Collecting customer feedback is one of the most important activities you can undertake in your business. In sales, customer support, or marketing, customer feedback can give you the insights you need to create a better product, empower your employees, improve customer loyalty and sell more and effectively.
But what if you’re just getting started? Firstly, you need to be intentional about it and build a proper customer feedback program.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the practical steps you need to take so you can become a pro quickly, even if you’ve never gathered customer feedback before.
Why it is important to run a customer feedback program?
We instinctively know that gathering customer feedback is a smart idea. But let’s look at some facts before talking about building a customer feedback strategy.
58% of customers are willing to pay more to a brand that provides a good customer service experience
93% of customers make repeat purchases with companies that have exceptional customer service
83% of customers feel more loyal to companies that resolve and listen to their complaints
In short, collecting customer feedback not only improves overall customer satisfaction but also ensures you don’t need to worry about meeting your sales KPIs.
With this in mind, you’re probably eager to create a customer feedback program and wondering where to start. Read on for a how-to guide on building a solid strategy.
Step 1: Set your customer feedback and customer satisfaction goals
You don’t just wake up one day with an idea to collect customer feedback and improve the customer experience. Often, it's a long-term process, regardless of whether the goal is to bring more sales, fix a broken customer support process, or provide your marketing team with more input for their collateral.
The idea that makes you want to collect customer feedback is most often the primary goal for your customer feedback program. This is what you need to set first before putting anything else in motion. Here are some examples of goals that you can set.
Churn is the silent killer of any recurring revenue business and if you don’t keep it at bay, it can wreak havoc on your business. Decreasing your churn rate is an admirable goal for a customer feedback program as it will result in a specific to-do list for collecting and managing customer feedback and improving customer satisfaction.
Improving your NPS score
The Net Promoter Score is an industry standard for measuring customer satisfaction. You may be already using NPS surveys to uncover this score for your business and overall customer experience. If your NPS score is not phenomenal, your customer feedback program goal could be to improve it in various ways.
Customers were never fond of waiting for a resolution to their problems. As time goes on and technology gets more advanced, they’re even less inclined to wait. If you want to improve your first response time, setting up a customer feedback strategy is a great start to a better customer experience and loyalty.
Boosting your CSAT score
Besides the Net Promoter Score, the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is another industry-wide measurement of how happy your existing customers are with your product or service. If you know that your customer satisfaction score is low, you can create a customer feedback program centered around improving this metric.
Growing your lifetime value (LTV)
Customers who are happy and who have their needs met tend to stick around longer and spend more. As for the unhappy customers—your competitors are one Google search away.
These are just some examples of goals that you can set for your customer feedback program. Depending on the specific problem you want to solve, you can choose a different set of goals.
Step 2: Determine your sources of feedback
Your goals are your starting point, but the next step depends on where you expect to collect your feedback. After running a business for a while, you’ll start to notice patterns. You may often get complaints through the phone and songs of praise through review websites.
However, where you get the most feedback is not always the same place you get the best feedback. With your sales, customer support, and marketing teams, list the channels where you get feedback most often. It can include:
The great news is you can now collect feedback (qualitative and quantitative) on different types of platforms, including the website, emails, and social media, thanks to tools such as Survicate.
Even if most of your feedback comes from one channel, don’t be afraid to venture out and explore others. At the very least, you can use it to add some variety. For example, email surveys can be a superb way to collect quantitative feedback, but you can try customer interviews for deeper, qualitative feedback.
Step 3: Gather customer feedback
You now have an inventory of where your customer feedback most often comes from, so you know what is working. But what about trying out new methods for customer feedback collection?
If listening in on customer conversations seems tedious and running interviews takes ages, try surveys. Surveys are an exceptional way to collect quantitative and qualitative feedback, and you can share them throughout the customer journey and in different stages of the sales funnel.
If you use an intuitive piece of survey software such as Survicate, you’ll quickly realize some of the many benefits of running a customer feedback survey, including the following:
Many standardized forms (NPS, CSAT, CES) make it easy to compare results across industries
Surveys are easily adaptable according to your personal needs
Surveys can be used for qualitative and quantitative feedback
They’re easy to share across different platforms (e.g., email, website, social media, live chat)
They come in a short, bite-sized format
Surveys can also be used across different touchpoints
Fit well into different stages of the sales cycle
Plenty of existing frameworks for dealing with customer feedback in certain survey types (e.g., NPS)
As you can see, a customer feedback survey is a pretty versatile tool, and even though they’ve been around for decades, modern tech has only made them better.
