There is no such thing as a perfect product. And the best way to know what your customers want, and how you can improve your products, is through feedback from them. Customer feedback helps you understand customer behavior and needs. Which in turn will help you deliver on those needs and ultimately generate more revenue for the company.
In this article, we will discuss the value of customer feedback to your startup, when you should start collecting it, and an effective guide on how to do so.
The value of customer feedback to your startup
Feedback is important because you can't improve your products if you don't know what your customers want. The sooner you begin collecting and using that data for decision-making purposes, the more successful your startup can be.
1 – Improving products and services
When you launch a new product or service, you should already have an idea of what the public wants. Previous market research will give you insights into whether customers will buy your products. You may also learn how these can be enhanced. But only after your product or service is in their hands, will you be able to learn what's working and what isn't.
This is where customer feedback comes in. It will serve as an indicator of which improvements can be made. In turn, you will be able to work towards meeting their expectations, solving any possible issues, and meeting the customers' needs.
2 – Measuring customer satisfaction
Many businesses fail to appreciate just how customer satisfaction directly impacts their financial performance. It can turn into increased market share, reduced expenses, and increased revenue. There is no shortage of studies linking customer satisfaction and business performance. So, you should aim to ensure your customers are satisfied with your products or services. And naturally, customer feedback is the best approach to determining that degree of satisfaction.
3 – Ensuring customer retention
Customer satisfaction equals customer retention. The best way to reduce customer churn rates is by giving your clients a reason to come back to you. And a great way to learn whether they are happy with your service and what can be improved is through customer feedback.
If a customer expresses dissatisfaction, you can get back to them quickly with a solution. This is one of the best fail proof ways to ensure customer retention and a great step towards building a loyal client base.
When to start collecting customer feedback
It is never too early to collect customer feedback. In fact, it's good that product managers begin by testing their hypotheses with small groups of users before launching new products or features into the market. That way they can determine whether there is an interest from potential customers while making sure no crucial functionality breaks during the scaling-up phase of your startup growth curve (in case some scalability issues arise, and they often do).
Start as soon as possible after a product is released or an update has been rolled out. This should be when your customers have used it enough to give their first impression. But also once they have had enough time to use it often enough to notice any problems with the product, service, or new update.
Still, keep in mind that collecting too much data can be overwhelming. Aim for a 5-10% margin of error on your survey sample size so as to not overwhelm your team or distract from what's important: learning what's not working.
How to collect customer feedback: an effective guide
Many customers tend to be hesitant to fill out surveys or rate products and services. You have to understand that people lead busy lives, and many will not take the time to point out the shortcomings of your products. Furthermore, some people don't feel comfortable delivering honest answers, so they may sugarcoat or go overboard with their answers. This is why it's important to have a good approach in place for customer feedback collection.
MetaSurvey, for example, uses easy-to-use Tinder-style swipe cards. These cut down on survey times, while more efficiently collecting product feedback and analysis.
To better assist you with your strategy, we've come up with a comprehensive guide that will help you come up with your strategy:
1 – Follow up with an email
The most utilized method for customer service collection is email. After a purchase is made and delivered, you should always send your customer a follow-up email.
Surely, you have been asked to rate your experience whenever you booked a flight, accommodation, and even after purchasing a product or service. And you should adopt this practice for your startup as well.
2 – Go over customer service transcripts
When calling or reaching out to customer service of any kind, we'll often be met with a disclaimer that the conversation may be recorded for training purposes. Well, it just so happens that these conversations can also be a great way of collecting customer feedback.
Going over their transcripts can not only help you access inefficiencies in your business but also evaluate the quality of the customer service provided. And again, we cannot stress enough the importance of customer feedback.
Besides, they're the most honest feedback a business will get, as those who reach out in this manner, will always have an issue to report.
3 – Reach out to your customers
Another great way of acquiring honest customer feedback is by giving them a call. You will find that loyal customers will be happy to provide feedback, as they are the ones that tend to know more about your product and service.
Come up with short, concise questions that leave enough room for clients to contribute with a thorough answer. And make sure that an actual person is the one reaching out, and not some form of automated chat. This is the best way to ensure the feedback will be valuable and the customer will feel valued as well.
4 – Stay on top of your social media
Social media is one of the best ways to communicate with your audience nowadays. Not only should you use it for marketing purposes, but also to learn more about the public's opinions regarding your startup, your service, and your products.
You can reply to comments, direct messages, and interact with the audience in any way possible as a means to collect feedback. It is especially important to get back to dissatisfied customers as soon as possible. Social media users expect a quick response, which is why they turn to this form of communication to express their needs or issues. So, make sure to stay on top of your socials.
5 – Reward customer feedback
Everybody appreciates a reward. Make sure your customer understands that you not only value their feedback but also their time. And the best way to do so is by offering up incentives for completing a survey, such as promo codes, discounts, or any freebies. Also, if there's something in it for the customer, they'll be much more likely to be straightforward in their evaluations.
6 – Make use of an NPS
A Net Promoter Score (NPS for short) is a super effective method for customer feedback collection. It uses a numeral scale ranging from 1 to 10, with the scores of 0-6 indicating unfavorable assessments, 7-8 neutral ones, and 9-10 favorable experiences. The latter are what are referred to as "promoters". And the best thing about NPS is that it facilitates the survey process and cuts down on time investments, for both your startup and the customer.
Customer feedback is key for increasing customer satisfaction and reducing churn rates
The correct use of customer feedback impacts directly customer satisfaction and churn rates. When a customer's needs are met and issues resolved, they will be much more likely to purchase or utilize your service again. So it is vital that your startup looks into collecting customer feedback as early on as possible.
A satisfied customer is a returning one.
The best strategy to reduce churn rates is to learn what’s causing it and reaching out to your customer base. Then, offer incentives or rewards so as to increase customer feedback numbers and make sure to take those responses seriously, while working towards improving your shortcomings.
As you see, customer feedback is key for reducing those pesky churn rates and working towards increasing customer satisfaction. Once you work on improving one aspect, all others will follow. And now that you understand how customer feedback can be truly valuable for your startup, make sure to start implementing these steps. Your business will grow significantly, just you wait and see!
This blog post was brought to you by MetaSurvey — the survey tool.