The Essential Guide to Customer Feedback - SmartKarrot Blog

The Essential Guide to Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is the insights and information put up by the customers about their experiences with your company. But is that all? Let us find out.

customer feedback

Is your customer service top-notch? Is the product features the best in the business? You need to have the right customer feedback to know your worth. Realizing one’s true potential can only be done by honest feedback received by the clients. Here in the blog, we will be reading a few highlights which include: 

  • What is customer feedback?
  • Why is customer feedback important?
  • What is the customer feedback loop?
  • How to collect actionable customer feedback
  • Customer feedback tools
  • Top customer feedback questions
  • Mistakes to avoid during Customer Feedback

Why customer feedback is an important terminology in the dictionary of customer success, let’s find out. 

What is customer feedback?

The definition of customer feedback goes back to the beginning of the millennial. It is the information that the customers provide based on their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the product or service. It could hover around the general customer experience related to the company too. This opinion then forms as a vital resource for improvising the customer experience.

Moreover, the benefit of customer feedback is immense. The top-performing SaaS companies understand the vital role that customer feedback plays. Therefore, they constantly pay special heed to the voice of the customer and act accordingly. As a matter of fact, staying ahead in the rat race and on top of your competition is only possible when you give preference to your customers. Be it positive, negative, prompted, or unprompted.         

Why is customer feedback important?

  • It measures customer satisfaction – Both Customer satisfaction and loyalty are deemed to be factors of high pertinence that determine a company’s financial performance. Undoubtedly, ensuring your customers are happy with your service, indirectly means better business performance. Using a Net Promoter Score (NPS), is said to one of the most accurate methods to measure, manage, and improve customer satisfaction. This tool will help you exactly predict where you stand and a preview of what your customers think.
  • It improves customer retention – Needless to say, a satisfied customer is here to stay. Every time you see a dissatisfied customer, you must immediately react and find a way to affix the issue. This is your perfect chance to win back a client and increase his rate of retention. Asking for regular opinions can help you keep a finger on the pulse.
  • It provides data for business decisions – Typically, SaaS businesses gather and manage data that helps them develop future strategies. This is one of the ways which enables them to adjust their services that perfectly fit the customer. With the help of this data, they can know what are the areas they need to rework on and which segments are being thoroughly enjoyed by the customer base.

What is the customer feedback loop?    

customer feedback

Considered one of the best ways to get customer feedback is the customer feedback loop. With this, collecting customer feedback tends to become a lot easier. The acronym ACAF stands for:

A – Ask for customer feedback. The questions you put out depends a lot on the goals you have. All you have to do is ask your customers for any relevant feedback based on your product’s performance or services.  

C – Categorize the feedback. In the second step, you can segment the feedback into different criteria that are meaningful to your business chords.

A –Act on the feedback. It is time for you to act now. Research on the types of feedback you have received and put them in an actionable format.

F – Follow up with the customers. Finally, revert to the customers who gave their precious feedback so that they know you truly care and listen.

How to collect actionable customer feedback

  • Connect via Email – Email is regarded as one of the most valuable methods of obtaining customer feedback. It is never public and maintains maximum privacy. You could also send out the feedback questions directly by email or can simply invite them to chat. If possible, schedule an appointment when you would like to get an update. Follow-up when they do not see a response within a fortnight.
  • Channelize to Social Media – Important channels such as Twitter, Facebook are great customer feedback platforms. You can easily create surveys, or also measure the reliability of the product and the impression it has on the users. Further, it helps to improve the customer trials that increase sales.
  • Automate the process – Collecting customer feedback one-on-one, in the same room is the best format. Nonetheless, if you want real feedback on the scale, automating feedback can be of great benefit. With tools like Smartkarrot, you can define your customer journey. And exactly know the correct basis of how a customer interacts with your business.

Customer feedback tools

  • Usability Tests – For usability testing to bring deep insights to your company, it requires more upfront planning. With a clear strategy, though, you can uncover challenges that customers don’t know they’re facing and actionable insights that make their experiences better. A recommended method is so-called remote user testing, which provides quick and accurate insights into the usability of the product.
  • Customer Interviews – Reaching out to customers directly opens up conversations that otherwise wouldn’t happen. Qualitative stories from customers bring color and nuance to quantitative feedback (data). When you conduct customer interviews, you create the opportunity to challenge false assumptions that developed over time. 

Top customer feedback questions

When you are strapped for time, these are a few bits from a great customer feedback questionnaire. These questions will give you essential information about the impactful parts of your business.

  1. How did you hear about us?
  2. Were your expectations met, unmet, or exceeded?
  3. Did our employees or customer service staff help you? How?
  4. What, if any, products, services, or features are we missing?
  5. What did you enjoy most about your experience?
  6. How would you describe your experience in our store / on our website?
  7. On a scale of zero (unlikely) to ten (very likely), how likely would you be to recommend us to friends or family?
  8. From one (unhappy) to ten (very happy), how would you rate your overall satisfaction with us?
  9. On a scale of one (not easy) to ten (very easy), how easy was your checkout experience?
  10. What would you change about your experience?

When you get answers to the aforementioned questions, you will realize how every aspect of your buyer’s experience is addressed. You will soon be in a position to receive an overview of how your clients find your product.    

Mistakes to avoid during Customer Feedback

Customer feedback management could sometimes get tricky. Having said that, you must have sound knowledge of what to ask and especially what not to ask. Here are a few mistakes that you must reconsider before doing.

Too Much Information

The famous acronym TMI applies in the customer success space too. Refrain from asking questions that are a little too personal. Revolve around asking easy questions first and having a less confrontational way to get customer feedback. Do not begin the interview with a question that might disturb the client.

