8 Best Practices for Effective Customer Feedback Management

Loyal customers can bring you more sales than any marketing campaign. Dissatisfied customers can cost you more than just sales. How do you keep up with the ever-changing customer expectations?

By asking them.

Customer feedback is the easiest way to gain insights into things that matter to your business. What do your customers like and dislike about you? What are their eureka moments and what are their turn-offs? At the touch of a button, your customers can read your history online and see how people perceive you. Getting feedback is simple, but how do you leverage it for business growth and customer satisfaction? These 7 best practices for customer feedback management can help you.

What is Customer Feedback Management?

Customer feedback management (CFM) is the process of integrating and leveraging feedback collected from multiple channels to make your product or service better. CFM breaks your overall feedback management into actionable insights, thereby helping you streamline your efforts.

Why is Customer Feedback Management Important?

Customer feedback is not just a damage-control mechanism. It is a valuable resource that helps you align your improvement efforts and user experience to get the desired outcome. But feedback means little by itself. You need to attach a clear action item to your customer feedback to drive progress. Customer feedback management is the process by which you can collect, organize, and implement the feedback you received. Having a customer feedback strategy is essential if you survey a lot of customers and often. Start with these 7 best practices for customer feedback management.

Customer Feedback Management Best Practices

  1. Define your Objectives
  2. Tailor the Feedback Process to your Objectives
  3. Collect Feedback across Multiple Channels
  4. Categorize the Feedback Collected
  5. Take Action on the Customer Feedback
  6. Track Behaviour to Optimize the Feedback Loop
  7. Use Feedback for Internal Brainstorming
  8. Establish a Formal VOC Program

1. Define your Objectives

The objectives you define at the start of your feedback process will help you narrow down your efforts. There are hundreds of feedback tools out there that are simple, and allow easy integration with your support function. It is easy to go overboard out of curiosity; to finally learn what your customers have to say about you. This only leads to lengthy, arbitrary customer data that you have to comb through to identify any pattern. 

Identify your needs. You can collect feedback for the entire customer experience, for a certain touchpoint, or even for new product development. Limit your surveys to a certain number so you don’t overdo it. The key is to ask for feedback only when it is necessary.  

2. Tailor the Feedback Process to your Objectives

Some of the best customer survey metrics available today are the Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT), and Customer Effort Score (CES). You have to choose the metric that best aligns with your objectives. For instance, each of these examples has its respective goals: NPS is a holistic predictive analysis that tells you how likely your customers are to recommend you (Customer Loyalty and Retention). CSAT is a fragmented approach that tells you what percentage of your customers are satisfied with your entire service or a specific department (Customer Satisfaction). CES measures the typical amount of effort your customers need to take to get something done by you (Potential Dissatisfaction and Churn). Choose a feedback process that is most relevant to your business growth right now.

3. Collect Feedback across Multiple Channels

Collecting feedback is incredibly easy these days. The ubiquity of the internet and social media have taken surveys beyond traditional phone calls. From mobile app to pop-ups to social media, you can turn any platform into your survey channel with simple tools. While in-app surveys will help you drill down to specific usability issues (Eg. Was {insert feature} easy to use for you?), website popups help you get a real-time view of the overall experience (Eg. How would you rate your experience with us?). Every channel has its own purpose. Collecting feedback across multiple channels will give you broader insights. 

4. Categorize the Feedback Collected

A multi-channel feedback survey is not just insightful, but also easy to set up with the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and survey tools. That brings us to the question, how to categorize the feedback collected across multiple channels? The best way is to bucket them into support and product feedback. 

Support Feedback 

Customer support is still the key competitive differentiator in 2020. There is no trick to providing exceptional customer support. It just involves high benchmarks, constant improvising, and lots of listening. As per a recent e-commerce survey, 33% of customers might leave a brand they love after one bad experience, while the rest might leave after two to three bad experiences. Luckily, you need not gaze into a crystal ball to read the minds of customers. They will tell you directly, and you just have to act on it.

Product or User Experience Feedback

Product feedback can be further divided into technical and feature issues. Technical issues may refer to serious product bugs, malfunctions, server issues, or a minor form submission issue. Your product team should address the technical issues immediately, since they may be blocking the customer from accessing some of your important features. Feature issues mostly refer to feature requests, like a search function in your blogs or a wishlist tab on your landing page. Feature requests are not urgent. But they are valuable, highly relevant customer insights you can’t find anywhere else. You can ask open-ended questions to get these qualitative feedback data. They bring the voice of the customer to the frontline during product feature developments. 

5. Take Action on the Customer Feedback

Drill down the customer feedback into actionable insights and start implementing them. The best way to approach them is by priority and volume. A features page showing a 404 error is a higher priority than a popup that covers the content. You should first address the issues that are preventing your customers from getting the most value out of your product. Then you can address the high volume, common requests you received.

Most companies view this as optional — following up with the customers who gave the feedback. Positive or negative feedback, your customers did take the time to give you feedback. Sending a follow-up on the progress will not only make your customers feel valued but also encourage them to give feedback in the future. You can use HappyFox Workflows to send these follow-ups automatically. 

6. Track Behaviour to Optimize the Feedback Loop

Feedback on feedback is essential, to check if you are getting the most out of your efforts. Keep a separate track on what is the best time to gather customer feedback, which channel gets the most responses, and which feedback management tool works best for you. Overdoing surveys will result in indifferent customer responses, and irregular surveys will lead to missed opportunities. Some companies even assess surveys by demographics to cater to audiences across time zones. Invest time in optimizing your feedback collection process and keep an eye on the new trends. 

7. Use Feedback for Internal Brainstorming

Customers possess great ideas. Every customer journey is unique, and so is their feedback. Forget trends and market research, every customer feedback is ultimately focused on making your product and service better. Using customer feedback for internal brainstorming will help you develop a customer-centric culture across the company. In a room full of contradictory visions, customer feedback can bring a well-needed balance — because the customer is almost, always right.

8. Establish a Formal VOC Program

The Voice of the Customer (VOC) program refers to collecting customer feedback, analyzing it, and implementing it actively in your business growth strategy. Establishing a formal VOC program will prevent the whole feedback system from getting randomized. It applies across the organization, bringing active cross-functional participation. 

Conclusion

Finally, do more than thank your customers for feedback. Trade templates for personalized acknowledgment messages every time your customers give feedback. Update the progress. And most importantly, act on the feedback for greater customer success. 

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