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5 Types of Customer Feedback and How to Collect Them

By 21/01/2019 July 9th, 2019 No Comments

No matter how you feel about customer feedback, there’s no denying the value it can bring to your business. In a world where competition is high, knowing your customers’ thoughts on your service can aid all aspects of your company, from product development to marketing strategies.

However, simply knowing what your customers are saying isn’t enough to grow your business. In an age where there is an abundance of data, using a data-driven analysis of customer feedback provides information you can use to understand how to meet customer expectations and make product improvements.

There are a number of metrics which can be evaluated. This data can be used to improve customer satisfaction, brand reputation, product selection, leads, and overall revenue.

Let’s delve into the major types of customer feedback that you can analyze and how data can be collected:

  • Product and Brand Health Feedback
  • Customer Satisfaction Feedback
  • Brand Loyalty Feedback
  • Sales Feedback
  • Customer Preference Feedback

Product and Brand Health Feedback

This type of customer feedback covers the various ways people talk about a brand and its product offerings. This feedback provides a view of how both the brand and products are perceived by their customers and can help monitor long-term changes both in brand reputation and sales performance.

Product and brand analysis can help with the comparison of different versions of products or similar types of products you offer.

There are varying ways you can gain customer feedback on your product and brand. Here are fa ew places to look:

Focus Groups

Focus groups are an effective method for gaining customer feedback without being too time-consuming. Focus groups involve a small representative sample of customers (usually around 8) with the assistance of a moderator. These groups work as a discussion based around a product or subject matter.

For focus group question ideas, check out Wonderflow’s article, “50+ Focus Group Questions to Ask for Valuable Customer Feedback”

Focus groups are not the same as usability tests but are helpful in generating opinions on a specific brand and their offerings. Focus group data tends to be qualitative and can be biased due to the small number of people involved. However, using clear research objectives, classifying answers into categories, and analyzing themes arising from the data collected can assist with product development and brand awareness.

Customer Interviews

Customer interviews dive deeper into the opinions of your consumers. Interviews are a way to discover what drives your customers’ purchasing decisions, their thoughts on user experience, and brand awareness.

Customer interviews can be time-consuming. However, they offer qualitative data for your business, helping you to enhance your products or services, as well as other areas of your business.

Usability Tests

Usability tests enable the testing of a product using real users. Users test a product, performing tasks which are observed by a researcher. The findings are then used to make suggestions on product development.

For example, if the majority of users experience a specific issue in testing, this can be fed back to the development team to overcome.

There are varying types of usability testing:

  • Explorative usability testing – This type of testing can determine what functions a new product should include to meet user requirements. Users test varying products or services to help determine if there is a gap in the market.
  • Comparative usability testing – Users compare similar products or services from competitors to help determine which provides the best user experience.
  • Usability evaluation – Users test a product to determine if a positive experience is provided. This helps to establish if any issues need resolving before the product is launched.

Usability tests help to reduce the risk of a product failing by acknowledging any design flaws before launch.

Web design agency, Digital Loom, incorporated usability testing as part of their customer feedback to improve site usability and resolve any technical glitches. Take a look at this before and after of a site menu for their client, New England Foundation for the Arts:

usability example

It’s important to consider that usability tests may not be representative of real-life scenarios. For instance, a user with young children may utilize a product differently when at home than in a test environment.

Follow Up Surveys or Phone Calls

Calling your customer for product or brand feedback can help to build relationships and trust. While this method can provide valuable feedback on a product, some customers find it intrusive. An alternative is to send a follow up survey, either via post or email.

Questionnaires can provide both qualitative and quantitative data, aiding all aspects of business. You can measure where customer satisfaction resides, and which areas require improvement.

This example from Airbnb asks customers to share their opinions on Airbnb’s service:

airbnb followup

Customer Reviews

Approaching customers for a product review provides relevant feedback. Many brands allow customers to share their thoughts on a recent purchase.

Ulta Beauty uses customer reviews on their website to help potential customers make an informed decision during purchase:

ulta reviews

70% of customers consult product reviews before making a purchase, so they can absolutely assist in boosting revenue.

Reviewer focus sentiment analysis provides a better understanding of the aspects that drive the sentiment of customers. Sentiment analysis metrics can be collated by review and opinion holder, usually involving a knowledge base that maintains several generic profiles under which customers are grouped.

Tip: Analyzing data from reviews can be difficult because this information is free text (customers can say whatever they want versus filling out a bubble on a survey or form). However, reviews are one of the best ways to evaluate performance because they allow customers to focus on what matters to them.

