Blackberry reported a $4.4 billion loss and a 56% drop in revenue in its third quarter of 2013. The reason behind the tremendous downfall was Blackberry believed it knew better what customers wanted in smartphones than customers themselves. Blackberry suffered a huge financial loss, ignoring Voice of the Customer (VoC).

Surprisingly, 42% of companies do not survey their customers or collect feedback. A brand might witness its reputation falling, customers moving away, missing the latest market opportunities, and competitors moving ahead if it fails to listen to its customers and fulfill their desires.

Leveraging customer feedback is crucial. In this digitally-driven world, companies can ask for customer feedback directly or retrieve it from various online channels. But, just collecting customer feedback won't help. 

A renowned statistician and business consultant, W. Edwards Deming, once said, "The ultimate purpose of collecting the data is to provide a basis for action or a recommendation." 

Following a well-planned strategy and streamlined process to act on customer feedback can bring an organization closer to its business goals and customers.

1. Start With the Goal 

Random actions result in arbitrary outcomes, which can cause harm at organizational levels. Setting objectives to operate with and on customer feedback help a brand create highly accurate customer personas and generate actionable customer insights. The process of customer feedback collection needs to align with the goals set, as brand operations rely heavily on the quality of processed feedback. 

To get started, a brand should first define the hows and whys of customer feedback-related approaches to ease employees' endeavors. The clarity existing due to setting the goals allows staff members to perform duties in an optimal way, bringing the best results out of the customer feedback operations. A brand can then decide on technologies, processes, and strategies to follow while gathering customer data according to the needs and resources available.

2. Smart Ways To Collect Customer Feedback

A brand can utilize several direct and indirect approaches to collect customer feedback. Here are 5 practical ways to collect customer feedback - 

Smart Ways To Collect Customer Feedback

1) Surveys

With surveys, brands accumulate direct customer feedback by asking more precise questions. Online surveys are easy to deploy and send to a large number of customers at once. Different organizational departments can position their respective survey links to the touchpoints they operate, ensuring that customers feel comfortable participating in the feedback process.

A brand must plan to make responding to the survey easy for customers to speed up its feedback collection process for customer data analysis. The best and quickest way to get customer reaction is to use the Net Promoter Score (NPS). Other than that, you can begin with short survey forms with multiple choice Q&A to make it uncomplicated for consumers to respond. 

2) Social Media

Statista reveals that in 2022 a global population of 4.6 billion use social media actively. With the rise of social networking websites and applications, customers freely express their concerns and praises on these platforms. Customers' voice on social media unleashes several insights about ways customers perceive your brand and product.

A brand can run contests and closely observe social activities to increase the rate of customer engagement to generate more customer reviews. Also, post survey links on these platforms with prizes and incentives to encourage the audience to participate and share their point of view. 

3) Website Live Chat and Feedback Box

Integrating live chat features and feedback boxes is an affordable way to grasp thoughts and brand experiences of customers. Feedback from website visitors provides an in-depth understanding of customer expectations from your brand regarding customer services and brand offerings. 

For example, a brand can embed a feedback box that pops up after a customer finishes the product purchase. Ask the customer to leave a comment about the overall buying experience. Likewise, interpreting the transcripts of live chats pinpoint possible problem areas which a company can refine to serve a better customer experience.

4) Face-to-face Interviews

Direct outreach to customers is one of the most authentic ways to gather customer feedback. A brand might get a new angle regarding the growth of the company and product as a whole. The qualitative face-to-face interview with a customer brings operational value to a company, assisting them in taking quick action on the customer's demands.

To conduct a worthful conversation, be more specific with your questions. Having transparency of thoughts before conducting a customer interview will help you get attentive answers instead of haphazard and valueless ones. To run a successful interview, stay alert while listening to your customers and try to derive the best out of it.

5) Emails

Big companies like Netflix sends an email to their customers to gather customer feedback for improving their product and offerings. Why? Because emails come with a lot of potential to know the customers and their desires. From email opening rate to survey, these email components convey the customer conduct with a brand. 

To use emails to their fullest, send automated follow-up survey emails instantly after customers purchase the product or cancel the subscription to interpret their viewpoint. A brand can also tweak its strategies and actions established on customers' behavior to obtain more profit. 

3. Analyze the Collected Customer Feedback 

Processed customer data provide detailed insights that entitle a brand to understand its consumers' behavior and taste regarding the products and services. Enterprises use customer experience analytics to provide top-notch CX, bringing the desired ROI by increasing sales.

Giants like Amazon, Coca-Cola, Google, DBS Bank, and many more invest heavily in AI and ML technologies to analyze customer reviews. Many organizations opt for trusted third-party AI-driven platforms to analyze billions of customer reviews. The customer insights produced from the analysis let top executives make impactful brand decisions in real time.

To demonstrate, Clootrack, an intelligent CX analytics platform, differentiate between high-quality user comments and purposeless reviews to catch up with the emotional intensity of customer feedback and measure them on the relevancy scale to specify top category drivers that influence customer decisions. 