Objective Yes/No questions

Questions like ‘Are you satisfied with the service? Yes/No’ could be difficult for the customer to answer. Further, it will provide only little specifics to the query which is of no use. It could be possible that they might not be fully satisfied or fully dissatisfied with the service. That is when you need to offer them questions with a subjective answer mode format. This is beneficial for both parties.

Two Ideas in the same question

Refrain from rafting questions that are ambiguous in nature. Say, for instance, ‘How clear and accurate was our onboarding process?’ In this case, either ask the client about the clarity of onboarding or the accuracy of the same. It could be possible that the customer onboarding process for them could lack clarity but it could be accurately done. Or if the vice versa takes place, they are stuck.

Not Reviewing

Mistakes do happen as we are human. But what you can do is rectifying them before it is too late. Take five minutes of your time and review the questions. It could be possible that you want to add something at the last moment. Reviewing could also save you from embarrassing spelling or grammatical errors if any. This will always increase the effectiveness of the customer feedback process.

What are the different types of Customer Feedback?

There are primarily two types of customer feedback. One, where the customers give you feedback without you having to reach out to them. And the other where you reach out to them for feedback. Now, let us look at these two types in detail.

Type 1 Customer Feedback

  • Feature Requests: Simply put, feature requests are suggestions on how you can revamp your existing product or service. It is usually something that a customer wishes to do but can’t hence they request a feature for this. Incorporating these feature requests show your customer that you are here to hear them and can add a ton of value.
  • Bugs: Like the word suggests, bugs are the issues that your clients run into while using your service or product. The more they see these bug reports, the higher they are inclined to churn away. And you know how churn is the greater enemy in any SaaS business. In such a case, try and see how fast you can squish an easy-to-fix bug. Pay special emphasis on these bugs as they stand as a testament to the fact that the customers are actually using your product. That is when proactive in affixing these issues will help drive customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  • Queries: It is a given that your customers will have queries. Now, it can be on how does your product work or on the discounts and coupons. While your home page and product itself should answer most of these questions, there will still be times when the customers will reach out to you in search of answers. This is in a way a type of feedback in disguise. Receiving a query shows that they are interested to use your tool.
  • Reviews: Reviews are a great way to let the users talk about your product, in an indirect approach. While the thing about reviews is that the customers post it mostly when they are mad at you. But then again, that is not always the case. Look at this example here from Canny.
Source: Canny

It is vital to keep a tab on what your customers have got to say about you. Always reach out to them in case of a negative feedback. And when met with a positive one, acknowledge and thank them for their response.

  • Appreciation: Appreciation is a form of praise. This is when a customer comes forward to say nice things about your brand. Note that, these are the same customers who might be willing to share more feedback as well. See whether or not you can derive any constructive feedback out of it. Ask for a testimonial or a good rating on a social site or see if they wish to get featured as a case study on your website.

Type 2 Customer Feedback

  • NPS: Net Promoter Score is a good way to know your customer satisfaction score. Here, on a scale of 0-10, the 9-10 category falls under promoters, who will most likely promote your brand in a positive light. You can ask them to add a review or a testimonial on your site. Then you have passives who rate you from 6-8, who are neutral or just fine with your product. They may be able to churn or stay loyal as well. And then we have detractors who score you anywhere between 0-5 and will most likely pass a negative comment about you to their friends and family. Reach out to them at the earliest and see what you can fix.
  • In-App Ratings: Use In-app ratings to receive feedback in an instant. Do provide a comment section for the customers to elaborate their response.
  • Surveys: Customer Surveys are generally sent out to the customer’s mail and is one of the best ways to receive feedback. Try to keep it simple and precise. Always appreciate their effort and be constructive with your questions.
  • Feedback after a support Interaction: Post a successful interaction, some of the companies add an option to rate the support. Although it might seem to be of low effort, but it still gives an idea of how you are performing. Look at this example from Help Scout:
Source: Help Scout
  • Onboarding Feedback: Onboarding in a crucial stage from both the company’s and customer’s point of view. See that the customers have the option to give their initial feedback. Record all their feedbacks because this is where their suggestions will be very valuable for being raw and instinctive. Use it wisely.

How to Categorize Customer Feedback?

1. Product Feedback

As and when you ask for the product feedback, which is the first step in the Customer Feedback loop, you will find a sea of information pertaining to these three buckets of feedbacks:

  • Major Product bugs: These are the urgent issues that stand on the way of a customer to derive maximum value from your product.
  • Minor Product bugs: These are the not-so-urgent ones which will however not distract the customer from the core value of the product.
  • Feature Requests: As mentioned earlier, these are the requests that can help revamp your existing product or service.

2. Customer Service Feedback

For Customer Service, the three most common places to ask for feedback are,

  • Chat: The second a live chat with a customer service representative is over, you will see an option pop-up to rate your feedback.
  • Knowledge-based articles: Or sometimes at the end of a knowledge-based article, you will find a question that says – Was this article helpful?
  • Email Follow-up: Also, when you are doing a follow-up for an email, you are sent a follow-up email that asks to rate your satisfaction level.

3. Marketing & Sales Feedback

It could be possible that a marketing or a sales executive could have mistakenly over-promised a deliverable but would not be able to do so sue to any given reason. On that note, ensure that you have a stern customer feedback loop which is well-maintained for your marketing and sales teams, that will lessen these unforeseen situations to an extent.

You might also like:

Top 10 Ways To Get Actionable Feedback From Your Customers – Get insights on ways to get actionable feedback quickly and easily from the customers.

What Is Voice of Customer (VoC) and Why Is It Important? – Voice of the customer, is it a new terminology in the customer success space? Let’s find out.

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