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Who knows more about what the best and worst things about your product are? Your customers.

What’s great is that many customers are happy to share those golden thoughts with you. But you need to make that possible. And then prove to them that their effort is appreciated and acted upon.

This is what the customer feedback loop is about. Gathering feedback, analyzing it, and, most importantly, acting on it. A working feedback loop is one that makes all the difference between customer churn and retention.

Automating the customer feedback loop is one of the most effective ways to improve your product or service in accordance with your customers’ satisfaction. The feedback loop allows you to constantly gather, learn, and apply your users’ suggestions in order to enhance your offer.

What is a customer feedback loop?

The customer feedback loop is a strategy for constant product improvement based on users’ opinions and suggestions. It means responding to customers reasonably when they leave feedback. 

It is based on the naturally recurring pattern which is called a 'mutual causal interaction' where actions of both subjects’ have a mutual impact on each other.

In 2016, a Walker study predicted that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. PWC research proved this correct as early as 2018. 

Customers are ready to increase spending by 16% to get a better experience. 32% stop doing business with a brand they’ve been loyal to in the past over a single bad experience.

That’s why your strategy should concentrate on customer loyalty and the voice of the customer in general.

With a working customer feedback loop, you will gain an advantage over the competition, creating a high-quality customer experience people won’t forget.

Clients’ interactions with the product define the company’s direction and the direction they choose to define clients’ interactions. In the case of the customer feedback loop, customers leave feedback about the product, then the feedback is analyzed, conclusions are implemented, and finally, the loop is repeated.

Benefits of using the feedback loop

Using feedback loops brings several benefits. It can be a foundation of a customer engagement process.

A product feedback loop is your reality checker. It will help you make sure you are developing your offer in the right direction and that it has a place in the market. 

By applying the customer feedback loop pattern to your customer interaction, you can find out what your clients think of the product, what points might cause confusion, or what are their favorite features and use this information to constantly refine your product.

Some ideas and solutions might seem perfect when deploying, but in the end, it is users who decide if the changes were good.

What’s more, your customers know best how easy it is to interact with your brand. You can get precious info on your customer service, website, and marketing strategy. You will be up to date with all the needs and complaints your customers have. These insights are key to improving your offer.

Research shows

79% of customers are likely to make another purchase from a company if the experience was good.

However

89% of them will switch to competition in the blink of an eye if the experience wasn’t satisfactory.

Gathering feedback will uncover new opportunities to create lasting relationships with your clients and reduce customer complaints by quickly reacting to their needs.

Using feedback loops provides you with a churn collateral process, as well as a way to listen to your customers.

You might think using such a solution might be very demanding, but in fact, it only requires an orderly approach to customer feedback, and of course, some analytic skills.

What are the 5 steps of a successful feedback loop?

The feedback loop can be divided into five equally important stages:

It isn’t called a loop for anything. In order to be fully effective, the customer feedback loop has to be constantly reapplied, taking into consideration feedback from all possible channels.

Let’s take a journey through the process and look at best practices.

1. Gather information from clients

In order to create a customer feedback loop, it is crucial to first start collecting customers’ opinions.

There are a variety of ways to do it: customer interviews, live chats, social listening to email marketing, and more.

Nonetheless, one of the most effective customer feedback tools are surveys. With them, your users’ have a dedicated space directly on the website or in your product to leave their feedback.

Moreover, surveys can be targeted to specific use cases such as purchase experience, allowing you to collect more detailed feedback. The most popular surveys are NPS, CSAT, and CES.

2. Learn and analyze the data

Once the data is collected, it has to be analyzed. Find the recurring issues and list them by popularity and importance to your company’s growth. Great customer feedback tools like Survicate do most of the work for you; all you have to do is peruse the data.

Survicate generates visual reports showing information like your response rate, satisfaction scores, and open-text responses.
Survicate generates visual reports showing information like your response rate, satisfaction scores, and open-text responses.

For example, try to identify reasons for cart abandonment and hunt for points of confusion in your clients’ paths.

Survicate also allows you to use many integrations to identify respondents, so it’s easy to close the feedback loop with them.

Next, put your finger on the issues you identified, and draw conclusions on how to fix them and enhance usability.

3. Acknowledge feedback and respond

This step is probably the most common one to skip. Even if you acknowledge the feedback and are working on a solution, customers simply don’t know that. It’s important to let them know you are considering what they have said and appreciate their input.

Automate responses to let users know that they are heard. You may not always be able to act on the feedback you receive, but you should always make sure customers know you learned about their opinion.

Many user feedback tools, including Survicate, have integrations or other capabilities that let you automate these responses.

4. Apply conclusions to the product

When you have your conclusions, it’s time to apply fixes to your product. Begin by categorizing your responses and making sure data reaches the right team members. 