For a 2021 CX report, Clootrack analyzed 243,917 customer conversations to perform a CX analysis of D2C beauty and cosmetic brands in the USA. The report mentions the top 5 major factors that customers consider before purchasing a cosmetic product. The factors included:

1) Color of the Makeup Products

2) Ease of Use

3) Design and Looks

4) Effect Longevity of Makeup Products

5) Price of Makeup Products

A brand can leverage these insights to highlight and work on elements that attract more customers. Analyzed customer reviews provide the privilege of determining and addressing priority issues that concern and draw the customers' attention the most. 

4. Discuss With Customer Service Employees

Employees who communicate with customers on a regular basis qualify as a prime source of detecting customer issues and requirements. Their suggestion serves as a boosting supplement for customer-oriented operations.

Acting on the recommendation of customer service employees equals taking action on customer feedback. As they hold an explicit perception of customer wants, they carry sounder advice regarding which actions might show the positive result and which ones will prove to be totally counterproductive.

A brand that accepts proposals from frontline staff members on analyzed customer feedback enjoys authenticity in actions. To make the process more adequate, the brand can implement a Voice of the Employee (VoE) program for effective listening to employees' opinions. As a part of this program, managers must encourage employees to participate and provide relevant responses on actions to be taken on customer feedback. 

5. Take Action on the Customer Feedback

4 straightway undertakings on the customer feedback

"By consolidating the feedback and analyzing it for common themes and trends and pinpointing the deeper root cause, they’ll enable a more intentionally designed solution that serves the broader customer population’s needs, instead of the needs of only a few," says Serena Riley VP, Experience Management at SkySpecs, in Clootrack's 102 CX Expert report.

The brand actions, supported by customer feedback, supply creative and relevant solutions to the consumers, encouraging them to stay loyal to the brand.  

The 4 straightway undertakings on the customer feedback are as follows:- 

 i) Improve Marketing and Sales Operations

Customer feedback provides a clear picture of what the customers like or dislike about your product. By capturing the customers' pain points, marketing and sales can decide which product to promote more on different channels to increase sales. 

For example, if a shoe-selling brand is witnessing their customer talking more about neon-colored shoes, the brand must immediately build a strategy to promote the neon shoes. Providing customers what they want can spike up sales and generate expected financial benefits.

ii) Optimize Customer Journey

Customers know their necessities better than companies claiming the very same. Through customer feedback, a firm can weave a well-defined end-to-end path a customer should take to reach the product purchasing stage effortlessly. To do so, ask for customer feedback at every touchpoint and resolve the issue that stops a customer from moving down in the sales funnel.

To illustrate, if your customers frequently complain about the complex UI/UX in their feedback, simplify it for them. Listen to consumers' troubles and optimize buying environment in every possible way to gain their trust.

 iii) Enhance and Innovate Products

No wonder Apple is considered one of the top most innovative companies in the world. Apple aims to make people's lives better with its innovative products. To accomplish that, the company carefully listens to the customers and fulfills their expectations every passing year.

Customers are vocal online about their thoughts and feelings, telling a brand exactly what they want to have in a product. A firm must back its enhancements and innovations on customer reviews to construct a customer-centric culture, streamlining all the actions. Furthermore, operating on customer reviews maintain a customer-first approach that aids in achieving the specified organizational goals.

 iv) Provide Better Customer Experience

Customer feedback benefits an enterprise in deducing the way customers behave. Knowing consumers enable employees to connect and handle their problems reasonably. The customer service team can figure out any major flaws in the service system.

To give an idea, if customers are struggling to reach out to the customer service executives via call and share their concerns through email or online portal, immediately work on that feedback. Avail the call services for consumers to keep up with them and deliver service that lifts their customer experience.

6. Close the Customer Feedback Loop

The best way to let your customers know that your brand took action on their feedback is to close the customer feedback loop. Strategically communicate the features of improvements and innovations implemented to increase customer engagement. To maximize the gains from closing the loop, ask your customers to try those changes and throw light on what they think about the same. 

Making customers feel that the brand values their voice is an incredible way to enhance customer experience. Positive customer experience ends with more revenue generation as customers tend to speak about their experiences with a brand, bringing in more customers. Salesforce surveyed over 6,700 consumers and business buyers and revealed that 72% of customers are willing to share their good experiences with others.

Additionally, closing the feedback loop allows a brand to initiate a new cycle of enhancements and transformations, enabling a brand to evolve in continuous iterations. Before repeating the process, ensure the alterations do not give rise to any issues. If it does, deliberately run two parallel loops, one for solving the problems generated and the other for fetching results on unworked customer feedback, whether new or old.

Final Remark

Customer feedback is vital to understand the consumers' demands to provide them with the most suitable solution. A brand can extract customer reviews through various modes, such as social media comments, feedback forms, email surveys, and many others, to analyze the feedback and generate powerful insights. 

Actions taken on the basis of analyzed customer feedback refine all the organizational workings and deliver customers the desired offerings, enriching customer experience. Eventually, a brand can improve its customer metric scores and meet customer expectations by furnishing best-in-class customer service. 

Read More:- 13 Actionable Tips to Help You Fulfill Customer Expectations.