2121-09-09

Customer Feedback System: How to Build One That Grows Your Company

A tiny house becoming a huge building - metaphor for scaling a company

Ever found yourself getting loads of feedback, but didn’t have the customer feedback system in place to do something with it all? Not only is it a mess for you, but it can also let your customers down when you don’t do something about their feedback.

This is why when you’ve got a rock-solid customer feedback system in place, you’re ready to meet customer expectations.

❓Question: do you need help with your entire feedback strategy? we got you covered with our ultimate guide to customer feedback. Check it out now‼️

The research is in: Microsoft states that “Brands are viewed more favorably by 77% of consumers if they proactively invite and accept customer feedback.”

In this blog, we will look at why it is important to set up a customer feedback system in place and understand the top strategies relating to how you can set up a robust system. Let’s jump right in, starting with:

What is Customer Feedback and Why is it Important?

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” – Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot

Customer feedback refers to the information provided by your users on whether they’re happy with your product/service (or not). Additionally, this includes the customer’s opinion on their overall experience with the brand. 

Companies collect customer feedback in the hope of:

  • Improving the customer experience and the customer retention rates
  • Reinforcing positive feelings about the brand’s product/offering
  • Adjusting the brand’s strategies to better align with the customer’s expectations
  • Enhancing the product/service by re-inventing the features based on the user’s feedback
  • Measuring the customer satisfaction
  • Demonstrating that the brand actually cares about what the customer thinks (and feels)
  • Gathering content on driving useful marketing material, which includes in-depth blog posts, webinars, etc.
Statistics dashboard for customer feedback analysis

The customer feedback system learning

Collecting customer feedback in real-time can provide brands access to a treasure trove of invaluable information. They can find out what’s working for the brand (and what’s not), and hence pivot their strategies accordingly.

Therefore, the real question becomes: “Is there a time-tested system you can use to set up a customer feedback system to gather customer feedback?”

We have five words for you:

“The A.C.A.F. Customer Feedback Loop”
A.C.A.F. - a way to create a customer feedback system

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If you wish to gather customer feedback strategically and systematically, the A.C.A.F customer feedback framework is ideal for you. Here’s a quick run-through of the steps:

Step 1: Ask for customer feedback.

Note that the question you ask in the first stage should align with your business goals. Plus, you’ll need to gather information on the overall trends as well as the product/service issues.

Step 2: Categorize the feedback.

In the second stage, your end goal should be to categorize the customer’s feedback into different buckets, depending on the business goals that were followed in the first step. Some common categories include product feedback, customer service feedback, marketing and sales feedback, etc.

Step 3: Act on the feedback.

This step involves a fair bit of collaboration with your marketing, customer support, and product teams. The idea is to share the feedback received in real-time by using collaborative tools such as Slack, emails, etc. so that the teams can understand their roles in understanding how to improve the overall customer experience. 

Step 4: Follow-up with customers who gave the feedback.

The final steps involve following up with customers on:

  • How you’re going to make use of the feedback that was shared by the customer
  • Thanking users for taking the time to provide feedback and share a sense of gratefulness
  • Providing insights into the survey as Asana does:
Asana remote work team insights

The customer feedback system learning

The A.C.A.F framework, if followed to the t, works wonderfully well for the customers as well as the business. Customers feel heard, valued, and appreciated by the brand. On the other hand, the brand benefits from insights and improvements that can improve the product/service and boost the brand’s ‘stickiness.’

Next up, let’s deep-dive to the right strategies you can embrace to create an impactful feedback system.

How to Create an Effective Customer Feedback System?

1. Collect feedback consistently and periodically.

The first step towards creating an effortless feedback loop is to gather customer feedback periodically and systematically from multiple sources.

NPS question format for measuring customer feedback

Here are a few action points to consider when collecting customer feedback:

  • Focus on collecting feedback across the various stages of the customer journey–a tactic that helps customer-facing teams to respond to customers with greater context and personalization. Here’s an example of what a customer journey map looks like:
customer journey mapping example

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  • Think about driving various customer feedback related to specific topics–such as general feedback, product-related feedback, service feedback, among others.
  • Consider the most preferred channels and platforms for driving surveys and polls.
  • Keep the survey short and sweet to ensure that the response rate is high.
  • Ensure that the feedback you’re asking for is as specific as possible to get clear and productive answers from the customers.
  • Let the customers know why you’re asking for their feedback and be as transparent as possible to establish goodwill among your users.

