Customer feedback is a way of collecting and assessing customer opinions & experiences with a specific product, service, or business. This information can help improve the quality of products & services, identify areas for improvement, and measure customer satisfaction.
Customer feedback is as important as getting a sale. While getting a sale is a one-time thing, customer feedback – whether positive or negative – if taken and implemented can get a loyal customer and regular sales. Customer feedback helps the company to take into consideration customer insights and helps them to make product-related decisions. There are times when customer feedbacks are more important than product management team inputs.
Table of Contents
What Is Customer Feedback?
Customer feedback is a way of understanding the thoughts and opinions of existing as well as potential customers about a company’s goods and services. This information can be utilized to make strategic changes to the offerings, resulting in improved customer satisfaction.
You can get positive feedback – which can be highlighted during a sale – or negative – which the company can listen to, understand the problem, work on it, and troubleshoot it – or it can be a suggestion, which is but a positive note and says the product or service can be made better. Usually, a dedicated customer care helpline and mail IDs are allocated for feedback collection. Some examples of customer feedback that you must have noticed on the web are –
- “I’m ecstatic with the product that I’ve received. It’s precise and has fulfilled my expectations. Plus, it was delivered in a timely manner which made it even more satisfactory.”
- “I had an amazing customer service experience. All my inquiries were addressed satisfactorily, and the reps were very helpful.”
- “I found the website user-friendly, and it was straightforward to navigate which helped me quickly locate my desired item.”
- “I was disappointed with the product as its quality did not meet my expectations and it broke down within a brief period of time..”
- “I was delighted with my shopping experience at your store. The staff were friendly and provided me with useful information.”
Why should you gather Customer Feedback?
Are you also confused about why is customer feedback important? Let’s understand then why gathering feedback is important in resolving issues of unhappy customers and increasing net promoter score NPS –
Listening to customer feedback is crucial for success in any business. It gives you an insight into what works and what doesn’t, as well as helps you get a sense of your customer’s satisfaction with your services. Customer feedback is essential for the success of your business, as it provides valuable insights which can be used to make effective changes.
When businesses gather customer feedback, it can be very valuable in improving your product, but it also has a far-reaching effect that can impact all aspects of your business. It provides an insight into what customers truly appreciate and dislike, helping you optimize marketing, sales, and customer service strategies.
Investing in customer relationships and understanding their needs can help your business reach heights of success that it may not have achieved before. Keep in mind that there is no universal approach to acquiring data from users. Depending on the context, you can use different methods of collecting customer feedback and optimizing customer feedback strategy. Let’s look at some of the methods that can help you get customer feedback –
Effective Customer Feedback Methods
To collect feedback, you can use the following methods and improve the customer service of your businesses –
1) Feedback forms
This is the age-old method of gathering customer feedback. It can be employed by any company for almost any product or service. The forms are printed with predetermined questions designed to address or understand specifics related to the rendered product or service.
These feedback forms are collected and analyzed and the reports are provided to the customer management teams. Then an action plan is drafted in order to address issues if any, and it is reported to the management. Effectively using these forms, businesses can optimize their customer satisfaction score and improve customer service.
Continuous improvement in customer service is only possible through regular feedback. The advantage of this method is that drafting it is very easy and doesn’t require a lot of technical expertise unlike other methods while the disadvantage is if the forms get too long, then customers may find it irksome to fill it. Many times, satisfied customers tend to give a mediocre response or no response at all.
2) Online Community
Online communities are becoming more and more popular thanks to Apple and Google.
Setting up an online community is very economic and unlike other methods, all the responses stay in one place for a long time and can be highlighted and reused to answer Frequently Asked Questions.
These are chatting robots that keep the customers engaged till a dedicated customer care representative can take them up. Regular responses like Hello Customer, how can I help you? Please wait and our support executive will be with you shortly.
Such messages can help to keep the customers engaged. The advantage of this method is it is cost-effective while the shortcoming is it can be used only for businesses having a presence online. Offline businesses cannot use this method. The customer care executive then prepares reports on the issue that has been addressed and submits them to the customer care team.
Once a purchase has been done, the customers are then sent email surveys after a few days to know their responses. This email is pre-drafted with a response sheet that asks a few basic questions about the product.
The primary aim is to know if the customers liked the product and what went well. If the customer is not satisfied then what went wrong? As soon as the customer submits the mail, a thank you mail is sent and the response is recorded. Customers who respond are selected for surveys next time while those who do not respond are not.
