Leveraging customer feedback to enhance the customer experience

Customer Experience

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Are you genuinely listening to what your customers are saying?

Your customers have a wealth of insight on their experience and pain points with your business. But many businesses gather customer feedback and don’t use it to its full potential. Leveraging customer feedback strategically can not only improve their experience, but earn your business more revenue and help you scale. 

In this guide, we’ll discuss the importance of collecting customer feedback and how to analyze and act on this feedback to make changes that positively impact the customer experience.

What is customer feedback strategy

Customer feedback strategy is how you collect feedback, analyze it, and use the insights to make data-informed decisions to enhance the customer experience. The most beneficial strategies include a feedback loop, where the feedback collection and analysis are repeated until the desired result is achieved (usually an increase in customer satisfaction or a drop in customer support tickets for issues related to a specific issue). 

A successful customer feedback strategy can yield many benefits:

  • Enhanced customer satisfaction
  • Boosted customer loyalty
  • Optimized call center operations 
  • Increased revenue

👉 Learn more about the value of customer feedback insights.

Types of customer feedback

Customer feedback can take many forms, including:

  • Feedback forms
  • Customer surveys
  • Customer interviews or focus groups 
  • Social listening and community forums
  • Online reviews
  • Customer support interactions

8 Tips to collect and leverage customer feedback

Developing a customer feedback strategy can help you leverage customer feedback to its highest potential. You can use it to get actionable insights to improve the customer experience, and optimize your company operations and revenues.  To create your strategy, consider the following:

1. Proactively ask for feedback

Gather customer feedback regularly, not just when you start noticing a negative feedback trend. For example, using automation to send surveys throughout the customer journey can help you catch potentially damaging bugs or issues with your brand before they become bigger.

If you only collect customer feedback when you notice high levels of customer dissatisfaction, you may only be able to fix the issue after you lose customers or revenue. Look for opportunities to be proactive in asking for customer feedback. 

2. Use a variety of channels for feedback collection

In addition to collecting feedback often, collect it from a variety of sources or channels. This could provide a greater depth of feedback and different perspectives. For example, you may notice people are more reserved when talking to you directly but aren’t afraid to be more honest on social media or in anonymous surveys.

3. Pay attention to timing

There’s a right and a wrong time to ask for customer feedback. For example, asking for feedback on their experience using your product is ill-placed if asked while browsing your online catalog or store. Instead, send a “How did we do” survey a day after a customer support interaction. This will likely get you more results because more people have completed the action (contacting support) you’re surveying about. 

Be mindful of your feedback collection focuses and goals and ensure when the survey is given to customers aligns with the data you’re trying to collect. 

4. Offering rewards for feedback

Some types of customer feedback can include rewards or incentives to get more data. For example, if you invite people to an in-person focus group at your office for the afternoon, provide them with beverages, a free lunch, and a free product or discount off a future purchase. This is a great way to thank them for their feedback and show them you appreciate their time. 

Be mindful of when you offer rewards for feedback, as it can sometimes yield inauthentic results. Some people, consciously or unconsciously, feel obligated to provide a more favorable review if you offer them something in return. 

Offering a reward can be a great way to increase survey responses, so offer them only when you feel you won’t get a statistically appropriate number of responses. 

5. Gathering qualitative and quantitative feedback

Include both qualitative (voice of customer responses) and quantitative (numerical data responses). Collecting only quantitative data helps determine the big picture (i.e., ‘my app rating is low’), but it won’t tell you exactly what they don’t like about it. 

Collect quantitative data through customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys, or other rating or ranking styles survey questions. Collect qualitative feedback through sources like focus groups, customer support transcripts, and written or open-ended survey responses. 

You could start by collecting quantitative data first to see where the pain points exist. Then, you can solicit more qualitative feedback targeted at those specific points to get more details.    

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6. Categorizing feedback and creating reports

Once you have collected enough data, it’s time to sort through and begin analyzing it. When you have data from multiple sources and formats, it helps first to gather the customer feedback in one place and categorize the feedback. With a customer feedback analytics software like Idiomatic, you get custom data labels for all your customer feedback data. These labels are easy to understand and categorized by issues and trends. 

Idiomatic uses contextual machine learning to assign the correct labels to your data, meaning no more agent-assigned incorrect labels. It shows you your results in real-time and through advanced reporting capabilities. 

