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customer feedback analysis
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Have you ever worn somebody else's shoes? If not, high time to do it – with customer feedback analysis, you’re pretty much figuring out how it feels in your client's shoes. It is one of the most powerful things you can do as a product manager that helps you identify the right development direction, yet it's often either neglected or done superficially.

In this article, are discussing the steps involved in customer feedback analysis, as well as some use cases. And for those who still are hesitant about customer feedback analysis, we'll dispel some of the doubts surrounding it.

What is customer feedback analysis?

Customer feedback analysis is the process of turning customer feedback into insights and actions. It should be one of your most important inputs – it's what tells you whether you're on the right track, and it's also a key source of inspiration for new features and improvements.

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6 Benefits Customer feedback analysis for your business

Customer feedback is more than just a customer service issue or a stack of data – it's an essential part of your product strategy. And here's why:

Benefit 1 - Customer feedback analysis helps understand customer experience strategy better

Gathering customer feedback and analyzing it helps you understand whether your business strategy is on the right track. It allows you to validate your hypotheses and assumptions, and course-correct if necessary. Feedback is the best way to check how the strategy KPIs and assumptions you make with your internal team relate to the sentiment and what the end users of your product(s) really want.

Benefit 2 - Customer feedback analysis helps prioritize projects in your product roadmap

Not sure what products and services to build next? Customer feedback analysis is here to help. It will give you a clear understanding of what your customer expectations are and want, which in turn will help you prioritize your product roadmap.

Read this guide How to Build a Better Product Roadmap With Surveys to learn more about it.

Benefit 3 - Customer feedback analysis helps with improving customer experience

Analyzing the feedback from your customers can add fuel to the customer experience fire – it will help you identify and fix customer pain points, as well as improve customer satisfaction.

While there may be many sources of valuable insights, it's customer feedback that will give you the clearest picture of how your customers interact with your product.

Benefit 4 - Customer feedback analysis helps with boosting user onboarding

Even raw survey data can give you a some insight into what people want and provide some clues on how to optimize your processes. You can use it to identify patterns.

However, the customer feedback analysis takes things one step further by helping you understand the reasons behind those patterns.

With that knowledge, you can take action to improve user onboarding process and keep an eye on churn reduction and other key metrics you might want to scale.

Read more about it here How to Analyze Survey Results: Step-by-Step Guide.

Benefit 5 - Customer feedback analysis helps with churn reduction

Customer feedback analysis can help you reduce customer churn by identifying customer pain points and addressing them.

Understanding how customers feel about your product is essential to keeping them happy and engaged.

Read this guide and dive into this topic deeper Customer Churn Prevention: How to Fight with Customer Churn

Benefit 6 - Customer feedback analysis helps with generating new ideas for product development

Last but not least, customer feedback analysis is a key source of inspiration for new product development ideas. It will help you identify customer needs and wants, as well as unmet needs.

With that knowledge, you can come up with new products and services that your customers will be willing to pay for – which in turn will help you grow your business. 

BTW: Try Survicate and start creating products people love.

Before you dive into customer feedback analysis

Thinking about performing a customer feedback analysis straight away? Great thinking, but before you do, there's one more thing you need to do – prepare for it to make sure you do it well and you can actually use the results further.

That's right, customer feedback analysis is not something you can just wing. In order to get the most out of it, you need to take some time to organize the process. Here's what you need to do.

Further Reading: What is Customer Feedback Loop?

Set up operational customer experience metrics

In the same way that you set up KPIs for your marketing efforts, you should put some measure on customer feedback analysis. Customer feedback should be an input into your product strategy, not just customer service or something that's nice to have.

Further Reading: 10 Best Customer Experience Metrics to Measure for Customer Success

You need to know what, how, why, when and where to analyze before you dig into numbers, insights, and conclusions.

survey in survicate
Customer feedback example you can acquire for your product research

Consider how you want to tackle customer feedback analysis and what statistics or customer feedback you want to include.

Some customer feedback analysts prefer including

The variables you choose to include in your customer feedback analysis will depend on your business goals and objectives. This leads us to the next point.

You can read more about Customer Lifetime Value from this piece What is Customer Lifetime Value and Why You Should Care by LiveChat.

Split up insightful/non-insinghtful data

Not all data is created equal. When it comes to customer feedback analysis, you need to focus on the data that's actually going to be useful and insightful. That means sifting through customer feedback and identifying which parts of it are worth analyzing.

The most common division here is separating insightful data from non-insightful data.

Insightful data tells you about what you weren't aware of. For example, customer feedback that highlights a previously unknown customer pain point. Perhaps it would otherwise go unnoticed, but it seems to be affecting a lot of customers. It's useful because it can help you improve your product or customer experience by unclogging discovered bottlenecks.

Non-insightful data, on the other hand, is data that doesn't really tell you anything new. It's more on what you already know and put in the backlog side. You probably got notified about some issues earlier, already have a plan to fix them, and this data confirms what you already know. It might be interesting, but it won't necessarily help you improve your product.