5) Website feedbacks
This is a new type of feedback followed by many popular food chains like McDonald’s and Domino’s Pizza and Pizza Hut. When a customer buys anything in the outlet, they get a bill of purchase.
On the bottom of the bill is a code that says Fill in the feedback on the website (link provided) and writes the generated code and gets an X% discount on your next purchase. The advantage of this type of feedback is a repeat purchase. The customer is going to return at least once in order to claim the discount.
6) Social Media
The biggest data collection center – Social media – is also the capital for feedback collection. Companies have made their Facebook and Twitter pages. Customers can tag the companies or service providers with any issue or complaint and within 30-40 mins (working hours) the customer can expect a response. The feedbacks are not anonymous and it is viewed publicly by everyone – including potential customers and competitors.
Studies suggest that 47% of customers with some sort of grievance are likely to share it on social media. Having an active presence on different social media platforms will help you gain more insight and feedback from your customers.
The companies have to respond to the complaint and cannot leave it unattended since it is on a public platform. Competitors can track such requests, complaints, and issues and tap the customers to convert them to competition. The presence of government bodies makes things even more clear and more transparent.
For example, if a customer receives a wrong order from Amazon, the process is to escalate it via a call to customer care. But going through automated responses can be time-consuming and overwhelming at times. The customer can instead put up a complaint with the order number and will get a call back within an hour.
7) One-on-one interview
Usually, pharmaceuticals use this approach when testing or launching a new drug in the market. Although people voluntarily sign up for test drugs, there could always be side effects or reactions which the company has not anticipated.
Such things cannot be presented on paper and the questions vary based on responses. In such cases, a one-on-one interview is the best alternative. The interviews can be conducted by seeking an appointment with the customer or patient and he or she is asked about the product, its feel, and his reaction and liking to the product.
A poll is taken to determine the liking of the customer towards a particular product or service. Polls are usually quick and let know about consumer likings in a very short period of time. Setting up polls and designing the questions are easy.
However, if the analysis of polls is to be done offline or manually, then it can be a very lengthy process. Instead, setting up online polls is easier, and free, and results are calculated in minutes. Questions such as ‘Do you prefer Veg or Non-Veg?’, ‘How would you rate our service on a scale of 100?’ etc can be formulated.
Customer feedback surveys offer a simple as well as effective way to gather valuable feedback and get answers to specific queries. By deploying surveys to a large group of recipients, you can gain useful insights that can help you make informed decisions.
CSAT surveys are a great way to get customer feedback after meeting certain milestones. This lets companies find out and fix any issues in their customer service processes, thereby improving the overall experience for clients.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys are a good way to get feedback on how customers view your company. You can send these surveys at regular intervals, such as every 6 months. The information you get from them will help you gauge customer opinion on your overall business.
The Customer Effort Score (CES) is a valuable survey that provides insights into the ease of use of your offerings. It helps you understand how much effort customers have to put in to make use of what you provide.
Here is a video by Marketing91 on Customer Feedback.
When to collect Customer Feedback?
The process of collecting feedback should be done by a business –
- During post-purchase evaluation – It typically occurs when a product or service is delivered and it helps to provide insight into a customer’s satisfaction and expectations. CRM systems use customer satisfaction evaluations to create long-term relationships.
- During periodic satisfaction-surveys – Surveys are an effective way to gain insights into customer preferences and behavior at a certain point in time from different segments of the population. The customer satisfaction survey conducted yearly is a great way to understand customers’ experiences and expectations. It provides a snapshot of the current situation, enabling businesses to take necessary action.
- While ensuring continuous-satisfaction – Ongoing tracking through regular post-purchase surveys (daily, monthly, quarterly) allows you to ensure sustained quality performance of your product/service over time. By using this approach, businesses can keep track of customer feedback throughout their entire experience with the company. This helps them to stay up-to-date on how the customer experience is progressing.
What you should do with the data you have collected?
1. Analyze products for identifying potential areas of improvement
In order to identify areas for improvement, it is necessary to evaluate the existing features, performance, and user experience of a product.
Investigating feedback from customers and looking into industry trends related to the product can be invaluable for businesses. Analyzing this data helps to understand which features should be added, improved, or removed in order to optimize their usage.
2. Gather customer feedback and use it to inform product development
By effectively including customer feedback in product development, companies can come much closer to the ideal market adaptation. This is a key step towards success in any business. Separating feedback into actionable improvements and groundbreaking changes is essential to making meaningful progress.
