Are You Making the Most From Your Customers’ Feedback?

Kirsty Traill
Posted: 04/24/2017

Whether you realise it or not, your business is rich with customer insight that can be used in a multitude of ways. Customers interact with your business across a variety of different touch-points, each offering a unique viewpoint of what they would like improved, and how to can deliver on their expectations. Use this data to improve the customer experience, increase revenue, reduce cost, retain the customers you have and attract new ones.

Obviously, I'm biased since it's my area of expertise, but I think customer support data is one of the richest sources of customer insight for everything from product to sales to marketing strategy.

Customers contact your team on a daily basis letting you know where your product has let them down. Use this information to make changes to the product, fix a broken process or address quality issues reported by your customers.

SEE ALSO: The Big Book of Customer Insight, Data & Analytics

NPS feedback can be used in the same way. What are detractors telling you about why they wouldn’t refer or recommend your company to others? Is this information being shared with Customer Success, Product and Billing/Finance teams?

Similarly, what information is being collected during the sales process about why deals are being won, lost or renewed? Often there is insight to be gleaned from customers asking for specific features or functionality that isn’t currently available. Conversely, you may be able to determine if your organization is not delivering on the promises being made by the sales team. It could be a case of reviewing sales enablement and marketing materials and/or working on training new Sales Development Reps or Account Executives.

When was the last time you looked at this data? Are Sales Development Reps, Account Executives and Customers Success Managers recording this information so that it can be surfaced and used to inform customer-centric decisions across the rest of the organisation?

Looking at the actions customers take on your website can also be a source of insight into improving the customer experience, and getting customers the information they need. Use site analytics data, analyse page flow reports, time on page statistics, and heat maps to highlight where customers may be clicking back and forth on your website and potentially not finding the information they need, or spending more time looking for information than necessary. Map this data back to acquisition source, and use this insight to design and develop pages that can be A/B tested with a small cohort of customers to improve sign-up and conversion metrics.

Once you’ve understood how customers are browsing your website, the next step is to look within your product /service offering and determine where customers might be having issues in getting to what they need. Consider putting yourself in your customer’s shoes by signing up for a new account, and running through your on-boarding process.

How easy is it for customers to find education content and FAQ material they may need to add a feature, or get started? Using product analytic tools, take your core use cases, and review how easily different customer segments are able to get to the full functionality of what they came to your product to achieve. Can you remove steps or streamline flows to make this easier?

It’s imperative you understand why customers churn, so you can work on initiatives to prevent this from occurring (where it makes sense). Ensure you send a survey when customers downgrade from a paying to a free account, or want to cancel their account completely. Ask customers what their goals were with your product / service, and why they weren’t able to achieve that.

Ask them to provide feedback on what you might have done differently to encourage them to stay. This is a hugely valuable source of insight which should be shared across the organisation to ensure visibility into the biggest reasons customers leave.

Lastly, remember, not all feedback is negative and positive feedback can be just as valuable. Positive customer feedback can be used to shape design direction, influence marketing messaging, reinforce sales content that resonates with customers, and guide product flows that get customers to the value they want quickly and easily.

At Hootsuite, we take customer feedback seriously. We review our customer data on a weekly basis, and work across the organisation to ensure this insight is surfaced to teams who can take action. We also close the loop with customers so they know their opinions have been heard.

How are you using customer data to inform decision making? Let me know in the comments below.

Kirsty Traill
Posted: 04/24/2017