When it comes to opinions, everybody’s got one.
And although some opinions are hard to hear (particularly when they don’t align with our own), some can provide tremendous value when interpreted with an open mind. This is particularly true with customer feedback where a customer’s opinion can provide new growth opportunities and new ways of seeing things that may not have been so obvious before.
So what exactly is customer feedback?
Customer feedback is what customers use to voice their opinions on — or their personal experience with — your product and service. For businesses, it’s a growth opportunity and an opportunity to gain valuable insight on how to improve the customer experience you deliver.
However, getting true value from customer feedback means designing a process or “loop” of gathering it properly.
The customer feedback loop is a strategy that focuses on customer’s suggestions and opinions to achieve continual brand improvement. It can help you identify what you need more of and what you can ask. This continuous customer feedback loop gives you an opportunity to hear your customers, focus on their needs, and implement positive changes.
Your customer feedback system framework should consist of four steps:
With that said, let’s dive in and discuss some methods for effectively collecting customer feedback to feed your customer feedback loop.
Unless you can read minds, the only way you’re going to know what your customers are thinking is to ask!
If you make it too difficult for your customers and users to provide feedback, however, most won’t even bother. Therefore, it’s important that you make it as seamless as possible so that you can get feedback from as many customers as possible.
Different feedback methods can and should be used at various times with various customers. Make sure to keep an eye out on customer sentiments (especially those of unhappy customers), to avoid any unwanted surprises in the future.
There are many different forms of feedback that you can use to effectively gather feedback from your customers. The following are our top five.
>> For a deeper dive on using these forms to improve your customer feedback loop and the best time to use them, check out airfocus's 'Ultimate Guide on Customer Feedback and Insights
Feedback Request - When users give you feedback about their experience with your product.
CES (Customer Effort Score) - Communicates the level of effort that users and customers experience with a particular part of your product.
Surveys - A list of questions (open- and closed-ended) to understand how they feel about your product.
App reviews - When customers rate and/or share their feedback about your product. This can be done online (a forum for example) or via a rating and review platform or provide their feedback inside your product prior to sharing their feedback online.
Interviews - These can be 1:1 interviews or focus groups where you meet with your customers to hear their thoughts on your product.
Usability tests - Placing your product into the hands of your customers and asking them to narrate their thoughts as they complete set tasks within your product.
App/website metrics - Metrics that come from app usage and website traffic like product metrics or Key Performance indicators (KPIs).
Industry analysts - Where industry analysts perform research on a particular industry and, either independently or with a firm, publish writings on key industry trends and consumer and business activity within the industry.
After you’ve collected the data you need, it’s time to start analyzing it.
When it comes to quantitative data, there are several programs out there, like airfocus Insights, that will help you analyze and visualize the data you’ve collected. These apps will take the results and organize them into graphs that are much easier to digest than a table of numbers.
For qualitative data, or the written and detailed feedback your users provide, you’ll need to look through the information and see any similarities or patterns of what they love or hate about your product and pick out any unique ideas that may spur future growth.
If the idea of sifting through qualitative data has already given you a headache, we recommend an airfocus roadmap to help analyze what customers are saying and assist you in planning and prioritizing your road to implementation.
There’s no sense collecting customer feedback if you don’t intend to use it. For customer feedback to be effective, it needs to be implemented.
According to Danny Veiga, Business Growth Strategist at LinkedIn, to effectively use customer feedback, you must “Interpret the feedback constructively and with empathy. Focus on resolving customer complaints or identifying root causes of negative feedback. The only way to improve customer satisfaction is by listening to what [your] customers have to say and do something about it.”
First, look at what needs to change immediately and make that your top priority.
A word of caution here, though: when a customer gives you a great idea don’t jump the gun and tackle it right away. Instead, take the time to do further analysis and discovery before acting. One effective way to do this is using the five whys exercise.
For implementations that can wait, simply backlog those for now and put them into action as soon as you can at a later point.
Finally, after implementing the information you gathered from your customer feedback loop, take a moment to thank your customers for making the improvement possible by following up and acknowledging their feedback. This can be done in a few ways:
Answering reviews posted on online platforms
Writing personal follow up emails
Offering free help and resources.
By having a customer feedback system framework for your customer service loop, you enable your business to become more customer-centric, improve your service, and develop new products.
Ready to take your customer feedback strategy to the next level? Check out the airfocus blog and learn how to build, run, and scale your product workflows from feedback and vision to delivery — your way — today!