Customer Success

What is Customer Feedback and How to Gather it

Customer feedback is a powerful tool for building and maintaining strong customer relationships. So, how do you collect and use feedback?

Introduction

You know customer feedback is a powerful tool for building and maintaining strong customer relationships. You also know it’s one of the key drivers of business success. What you don’t know is how to collect and use this feedback.

B2B companies rarely interact with the end customer. Salespeople and customer support reps are the only people that deal with customer feedback on a regular basis, but they don’t happen to forward their conversations to people outside their teams too often. And even if they do, the feedback hardly ever drives any action.

This article will help you figure out how you can collect customer feedback, analyze it, and use the results to increase customer satisfaction.

What is customer feedback?

We assume you already know what customer feedback is, but in case you need a proper definition…

Customer feedback is the information shared by people using your product or service expressing their experience with your brand.

Whenever a user or a client shares their opinion regarding a product or service, it’s customer feedback. You can find it on customer review sites, social media platforms, forums, blogs, and any other source of information.

Why collecting customer feedback is vital for B2B

It’s no doubt collecting customer feedback is critical for your business. Nonetheless, the process does require investing extra time and resources – and that’s why a lot of companies don’t bother to build a solid customer feedback strategy.

If you aren’t convinced that it’s worth the effort yet, here are some customer feedback statistics you’ll want to know:

Delivering exceptional customer service is impossible without proactively collecting and acting on customer feedback. Waiting for customers to share their reviews voluntarily doesn’t help much. Instead, you need to create a dedicated customer feedback strategy. 

How to collect customer feedback: 8 Ways

Customers don’t share feedback because the process is usually time-consuming and too complicated. The best thing you can do is to remove roadblocks and turn the boring process into a seamless experience. Here are 8 actionable methods to collect customer feedback effortlessly.

Live chat

This is the easiest way to capture feedback from users that return to your website after making a purchase. SaaS companies will find this approach particularly effective.

If you have already implemented an on-site chat widget, check for chatflows allowing you to request feedback from existing customers. As an option, you can host a dedicated widget within the interface of your app or cloud-based product.

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Customer satisfaction emails

Do you run email campaigns? Then you shouldn’t miss out on including customer satisfaction surveys in your emails.

It can be a dedicated email campaign or just an attachment to a transactional email. Most importantly, your request should be short, quick, and straight to the point. You may either embed a one-question survey in the email body or link to a multi-step quiz. Ideally, you’d go after both options by running an A/B test campaign.

Pop-up banners

Using popups is another way to draw customers’ attention to the survey. 

The best thing about popup surveys is that you can customize them based on the page a user is viewing. For instance, you can set up a popup that’s displayed when a user navigates to a specific feature inside your app interface.

There are plenty of tools where you can create feedback banners of all kinds and shapes. If you’re tech-savvy, you can build one by yourself.

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Review websites

Public review websites are perfect for collecting customer feedback and building brand authority in the industry.

Sites like G2, Trustpilot, and Capterra host millions of reviews for business software and also serve as the most reliable sources of truth for both customers and vendors.

While it’s relatively easy to make your site visitors rate your services through an embedded form, generating feedback through dedicated review platforms isn’t the easiest task. These websites typically provide exhaustive forms for people willing to submit their reviews, which is both good and bad for businesses. 

On the bright side, you gain deep insights into your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. On the downside, it’s usually difficult to make customers go through such a tedious process. 

Churn surveys

The best way to improve your product or service and reduce churn rates is to ask churned users why they have chosen to terminate this relationship.

By displaying a message with only one question next to the Unsubscribe (or whatever you call it) button, you’ll collect invaluable information on the reasons your customers churn. The question might be as simple as: “Why have you decided to cancel your subscription?” Or you might want to be more proactive: “What could we do to make you stay longer with us?”

When you have a bunch of answers, you can identify the most common issues and start addressing them one by one. 

Social media polls

Use LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media platform (TikTok is getting more and more popular among B2B marketers, are you already there?) to capture customer feedback casually.

