Customer Feedback Is Never Just a Score.

There's a company X that collects customer feedback. Company X prefers the Net Promoter Score® (what is NPS?), yet it could be any other metric. They ask the very familiar NPS question: "How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague? (on a scale from 0 to 10)" after each customer purchase or interaction. But guess what? The company X doesn't ask why the customers are giving the score. A number, a score is all that they track. 

You might rightfully ask: what's wrong with that?

Let's continue. The company X's NPS in January was 45, which is a very positive score. This month they have released a new product and NPS fell down to 12. Why did it happen? No-one knows. They could've started to blame the product designers or try to improve the features which they thought seemed to be lacking. This could've taken their time, effort and money away from the actual problem.

Luckily, they didn't do that. The company X started to contact its customers and finally ask why. They learned that the customers actually liked the new product, but it was way too expensive. They also found that the speed and friendliness of customer support left much to be desired. 

What's the moral of the story? The company X could've spent thousands of euros fixing the wrong thing - the one, as they believed, needed improvement, or they could've even simply ignored the issue. Instead, they listened to the voice of the customers, thus saved money and made their customers happy

Listening to the voice of the customer is no longer an option, but a necessity.

There are too many companies, which just like the company X, don't collect open-text feedback from their customers. To be precise, according to Forrester research, 77% of companies say that they don’t model the drivers of CX quality regularly, leaving them in the dark about what matters most to their customers.

 
 Net Promoter Score calculation is easy, how do you know what drives your scores?
 

So, what is the right way to collect customer feedback?

Customer experience is more like an iceberg. You could see the numbers and trends on the surface, but dive deep down and you'll discover what actually drives it and, more importantly, how your company can achieve business goals making improvements on the basis of customer feedback.

One more time, why should you collect text feedback rather than scores?

For starters, customer feedback is an asset in many ways and for the whole organization.    When you start collecting open-text customer feedback, it'll become easier to:

1. Understand what drives your customer satisfaction (and essentially the revenue)

Very often, there's a correlation between revenue and customer satisfaction. According to the research, if NPS increases by 7%, the revenue increases by 1%. In order to actually work on NPS, you have to understand what drives it. Thus, you have to know what stands behind every promoter or detractor.

2. Improve customer retention and decrease churn

Sounds complex, but in reality it's simple. Boost what your customers love and avoid what your customers hate. For that, you need to know what they actually say about your product. 

3. Improve your product and services

Customer feedback is an endless source of inspiration for development. Customers are the reason you exist, they pay your salaries. Use their ideas when planning the next product release or update, and don't forget to let them know that they're being actually heard.

The best customer experience strategy is very simple.

If your customers give feedback, they expect it to be heard. 

Don't ask customers for feedback if you don't have a follow-up plan in place. "Capturing VoC (Voice of Customer) data, but not using it to influence customer conversations, is a short road to customer experience failure." Not capturing feedback at all is even a shorter one.

The power of customer feedback only realizes when you act on it.