Customer feedback

What is customer feedback?

Customer feedback is information provided by customers about their experience with a product or service. Its purpose is to reveal their level of satisfaction and help product, customer success, and marketing teams understand where there is room for improvement. Companies can collect customer feedback proactively by polling and surveying customers, interviewing them, or by asking for reviews. Teams can also passively collect feedback by providing users a place in the product where they can share comments, complaints, or compliments.

Why is customer feedback important?

Without customer feedback, a company will never know if customers are getting value out of their product. Without knowing if they’re getting value, the product and go-to-market teams won’t know if they’re nurturing loyal customers (not to mention be able to measure customer retention and customer health). And without loyal customers, well…

According to Gartner, “customers’ salient experiences with the company heavily influence their long-term switching behavior and reflect the true drivers of loyalty.” How does one find out what these salient experiences were? Customer feedback.

How can I improve my customer feedback strategy?

  • Make it timely: Emailing a survey to a user may be asking more than they’re willing to give, especially because reading the email pulls them out of the product. Instead, survey them in-app so they receive the question while they are using the product. In-app surveys yield more accurate feedback and typically have higher response rates.
  • Make it easy: Collecting feedback should be done on the customer’s terms, not the company’s. What does this mean? Well, if a customer has to dig around in the product to find a “contact us” form, then it’s not exactly easy for them to provide the feedback the product and marketing teams covet. An occasional survey is also not enough. Effective programs make the feedback mechanism as simple as possible, available to any customer, any time.
  • Make it smart: Customers should be able to rank their feedback priority—let them share what is most pressing for them, so that product, marketing, and customer success teams can better prioritize their actions. The product team should also be able to search and segment feedback data to better understand any patterns. At Black Diamond, the team sorts feedback by client type and revenue to see if similar accounts are having comparable issues, and then prioritizes accordingly.
  • Close the loop: Too often, companies collect feedback, but it ends up in a black hole, never to be synthesized or acted upon. Make sure the company has a clear vision and process in place before collecting feedback, as well as a tool to collect, prioritize, and manage feedback.

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