You’ve been thinking about developing a more rigorous customer feedback program, but you’re putting it off. You may feel like you don’t have the bandwidth to respond to customers, and worry that it will be tough to make sense of what people tell you.
We all know that acting on customer feedback can revolutionize your business, making your services better for current customers, as well as more attractive to prospective ones. But how can this feedback actually lead to results? What areas of your business can benefit from customer feedback? At the end of the day, why should you prioritize customer feedback over other demands on your time?
In this post, we’ve compiled 5 reasons to stop procrastinating and move customer feedback to the top of your list. Whether you’re working on a new startup or improving processes at an established company, listening to customers can help you spur an engine of growth at your online business.
Here are 5 reasons a customer feedback program will help you grow your business:
Prioritize Areas for Improvement
We’re so involved in what we do that it can be difficult to step back and gain perspective. Our customers, however, use our products and services every day. They have opinions about what’s working and what isn’t working.
If you’re trying to improve customer engagement, you should figure out where you can improve. You can think of improvements in three ways:
- Things you can do today to immediately improve your offerings
- Things you can do to improve the experience over the next year
- Game-changing ideas that can revolutionize the way you do business
If you approach your customer feedback with these three categories in mind, dividing each piece of feedback into a category, you’ll be better equipped to decide what to focus on. And once you do, you can work on improving your customer’s deepest pain points.
You can also segment feedback by customer type. For example, it is good to know what paying customers, or high lifetime value customers, are requesting versus casual users. Are these groups asking for different things? If you have enough feedback, you can make better decisions on a how a feature or product may or may not lead to growth.
Validate Your Product Roadmap
You probably have ideas about what your customers might like to see next. Maybe you think a mobile app would help them out, or perhaps you believe a certain feature will improve the user experience. But how do you know this is what your customers want?
Customer feedback can help you figure out which products and features are worth developing. For example, here at Wootric, we got feedback that customers wanted to measure NPS on different devices, so we could reasonably conclude that adding mobile SDKs would help our customers.
Just remember to take the feedback with a grain of salt. As Henry Ford so famously said, “If I asked the people what they wanted, they would’ve said faster horses.” Focus less on what products and features the customers want, and more on what they are struggling with. For example, if customers say they want a new invoicing tool, think about whether or not this is actually what they need. Perhaps they don’t need a new tool, but need to be better educated on how to use the tool you already have.
Give You Instant Visibility into Overall Customer Experience
Customer feedback can help you determine the state of the overall customer experience. Although “improving customer experience” is a broad goal, understanding where you currently stand is the first step in determining where and how you can improve. According to WalkerInfo, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020.
Net Promoter Score, in particular, can help you determine how many people are excited about you (Promoters), how many feel “meh” (Passives), and how many feel negatively (Detractors) about what you’re doing.
These insights alone can help you figure out if you’re offering a satisfying customer experience. The goal with NPS is to improve your score over time. The open-ended feedback that accompanies the score will tell you where you are falling down and what people are loving about your product or service.
Get the ebook, The Modern Guide to Winning Customers with Net Promoter Score. Learn eight ways to leverage customer feedback and drive growth with a real-time approach to NPS.
Build Customer Centricity into Company Culture
As a founder, it can be difficult for you to connect with your customers, especially as your company grows. Without understanding where your customers are coming from, how can team members work to improve the experience? How can they be motivated?
Sharing customer feedback with your team is a great way to empower the company as a whole. If team members can see that they can have an impact by improving things for the customer, they’ll be more motivated, and more sure of their contribution.
It’s best to share positive and negative feedback with your team. The positive feedback will show them that their efforts are going somewhere, and that customers benefit from their hard work. Sharing negative feedback is valuable too. Pearls of wisdom can come from your biggest critics, so help your team learn to love your unhappy customers. Ask your team “What can we learn here? How can this help us envision our future?”
Listen for Opportunities You’d Never Considered
As someone who works inside of a business, it can be difficult to get out and see the forest for the trees. You become so used to how things go at your company that it can be impossible to think creatively about how to improve the customer experience.
As a company founder, you’re in a bubble. You have ideas about what customers think, but without talking to them, you’re basically just guessing. But by surveying customers, you can figure out what their biggest hurdles are. For example, if you have an email marketing product, you might be so invested in features that you don’t realize you have an onboarding problem.
Your customers operate in a realm outside the company, and they can help you find opportunities you’d never considered before. Sometimes, when you get customer feedback, the ideas might seem crazy. Before putting this feedback in the “no” pile, consider whether or not the customer has a point. Are they on to something you haven’t considered?
Don’t Forget to Respond to Customers
Closing the loop with customers is also a growth opportunity. The folks who take the time to give feedback— positive or negative– are the ones that care. Circling back with all customers is critical, plus it can boost retention and lead to good word of mouth.
While every customer that responds to you needs a response, this process can be automated with helpful integrations, such as the one between Wootric and Intercom.
We all know we should be collecting customer feedback, but this feedback is meaningless if we don’t find ways to act upon it. Customer feedback can be used in so many ways– we can figure out which products and features to add, how to improve the overall experience, and empower our teams.