How to Use Customer Feedback to Drive Action

There is no doubt that customer feedback is one of the most valuable resources that companies have available. When used properly, reviews and other types of feedback allow enterprises to develop engaging marketing campaigns, design better products, and make strategic decisions based on what customers expect from their products and services.

Nevertheless, learning how to use customer feedback to drive action poses a significant challenge, especially for organizations that leverage multiple channels to collect mass feedback.

At Lumoa, our goal is to look at customer feedback to tell companies what to do next to grow their organizations. In one of our latest webinars titled How to Use Customer Feedback to Drive Action, we pose a sustainable strategy to solve the challenge of transforming mass reviews into information that can be used while making key company decisions.

This webinar was organized in partnership with customer experience pundit and CXMania founder Matthieu Bonelli, so we’ll be including some of Matthieu’s most valuable insights in the form of quotes edited specifically for this piece.

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Three Key Elements to Effective Customer Feedback Collection

It’s difficult to analyze feedback without a strategy, so the first thing that companies need to do is develop an assessment process that starts with effective customer feedback collection.

According to Matthieu Bonelli, the feedback collection process should be developed using three key concepts.

Focus on Sentiment Rather than Quantitative Ratings

“There’s no need to ask 50 questions and there’s no need for all of these to be quantitative. You know, asking customers to rate satisfaction on a scale from one through five,” says Matthieu.

“What is important is to use sentiment analysis in order to determine what customers have to say about the experience they just had. The goal is for them to show you the pain points they are experiencing right now, that they may not share later.”

Time Your Questions Properly

According to Mattieu, “it’s also important to ask the right questions at the right time and to have everything as open and unbiased as possible. We’re performing sentiment analysis and that means a lot of qualitative feedback.”

In other words, time your survey questions right in order to get feedback about a specific topic. Customers should have the ability to provide feedback after every key interaction so that they can express opinions about their individual experiences, rather than a general rating that holds less value.

Develop an Effective Analysis Process

“There will be a lot of comments coming into the system so you don’t want to have a free-response survey with ten thousand replies in an Excel sheet. You need to time questions properly and have a tool that allows you to categorize the feedback in order to perform a quick analysis,” says Matthieu.

The idea here is to find a mechanism that allows you to accurately parse and understand qualitative or free-response questions on a large scale. Manual reviews are not a sustainable strategy, even for large corporations. So, it’s necessary to look at your resources and the tools you have available to develop a tailored system to understand the feedback you collect.

Customer feedback, different speech bubbles.
Analysing customer feedback manually is often impossible. There are tools to help you understand the feedback you collect.

How to Use Customer Feedback to Drive Action

Once you’ve created a plan to collect and assess customer feedback properly, it’s time to transform this data into actionable information.

In short, Mattieu’s process is designed to drive action through feedback by understanding feedback, prioritizing the biggest pain points, and sharing the steps that need to take place with the team.

1. Get the Full Picture

“Customers will tell us what is important to them in their own words. The analysis tool should categorize the comments and help us understand what reviewers are saying in a more general sense. At this point, you can have positive as well as negative sentiments because users will want to speak their minds whenever they get a chance to be heard,” says Mattieu.

Matthieu continues by adding that “you need to figure out what feedback you want to hear first. This will reveal what you’ve done as well as the steps you should take to further focus on satisfaction and give customer importance throughout the entire journey.”

Implement Tools that Accurately Categorize Sentiment

Having a powerful feedback analysis tool is the only way to categorize sentiment property when assessing a large number of reviews. “This allows you to link what’s important to consumers and what they are satisfied with. We mentioned these two elements before, satisfaction and importance, so it’s crucial to guarantee both at every touchpoint,” continues Matthieu.

Consider Different Touchpoints

It’s necessary to gather reviews from all the touchpoints because it gives users the ability to rate experiences individually. Besides learning how users feel at each touchpoint, it also helps customers stay unbiased when evaluating each experience.

“When you send a survey to consumers you’re giving them the ability to speak. If they haven’t had another opportunity, they will take this chance and tell you about everything. This is why it’s very important to collect feedback from all the touchpoints. If you check in at different stages, you can create a voice of customer map that tells you how users feel at every touchpoint and use these as queues to figure out what areas need work.”