When analyzed properly, reviews can tell you what customers actually care about, rather than what you think they care about. Using the right text analysis platform can help you quickly analyze reviews and extract actionable insight from the data.

Customer Complaints

Unhappy customers aren’t exactly thrilling but hearing their feedback can aid you in improving your brand and products. Customer complaints may take the form of emails, letters, reviews, comments on social media, and more. Complaint tracking tools can monitor negative customer feedback and provide data to improve your brand.

Customer Satisfaction Feedback

This type of customer feedback involves collecting both functional and emotional metrics and is often undertaken post product launch.

Customer satisfaction analysis is critical for brands to understand areas of improvement in the customer experience journey. A complete customer satisfaction analysis will often combine online and offline sources of feedback. From the results obtained, brands can update or remove products from their market.

Here are some ways you can collect this type of feedback:

Incentives

One of the most effective ways to collate information on customer satisfaction is to offer an incentive. McDonald’s offers free food in exchange for customer feedback:

receipt incentive

Comment Boxes

Comment boxes are another method for analysing customer satisfaction. Physical comment boxes, like the one below, work well in-store and can allow customers to remain completely anonymous, encouraging them to leave honest opinions.

suggestion box

Dedicated Twitter Accounts

Having a dedicated support account on Twitter is a great way of keeping track of customer satisfaction, including handling product queries and both negative and positive brand feedback.

For example, PayPal has a multi-lingual support account for handling customer feedback:

paypal support

PayPal also conducts Twitter chats which help customers to provide feedback on a specific subject or ask questions about their product:

paypal support twitter

Facebook Polls

Facebook polls can seem fun, but many brands are now using them to gain insight on customer satisfaction. Data from Facebook polls can be measured by specific applications and the results can be used to improve product development, marketing, customer service, and other business areas.

Groupon use Facebook opinion polls to understand how their merchants use social media:

facebook polls

Webchat

Live chat applications are used by many brands to drive customer feedback. Live chat isn’t just a tool for enhancing the customer experience; it can provide critical feedback with regards to products, services, and brand awareness.

For example, IBM uses live chat to assist the customer journey and receive valuable opinions:

webchat example

While live chat allows customer queries to be resolved in real time and increases brand loyalty (63% of customers would return to a website which offers live chat), it’s helpful in recording responses to analyze the qualitative data for future business improvements.

Website Forms

Customer satisfaction feedback can be recorded online via a website feedback form, similar to the one below:

website forms

While this type of form may not be used by customers in the same way as other methods, it enables them to leave feedback at a convenient time for them and demonstrates that your brand takes their opinions into consideration.

Website Popup Windows

Website popups are often used when a customer is leaving your website and may appear like the one below:

website popupexample

A popup can record information left by customers and be used to implement changes, including website content, page speed, and other aspects associated with an online experience. However, many users may find this type of popup irritating, resulting in the closing of the webpage rather than providing feedback.

Data from customer satisfaction feedback can be analyzed via aspect-based review aggregation. This is when machine learning is used to generate recommendations based on the user experience shared in the feedback. This analysis is useful to compare the product perception across different sales channels.

Additionally, it helps improve the understanding of customer demographics and the expectations across these channels. Doing this analysis allows brands to adopt and implement new improvements suggested directly by customers.

An analysis program, such as Wonderflow, provides in-depth data on customer feedback by revealing the sentiment towards specific aspects of your product or service. Here is an example of data produced by Wonderflow on a television product:

compare pros cons

This data shows a comparison of the pros & cons (as described from customers) of two competing TVs.

This data helps businesses to understand what drives their customer satisfaction, assisting in the implementation of changes to improve service.

Online Communities

Online communities are a great way to analyze customer comments. An online community allows your customers to be heard without them interacting with you directly.

While communities can transform customers into advocates (85% of online communities have a strategy to encourage customers to become advocates for their brand), it can also drive customers to share their negative experiences.

In addition to implementing your own space for an online community, it’s also wise to track feedback on external communities, such as internet forums. Websites like Reddit have forums where customers can share their experiences, such as the Tales From The Customer forum:

online communities

Brand Loyalty Feedback

90% of customers report being brand loyal, providing increased revenue for businesses. Analyzing brand loyalty helps you to understand effective areas of your business, as well as areas for improvement.

Brand loyalty can cover specifics such as return purchases, use of loyalty schemes or reward cards, word-of-mouth from customers, customer service, and overall shopping experience. Analyzing brand loyalty can also aid your understanding of how customers perceive your product or service.