After you’ve generated reports (either through Idiomatic or manually) based on your customer feedback findings, it’s time to act on your results to increase customer satisfaction. 

7. Act on findings

There’s no point in collecting customer feedback if you don’t intend to act on what you learn. Some companies may collect feedback to make it look like they care about what their customers think, but they never make resulting changes to improve their experience.

Share your reports and findings with the correct department. Most commonly, this feedback will inform changes for the marketing, customer support or product teams. 

8. Follow up with customers about improvements

After you’ve made the changes, give them time to ripple through your customers, then follow up to see if these improvements have increased customer satisfaction and better solved the customers’ pain points mentioned in the feedback. This is part of the feedback loop.  

If, after surveying your customers again, you determine that your change didn’t help or made the situation worse, it’s time to dive deeper to try another solution. Implement that solution and start the feedback loop again. 

Continue the loop until your customers are happy and your business objectives are met. 

👉 Learn more about building effective customer feedback loops to ensure your changes are having the desired effect on customer satisfaction.

Maximizing the value of customer feedback

In addition to the above eight tips, you can further maximize the value of your customer feedback by identifying improvement opportunities, nurturing relationships, and celebrating successes. 

Identify improvement opportunities

Leverage customer feedback to identify opportunities for business growth and increased customer satisfaction. Look for opportunities to:

  • Improve your offerings: Customer feedback may identify missed opportunities in your current offerings and suggest what additions or changes would better meet their needs. 
  • Improve your processes: Your customers may express dissatisfaction with your support process or identify opportunities for adding or optimizing new channels for support (such as self-service portals or a stronger onboarding process). 
  • Make more sales: If a new product or add-on solves a customer’s pain point, they will likely pay more. Consider if any enhancements or improvements should be part of your current offering or added as an additional value-added service for additional revenue. 
  • Boost your brand reputation: A successful customer feedback program that includes action shows your customers that you care about their experience. This puts your brand in a positive light as one who listens and solves their problems. 

You can also proactively identify improvement opportunities by using Idiomatic to review all your customer feedback data in real time. It can proactively give you specific insights that can drive action to improve CX. You can use these proactive insights to make changes before they appear in large numbers of customer feedback.

Nurture relationships 

Customer feedback can help uncover audiences you want to nurture more closely. For example, you may notice that you have a growing customer base that speaks Spanish, yet you only offer support in English. You can better nurture this audience by adding Spanish-language customer service staff and creating unique programs or offerings for this demographic.

Likewise, you might also identify a demographic likely to have higher than average customer lifetime value (the value people spend in their lifetime as your customer). You can add these customers to a VIP nurturing program to thank them for their customer loyalty and encourage them to remain loyal.

Celebrate success

Don’t forget to celebrate when you get positive reviews from customers. These wins should be shared with any departments affected, and potentially shared with the whole organization. 

You can also celebrate when you close a feedback loop. These celebrations are a sign of a good customer feedback strategy and can help motivate your staff to keep going above and beyond.

The impact of customer feedback on the user experience

Customer feedback has tremendous potential and impact on the user experience. Here are some examples:

  • FabFitFun struggled with inconsistencies in manual tagging of customer feedback. This gave them only surface level insights that were not providing specific enough insights to help them reduce their high levels of customer churn. After using Idiomatic to analyze and correctly tag their customer feedback data, they made changes that saw a 49% decrease in customer complaints, a 250% increase in product satisfaction, and a 6% increase in 5-star ratings. 
  • Upwork needed a better way to analyze customer feedback to save on support costs. Idiomatic’s solution enabled them to analyze 10x more customer feedback, reduce top customer issues by 40%, and achieve a 4% increase in positive CSAT scores.

How do you aggregate customer feedback with machine learning

A robust and successful customer feedback strategy is made easier when using artificial intelligence to categorize and analyze customer feedback data from different sources. Manual (human-powered) analysis can be possible if you have small amounts of data, but you risk issues in mis-tagging or misinterpreting the results. Artificial Intelligence, like Idiomatic’s platform, can analyze large amounts of data much faster and with increased accuracy to get you the results you need more quickly, often in real-time. 

Idiomatic helps you categorize your data to highlight the more valuable pain points, so you can decide which actions to take to increase customer satisfaction. It identifies the issues causing the most customer friction and opportunities for easy wins. 

Get a free demo and learn how Idiomatic can help your business leverage customer feedback in a more meaningful way. 

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