The key here is to focus on insightful data when performing customer feedback analysis. Otherwise, you'll just be wasting your time.

Of course, customer feedback analytics is not an exact science. And there will always be some data that are borderline between insightful and non-insightful. The key here is to use your best judgment and include only the data that you think will be actually useful.

Know what – and for what – you want to analyze

This all leads you to choose what customer feedback you want to analyze. Complex customer feedback analysis doesn't mean you should analyze everything a customer says. 

You need to be strategic about it and focus on customer feedback that will actually help you improve your services – prioritizing customer feedback that will have the biggest impact on your business.

Make a (reasonable) action plan

Take into account: your time, resources, team, and capabilities. You also need to be realistic about what you can achieve. Trying to do too much customer feedback analysis will only lead to overwhelm and, ultimately, inaction.

Start small, with one or two types of customer feedback that you want to focus on. Then, once you've got the hang of it, you can start expanding your customer feedback analysis to include more types of customer feedback.

Customer Feedback Analysis in 6 steps

Step 1: collecting customer feedback

To analyze customer feedback, you need to collect it first and that can be done using a variety of platforms and channels, including the ones we’re going to mention below.

Customer feedback surveys

Running customer feedback surveys is one of the most popular and effective ways to collect customer feedback, for quite a few reasons. Not only they are easy to set up and don't require much time or effort, but they also allow you to get client feedback at scale.

With modern survey tools such as Survicate, you can easily send customer surveys via email, SMS, or in-app. You can also embed customer surveys on your website or blog to collect feedback from website visitors.

This way, you can configure and distribute:

and gain insightful feedback in the blink of an eye. Surveys often play the role of customer feedback analysis tools, as they give you an overview of customer opinion on various topics in the form of customer feedback.

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Customer interviews

If you want to go beyond customer feedback and get a deeper understanding of your customers' needs, wants, and pain points, customer interviews are the way to go.

Unlike customer surveys that collect customer feedback at scale, customer interviews are all about quality over quantity. They allow you to have a one-on-one conversation with your customer and get in-depth insights into their issues.

As great as it sounds, it's also time consuming and will require resources not only to run such an interview but also to analyze it and draw conclusions from it. However, customer interviews are definitely worth it, as they provide some of the most valuable customer feedback out there.

Customer support channels

If you're looking for customer feedback that's more on the qualitative side, you can always turn to your customer service channels such as live chat or sales calls. This type of customer feedback is usually unstructured and harder to analyze, but it can be incredibly useful nonetheless.

One way to gather customer feedback via customer support channels is by integrating and setting up triggers. For example, you can configure your customer service software to send a customer survey to customers after they close a support ticket. This allows you to get valuable insights into the quality of your customer service at the right time and in a non-intrusive way.

Don't get discouraged, though. Customer feedback gathered via customer service teams might be mostly negative or picky – after all, people usually turn to customer support when they're already unhappy with a product or service.

Online reviews

Sometimes, you need to dig a bit more – into positive reviews or negative reviews that are left without your knowledge or contacting your company.

These customer reviews can be found on popular review platforms such as Capterra, Gartner, or Trustpilot, but also on local business directories such as Google My Business or Yelp.

To get the most out of customer reviews, you need to actively monitor and group feedback coming from these data points. This way, you can quickly spot any negative customer sentiment and address it before it's too late.

However, even if it's too late, you can still use customer reviews to gather customer feedback to perform.

Marketing channels

For social media, you can create a series of social media posts with open ended questions to encourage people to comment and give you their feedback.

You should also keep an eye on social media comments to get insights into customer sentiment analysis and get qualitative data on how your social media performance impacts customer experience with your brand.

Email marketing can also make a valuable customer feedback platform. You can include customer feedback survey links in your newsletters or in your transactional emails.

This way, you can have quite a substantial volume of user feedback coming directly to your inbox.

You can also use customer feedback gathered via marketing channels to create targeted marketing campaigns.

For example, if you notice that a lot of customers are unhappy with a particular product, you can target them with special discounts or coupons to win them back.

Step 2: Compare customer feedback

No matter if you're collecting customer feedback manually or using customer feedback software, you need to have a clear process in place to ensure that all the customer feedback is properly processed and analyzed.

To do this, you need to establish customer feedback criteria that will help you group customer feedback and make it easier to compare.

Customer feedback criteria can be based on:

  • customer profile (location, age, gender, etc.)
  • customer journey stage (awareness, consideration, decision)
  • product or service type
  • channels used to collect customer feedback (surveys, CS, online reviews)

This is not categorizing per se yet – it's more like putting customer feedback into buckets that you can then easily empty and compare.

For example, if you want to compare customer feedback from different marketing channels, you need to first group all the customer feedback by channel.

Only then can you start comparing customer reviews left on Google My Business with those sent via email or live chat. And that's what you'll do in the next step.

Step 3: Categorize customer feedback

In this step, you'll start categorizing customer feedback based on the customer feedback criteria you've established in the previous step – with coding feedback.

