Employees need customer feedback and input in order to successfully drive a company forward. It can be difficult to determine how to go about collecting customer feedback because it can be very negative or too positive. There needs to be a strategic approach that gives teams the flexibility that they need to get the progress that they want. One of the most common ways to get feedback is to dive into the customer forums or comments that have been left and see what the primary complaints are. This is an effective way to take care of issues that are on the minds of customers at that exact moment, but it’s also only getting the feedback from a very specific group of people.
#1. Complaints are Only the Beginning
The reason why looking at complaints is only a fraction of the total picture is because there are only a select group of people that are going to go through the trouble of looking up a business to state how they feel. It’s not a productive use of time if someone is happy with the product to visit the site and state this, unless they are very pleased and want to express it. Customers that fall in the middle of the spectrum, either positively or negatively are the ones that are affected most by the changes. They are not voicing their opinion, and that means that a few vocal people can end up drastically altering a good thing. What’s important is to see just how much of the majority feels about a certain product or service before jumping in and changing everything.
#2. Reaching Out for Feedback
Since the users aren’t going to rush out to contact the business, it’s up to the business to get down and reach out to the customers. This can be done in a variety of ways and with very little to no effort on the side of the companies. Gartner reports that, “as much as organizations tout the importance of people and process over technology, it is not possible to deliver an engaging customer service experience without technology.” One example would be to send out a simple, automated e-mail, asking users how they feel about the product. Ask them to either provide issues that they have encountered or rate the product on a numbered scale. While the number of respondents might not be high, it will help paint a clearer picture of what to fix and what is working well. The same approach can be used for anyone that has subscribed to a newsletter. Simply send out the questionnaire and see what the replies are.
#3. Use All Media Channels
Those that are looking for a more personal touch can call customers, as long as they have given permission to do so. It’s important to respect the customers’ demands and never make them annoyed by trying to obtain data. This can end up backfiring and lowering customer service quality, but those that are open to the idea will appreciate the fact that a company has reached out to them and wanted to know about their thoughts.
You can also seek out customer feedback via social media. Gartner predicts that: Support of the customer will be greatly expanding to multiple devices, modes and channels, including customer forums, social media channels (such as Twitter and Facebook) and in-line during a self-service interaction via a smartphone or tablet.
#4. Online Guidance
Lastly, there is an unobtrusive way to let customers know where to leave feedback. WalkMe is used as a digital guidance system, and that can work to a company’s advantage. Simply provide a suggestion to leave feedback, and walk the customer through the pages so that they arrive at the right location to leave their thoughts. This can cast a very large net and help customers who typically don’t leave feedback do what they want and improve the product in the process. This approach is the most effective because people are already on the site; they just have to go to the right section.
Product managers and development teams can get a lot of insight from customer feedback, making it an essential part of any business strategy. Take the right steps to make sure customers have a voice and that it’s not ignored.