A happy customer is a loyal customer. But before we get to loyalty, growth, increased ROI, and the works - when was the last time your customers told you they were happy?
Research by thinkJar’s CEO Esteban Kolsky found that only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. Instead, the other 25 just leave. That means the absence of customer feedback does not equate to customer success or satisfaction.
Top performing companies make it a point to intervene before that happens, and to follow up if it does happen. They listen to the voice of their customers through multiple channels. And, they ask for feedback using custom surveys and targeted, open-ended questions. Most importantly, these companies:
Listening to the voice of your customer is always a good idea. Here are a few ways to heighten your listening skills when it comes to customers and your brand
Customer needs and expectations evolve with time, and so should your product or service. Customer feedback is important because it can help shape your product roadmap. Successful insights and product teams are those who purposefully manage data to develop future strategies, and ensure that products and services perfectly fit customer needs and overcome pain points.
Customer feedback is one of the most valuable sources of data available. These customer insights dictate where you should allocate your effort, time, and money to get the highest return on investment. This works for both brand promotion or product development.
Actively ask for feedback from clients and respond to their opinions to create a personal relationship with your customers. This creates increased customer engagement that not only makes your customers happier, but leads to higher ROI potential. Notably, the revenue impact from a 10% improvement in a company’s customer experience score can translate into more than $1 billion.
When it comes to collecting customer feedback, “surveys” are one of the first few words that come to mind. While surveys are effective, you could be missing out on valuable feedback that comes through another channel: social media.
For many customers, social media is a faster and more personal way to get in touch with a brand than by email. With millions of your customers already a part of these social media communities, your presence on social media is paramount in collecting valuable, organic customer feedback. Spotify, for example, dedicates a specific Twitter account to handling feedback:
More than that, social media provides an excellent avenue for you to know what people on the ground are saying about your brand. Social media features like Facebook reactions, Facebook Messenger surveys, and Instagram story polls provide raw forms of customer feedback that may not be available elsewhere.
Worried about how many customers actually participate? Fret not! According to Brand Minds, 9 out of 10 customers enjoy taking feedback surveys in Facebook Messenger.
Most customers believe that social media has made it easier to get in touch with customer service. Although you can create a specific account for customer support, customers will try every channel for speed.
The solution to this challenge? Check your inboxes more often, and implement automated messages that can answer frequently asked questions. A basic version of this automated response exists on Facebook Messenger, which allows you to write scripts for certain questions.
Call it a private group or an exclusive club - either way, a private Facebook group allows you to round up customer feedback in a forum style that could save time for your Marketing team. Rather than automating answers in a messenger, this method of collecting feedback allows customers to answer each other’s support questions without the company ever intervening.
Last year, adidas announced a similar forum called the Creators Club, which offers exclusive access to new products for loyal customers. Although marketed as a value-added proposition for its customers, the club allows adidas to gauge reaction to new products before a broad release to the public.
Obviously, it’s best to assign a moderator in case that conversation becomes heated or indifferent. Otherwise, this method serves dual-purpose as a brand fan page and unique customer feedback system.
What’s key in collecting customer feedback is opening a conversation with customers at the right time, with the right questions.
When is the right time, you may ask?
One of the most opportune times to collect feedback is when customers have made a new interaction with your service. That might look like signing up with you as a new customer, or upgrading to a new plan. Use transactional emails - emails that help facilitate a response to customers’ new interactions - as an opportunity to foster a dialogue with these customers. And, don't forget to personalize the email with a note from your customer success team.
To catch customers’ eyes, be sure to invest in the language and aesthetic of your transactional emails!
Short message services for business are often overlooked as an effective channel for collecting customer feedback. After all, 98% of text messages are opened, which is a high contract to the average open rate of an email (at 20%). Moreover, business text messages have an 80% open rate, according to Heymarket research.
Concerned that customers are prone to abandon your SMS survey just like any other survey? The good news is that short text message surveys encourage more completions, since they require minimal engagement. Brief SMS surveys are an excellent way to gather quick feedback on customer satisfaction with recent purchases or services. You can even request feedback after customer support sessions.
Trendy features - like Instagram’s Stories - can be used to collect customer feedback in a way that entertains customers. This is a strong way to aggregate information because it adds value (rather than demands value) to a customer’s interaction with your brand.
When an Instagram story is created, brands can include stickers that customers can click on. This feature allows customers to ask an unlimited number of questions, which end up in your inbox. To answer the questions, your brand must create another story using a photo or video as a response, which makes this option one of the most creative ways to interact with your customers.
You’re a full-stack customer feedback analyst, dedicated to sussing out all of your customer data. Are your current tools as ambitious as you?
There are a plethora of customer feedback tools which are free, but not comprehensive. Determine the value and ability of your current resources. Then, decide if upgrading to a premium tool is a good choice for your team. Here’s a look at two main types of tools for feedback collection.
These tools can now provide real-time data and metrics on your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. This includes search engine performance, Google Analytics conversions, the source of your web traffic, and more.
Cyfe, for example, helps you monitor how your websites are growing in real-time. It provides analytics for Salesforce, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Infusionsoft, and much more.
These platforms can help your organization assess feedback from multiple sources and derive meaning from it to drive action. Inmoment helps businesses gather and assess customer feedback from a variety of sources including chats, call transcripts, online reviews, and more.
Ready to understand customers at a much deeper level?
Start by adopting one of these tools for your business that works best for your needs.
A significant portion of the customer experience is guided by the employees in your brand's customer service department. More than half of customers go out of their way to buy a product or service from a company they know offers excellent customer service.
Conversely, negative reviews about customer service can deal a serious blow to your business reputation. Identify with your customers’ experience when it comes to customer service with these questions:
Collect feedback about your customers from your employees, and investigate into other insights they might be able to provide. After all, customers spend the most time with your employees. That means the service provided by your employees is a dealbreaker in deciding whether or not your customers will stay.
When it comes down to collecting feedback, what is it exactly that you’re asking your customers?
Your product is awesome, and customers love it. There’s always room for improvement, though - how can you serve customers the best way possible?
Use customer feedback questions (we wrote a list of 100 open-ended market research questions!) to understand how your product or service fulfills a customer's needs. And, understand where you can improve.
Once a customer is interested in your product, a positive purchasing experience is crucial in ensuring that you make the sale. Loopholes in this process result in frustration for customers, most of which will abandon your product.
Gathering customer feedback as a cornerstone of your growth strategy communicates trust to your customers and improves customer experience overall.
Begin by developing a clear picture of why you are collecting feedback. Then proceed to the tactical portion of collecting feedback with the right tools and team members. Pop in the right questions to amplify the voice of the customer, and voila! You have a long-term customer growth strategy.
If you ever get lost in the process, read through our full guide below (4 Solutions to Common Customer Feedback Challenges). It's always here for you!