There are many ways to collect customer feedback through social media:

  • Run polls on your company account;
  • Send direct messages to your customers;
  • Create threads for sharing opinions on your product; 
  • Practice social listening with the help of monitoring tools;
  • Announce valuable prizes for sharing feedback.

Even if you don’t have a large following on any social media channel, you can still receive tons of insights through your customers’ favorite platform(s). 

Reddit threads

Collecting customer feedback isn’t limited to surveying customers through dedicated polls or review websites. You’ll find tons of honest reviews if you only log into Reddit or any other online forum where your customers are active.

First, try searching for your brand name. You’ll likely find quite a few complaints and questions related to your product or service.

If there’s nothing useful, you can find a relevant subreddit and create a post asking about community members’ experience with the tool. 

Interviews

Among all the methods, this one is the most effective. Arrange customer interviews from time to time to talk about their experience with your company.

Obviously, it’s also the most time-consuming process for both sides. It’s best to have a bunch of loyal customers – so-called ‘focus groups’ – that are willing to help you to develop your product or service and don’t mind jumping on a 15-minute call once in 6 months. 

Customer feedback management best practices

Regardless of how you choose to distribute your customer survey, there are 5 best practices you should always follow.

Use multi-step interactive surveys

You can’t always rely on one-question surveys. They drive high conversion rates but don’t provide too many insights. For detailed customer feedback, you’ll need more comprehensive surveys. 

And this is where the first issue arises – people hate long questionnaires.

To increase conversion rates of your customer satisfaction surveys, implement multi-step forms. Just break a long-form survey into several steps, and you’ll see a 3x increase in customer survey conversion rate. 

When seeing a list of 20 open-ended questions, you won’t even start to fill in the form. But when the form is split into 10 steps, and you have already made it through 5 of them, you’re more likely to complete it. Agree?

Also, it’s good to limit the number of open-ended questions. While these questions do help to create a clear picture of what your customers think of your brand, they might scare respondents away. Try to include ‘yes or no’ questions, scored quizzes, multiple-choice questions, etc., and then close the survey with up to 5 open-ended questions. 

In the right place at the right time

You can’t just bombard your customers with all types of customer surveys through various channels. If you decide to build a customer feedback strategy, decide on where, how, and when you want your survey to reach specific people.

Even before you create a strategy for collecting customer feedback, outline a plan for what you’re going to do with this feedback. Do you want to measure customer satisfaction? Are you planning to make adjustments to a specific feature of your product? Do you want to develop an additional feature? Think carefully about what motivates you to collect customer feedback today.

The answer will help you to come up with the right questions and pick the right channel for distributing your first survey.

Offer incentives to encourage feedback sharing

Oftentimes, you’ll need to go the extra mile to encourage customers to leave reviews. 

Comprehensive surveys, calls, and even quick questionnaires take your customers’ time. Before they spend 2 or 20 minutes sharing their opinion on your services, they want to know how it’s beneficial for them. 

When the ‘your answer will help us improve our features for you’ reasoning doesn’t work, you might want to offer discount coupons, personal assistance, access to exclusive features, or heavy artillery, Amazon vouchers. 

Always respond to feedback

Oddly enough, 79 percent of customers don’t hear back after complaining about products or services.

Would you leave your review if you think nobody will read it? So why would your customers bother?

Good or bad feedback – it should be addressed. Even if you read all the reviews and spot every mention on social media, nobody knows about it unless you show up. By reacting to brand mentions, you’ll show you listen to your customers and encourage other people to share their feedback on the web.

Act on customer feedback

We’ve already stressed the importance of responding to customer feedback, but it’s only a way to acknowledge that you’ve received a message. The ultimate goal of collecting feedback is to improve your customer experience. 

It’s likely that most of the complaints can be solved by simply providing a clear guide to using your product the right way. Scribe enables you to assist your customers whenever they need your help. With the tool, you can create how-to guides to solving issues, troubleshooting, or just making the most out of your product. Just start the recording, follow the steps you want your customer to take, and share the detailed guide in one click.