2. Conduct surveys.

Luckily, there are various types of surveys you can choose from. These include:

  • Customer effort score surveys
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Long-form product release surveys
  • Net promoter score surveys
  • Short in-app surveys

Once you have narrowed down on the ‘type’ of survey, it’s time to brainstorm about which channel/medium to use to reach out to a wider target audience:

Phone calls: You can ask customers to spare a few minutes and do an interview of how their recent experience panned out. You can even integrate IVR to automatically ask for feedback/quality score post interaction:

IVR workflow example

Phone call-related surveys are quick and require little to no effort from the customer, making it an economical and convenient choice. As a best practice, make sure to thank the customer for their time when the call is ending. 

In-app surveys: If you’re looking for a robust customer feedback software to drive in-app surveys, consider Usersnap:

CSAT feedback widget that pops up after specific events

The platform empowers brands to roll out short in-app surveys to drive their product decisions. Plus, you can use like/dislike micro-interactions to understand your users and boost customer engagement.

Here’s an excellent example of an in-app customer survey by Hem & Stitch:

in-app customer survey by Hem & Stitch

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Live chat: Next, you can also look at live chat as a viable tool to send customized surveys to the customer–particularly if the conversation ended on a negative note. Remember that sending surveys in real-time allows brands to capture what went wrong as the experience is fresh in the customer’s mind. This is where live chat tools can lend a helping hand (as shown below):

Live chat bot sequence workflow description

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Emails: One of the most common tools to drive personalized surveys is to use email marketing tools. After all, brands send numerous emails to customers at every step in the customer journey–from holiday emails to new product launches, emails double up as the perfect opportunity to ask for customer feedback. Here’s an excellent example of a customer survey that sets the right expectations and clearly communicates the intended outcome of the survey by the brand:

Survey link embedded in an email

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Moreover, it allows the reader to respond at their own convenience. Finally, brands can provide users with customized offers and deals in exchange for their time and effort, and thank the user for being a part of the survey as Signature Hardware’s email demonstrates.

3. Track the feedback.

It is not enough to roll out surveys, brands need to track the user feedback as well to make sense of it. 

This is where having a tool that allows you to visualize the customer feedback comes into play. As a thumb rule, look for a tool that provides access to a centralized dashboard so that teams can keep track of all the collected feedback and extract actionable insights, emerging trends, and patterns, and take it forward from there.

Usersnap’s feedback dashboard provides all the contextual data you need to resolve customer issues, visually track the issue, and assign tickets to the relevant users within the organization:

dashboard showing conversations with customers

Pro tip: To optimize the tool’s usage, make sure that everyone has access to the tool and can extract information in real-time. Your team needs to have a 360-degree view of the feedback at all times. Hence, investing in customer feedback software is a must.

4. Act upon it.

According to data by Microsoft, around 52% of customers around the globe believe that companies need to take action on feedback provided by their customers.

Seeing customer feedback in categorized labels

In other words, it’s important to have a goal in mind before you dive in and start analyzing the data. Here are some important factors to keep in mind when you’re analyzing the data and thinking about the business goals:

– Think about what your ‘ideal’ goal looks like? 

– Think about what you’re trying to learn from the customer’s feedback. For instance, do you wish to gain insights into your customer’s sentiment relating to a new product feature? Or are you looking for product-related inputs that can help you to create a product blueprint? 

In other words, you’ll need to start prioritizing your goals to gain from the data collected. For instance, for product improvement feedback, the focus should be to identify the most repetitive errors and fix them as a priority instead of focusing on ten different and small errors that eventually lead you to nowhere.

Ariel Gesto the founder of InvGate says — “Taking customer feedback is essential irrespective of at which stage your company is. Yet, only a handful of companies act upon it. If a customer has taken time to give feedback, it shows they have an interest in your product. Now it’s your responsibility to translate the voice of the customer into a product roadmap for the growth of your company”.