Coding customer feedback simply means assigning a code to each piece of customer feedback. This code can be anything – a number, a letter, or even a short description.

The important thing is that you use the same coding for all customer feedback so that you can easily compare and contrast different customer feedback data sets with customer insights.

Grouping customers' feedback by codes will also make it easier to spot customer feedback trends. You can code and categorize it:

  • via sentiment analysis (positive, neutral, negative comments)
  • via types of requests (bugs, features, pricing)
  • via feedback channel (online, offline)
  • via customer journey stage (prospect, customer, churned)

Categorizing customer feedback helps you spot any patterns and commonalities in customer feedback. It will also make it easier to identify areas of improvement and take action accordingly. The better you categorize all the data and provide actionable insights for implementation, the more impactful customer feedback analysis will be for your performance.

Step 4: Create a report

If you want to analyze customer feedback manually, you can simply create a customer feedback report in Excel or Google Sheets. Start by listing all the customer feedback codes you've established in the previous step.

Then, add all the customer feedback raw data that falls into each category. Once you have all the customer feedback data grouped and coded, you can start analyzing it. Look for customer feedback trends and commonalities.

If you're using customer feedback software, most platforms will do the heavy lifting for you and generate customer feedback reports automatically. These reports will often include visualizations that make it easier to spot customer feedback trends, so you might want to automate customer feedback analysis with tools like Survicate.

Here's what you should include in your report to precisely analyze customer feedback:

  • the number of customer feedback submissions
  • the time period
  • the channels and demographics
  • the customer feedback codes you've established
  • the areas of improvement identified in customer feedback
  • the actionable insights for implementation based on customer feedback analysis

Step 5: Act on user feedback

You managed to categorize feedback and create qualitative feedback reports. No matter if you got positive feedback or negative feedback, customer feedback data is only the first step - you now need to act on customer feedback.

The real value of customer feedback comes from acting on it and using customer experience insights to boost your business growth.

Here's what you can do with customer data:

  • turn unsatisfied customers into brand ambassadors by implementing a particular feature
  • bring new customers by fixing customer pain points
  • increase customer lifetime value by offering a special bundle offer
  • introduce new products and services as by-products of customer feedback

Let's say that it turned out that your customer satisfaction levels are low because of long wait times on your customer support line. Feedback from customers is simply staggering – they can't reach your customer support agents, and when they do, their issues are not resolved.

What can you do to improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction?

You could:

  • add more customer support representatives or expand sales teams to reduce wait times
  • implement feature requests – e.g. create a self-service help center so that customers can find answers to their questions without needing to contact customer support
  • send automated customer satisfaction surveys after every customer support interaction to get real-time feedback
  • use customer data and insights from your customer surveys to run internal audits
  • start using proper tools for streamlining feedback process and shorten the time needed to implement changes

The options are endless, but the key is to take action based on customer feedback data. Without taking action, customer feedback is nothing more than noise. This is a crucial part of closing the feedback loop and should not be neglected.

customer feedback loop
Source

Step 6: Rinse and repeat

Getting feedback from customers is not a one-off. customer feedback should be a continuous process that's integrated into your business strategy. To get the most out of customer feedback, you need to make customer feedback analysis a part of your company culture.

That means making customer feedback accessible – and understandable – to everyone in your company, not just the marketing or product team. It also means encouraging employees to act on customer feedback data and use customer insights to improve the customer experience.

You need to make sure that your team not only knows how to gather feedback from each customer segment but, first of all, why you're doing this.

Set up a customer feedback process that's easy to use and helps you collect customer feedback data quickly and efficiently. The goal is to make customer feedback analysis a part of your company DNA so that you can continue driving business growth.

And then, just repeat the process with analyzing customer feedback and gathering and analyzing customer data from surveys and other feedback channels. You should revisit sentiment analysis, send new NPS surveys from time to time, and generally keep an ear to the ground for customer feedback.

Below, you'll find an exemplary workflow for getting extra rounds of feedback:

  • send a survey to the customer segment as a follow-up upon implementing new features
  • gather customer feedback, dividing it into positive and negative reviews
  • analyze customer feedback and evaluate changes
  • share customer insights with the team and prioritize the roadmap
  • take action based on customer feedback data (fix bugs, create new features)
  • send a message to your customers

It's very unlikely you'll please everyone, but as long as customer feedback data shows that you're making progress, you're on the right track.

Customer feedback analysis is here and now

Customer feedback analysis is not just about numbers and customer sentiment scores.

Data-driven companies are fully aware they can use customer data to boost customer loyalty, improve customer experience, and run successful products and services.

Be one of these companies.

Analyzing customer feedback is no longer optional, and manual analysis is no longer sustainable. Building a flywheel across various feedback channels and getting actionable insights on your products and services is what can take your brand places.

If you’re ready to take your customer feedback analysis to the next level, sign up for Survicate today! Our tool lets you collect customer feedback so you can analyze it and make better business decisions.

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