How to Use Customer Feedback to Drive Business Success
Although most businesses exist for the purpose of serving customers and providing valuable services, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of that purpose. In the normal course of business, other metrics and numbers become important to business growth.
No matter how many other factors there are to consider, the thoughts and opinions of customers should remain a top priority for business leaders and decision makers. After all, 86% of buyers are willing to spend more money for quality customer service. It’s obvious that helping customers feel heard and valued can reap tangible rewards.
Can customer feedback truly fuel the success of an organization? Keep reading to find out why feedback is so essential and how you can make the most of it.
Why is customer feedback important?
Customer feedback reveals how buyers and prospects truly feel about a business or service. Not only does constructive feedback have the ability to alter how much a customer is willing to spend (or if they buy at all), but customer opinions have a direct impact on the mutual relationship between business and consumer.
Customer feedback is also important because it can:
- Provide real-time insight about service and experiences
- Help customers feel valued and recognized
- Encourage customers to share positive experiences with other people
7 ways to utilize customer feedback for maximum impact
Companies and organizations have a responsibility to collect, acknowledge, and process customer feedback across a variety of channels. Interpretation of customer feedback is key to long-term growth and improvement.
With that in mind, here are seven proven ways to use customer feedback to establish a healthy, profitable, and more relatable business model.
1. Use feedback to build credibility and brand trust
Your customers will know that you care about their experiences when you genuinely and actively listen to what they have to say. In doing so, you’ll establish a brand that’s built on a reputation of credibility and trust.
Consumer trust is built in larger one-time exchanges (such as an annual survey or quarterly questionnaire), and in small daily actions such as customer support responses. Each empathetic response lets customers know that they can trust and support the brand.
2. Leverage feedback and unite customers together
Customer feedback helps businesses understand common pain points, expectations, and needs. The more details you have about your core customers, the more that you’ll be able to bridge the gap between their individual needs and the collective audience you serve.
Do you have a group of power users who are ready to take action? If so, funnel their energy into a customer feedback group or panel. Not only will they be inspired by one another, but they’ll also offer priceless insights about how your product or service influences their lives.
3. Create a responsive business culture
Businesses exist because they fulfill a common need. Therefore, it’s critical for leaders and decision makers to come back and intentionally speak to the individuals they hope to serve.
Seeking customer feedback is just one way to instill a culture of transparent communication and responsiveness. By collecting feedback regularly, you can establish a safe zone for customers to share their experiences—the good, bad, and everything in between.
4. Help customers feel involved
When customers are loyal to a product or service, they’re more likely to appreciate insider information about the company’s future. This establishes brand loyalty and builds even greater excitement for new developments.
Use customer feedback as a way to involve customers in the next stages of your business journey. This could be as simple as releasing roadmap blog posts or encouraging customers to attend an exclusive webinar about the future of innovation. Always invite customers to reach out to the appropriate team members and to share additional ideas.
5. Provide opportunities for pre-market testing
Customers appreciate being a part of the collective business journey. Make plans to involve them in new product releases and beta testing opportunities.
For example, at FormAssembly, we often present these exclusive opportunities to our VIP group. FormAssembly VIPs are knowledgeable users who have displayed a willingness to share their thoughts, experiences, and time with various teams and departments.
These users are among the first to know about product tests and new product announcements, and their initial feedback helps shape future actions and priorities. Hearing their feedback helps us see our product through the eyes of those who use it.
6. Gauge the behaviors of your target audience
Good feedback allows you to keep a pulse check on how your customers think, behave, and make decisions. The more regularly you check in on this information, the more in tune you can be with your target audience.
This practice allows your business to maintain a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace. By understanding moods and behaviors, you can equip your sales team members, create practical solutions, and set realistic goals for future growth.
7. Learn to differentiate between the minority and majority
The more open you are to customer feedback, the more you’ll be able to differentiate between the loud minority and the quiet majority. For example, you may serve thousands of customers but have a handful who are very vocal when it comes to sharing negative opinions.
When you face this situation, it’s important to ask—are these negative responses indicative of a larger trend? Does a quiet majority mean that most customers are happy and satisfied with the service?
If a large segment of your customers feel strongly one way or another, this feedback can be instrumental in making shifts and adaptations in the services you provide.
How to collect feedback from customers
There are several effective ways to collect feedback from customers. Depending on your needs and how many customers you wish to contact, you can adapt your delivery method accordingly.
Here are a few of the most common methods for collecting and analyzing feedback.
- Feedback forms: A data collection and web form platform can help you easily design branded feedback forms, distribute them to customers, and analyze the results. Choose from a variety of question types and conditional formatting, and use spam prevention to filter out the noise and ensure that you only receive high-quality responses.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) Programs: The NPS is a popular market research tool that gauges satisfaction and willingness to recommend a product or service. Its broad use makes it a recognizable way to collect customer feedback.
- Social media engagement: If your business is active on social media, comments and messages are another channel for collecting feedback. Keep in mind that since anyone can comment on a social media platform, your results may be less targeted or refined than with other methods.
- Roundtable discussions: Whether in person or remotely, don’t shy away from sitting down with trusted customers who know and use your product regularly. These opportunities allow for valuable facetime and help customers feel like an integral part of the business journey.
- Customer support analysis: Ask your customer support team members about their most common interactions. Is there a common customer frustration that they solve all the time? Do they receive the same praise from customers about a particular product feature? This insight is monumental, because it illustrates how real customers are responding to a product each day.
What are the next steps?
After gathering feedback from customers, it’s always a good idea to let them know how you plan to use it. Even if you don’t have an exact timeline, communicate when and how you’ll use this information when moving forward.
Once you’ve disclosed your plans and expressed gratitude, distribute the data to any team or department that should take immediate action. For instance, if there’s a major product bug, don’t hesitate to let your team members know immediately in order to get the issue resolved, and always make sure your customers know that you’re responding directly to their requests.
Lastly, use customer feedback at a high level for strategic planning. Compile the data and pull out key trends in order to establish new goals and KPIs. Don’t forget to incorporate plans for gathering additional feedback in the future after changes are made or growth is achieved.
How we use customer feedback
Here at FormAssembly, we practice what we preach. Whether our customers are brand new to the platform or have been collecting data with us for years, we recognize the importance of their hands-on experience and value their insights.
That’s why we welcome all types of feedback from our customers. FormAssembly users are invited to use our Product Feature Request Form whenever they have recommendations or product design ideas. This feedback is critical to helping our team develop a platform that’s perfectly suited to our customers’ needs, expectations, and pursuits.
Collect feedback and grow
We all know that customer feedback is essential for the future growth of any organization or business. The good news is that FormAssembly makes it easier than ever to create, share, and analyze customer feedback forms to get the data you need.
To learn about other ways your team can collect data to fuel customer success, check out this blog post. If you’re looking for an easy way to implement effective feedback forms for your business, start using FormAssembly for free today at the link below (no credit card required).