5. Automate the customer feedback system process.

“Consumers want brands to let them know how they plan to use their feedback, whether or not it was helpful, and what changes it inspired.” – Research by InMoment 

When it comes to driving a consistent feedback system, luckily you can automate key steps in the process. For example, you can leverage the power of email automation software to send auto (customized) responses to emails. These emails will help save your time as you don’t need to write the same response again and again and won’t need a caffeine kick to get all of them done in a timely manner. Plus, it can help improve customer experience, all at the same time.

However, err on the side of caution to ensure that your automated email doesn’t sound like a robot. The email needs to be personalized, courteous, and honest. Additionally, the content should have a ‘human touch’ or else, you risk annoying the on-looker away. No one wants to waste time talking to robots after all. 

The Takeaway

Much like customer service, customer feedback has emerged as a North Star metric for companies looking to grow sustainably. Brands that do not make the effort to gather–and act–on customer feedback will never truly know what they’re doing right and where they’re going wrong. 

Hence, integrate your customer feedback system into all areas of operation within your business, and rebrand your company as a customer-centric brand–one that’s always putting the user’s interests first and driving quality service for the customer based on inputs and insights by the customer.

Customer Feedback System: Top 5 

In this final section, we will quickly go over the top-5 customer feedback software you can use, depending on your business- and customer goals:

1. Usersnap:

Several website feedback questions to ask

This feedback tool is perfectly suited for SaaS businesses as it allows them to screen datasets and collects user feedback with unparalleled ease. More importantly, it allows users to collate feedback via a single window.

Its unique set of features include:

  • Offers tools to capture customer feedback with on-screen visuals, annotations, comments, and screenshots
  • Provides multi-language support and unlimited reporting proposition 
  • Collects visual feedback and tracks errors from customers
  • Automatically adds metadata like browser version, URL, screen size, etc.

2. Roadmunk:

roadmapping: part of the customer feedback system

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This is a perfect road-mapping tool that empowers brands to automate the customer journey while identifying areas of improvement for product development.

Its unique set of features include:

  • Ability to create customized, beautiful, and collaborative road maps in seconds
  • Allows you to import data from JIRA or Excel (.csv) and get going instantly
  • Provides access to 35+ job plan templates that you can get inspired from
  • Enables you to visualize strategy for your entire product portfolio 
  • Offers comprehensive sharing capabilities, master roadmaps, etc.
  • Helps you to seamlessly export roadmaps to URL, PNG, PowerPoint, or paper formats

3. Canny:

canny.io's request customer feedback system

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If you want to capture all the different kinds of conversations and narratives surrounding your business, Canny is for you. It allows you to gather feedback and generate automated reports that can help you to create a product roadmap.

Its unique set of features include:

  • Reviews can be automatically linked to your current user account.
  • Filter reviews based on specific user groups.
  • Choose a plethora of privacy tools to restrict access to boards.
  • Collaborate with your team and brainstorm on ideas.
  • Customize the feedback process by incorporating your logo, brand colors, and prompts.
  • Easily format entries for improved readability–complete with rich text and inline images.

4. UserVoice:

Questions add inputs to customer feedback system

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5. Upvoty:

Upvoty board to prioritize feedback

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If you want to collect instant feedback and improve your product, Upvoty is your calling.

Its unique set of features includes the ability to:

  • Collect feedback via a widget on the website or by hosting it on a custom domain
  • Gather feedback publicly or privately
  • Integrate with your application’s user through SSO

Conclusions for your customer feedback system

Taking customer feedback and building product features with it

Clearly, there are thousands of tools available that can help you to take your customer feedback management game to the next level. Make sure to do your homework and get your hands on a product that serves your customers as well as your business needs without added effort (or cost).

About the author:

Savan Kharod is a Digital Marketing Professional at Acquire. He loves to share his knowledge and experience in digital marketing, social media marketing, customer service, and growth marketing. In his free time, Savan likes to backpack and explore new places. You can reach out to him on LinkedIn or Twitter.