With Survicate, even if you’ve never used surveys before, you’ll know what to do minutes after signing up. Creating a new survey is as simple as writing an email or creating a post on Instagram.
And, if you’re short on ideas for where to start, Survicate has over 125 survey templates. They include the most popular types, such as customer satisfaction surveys, and some niche ones, including cart abandonment polls.
Imagine having an amazing apple pie recipe and all the ingredients you need lying on your table. What good is that if you don’t actually make the apple pie?
Once feedback comes in, create a plan for acting on customer feedback and implementing it. This can be something as simple as tweaking a button on your signup form or as complex as fixing up your entire call center flow.
When you document the feedback, the next step is acting on it. That entails determining the following:
What you need to fix to improve customer satisfaction
What the steps are for fixing this problem
Who is in charge of fixing the problem
Naturally, not all feedback is valuable, and not all feedback should be acted upon. Before you decide on anything, think about it—maybe you don’t need an apple pie at all, and what you really need right now is some filet mignon.
To prioritize which customer feedback items to act on, think about factors such as:
urgency (fixing a safety hazard on your product is urgent as opposed to, for instance, a broken landing page)
alignment with your larger business goals (revenue, mission, and vision)
the customer submitting the feedback (how long they’ve been with you, how big their account is, what industry they’re in, etc.)
Some customer feedback can be left alone as it’s not meaningful enough and does not have an impact on larger business goals. Other types of customer feedback need an immediate reaction from your team. Whichever the case, make sure to keep a central feedback hub so you can track which feedback items occur regularly, even if you don’t consider them a high priority.
If you decide not to act on a piece of customer feedback, make sure you still thank the customer for their feedback.
If you do end up doing something with the feedback your existing customers left, you need to take the next step to win some new ones.
Step 5: Close the feedback loop after collecting customer feedback
The last part of all customer feedback programs is perhaps the most important one. Closing the feedback loop is a fancy term for letting your customers know that you’re implementing their suggestions, however big or small.
For example, if a customer complains about your complex return shipping policy, and you fix it and implement their suggestion, you can tell them about this change through email or some other channel. Making them feel appreciated and listened to is something that can win them over for life, but there are even more advantages of doing so for your customer satisfaction.
There are multiple benefits to closing the feedback loop:
In short, customers who have their problems resolved are customers who feel like their voices are heard. If you’ve already fixed a customer’s issue, following up with them to let them know is the least you can do to finish the job.
You can do this by:
sending an email to your customers
giving them a call
reaching out through social media
sending them an in-app notification
writing a personalized card and mailing it out for the ultimate customer experience
The sky is the limit here.
The way you contact them is less important than the fact that you do. In the end, everybody wins. The customer experience is better, and you get more revenue, thanks to a little bit of effort to gather customer feedback.
It may sound complex, but setting up and running an amazing customer feedback program is easier than you might imagine. Start by assessing your current customer feedback situation, rethink the channels you use to gather customer feedback, start acting on it, and follow up—and that’s it. No matter what type of business you run and who your customers are, the steps are pretty similar, and the result is the same: improved customer satisfaction and customer experience.
If you’re ready to take that first step, you need a reliable customer feedback tool. Try Survicate and see how your customers can benefit from 300+ survey templates that you can use to get their feedback across the website, email, and other channels. Sign up for your free trial today! Also, you can foster your decision-making by checking our newest ranking of best website satisfaction tools.
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Mile is a content marketing strategist and writer and has been in the world of SaaS since 2016. You can find him writing on topics such as productivity and marketing
NET PROMOTER, NPS, AND THE NPS-RELATED EMOTICONS ARE REGISTERED U.S. TRADEMARKS, AND NET PROMOTER SCORE AND NET PROMOTER SYSTEM ARE SERVICE MARKS, OF BAIN & COMPANY, INC., SATMETRIX SYSTEMS, INC. AND FRED REICHHELD.