How To Gather Customer Feedback (And Tips To Improve It)

Updated February 3, 2023

An employee sitting in front of a computer speaks on the phone using a headset.

Businesses often invest substantially in making their customers happy and keeping them loyal. An effective strategy to satisfy your customers is getting their feedback regarding their experience with a product or service. Customer feedback can reveal your customers' level of satisfaction and help you improve the customer journey.

In this article, we discuss customer feedback and its benefits, explore ways to gather it and offer tips on getting customer feedback.

What is customer feedback?

Customer feedback refers to the information, ideas and insights gathered from consumers about their experience with a particular product, service or company. Gathering customer feedback can help a company identify the success areas and pain points throughout its touchpoints with the customer. If used correctly, customer feedback may help a company improve on lagging areas and, along with it, also improve the customer experience.

What are the benefits of gathering customer feedback?

Here are some benefits of gathering customer feedback for a business:

Retain customers

A business that collects and acts on customer feedback is more likely to keep its customers. Collecting data can help your company eliminate customer pain points, turning unhappy customers into happy ones and increasing the chances they continue to frequent your business. Gathering customer feedback may strengthen customer attachment to a product or a brand, making it harder for competitors to lure them away.

Attract more customers

Many customers consider recommendations and referrals from their friends before making a purchase. You may attract more customers through direct referrals by meeting existing customers' expectations through continuous improvement. Therefore, it is advisable to respond to positive and negative reviews to sustain a good reputation with current customers, so they are more likely to refer their contacts to your business.

Generate more revenue

Studies have shown that customers highly engaged by a business make purchases more often by up to 90% and spend more money per transaction, up to 60%, than customers who are not engaged. You may encourage your customers to spend more by asking for and collecting customer feedback.

Gauge customer enthusiasm

Performing a market survey before introducing a new product might reveal customer enthusiasm for it or tell you to wait to introduce the product to build more enthusiasm. Collecting customer feedback after a product launch can also allow your company to gauge whether excitement is growing, waning or static, and you can adjust accordingly.

Show customers you value them

Customers have the luxury of choosing where to take their money, and by asking your customers for feedback about your product or service, you involve them in improving your business. In return, they are ikely to feel more valued. Asking for customers' opinions also shows your employees you value the customer, which can help foster a customer-centric culture in your business.

Read more: Everything You Need To Know About Customer Satisfaction

8 ways to get customer feedback

There are different ways a business can capture customer feedback and they can determine their choice of one method over another using several factors such as:

  • The type of business

  • The nature of the customer segment or niche

  • The nature and amount of information required

  • The budget and cost of the activity

  • The turnaround time of the activity

Some of the most common ways businesses get customer feedback include:

1. Customer feedback surveys

A survey entails asking your customers to provide feedback by filling in an electronic survey form (long-form) or providing feedback on-site or in-app (quick survey). To achieve a high response rate, you can use the following tactics:

  • Ask questions that meet your needs

  • Make sure your questions are simple

  • Keep the number of questions to less than 10

  • Use open-ended questions to elicit more information

Related: 30 Examples of Open-Ended Questions To Ask in a Customer Survey

2. Feedback boxes

Customers always have ideas on how you can improve your products, services or processes. While capturing big ideas through techniques such as surveys is easy, more minor ideas or issues are likely going unreported. These annoyances may lead to customer flight if not dealt with promptly. You can place feedback boxes on your company's website to get user feedback about minor issues, such as when a site isn't loading correctly.

3. Customer interviews

Interviewing a customer is a simpler way of instantly getting their opinion about almost anything. Interviews involve company staff asking pre-ordered or random questions to a customer either face to face or via a phone call. The primary advantage of a customer interview is that it opens up a conversation that might provide more actionable information. Here is how to get more out of a customer interview:

  • Ask how much time the customer has to take the interview

  • Be an active listener by mirroring customer responses and being more open

  • Start with general inquiries and be more specific as you build rapport

  • Use open-ended questions and probe for clarity

Interviews can be time-consuming, but if done correctly, they provide a rich trove of information. They are also important as they may help you understand a customer's personal experience through their voice, tone and nonverbal communication.

4. Suggestion boards

Suggestion boards collect feedback from users who can also see the feedback from others. Suggestion boards allow customers to collaborate by creating feedback posts that everyone on the board can comment. Companies can then analyze the suggestions and identify which areas need attention by the number of comments or votes on the boards.

5. Transactional emails

Transactional emails are the emails a customer receives after signing up for or upgrading a service. Transactional emails are an important platform for getting customer feedback, as research has shown these emails have a higher open rate than other emails. You could integrate a few questions to get the customer feedback when they are in their most receptive mood after purchase or when a customer is exiting a plan.

6. Social media listening

Social media posts, comments and discussions contain candid information about your product or brand. You can scour social media platforms for direct mentions of your company or products. Alternatively, you can create a poll on a social media site and ask for immediate feedback from the public. You'll likely capture immense feedback, which you can then use to align your products or services with what customers want.

7. Quarterly business reviews

The quarterly business review is a meeting that takes place every quarter to discuss how your products and services are helping your customers. These meetings allow you to analyze your return on investment for your product or service because of benchmarking data availability.

8. Live chat

Live chats involve your sales or customer representatives engaging with the customer in real-time to solve their issues promptly. You can integrate a live chat feature all over your company website or on specific pages.

Read more: How To Get Feedback From Customers

How to improve your customer feedback strategy

Here is how your business can improve its customer feedback strategy:

  1. Identify areas of improvement: The purpose of collecting customer feedback is to identify what to improve and then improve it to increase customer satisfaction.

  2. Add customer feedback to the product roadmap: Incorporating customer feedback into your product roadmap may ensure your products are congruent with customer demand.

  3. Establish your niche: Identifying areas and patterns that make your customers happy may help you strengthen your relationship with them, especially if they feel their feedback has an impact.

Tips for getting customer feedback

You can gather customer feedback by applying these tips:

  • Be proactive rather than reactive.

  • Use customer satisfaction metrics.

  • Identify techniques to collect feedback.

  • Ask for customer feedback at the right time.

  • Define your feedback strategy.

  • Note customer priority issues.

  • Leverage technology to gather actionable feedback.

  • Share feedback with your team.

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