Product marketing teams should receive info on improving the user experience, while product management should be informed on things like feature prioritization and UVP feedback.

Think about the character of the feedback you received. Sort insights into

  • Product improvement and bug fixes
  • Customer service and support feedback
  • UX issues
  • Pricing data

These categories will depend on the type of product or service you offer. Then, it’s time to act on feedback.

A good starting point can be the most critical issue. Small changes and enhancements can be dealt with simultaneously, providing quick wins.

5. Follow up and close the loop

Remember to inform your customers about the changes applied to the product and the upcoming bug fixes. It’s crucial to let the customers know that customer feedback was considered during the product enhancement process.

Once the fixes are implemented, the time has come to gather feedback once again. Continuous feedback collected at every step of the customer journey and continuous development are key to improving the customer experience.

What makes a good product feedback loop?

A working product feedback loop is the best way to make sure you are staying on top of your competition. Your customers will tell you exactly what they need or expect from your product and what is still missing from the market.

While product research is very important, it will not get you the actionable, hands-on data you can get from customers. So, how to make sure your product feedback loop is working?

Gather feedback at important stages of your customer journey

Surveys are a great way to gather feedback at crucial moments. Contextual surveys can pop up in-app or on your website, so customers give you fresh insights right where they are encountering bugs or missing key features.

Great surveys to use here include website feedback, post-purchase satisfaction, and product experience.

Decide on which feedback to prioritize

Not all feedback you receive will be of equal value. Some things your customers report will require immediate attention, especially the kind that risks customer churn. Make sure you are able to discern which pieces of feedback should be prioritized.

Nonetheless, to keep your product feedback loop working, you have to let users know you are listening to their feedback. As mentioned above, Survicate integrations make it easy to automate these responses, so you don’t have to manually reach out to your users.

Define a process for closing the product feedback loop

Automation is key. Come up with a workflow that will make sure no piece of feedback goes unnoticed. One of the most important aspects here is getting the information to the right people on your team.

Survicate offers unlimited seats and the option to create workspaces for each team. 

You can invite as many team members to Survicate as you want for free.‍
You can invite as many team members to Survicate as you want for free.

Within that, you can create folders to further make sure marketers or product managers don’t have to sift through survey results they won’t be working with.

The Survicate dashboard makes it easy to sort existing surveys into folders to keep your feedback organized.‍
The Survicate dashboard makes it easy to sort existing surveys into folders to keep your feedback organized.

How to gather customer feedback

Among the variety of options for collecting feedback, one method seems to stand out - surveys. They are the most convenient and systematized way to gather feedback. Because of their common reoccurrence, they are the most user-friendly of the product feedback tools.

There are a few main ways to solicit feedback from customers via surveys. Note, though, that each type of survey needs to be sent at the optimal time. While surveys like NPS or product feedback should be used regularly, others, like the CES survey should be sent at precise touchpoints.

Moreover, each one of those gives a unique opportunity for client engagement and assessing the quality of the product. Nonetheless, each one is specified for different usage. Let’s take a look.

Targeted website surveys


Targeted website surveys are unobtrusive in design, user-friendly, and provide many targeting options and diverse question types. Some important targeted website surveys include:

You can, of course, also build a custom survey to appear on your website.

The downside is that you need to drive customers to your website before getting feedback.

Also, some people get very annoyed by pop-ups. That’s why it’s important to use a great customer feedback tool like Survicate to make sure their design doesn’t disrupt the user experience on your site.

Our website surveys have advanced targeting, meaning your response rate will be very high. They appear when the customer is in the right mindset to leave feedback, for example, the exit intent survey.

Feedback widgets

Feedback widgets are great for reporting bugs and collecting leads. They are activated by users, so the feedback you get is highly contextual. Targeting is a bit more limited than with website surveys, as they will only appear where the solution is implemented.

Survicate widgets can be fully customized. Make them look on-brand and compliment your website. You can change colors and fonts and add your logo and custom CSS.

Widgets are the easiest way to collect continuous feedback. Our surveys in the form of feedback buttons or site pop-ups do not slow down your website and can be placed anywhere on the website.

Survicate offers unlimited seats, so anyone who works with the site can have access to survey results. This helps make sure the right data reaches the right teams. Immediately.

What’s more, our native integrations with Google Analytics, Fullstory, and more make it possible to link survey results with website data like heatmaps and other types of customer behavior.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score survey survey is great at researching general customer satisfaction and gathering ideas on how to improve it.

NPS can take the form of a one-click microsurvey, boosting your response rate. On the other hand, it makes sense to add an open follow-up question to gather qualitative data as well.

