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Customer Feedback: How to Collect and Use It to Grow Your Business

By 21st June 2019 May 15th, 2020 No Comments
customer feedback

On any business, the top priority needs to be satisfying the customers’ needs. After all, a happy customer is a loyal one and can help your company grow telling other people about it. On the other hand, unhappy customers can be your ruin, when they spread bad comments about your product and/or company. This is called customer feedback, something you really should be concerned with if you want to boost your business.

You always need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, so you can please them according to their expectations and needs. Doing this will give you a clear understanding of what your customers think about your service or product. Customer feedback is important and extremely valuable to all kinds of businesses these days. That’s because it will give you everything you need to know to adjust your strategies and correct what it’s going wrong.

Leverage customer feedback is achievable. There are many ways to do it and if done properly, it will surely increase your profitability. To achieve this you need to have an interest in finding out what your customers want. 

The customer support side of your business has a direct and indirect effect on every aspect of it. 

What is customer feedback

Feedback is information provided about the performance of a person, service, or product. It could be good or bad and it expresses the particular feelings from the person who’s expressing it. Ideally, companies can use this information to improve their processes. Collecting customer feedback is possible in two ways: prompted and unprompted.

When you call AT&T’s to solve a problem and in the end, you answer a custom survey with closed or open-ended questions, that’s a prompted feedback. Unprompted feedback is the one companies receive online from customer’s posts. usually from social media. Learn how to conduct the second one and you’ll get closer to know what your clients need and how well they can perceive your company.

One important tip concerning the unprompted feedback is that you must know all the places where your business is being mentioned, so you can have a broader control of possible problems or suggestions. Also try to raise your response rates, answering your clients as soon as possible. Facebook, for instance, keeps a rating scale of how fast you answer to your page’s messages, so it’s good to maintain a frequency while doing customer support there.

The A.C.A.F. Customer Feedback Loop

customer feedback

Here you have some tips on how to collect and implement customer feedback like a pro. These tips are based on the A.C.A.F customer feedback loop. One of the most effective strategies for gathering feedback, and also use it as an advantage. It means to Ask, Categorize, Act, and Follow-up.

Ask

The first thing you need to do is ask for customer feedback. Let your customers know that you want their feedback. The type of question to be made will depend entirely on your goals. Usually, those goals revolve around three main objectives:

  • Locate recurring customer service issues with a negative impact on customers.
  • Investigate how customer satisfaction evolves over time
  • Find out product flaws, to improve them

These objectives are usually measured using some methods. The most common are NPS and CSAT. For SaaS companies, there is another useful method that is asking for reviews on directories. Let’s see each one of them.

1. NPS (Net Promoter Score)

customer feedback
NPS is a business tool in the form of an index. It ranks from 1 to 10, and it measures how willing customers are to recommend a product or service. It’s highly praised to effectively measure customer satisfaction as well as customer loyalty.

You can calculate NPS by subtracting the percentage of people who would not recommend (detractors) you from the percentage of the ones who would (promoters). This can be a great resource to measure the loyalty of your customers.

According to Retently, if your NPS is below 0  it indicates that your business may have a lot of issues, and you should start reviewing your strategy and processes. If the score is between 0 and 30 there are still some things you can improve to get better results. And if it is higher than 30 this indicates that you are doing a great job, and the number of happy customers overcomes the unhappy ones. Still according to Retently:

An NPS over 70 means your customers love you and your company is generating a lot of positive word-of-mouth from their referrals. The higher your NPS is, the more likely it is that your customer referrals will convert into new leads and more revenue for your company.

2. CSAT

CSAT is short for Customer Satisfaction and it will measure how your products are meeting or surpassing what your customers are expecting.

When a company wants to know how well are their products doing, they can use In-App surveys. This method is usually implemented for software sellers and can be inserted at the end of live chats or knowledge-based articles, so it’s possible to know how the experience was useful to the customer. The developer would ask directly from the app for the customer’s opinion.

