If you’re wondering why some customers are loyal to a brand more than others, here’s the short answer—customer success.
However, customer success can be challenging if you don’t know how to take customer feedback and implement it.
Let’s dive into customer feedback methods and how to close the loop to strengthen customer relationships.
What Is Customer Success?
Customer success is ensuring that customers achieve their desired outcomes while using a product or service. It involves developing and maintaining strong relationships with customers, understanding their needs and goals, and providing them with the resources, guidance, and support necessary to achieve success.
Irina Vatafu, Head of Customer Success at Custify, says:
“When I hear customer success, the first words that come to my mind are strong relationships, trust, and achieving milestones. The customer must trust the team who’s helping them achieve their goals, while the customer success team must understand the needs and the goals of the customer.”Author Name
5 Customer Feedback Methods
Customer feedback lets you know what your customers like and what frustrates them about your product or service. Here are five ways to collect customer feedback.
1. Customer Feedback Surveys
Feedback surveys are an extra layer of tracking customers’ sentiment. Combined with the NPS score, product usage data, this information helps customer success managers have an in-depth understanding of their customer’s overall progress.
Irina states, “Customer feedback surveys provide valuable insights into the customer’s experience. The survey responses can turn into essential metrics that will give you a better understanding of the power of your product and will also tell you how happy the customer is.”
Check out how Netflix surveys users to learn their preferences.
But don’t just rely solely on surveys because your customers get several survey requests every month. And they all share the same limitation: they don’t capture the broader context of your customer’s experience.
Markus Rentsch, CEO of Remark-able, in one of his newsletters, suggests engaging with customers in 1:1 conversations where you can ask all kinds of follow-up questions.
2. Customer Interviews
Customer interviews are the 1:1 conversations that reveal how customers use your brand.
Here’re some non-negotiables in customer interviews that you should follow:
- Be face-to-face or audio-based (phone or online).
- Prepare your questions before the interview.
- Ask open-ended questions .
- Listen more, talk less.
- Record the conversation (with permission), so you don’t waste time taking notes.
Tip: Use the 5 Whys technique in your 1:1 conversations. Asking “Why” repeatedly helps you discover the problem.
3. Customer Listening Sessions
Although consumers enjoy providing feedback, they may need a little push before they actually do it. So, you can organize customer listening sessions to encourage them to take the time to provide feedback.
Here’s how you can organize a customer listening session:
- Identify the session’s goals, such as improving growth or service offerings
- Choose a diverse group of customers to participate and plan for a group size of 6-12 participants
- Select a convenient location and schedule for the customers
- Send out invitations with enough notice and follow up with phone calls
- Prepare open-ended questions in advance to promote honest discussion
- After the session, summarize the results and follow up with a thank you note
Finally, let the participants know of any changes your company may make based on their feedback.
4. Customer Online Communities
Creating an online community on social networking sites is essential to engage with your users. Because it allows you to quickly respond to their input.
5. Customer Feedback Emails
Customer feedback emails are designed to get responses from customers regarding their buying experience (product quality, affordability, and shipping experience).”
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos attributes Amazon’s success to the company’s commitment to actively listening to customers and consistently striving to exceed their expectations. Check out an example of Amazon’s feedback email below.
Asking for feedback is the tip of the iceberg. You need to dig into each piece of feedback, evaluate it, and close the loop for better customer satisfaction.
Evaluating Feedback to Improve the Customer Experience
Customer feedback creates customer success by providing valuable insights, enabling businesses to tailor their products or services. This in turn, leads to higher customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.
Look at Jasiel Martin-Odoom’s tweet sharing insights on how to retain customers.
With the help of NPS (Net Promoter Score) framework classify each feedback into positive, negative, and neutral. NPS framework helps you to find out how probable it is that customers will recommend your brand to others, using a scale from 0 to 10.
And based on the feedback, you can identify four types of people:
Promoters are customers who have given positive feedback with a score of 9 or 10. They have a favorable opinion about your product and love to talk about your brand.
Businesses miss out on capturing valuable insights on how you can leverage them for future growth. So, here’s how you can close the feedback loop:
- Offer exclusive discounts and upgrades
- Provide early access to new products or services
- Build a loyalty program
- Provide dedicated customer service representatives or priority response times
- Provide free credits to clients who refer friends to your brand
Following up with promoters amplifies their excellent buying experience and encourages them to advocate for you.
Passives are customers who have given neutral feedback with a score of 7 or 8. They are satisfied with your brand but not enough to recommend it to anyone. And there’s a risk of churning.
Closing the feedback loop with passives provides data to improve their customer experience and turn them into promoters in future.
Here’s how you can close the feedback loop with passives:
- Offer discounts or upgrades on their next or long-term purchase
- Provide walk-through guides and send product updates to reignite their interest
- Ask more questions to learn how you can serve them better
Detractors are customers who have given negative feedback with a score of 0-6. Unhappy customers give you the most honest feedback.
For example, based on customer feedback, Intelligent Change discovered their notebooks weren’t sturdy. The team emailed all recent buyers explaining what happened, why it happened, and how they are resolving the issue. Here’s the screenshot of the email:
Such transparency builds brand trust. Buyers feel confident purchasing from Intelligent Change again knowing they’ll fix any issues.
Non-respondents are customers who don’t bother to respond to your feedback survey. But by providing incentives, you can increase their response rates.
Incentives can be monetary and non-monetary. A study indicated that monetary incentive motivates people more than non-monetary incentives.
You can also try different survey designs that may be more effective. For example, younger respondents may prefer web surveys, whereas senior respondents may prefer face-to-face interviews.
When Your Customers Succeed, You Succeed
When your customers love buying your products, they are more likely to continue doing business with you. Collecting customer feedback, listening to their problem, and building what they want is the right strategy to achieve business growth.
About the Author
Riya Chatterjee is a freelance writer for Marketing & B2B SaaS brands in marketing, HR, and eCommerce. When she’s not writing, she enjoys watching travel videos and reading blogs to plan her next trip. Connect with her on LinkedIn.