May 27, 2022
Innovation Begins with Customer Feedback
Uber. Hyatt. Apple. Timberland. Dell. What do these seemingly very different—yet incredibly thriving—companies have in common? They all gather customer feedback.
Successful organizations treat feedback seriously because they know that two-way communication has the potential to drive innovation, spark improvements, and serve as the cornerstone of an effective customer experience (CX) strategy.
In this section, we’ll dig deeper into why customer feedback matters, how to gather it, and effective ways to analyze and act on it.
Why is collecting customer feedback important?
In the scope of normal business operations, it can be easy to focus on daily responsibilities and corporate growth goals. Setting aside the time to gather and listen to customer feedback, however, can make all the difference for businesses that truly wish to know, value, and respect their customers.
Take it from Help Scout, a B2B company that helps businesses streamline communication and customer management. Help Scout says:
“Customer feedback is important because it serves as a guiding resource for the growth of your company. Don’t you want to know what you’re getting right—and wrong—as a business in the eyes of your customers?”
What can you do with valuable customer feedback?
In addition to revamping or improving your customer experience journey, businesses can make notable gains when they take feedback into consideration. These advancements can include:
- Driving improvements by learning where customers succeed and struggle
- Provide insight into features and solutions that customers would like to use to solve pain points or mere frustrations
- Measure customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction to help improve churn rates
- See the behaviors and attitudes of those who may be about to reconsider future sales (while providing proactive measures in turn)
- Personalizing experiences to specific target audiences
- Improving customer satisfaction, with a direct link to retention
The bottom line is this—worthwhile customer feedback allows business leaders to create a better CX, which is crucial in a busy and crowded marketplace.
Consumers have more choices than ever before. They can easily recognize businesses that achieve growth through empathy and people-focused development.
How to gather customer feedback?
Now that it’s clear why customer feedback is so crucial, the question of how to get your hands on this all-important information remains. As you think about customer feedback, tend to your CX strategy.
Remember, a well-planned CX strategy offers multiple feedback options:
- Direct feedback: Often, the best way to learn what you need is to ask outright. Ask your customers for feedback using in-app or post-purchase surveys, pop-ups, polls, texts, or by reaching out via email.
- Observed/indirect feedback: How people behave can often tell you more than relying on verbal cues. Because of updated privacy regulations and opt-outs, it may be harder to track down customers for direct insight. However, you can track behavior on your website or in your app anonymously. Invest in learning about behavioral trends (i.e., what people click on, where they spend the most time, when they abandon cart, etc.). You may also choose to monitor what people say in reviews, in customer forums, and throughout social media.
Gather and observe feedback continuously—at every customer touchpoint—to help avoid having blind spots in one particular product or service area.
What’s next? Using the feedback you’ve collected
Once you have feedback—through direct or indirect means—it’s time to analyze your data using rich analytics, tools, and even artificial intelligence (AI) programs.
While the specific tools used depend on your company’s unique product and needs, check the following during your analysis step:
- Trends: Positive and negative patterns in the data may point to major revelations.
- Feedback volume: In addition to patterns and trends, look for the number of responses that share the same sentiment. Note that high feedback volume about one particular issue matters more than one-off concerns. According to Intercom, understanding feedback volume protects your team from frequency bias, which happens when people assume that things are true based on how often they’ve heard them communicated.
- Source: Who is providing the feedback? How long have they been customers or community members? Keep in mind that unprompted—or unexpected—feedback often comes from a place of urgency and may indicate how critical it is to address the issue right away.
As a general rule of thumb, your team must always plan for how to respond, act, and pivot in relation to the customer feedback received. In short, the customer feedback you gather is only helpful if it turns into action based on the future goals, priorities, and expectations of your business.
Have a plan to respond to feedback and incorporate it naturally into your comprehensive CX strategy. A thought-out implementation plan allows you to act progressively versus react defensively. This puts your business in a better position to grow, achieve major milestones, and acquire new customers.
Takeaways and Reminders
Business growth and innovation mean that your team is on the right track. At the same time, it’s important to remember why you started and where you want to go. Customer feedback is one way to recall your roots while honoring the people that help you get there.
Do you need help developing a customer experience game plan? The experts at 3Pillar Global are here to strategize, analyze, and inspire growth in your business—with targeted tools that keep your customers happy. Reach out today to get started on a better customer journey.
Special thanks to these members of FORCE, 3Pillar’s expert network, for their contributions to this article.
FORCE is 3Pillar Global’s Thought Leadership Team comprised of technologists and industry experts offering their knowledge on important trends and topics in digital product development.