2. Find Out the Root Cause of the Problem

Collecting and categorizing feedback is a great step, but according to Matthieu, this is just the beginning.

“You need to go deeper because this will allow you to get to the root cause of the problems. The good news is that we are in 2022 so you don’t need to read every review to find out what’s wrong. Thanks to tools like Lumoa, you already have categories and filtering options as well as other features to help you,” continues Matthieu.

Here are a few steps that can help you zero in on the root cause of the negative feedback.

Remove Biases and Avoid Making Assumptions

“I ask clients ‘what do you think are the three main pain points you have within your company?’ you know, the pain points that customers are most vocal about?” says Matthieu.

“A lot of times I get answers like delivery times. But, after assessing the feedback, shipping is what customers are most satisfied with because they have the expectation that ecommerce takes a few days. We need to remove biased logic and take the picture for what it really is.”

Leverage the Most Valuable Feedback

“When the customer completes the buyer’s journey, we go from getting payments, to seeing a list of customer pain points and reading ensuing comments. This part, reading the comments, is key to everything we’re trying to do, in my opinion. By analyzing the most valuable feedback, you’ll motivate your team and connect the negative sentiments with the appropriate factors,” says Matthieu.

3. Prioritize the Most Important Obstacles

“If you do a great job collecting feedback, you may end up with 40 or 50 pain points. How do you prioritize these? That’s the goal after all,” says Matthieu.

Assess the Impact of Each Blocker and Create a List of Priorities

“The objective is to get specific actions from the entire customer experience. If a pain point is so big that it will break the user experience, it needs to be addressed. If it’s annoying, it needs to be worked on, but it can be prioritized later on after the major problems have been addressed.”

“In order to assess the impact of each negative variable, you should create a rating scheme. The simplest is the following: if a negative factor is big enough to break the experience and result in a lost customer, it needs to be prioritized right away. No questions asked,” continues Matthieu.

“More basic issues that hinder the experience, but are not big enough to completely disrupt the purchase process, are second priorities. For example, if you notice that customers complain about a slow payment page, but continue to purchase from you, it’s an issue you need to address but it doesn’t necessarily have to be right now. And that‘s how the prioritization process works.”

4. Share the Message with Your Team

“After completing the work, the last step is to tell the story to your team. In one project, we presented the analysis from customer feedback in a group meeting called international meeting day. It was basically designed for us to share specific pain points and show data around them,” says Matthieu.

Set the Right Goals and Expectations

According to Matthieu, “it’s fundamental for companies to set goals and expectations because these serve as a basic premise for their teams. As a business, it’s important for employees to know the areas that they should exceed in because it simply sets the right tone.”

Remember, to set the right expectations, you need to coordinate with other decision-makers and department heads and agree on the essential elements that will help you achieve success. Only then you’ll be able to set the right set of objectives for your team.

Create Best Practices

Creating best practices is essential and this process may be easier to assimilate if your team is involved in the development of these habits.

“During one of our meetings we showed the map highlighting the pain points and comments illustrating them. Most of the time there was no movement while feedback flashed. Until we got an email from an annoyed customer saying that some products were not available although they appeared in stock at the time of purchase. It said something like ‘in 2019 this is a rather poor and disappointing ecommerce experience, our issue is real amateur’ and a huge silence followed after I finished reading,” says Matthieu.

“The CEO was in attendance and he put his head up saying ‘I don’t care how long it takes, we have to drop everything and fix this’ and so next morning I had emails from team members asking for the responsibility or to get a project started to collaborate.”

Want to Drive Action Using Your Customer Feedback?

Transforming customer feedback into actionable steps requires an organized approach that allows you to get a full picture, find the root of the problem, identify key obstacles, and get your whole team on board.

We hope that the tips provided by Matthieu during our webinar help you on your quest to create a more effective system for using feedback to drive action.

If you want to learn more about implementing Lumoa as part of this mechanism, get in touch with us today and we’ll be glad to help.