Are You Listening? 5 Essential Strategies for Feedback Management

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Take it from a guy who owns over 400 companies, Richard Branson: “Success comes from listening to your customer.”

Customer feedback is essential to your company. Only by collecting feedback and acting on it can you improve your products and your customer experience. But managing customer feedback can be a major challenge.

Feedback management encompasses everything from how you collect feedback to how you parse it to how you act on it. It’s a lot. To be successful, you need a system and the technology to enable it. 

Here are 5 essential strategies to incorporate into your feedback management process.

1. Proactively ask for feedback

Don’t just wait until customers are annoyed and want to vent. Reach out and ask them for feedback while they’re interacting with your brand. One way of doing this effectively is through gathering feedback directly within your app. In-app feedback happens in context, so you get the most accurate, honest information without requiring them to jump through hoops to give it. 

Encouraging customers to give feedback means making the process as easy as possible for them. Offering customers an asynchronous communication option through messaging for customer support also makes it easy to collect feedback. It’s as simple as asking ‘how would you rate your support experience’ at the end of a chat. It’s easier for customers, which makes them far more likely to use it.

2. Create objectives for your feedback

You need to have a clear plan for how you intend to use customer feedback before you begin asking for it. As you implement feedback management mechanisms, keep in mind exactly why you’re collecting the data. For instance, you might hope to:

  • Get faster and better at solving customer problems
  • Raise your Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score
  • Head off negative reviews before they occur
  • Collect positive testimonials to use in your marketing
  • Prioritize changes to products by integrating feedback into product development

Regarding that last point, 46 percent of negative reviews contain “constructive criticism” — feedback that can help you directly improve your app. It’s an opportunity you can jump on if you’re listening.

One of the strengths of in-app feedback is the ability to gather both quantitative and qualitative feedback in one place. CSAT scores, for instance, are quantitative — numbers that can be tracked and compared over time. But giving customers the opportunity to write out thoughtful feedback in their own words, while qualitative and therefore harder to track, is just as valuable to your customer support organization.

3. Keep all of your feedback data in one place

A basic standard you should expect from your customer support platform is that it aggregates all of your customer feedback in one place and allows you to search and sort. Within your customer support technology, look for the ability to view CSAT scores easily right from the dashboard.

This feature should allow you to scan at a glance how many issues have been resolved within each CSAT number score. It’s useful to be able to search for CSAT scores by type as well. For instance, if you want to quickly see negative scores, use an advanced search for any CSAT rating lower than a 3. You can further narrow the search within a target date range or using key terms. 

4. Make feedback visible to your team members

If you feel that knowing their scores will help your agents improve upon their efforts, find out if your customer support platform offers the option to display it to team members.

In Helpshift, for example, you can turn on the “view feedback” feature in order to give agents instantaneous feedback on the issues they’re resolving in real-time. This sort of transparency can act as a motivating force for your team if used wisely.

5. Acknowledge feedback right away, graciously

Every time a customer bothers to reach out, for any reason, they deserve a quick reply. You may not be able to solve a problem immediately, but you have to at least acknowledge it. So no matter how else you’re handling feedback management, at the end of the day, always make sure to acknowledge your customers in a personal way.

Managing your feedback helps you manage your support team and better serve your customers over time. It starts with putting the right strategies in place, with the right technology to support them.

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Published November 11, 2019
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