Asking customers to leave feedback is a great start towards sustainable customer experience management and happier customers. So how should companies collect customer feedback?

How To Collect Customer Feedback

To start with, you should understand why you are collecting the feedback and what you are trying to achieve by having your customers tell you what they think of you. Asking for customer feedback is the very first step on the way to building a successful relationship between the customers and your brand. 

It’s an advantage for fast-growing companies to be able to quickly adjust their strategies or products/services based on input from their customers, something that is not that easy for bigger, more established companies. Actionable feedback should be one key source of insight behind your business development strategy. Who knows more about the shortcomings of your product or service than the customers who are actually using it?

Collecting customer feedback will help you to identify customers who are at risk of leaving, and will assist with effectively and quickly addressing reoccurring problems.

It will come as no surprise that happy customers are the best brand advocates. And, as you might guess, unhappy customers can often cause the most damage to your brand. According to the statistics, one happy customer will share their positive customer experience with 9 people. Unfortunately, the unhappy customers are even more likely to share their experiences. On average, an unhappy customer shares their bad experience with 16 people.

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So, before you start collecting customer feedback, make sure you know exactly:

  1. what part of the customer experience you want to improve

  2. how are you going to use the data

  3. which channel works best when communicating with your customers

These three aspects are incredibly important when implementing a customer experience feedback collection strategy that will allow your business to reap the benefits.

WHERE TO ASK FOR FEEDBACK?

Customer feedback survey placements largely depend on your customers. What kind of business do you have? What is your main channel of communication with your customers? Taking that into consideration, most common approaches include:

  • E-mail surveys

  • In-app surveys

  • Forms on web pages

  • SMS surveys

Choose a channel which is the most natural one from your customers' point of view. If they are using your app, use an in-app survey. If they have recently made a purchase in your online shop, send them an email asking for feedback about the purchase. 

Survey according to the customer journey

Scheduling times differ by industry and purchase model. The definitive guide to survey scheduling by promoter.io goes deep into details on when to send a survey to the customers.

THE BASICS OF SURVEY TIMING 

If you work in SaaS or have a subscription service model, your schedule might look like:

  • Initial survey: 15 to 20 days from initial conversion (or if you have a long onboarding process, 30-45 days may be more appropriate).

  • Second survey: 90 days from the initial survey (consider 180 days if your customers do not engage with your product frequently).

  • Ongoing survey: Depending on what you decided for your second survey, your ongoing surveying should align and recur every 90 or 180 days moving forward until they are no longer a customer.

If you work in e-commerce or retail:

  • Initial survey: 5-10 days from their first delivery.

  • Second survey: 90 days from the initial survey (This assumes there has been at least one purchase after their initial purchase in this time frame. You might also consider creating separate campaigns for ‘frequent’ customers and ‘casual’ customers, increasing the number of days between surveys for the latter).

  • Ongoing survey: Similar to the survey lifecycle for a SaaS model, your ongoing surveys should automatically recur at the same interval as your second survey as long as the customer remains active in some form.

The timing is different as it reflects the customer journey. Think well before deciding on the final schedules for the email surveys. If you send surveys too frequently - customers will likely get annoyed and that will hugely impact your response rate. If you don’t send enough surveys - you will lose data and might not be able to react to major issues quickly enough.

the importance of customer feedback in fast-growing companies

We at Lumoa are privileged to have some of the fastest fastest growing companies in the world as our customers. Companies such as Vainu, Holvi, Simple and Huel really understand the importance of collecting and taking action on customer feedback. 

For example, Vainu has always relied heavily on feedback which it uses to develop services further.

Holvi is another fast-growing company that takes customer feedback very seriously. They wanted to ensure that customers knew that their feedback mattered, and that they were kept up to date with what was coming up in product development. Because of this, Holvi launched a Product Portal to promote transparency and show customers specifically how their feedback was used to make improvements.  

Here are four great tips from Holvi to use when starting to collect customer feedback: 

1. Remember to always ask “why”?
Without the why? there’s little depth to the feedback you receive. Dig in a bit deeper by asking, for example, “Care to tell us why?” or “Your feedback will help us to improve. / Good to know! Would you tell us why you feel that way?”

2. Learn what your methods and metrics can and cannot do.
Spend extra time in understanding what the metrics (NPS or other) you’re using actually can and cannot tell you. Any tool used in the wrong way can lead to less optimal results.

3. Build relationships.
Foster conversations and relationships instead of just sending out customer satisfaction surveys. Continue the discussion outside of surveys and actively engage your customers.

4. Listen, listen, listen…..
...instead of leading or assuming. When asking for feedback about your offering, do it in an open-ended way and avoid naming or suggesting answers. Let the customers tell you how they see and experience your product or service.