Here’s how to collect this type of feedback:

Surveys

The questions you ask on a customer survey can reveal insight into overall brand loyalty. For instance, asking customers how your service compares to competitors is a good way to find out how loyal they are. You can also ask questions on customers online experience, like the question below:

survey example

These types of questions can aid overall improvements of user experience and the sales process.

There are differing options for measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty via surveys. One method is to use Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) which measures satisfaction with a purchase, brand, or interaction. Questions are usually answered with a number scale as in the example below:

survey example 2

CSAT is a simple method of acquiring customer feedback in relation to brand loyalty and this type of questionnaire can be used post-sale, after a customer service interaction or before service renewal.

Another method for tracking customer loyalty is by Net Promoter Score (NPS) which analyzes how likely a customer is to recommend you to another. Net Promoter Score measures a customer’s sentiment rather than opinions on a specific product or customer service.

A typical survey question might be, “How likely are you to recommend the brand to a friend?”.

Answers can range on a number scale of 0-10, with promoters (loyal customers) answering in the 9-10 range. Those who answer in the 7-8 range are considered passives, otherwise known as indifferent to your brand but may change to promoters or buying from your competition in future. Respondents answering in the 0-6 range are considered detractors – unhappy customers who may damage your brand by sharing their negative experience with others.

NPS surveys help to improve your brand by allowing you to focus on customers with low scores to determine which areas of business require improvement. On the other hand, it can also help with referral marketing as you can identify happy customers who may be willing to share their positive experience in a case study or testimonial. Over 80% of happy customers are happy to provide recommendations which can aid the acquisition of new customers and increased revenue.

On-site Activity

Using website analytics can provide helpful feedback without your customers physically telling you a thing. Determining how users are interacting with your website can aid webpage improvements, enhancing a customer’s overall experience with your brand.

Key metrics to analyze include page bounce rate, time spent on a specific page, and drop off points. For example, if you’re using content marketing to obtain leads and your blog page has a high bounce rate, you probably need to make alterations to your content to ensure readers are staying on your page for longer.

On-site activity can also assist with geographical analysis. Knowing where website traffic is coming from can help with targeted advertising. However, it’s important to look at sales demographics in this instance as well.

Sales Feedback

Customer feedback on sales helps to determine if your sales strategies are working and gain insights to aid sales associates with their techniques.

Here are a few methods to collect this type of feedback:

Experience Follow-Ups

Following up on your customers’ sales experience with an email or text message keeps your feedback fresh and relevant. Text messages have a 90% open rate in comparison to 20% for email – not surprising as people are normally close to their phones on a daily basis.

An example like below is a great alternative to email and particularly helpful should you only have a customer’s phone number:

text message support example

Post-Purchase Notifications

Email transactions which confirm purchases are ideal for gaining customer feedback on your sales process. This purchase confirmation email from Warby Parker provides a content incentive for customers providing feedback:

post-purchase notification

Customer Preference Feedback

Discovering customer preferences from your feedback can help with your overall website design, marketing strategies, sales techniques, and other aspects of your business.

Lastly, here are a few ways to collect customer preference feedback:

Blog Post Comments

One way to gain customer preference feedback is from blog post comments. Comments from blog posts can reveal both positive and negative feedback from your customers.

When email service provider, ConvertKit, announced plans to change their name to Seva, many customers provided their concerns via blog posts and social media:

blog post comments

In this case, ConvertKit listened to their customers, opting to keep their original name, proving that customer feedback is important in businesses making important branding decisions.

Ask Customers to Select Their Interests

Asking customers to select their interests is a quick way to receive feedback. Giving customers the opportunity to self-select their interests, like this email from Nike, helps to create buyer personas, establish customer interests, and target users correctly:

Customer segmentation Nike asking for users preferences

Additionally, this type of feedback can aid email segmentation, ensuring customers receive relevant information.

The Importance of Customer Feedback

Acquiring a wide range of feedback on your products, customer service, and branding is essential in helping you to make the necessary changes to grow your customer base. After all, how likely are you to gain new customers if your current feedback is only negative?

Listening to customer feedback and using it to make improvements to your products or customer service, can be a surefire way to boost sales and revenue.

Remember, when implementing feedback collection methods, to consider the type of people who will be providing feedback, such as demographics, and the overall sample size. Using a variety of different methods is the most effective way to ensure you gain an accurate picture of your business from valued customers.

Once you have all of this data collected, it will just be a matter analyzing it all. However, this can be quite difficult to do when you’re a large company with lots of feedback to comb through. This is where a text analysis platform can help.

Wonderflow’s “Wonderboard” completes this process for you, making it easy to analyze customer feedback and discover the insights you need to make informed decisions.

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