Last updated: The customer feedback process can make or break your business

The customer feedback process can make or break your business


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A broken customer feedback process equates to a nightmare for brands.

One bad review.

That’s all it can take to undo current customer loyalties and ruin potential future customer opportunities for your business.

The Wake-Up Call

We’ve all been there. Sweated hard on our product launch, been through countless internal validation, huddled together gathering feedback from stakeholders, and conducted product research by studying what our competition does.

We offer the product to the public, then wait anxiously …. and suddenly, we get this.

“Your product/service stinks! Your feedback process sucks! I am NEVER going to buy from you again” – Negative Neil

Woah there, Neil. And woah us.

What went wrong? Let’s find out.

Never, ever getting back together: Improve your customer feedback process to avoid bad blood

So why is the customer feedback process so important, especially in e-commerce?

Successful customer feedback relies on looking at the data beyond mere data-crunching. Operational data can tell you what customers do, where they navigate on your website, how much time they spend on a page, what they buy, and when they abandon their shopping cart.

However operational data won’t tell you why those things happen. That’s the job of customer feedback, which is known as experience data, or X-data. Having a strategy in place to gather and respond to customer feedback is essential to avoiding and minimizing customer dissatisfaction.

Gain customer insights without being annoying

So, you want to find out what customers think, but you don’t want to annoy them. How to proceed?

Stephanie Thum offers the following advice: Make it optional, make it opt-in, keep it simple, and keep it short. Ask good questions, ask at the right time, and leave room to collect unstructured comments. Also, manage the cadence of surveys going to your customers.

This means collaborating with other departments that may also be surveying the same customers you are. Look at what software you use to manage survey distribution and data collection across your entire organization. Have you been using the same software for a decade? Maybe it’s time to change.

Don’t forget to follow up and close the loop with customers by acting on the feedback and communicating the actions you’ve taken. It’s all about having a plan and effective follow-up. 

Humanize the customer feedback process

It’s too easy for company executives to ignore customer feedback data if you’re not humanizing it. Think about the scores you collect as though they’re the opening lines of a story.

You’ll need other data including anecdotes, or maybe contact center recordings to help you and your colleagues understand the entire story of your customer’s experience, and then figure out what to do next.

Consider the tools you have at your disposal. Transactional surveys shouldn’t be the only tool in your toolbox. There are website intercepts, opt-in panels, and even bots can collect feedback in Facebook Messenger now. It’s no longer enough to keep doing what you’ve been doing because it’s comfortable.

“Today’s business world demands innovation. It’s time to ask better questions and update your feedback collection methods,” Thum added.

Happy customer = happy life

Understanding your customers’ experiences can help you understand if you’re maneuvering your organization’s efforts and resources in the right direction. Go beyond measuring happiness and satisfaction. How easy or difficult it is to do business with you? Do customers find what they need when they visit your business or website? What could be better?

Feedback can be used for much more than understanding how happy your customers are (or aren’t). If you’re asking the right questions and giving customers the opportunity to give you feedback on their terms, customers can help you identify business risks before some of your own risk-monitoring activities can inform you of a problem.

This means for future endeavors you can improve how you collect and respond to feedback, turning negative detractors into fans of your organization and product.

Join us for our next TweetChat on the customer feedback process on June 28, 11 a.m. EST, 8:00 am. PST. 

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