance:
Surveys under articles in a knowledge base

  • Live chats
  • Email follow-up (when a support ticket is already closed)

The third category of customer feedback refers to your marketing and sales teams. This kind of feedback can be organized by the common types of mistakes your sales and marketing managers make when promoting the product to the customer. For example, your product has been marketed as such having the integration with specific software, but in reality, it doesn’t have this integration.

(A) Act on customer feedback

Once customer feedback is organized, you should take action on it. First of all, you have to share the feedback with these teams:

  • Customer success team
  • Product team
  • Marketing and sales teams

(F) Follow up with buyers who shared feedback

There are two things customers care about the most when sharing their feedback with a company:

  1. How easy is it to share the feedback with a brand?
  2. How can you know that your feedback has been received and taken into account?

You can set this process on auto-pilot and notify appropriate teams in real-time by using special email or Slack alerts. Consider also sharing customer feedback on a regular basis by organizing daily, weekly, and monthly meetings. When all teams receive updates on customer opinions timely, it will enable them to improve the product, customer service, and marketing activities proactively.

Many customers don’t share feedback because they think that they won’t be heard or that their thoughts aren’t important to the company. To avoid such misunderstandings, it is recommended to use call tracking services and follow up with all customers who shared their feedback with you. A brief appreciation email will be a kind gesture showing that the organization cares about the community’s opinion and tries to become better for customers.

Conclusion

Customer feedback fuels the company’s engine of continuous improvement and helps them better understand what is working well for their target audience. Brands with a strong focus on customer feedback management earn the community’s trust and the reputation of genuinely customer-centric companies.

This approach allows them to deliver products and services that match the customer’s reality and address their needs. Also, it significantly contributes to building healthy and effective communication between the brand and its community. We hope that this customer feedback strategy will help you navigate through the entire process easier.

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Published on: 20th August 2021


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