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Customer feedback: why it's important & 3 ways to start collecting feedback today

3 ways to collect customer feedback using surveys, customer interviews and feedback page
Helena Ahlström
Helena Ahlström

Want to gather customer feedback, but not sure how to get started? In this post I will tell you why collecting feedback is important and share 3 different ways to do it.

Why should you collect customer feedback?

Research published in the Harvard Business Review found that simply the act of asking your customers for feedback made them more profitable and increased their loyalty. So just by asking for feedback you can reduce churn and make your customers more profitable.

Gathering customer feedback is also the first step in the customer feedback loop which helps you build better products and grow your customer base. In other words, it will help you grow your business.

3 ways to gather customer feedback

1. Surveys

There are two basic types of surveys used to solicit customer feedback.

  1. Transactional surveys that are triggered by your customer's actions. These are typically short surveys that ask a specific question related to the action that the customer took. This could be a widget on your site that pops up and asks the customer about a specific functionality that they just used, an automatic email that is sent after a customer has churned to ask them why, or a NPS survey.
  2. Relational surveys where you decide when and what to send to which customers. These are typically longer surveys where you are digging into a specific topic that you want to understand better. There are many tools to help you set up and run a survey such as SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics.

Best practices for running a survey

  • Keep it short and simple. Only ask questions relevant to your goal.
  • Start with an introduction that explains why you're running the survey.
  • Survey questions should be closed-ended and neutral. Asking leading questions in a survey is not a good look. Ask for one thing at a time and make sure you don't confuse respondents.
  • Answer choices should be logical and balanced. If you're asking whether they agree with a statement, the answer choices could be on a scale between strongly agree and strongly disagree.
  • Include a thank you page in the end.
  • Run through your survey before you send it out. Ideally run through it several times and ask other people to run through it as well.

There are many resources where you can read up on how to design and run a survey. I find the SurveyMonkey content useful, such as Writing good survey questions and 7 practical steps to create an effective survey

2. Customer interviews

Customer interviews are a great way to gather feedback. The main trick to it, in my view, is to not ask the customers for feedback specifically, instead you want to have an open discussion where you gather their feedback along the way. Some best practices to running a customer interview

  • Start with some small talk to build rapport with the customer.
  • Use open-ended questions and neutral questions. Make sure you're actively listening to the customer and guiding the interview based on the information that they tell you. Use neutral questions and beware of leading the customer.
  • Use probing questions to go deeper into interesting points that come up, such as "tell me more about that" or "can you help me understand that better".

Atlassian has a useful playbook for customer interviews.

3. Feedback page

A feedback page is a specific page where you ask your customers to share their feedback. It allows you to collect and prioritize all feedback in one place, as well as communicate directly with your customers to ask questions and let them know the actions you're taking based on their input. Convas.io is a feedback page tool, read more about how it works or check out your-company.convas.io for an example. Best practices for running a feedback page:

  • When you first set up the page, add some initial feedback that you're already aware of so that your page is not empty.
  • Share the page with your customers. A few different ways to do this:
    • Add a "Give Feedback" link to your page footer.
    • Send an email to your customers telling them about your feedback page.
    • Direct customers that contact you with feedback on Twitter, Facebook or other channels to your feedback page.
  • Share the page with your internal teams. Ask all your customer facing teams, such as customer success and sales, to add the feedback they receive to the feedback page.
  • Be active on the page to engage with your customers and ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand the feedback.
  • Use the status fields (planned, in progress & completed) to let the customers know the action you're taking based on their input. When you add a status to the feedback post, it's automatically added to your public product roadmap, see your-company.convas.io/roadmap for an example.

Conclusion

Gathering customer feedback is crucial and will help you grow your business. Just by asking for feedback, you can increase your customer retention. Get started collecting feedback today by reaching out to a customer for an interview, sending out a survey, or setting up your own feedback page.

Plug: Convas, a feedback page for your company

Feedback page

Convas is a feedback page for your company. Gather all your feedback in one place, understand your customers and build the right products.

Your customers can share, discuss and upvote feedback in one organized place. Stay in control without messy spreadsheets, emails and Slack notifications.

Its a product manager's best friend. Try it for free.


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