3. Optimize your conversion path
Your website is a source of invaluable information about user behavior. Use this data to make decisions that will decrease bounce rates, up conversion rates, and detect potential issues in your marketing funnel. Utilizing this strategy can help enhance your website’s performance and conduct optimization efficiently.
4. Find out and cultivate possible supporters
It is important to gauge the level of customer satisfaction with your product in order to determine if they are truly content. Collecting feedback from them can give you a better idea of the people who love your product the most and help you make improvements. After gaining their attention, it’s time to foster loyalty and create customers who will spread the word about your business.
5. Improve your marketing and sales performance.
By running customer tests, you can understand the preferences of your customers and make necessary changes or improvements. Furthermore, it is possible to obtain specific data regarding individual users/buyers and distinct user segments, providing a comprehensive understanding of user behavior.
In addition to these, your support team can also use a customer survey and feedback data for impeding customer churn, enhancing customer service, and optimizing customer retention and customer loyalty.
Customer Feedback Template
We will consider the scenario of the Hotel industry wherein the response form can be used – with little modification – in any other industry as well.
The foremost thing is to establish objectives that need to be evaluated. For a hotel, the objectives could be:
1) Knowing the effect of hotel ambiance on the customer
The effect of the restaurant on the customer from entering to exiting, the arrangement of furniture, the lighting and music quality, etc is to be evaluated. Questions such as: How did you feel the ambiance of the restaurant won’t work and it should be closed-ended like ‘On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best how much would you rate the ambiance of the hotel.’
2) Service quality
The service is yet another important parameter on which the success of a restaurant depends. Better service means a happy customer. A question similar to the above can be framed by asking quality of service or rating for service.
3) Food Quality
The other important parameter is food. The quality of food matters for customers since the better the food, successful will be the restaurant. Here the question can be subdivided into food quality, taste, serving, etc.
The final question would be about the overall experience of the hotel. This should be as positive as possible since a negative experience would mean the loss of customers and negativity in the market. Questions such as “How would you rate our restaurant overall?’, ‘Were you satisfied with our services and food?’ yes or no. These types of questions can help the restaurant get better insights.
The final part of the Questionnaire would contain demographic information of the filler in order to categorize the responses and know the audience target segment better. Information such as Age, Gender, City, contact details, etc. Some may also include the occasion of the visit.
There may be additional questions in order to know the customers better such as: How many times do you visit a restaurant in a month, what kind of food do you like to have, etc. Making the questionnaire short should be the target since the customer would not want to spend more time filling out the feedback form. At times, the waiter will mark the responses by asking the customer thereby reducing the time to fill.
The use of tablets to fill the feedback has become more common in restaurants. The use of paper is avoided and the time required to process the results is easy. Collection and storing and retrieving are easier when the results are digital.
Sample Template Example you can use to Collect Customer Feedback –
Following is a sample template for Customer Feedback Collection for a restaurant –
XYZ Hotels Pvt. Ltd.
Dear Valued Customer,
Thank you for visiting us. In order to serve you better please respond to the questions below.
- How would you rate the ambiance of our restaurant?
- Great Good c. Okay d. Bad e. Terrible
- Did you like today’s theme of our restaurant?
- Yes No Reason_________
- Was the Music interesting?
- Yes No c. Could have been better
- Did you try today’s special from our Menu?
- Yes No
- If yes, did you like it?
- Yes No
- How did you like the food that you ordered today?
- Great Good c. Okay d. Bad e. Terrible
- Have you been to our restaurant before?
- Yes, Im a frequent visitor No. This is my first time
- If you are a frequent visitor, then how often do you visit us?
- Once a week Once a month c. Twice a month
- Is there any particular food item that is your favorite and you have had it more than once?
- If Yes, please write the name If no, proceed
- If you have visited for first time, how did you hear about our restaurant?
- Friend Internet c. Social Media d. Others – Specify
Contact Details :
- Age group – a. 0-18 18-25 c. 25-40 d. 40 and above
- Gender – Male Female Prefer not to disclose
- Phone number –
- Mobile Number –
- Birthday – Anniversary –
Any other suggestions for us!
Hope the above tips on how to collect customer feedback help you in your business and you are able to use customer feedback templates to get more feedback and add to it.
Liked this post? Check out the complete series on Customer Management