 3. Reviews in Directories

g2 review
This is a useful method for SaaS companies. You can ask your costumers to write reviews in directories such as G2 and Capterra. And of course, this method has its ups and downs, because you are exposing reviews for everyone on the internet to see. But if you are doing a great job, you will probably be surprised by how complete positive reviews about your product can be a way of acquiring new costumers.

You can also interact with the customers on these reviews, which facilitates intermediating the bad ones.

Categorize

categorization

Now it’s time to compile what you’ve gathered. You already know what are the most common methods to request feedback from customers are, now you have to organize that feedback. Unless you want to have a spreadsheet that never ends, you should divide the obtained data into Customer, Marketing & Product feedback.

Here you have the option to use customer feedback specialized software or your Google Sheets expertise. The choice is yours. But you must separate them correctly. For example, from the Product Category, focus on major flaws and minor flaws about your products or services.

Customer Category, here you can organize data you get from customer service and the customer experience in general. This is the type of feedback you get from customer service chat or when you follow-up on customers after the sale is made or the service is provided.

With Drag you can easily do it, dividing your emails into categories, that we call boards. It’s possible to drag one email and drop it on the column you need it to be. This will make your job easier and facilitate this and other processes you may need to perform.

Act

Customer feedback data has been collected, categorized and now we need to act on it. Usually, at this point, you inform all the departments involved in customer feedback. Customer, Marketing, and Product team. 

Sharing feedback is important, but you don’t want to overwhelm your employees. Make sure that you share feedback at agreed intervals. Try to always put yourself in the customer’s shoes when figuring out what to do about the feedback received. 

customer feedback

One good example of a platform to act is a Public Roadmap of your company/product. Mainly because customers know really well which are the items you need to improve in your product. They may lack some features you don’t offer yet, or have some insights on the existing ones. So having a public roadmap allowing customer feedback can be a huge success.

For example, on Drag’s Public Roadmap our customers can come up with new ideas or report bugs. Then we create a card for each idea or bug, and they can comment and upvote it. These cards go through some stages: Backlog, In Progress, and Closed User Testing. After that, what was just an idea turns into a new feature in our product, and it goes live for all the customers.

We keep an open conversation to our customers there, and it helps to build up our product, and shape it according to what they expect and need from a shared inbox.

Follow-up on feedback

This is the final next of the loop. After collecting, organizing, and making action plans to fix the issues, you need to double-check if the issues that the customers were having have been fixed. Sadly, this is what most organizations fail to deliver. What is it that customers want besides receiving what they’re paying for? You are right if you thought something called “attention”. Customers want to be able to give feedback seamlessly and they also want to feel like they’re part of the business. 

Admit it, when a service or product doesn’t work the way we expected or we don’t get the results that were promised, we become reluctant to expect a solution. Customers give feedback, but deep down they are convinced the company simply doesn’t care about their after-sale concerns.

We need to genuinely care for our customers. Make them realize that we truly care about their experience with us. You need to improve your product if your client is telling you to do so. They need to see your commitment to fixing whatever has frustrated them. It goes beyond being polite, it’s our duty as business owners.  

Make sure that you email back every customer’s email, comment on their reviews on directories, as we mentioned before. But remember to interact with them somehow. Keep checking and assessing the customer experience,  because if you fail to do this, they will probably stop giving you their feedback.

Summarizing: Customer feedback is essential

Building a successful business depends a lot on how you receive and act on your costumer’s feedback. Don’t push aside this important area of your relationship with clients, because it can define your growth on many levels.

Find the best way of collecting feedback about your business, create categories that make sense for your type of business, define the best actions you can take over them. And never forget to follow-up the feedback with your clients, so you can motivate them to always give their opinion. By following this process you will certainly be able to see your business grow like never before.

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Samantha Anacleto

Author Samantha Anacleto

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