How can customer feedback be collected and used?
What comes next after you’ve amassed customer feedback through sources like CSAT and NPS? We break it down in today’s blog post.
We’ve written many times about the importance of gathering customer feedback. And we regularly help our clients get set up with tools like CSAT and NPS to help them with this process. But while some companies have the gathering part down, there are many that don’t use this feedback to their advantage. So if you want some CSAT tips, are eager to know how to use NPS, and would like to learn how to use customer feedback once you have it in your hands – this post is for you.
What can you do with customer feedback?
Even polite and/or complimentary feedback from your customers deserves a response as well as not so complimentary feedback. As appropriately as possible based on the severity and urgency of the situation, respond to your customers! Something like, “Thank you for your message. We’ve received it, and will be in touch further shortly or, “Thank you for taking the time to compliment us today; we appreciate your feedback.”
These kinds of responses can easily be automated, and go a long way in letting the customer know they matter. It also tells them their message hasn’t been lost in the ether, and if the resolution is required, that you’ve quickly started the process of reviewing it. Quick acknowledgment goes a long way.
When you get communication from a customer, consider what type of feedback it is. If you received a raving review on your website, this is useful. If you received a polite complaint that includes specific suggestions for improvement via social media, this is useful. If you received a solicitation email, this isn’t useful for your purposes (it’s neutral and can either be dismissed or passed on to someone who can respond appropriately).
Also, one quick note about negative feedback: it can be very useful, even if it’s not comfortable. If you get a live chat message from a customer that is very emotionally charged, resist the urge to dismiss it or get defensive. Instead, try to understand where the customer is coming from and then do your best to resolve the issue.
Once you determine which bucket the feedback falls into, your next step is to find out whether it’s isolated. Have you gotten 100 messages from customers who are thrilled with your latest product release, or just three? Is the complaint about your customer service team echoed by 40 other customers, or just one person? This step is important because it helps you to have objective insight into whether the matter at hand is recurring and/or widespread (and therefore worth more of your time and attention).
Learn more and route it to the right place.
If the feedback you’ve received has been positive, great! See if the positive trend can be maximized, and pass the compliment onto the team who deserves the kudos. For example, you could route positive insight about your product to the product team so they know what they’re doing well. And, also share it with your PR team so they can thank the person and ask for a testimonial or a case study.
If it’s negative, fight your urge to make assumptions. Do your due diligence and make sure you have all the facts in front of you about the problem before you start addressing it. This is where root cause analysis comes in, to ensure you truly understand what is causing the problem. Then from that point, corrective action takes place to make sure the problem/situation is resolved, and that controls are put in place to prevent it from happening again.
Set a reminder so you or whoever now “owns” that piece of feedback can follow up again in a set period of time. This ensures accountability, and also allows you to go the extra mile and let your customer know a few months down the road what has been done with their feedback.
Without processes in place that mirror these steps, the customer feedback you’ve gathered will not be very useful. However, if you use a methodology to process the feedback data into actionable insights, you can use the information to dramatically improve your customer experience, products, spur innovation and maintain and improve your brand’s image. Need help getting NPS, CSAT, and other feedback tools set up and set your strategy once you get the feedback? Give us a call.
Check out our blog post: how to scale customer success