Unfortunately, NPS results are sometimes skewed. This is because extreme answers, i.e. those from either very satisfied or very annoyed customers, are more likely to motivate respondents to leave feedback.

In addition, you need an existing customer base to get reliable results.

In-message surveys

in-message surveys provide quality data as users activate them themselves.
In-message surveys provide quality data as users activate them themselves.

In-message surveys like those offered by the Survicate x Intercom integration are a great way to research customer service quality and track product development.

These surveys are activated by users, so the feedback is usually willingly provided. The drawback is that you need a customer feedback tool that has an integration with a chat solution.

Questionnaires

You can create long questionnaires with the Survicate survey editor.
You can create long questionnaires with the Survicate survey editor.

Questionnaires differ from traditional surveys. We recommend them for in-depth customer satisfaction research and buyer persona research.

Questionnaires are very unobtrusive and user-friendly. There are a lot of question types and targeting options. The downside is that they are usually longer in form, so your response rate may be a bit lower than with a traditional survey.

What’s more, expertise may be needed to craft subject lines and copy that will attract people to respond. 

The responses are usually open-ended, which may also prove an issue at the analysis stage. Survicate has a solution - an interactive word cloud. The most popular issues will appear in big letters, and you can easily exclude words that skew your results.

Analyze open question answers with Survicate's interactive word cloud.
Analyze open question answers with Survicate's interactive word cloud. Results update in real-time.

We also have an in-depth guide about methods of collecting customer feedback. It shows how to set up your goals and how to collect feedback step-by-step with the goals in mind.

Feedback loop examples

Let’s have a look at how a feedback loop works in real life.

Customer feedback loop

Let’s say you run a Customer Effort Score survey. This is a transactional survey that is best used immediately after an interaction like a chat with a customer service agent, a completed purchase, or even the use of a new feature.

Many negative pieces of feedback after contact with a particular agent may mean you need to retrain the employee. Recurring positive comments after completed purchases let you know that your checkout process is running smoothly. Mixed reviews of a new feature may mean you aren’t targeting your product capabilities to the right people.

In any scenario, each completed survey should end with a message thanking the customer for their opinion. It’s also a good idea to add an introduction explaining how the feedback is going to be used.

This lets your customers know their insights won’t just end up in an abandoned inbox. Most survey tools, including Survicate, allow these responses to be automated, putting less strain on your staff.

The next step is to categorize responses to make sure they reach the right teams and analyze them to turn them into actionable tasks for your roadmap. Then, implement your customers' ideas into your workflow.

Lastly, notify customers about the changes. This helps boost customer loyalty and prevent churn, even if the customer had a bad experience. Use the Survicate x GetResponse integration so you don't have to reply to each piece of feedback manually.

Product feedback loop

Product surveys like product testing, product experience, and pricing testing can let you know how the product is perceived by real users. Let’s focus on the first example.

This survey lets you know the general level of satisfaction your customers have and is a great source of improvement ideas. If multiple customers suggest a new feature or alteration to your product, you know you can develop in that direction for a quick win.

Customers who leave specific qualitative feedback like this want to hear back from you. Customer loyalty can get a huge boost if you implement the solutions they have suggested.

So, as above, let users know you value and appreciate their opinion. If you are able to implement the changes, let them know. An email announcing a product update is a great place to mention that a particular change was inspired by genuine feedback from customers.

You can use Survicate integrations with HubSpot and Intercom to identify respondents who inquired about the changes in question. Slack and Microsoft Teams notifications can help you automate responses. Zapier integrations can help you build a whole advanced workflow to keep your customer in the loop.

Pricing feedback loop

While a pricing survey is a great source of information about the market value of a product, it's customer behavior that ultimately determines what the prices should be like.

The setpoint price is the first thing that kicks off a feedback loop. The initial price is usually determined by market research. It is going to be subject to change depending on demand.

If the price is too high, a brand will experience a lower signup rate. If the price is lowered, signups might skyrocket. This process continues until the price-to-demand ratio is optimal for a company’s profit. Nonetheless, as the product develops, this feedback loop remains ongoing.

A great way to get more insights is to run a pricing survey to find out what would inspire customers to pay more for your product. Feature prioritization surveys let you know how you should build your roadmap for higher profits.

The Voice of the Customer is always the best way to learn about how to achieve success in the market.

Conclusion

Growing your business vastly depends on your customers’ happiness. To make sure they are satisfied with your product, you need to listen to and respond to their needs and feature requests.

At the same time, it is an easy way to manage clients’ complaints and actively react to them. 

Creating a customer feedback loop allows you to provide better products and experiences.

Knowing exactly what your customers expect gives you an advantage over the competition.

Consider creating a solid customer feedback loop for your services. Even if the product is right, once your clients are left with a bad taste in their mouths, it is extremely hard to change them around.

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