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From Analytics to Action Part IV: Systematizing Customer Feedback

Welcome to the final installment of our series on going from analytics to action. We’ve covered how to establish a data-driven mindset within your marketing organization, how to derive insights from search behavior, and how to use A/B tests to learn even more about your customers. For our final installment, we’ll be covering data collection directly from customer feedback.

When it comes to gathering insights about your customers, direct customer feedback is the most obvious channel. Though it is an invaluable channel, most of us are not collecting customer feedback as frequently or as regularly as we could be. Secondly, the feedback we do collect is only as valuable as what we do with it. Here are our suggestions for getting the most out of your customer feedback:

Gathering Insight

The very first step to a robust system is to streamline existing feedback channels—starting with the most commonly used. For most companies, that would be your help desk or customer service center. Organize and streamline the process so that customer complaints, questions, concerns, and even compliments can be stored and further utilized after they’re addressed.

But as much as we would like our customers’ opinions to fall into our laps, it’s both limiting and imprudent to rely solely on unsolicited feedback. If you aren’t using surveys regularly to reach out to your customers, now is as good a time as any to start. Unlike with any general incoming or unsolicited feedback, you can have your customers answer specific questions in the areas where you need insight most.

On-site survey tools like Qualaroo or Survey.io can supplement monthly or quarterly surveys by providing an always-on avenue for feedback. Here’s how these tools work: a small pop-up or simple bar across the top of your site invites visitors to answer a short survey about their experience. Typically, these surveys are most valuable when it comes to on-site experience issues.

These tools can offer incredibly accurate and helpful information because they collect feedback in real time. You customers can answer questions easily about their experience without having to recall details from the past or abandon the site to answer a quick question about their experience.

De-Silo Your Customer Feedback

Insights about your customers exist within various parts of your organization. Your customer service, sales and/or account management team are on the front lines, and they data they collect is invaluable. Make sure it’s being put to good use.

To get anything out of the feedback you receive, it must be disseminated appropriately. It’s often the case that the most valuable data a company owns lives in silos, and that the teams who could benefit most from receiving certain information don’t have access to it.

Make sure that customer comments are gathered systematically and reported to the right people within your organization. Ideally, someone should own that process—be it marketing, a dedicated customer success department, or account management. If there is an individual or a team responsible for managing this process, it’s much more likely to be efficient and successful.

Implementing Data-Driven Changes

Though it almost goes without saying, direct customer feedback can shape virtually every aspect of your business—from initial marketing outreach to product development to customer service.

When it comes to marketing, common confusions should inform FAQs, but can also inform primary web copy or, depending on the complexity of the question, longer form content like blog posts or white papers and webinars. On the product side, customer feedback can be used to improve the website, usability, and overall user experience, and to determine which new features are most in demand.

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