Managing customer feedback is a challenge many organisations face on a daily basis – especially when dealing with a large amount of feedback, coming from multiple sources and various digital channels. In fact, this process can be downright overwhelming. That is, unless you practice good customer feedback management. By streamlining feedback data in a way that helps you easily gather, analyse and take action on your feedback, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your feedback and give the customer the online experience they deserve.
Using our feedback expertise gained from years of working with digital-first organisations large and small to get their customer feedback management programs up and running, we’ve got all of the information you need to deliver a top-notch experience.
In this article, we will address the following:
- What is customer feedback management?
- Why is it important?
- Tips for managing customer feedback
- Customer feedback management tools
What is customer feedback management (CFM)?
Customer feedback management (CFM) is the process of gathering, analysing and taking action on customer feedback with the goal of optimising the online customer experience. In other words, CFM brings customer feedback full circle. However, this is only possible through the deployment of online customer feedback surveys, proper analyses and a team that is willing to take these insights and come up with a solution that caters to the customers’ needs.
Why is CFM important?
Good customer feedback management is integral to your business’ digital strategy. Here’s why:
CFM helps inform your business decisions
- Helps guide your product roadmap – Prioritising your roadmap is a simple process if you manage customer feedback properly. Feedback will give you insights into which items to focus on first and how much urgency they have among customers.
- Identifies ways to improve customer satisfaction – Identifies what makes your customers tick, what struggles they encounter across the journey and what they think of your digital channels.
- Provides good insights for testing purposes – Use customer feedback alongside your usability testing efforts and gain insight into why pages or channels aren’t performing.
- Helps improve UX & design – Many solutions offer features that help you identify issues with UX and design such as visual feedback.
CFM builds trust and loyalty among your customers
- Maintaining relationships with your customers through customer feedback will help keep them engaged with your brand and feel heard.
How to manage customer feedback
When it comes to actually managing your feedback, the process can typically be broken down into three steps: collecting, analysing and taking action on customer feedback. Let’s take a look at each of these individually.
1. Collecting customer feedback
The process of collecting customer feedback looks different for every organisation. However there are methods that can be applied across all industries and organisations large and small.
Where to collect customer feedback
While many organisations tend to focus on only their website, there are actually several other digital channels worth gathering feedback on, such as mobile apps and email.
Collecting mobile feedback can give you insights into the mobile experience of your users. For example, your organisation can identify which kinds of obstacles users are running into in-app by leveraging in-app targeting techniques.
Additionally, email feedback – which is quite a popular manner of gathering feedback in the retail industry – is a big one. Email feedback can open up a two-way communication between you and your customers, whether that’s feedback on email campaigns, post-purchase drip emails or even email surveys measuring customer loyalty.
Want to learn more about these digital channels and how you can collect feedback on them? Be sure to check out this post.
Which metrics to use
Your selection of metrics also plays an important role in the success of your customer feedback programme. As we mentioned before, there is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach when it comes to customer feedback metrics, however, there are a few that are used among many organisations.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) – NPS, perhaps one of the most popular loyalty metrics, is a great way of gauging customer loyalty online.
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) – CSAT is essentially a measurement of how well your website meets the expectations of your customer.
- Goal Completion Rate (GCR) – GCR measures the number of visitors who have completed a specific goal on your website or mobile app.
- Customer Effort Score (CES) – CES is a metric used to understand how much effort it took your customer to achieve his/her goal.
Learn more about how to apply these different types of feedback metrics here.
When to collect customer feedback
Digital products and services evolve fast and customer expectations even faster, so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and collect customer feedback frequently! It should be a constant and integral part of your digital marketing strategy.
There are also right moments and wrong moments to collect customer feedback. By leveraging both passive feedback (i.e. a constant feedback button or an embedded survey on the page) and active feedback (behaviourally-triggered surveys) you will be sure to have all of your bases covered. Active feedback surveys give you the ability to ask for relevant feedback in the moment, i.e. when a customer is about to leave the page or abandon their shopping cart.
2. Analysing customer feedback
Customer feedback analytics provides organisations with a digestible way of bringing feedback data together and identifying key bottlenecks and trends. Done through the application of dashboards and charts displaying feedback data, this step in the process also requires a bit of critical thinking. When analysing your feedback data, you have to think about what it is that you want to learn?
Many organisations aim to – for example – analyse feedback over time and see how impactful changes are on the customer journey. It can also help identify major drops or rises in metrics, signalling that something might need to be fixed or optimised.
Additionally, organisations working with multiple channels, domains or countries may consider monitoring all of these metrics in one chart to compare and contrast how certain countries are scoring with certain metrics or which channels – web, mobile app or email – are performing better in terms of CSAT.
Tips on how to analyse feedback data
Here are a number of tips / techniques on how to analyse your feedback data.
1. Identify feedback trends over time
When measuring hard KPIs such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), it is useful to monitor how these metrics change over time. Whether your organisation does this on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis, leveraging charts that measure these fluctuations will help you quickly detect changes in performance in a timely manner.
Let’s look at a few examples of measuring NPS over time:
If you want to measure NPS from the last month, you could use a bar chart like the one below which is split into the different scoring options. Here you can see the percentage of promoters, passives and detractors per month:
Alternatively, you could use a line graph and monitor a rating and see how this changes over time:
Using these insights, you can keep a pulse on certain metrics and intervene when you and your team see fit.
Some user feedback software solutions – like Mopinion – allow their users to zoom in on specific feedback items and deep dive into this data, uncovering the reason behind a major drop or rise in scores. A good one to keep in mind…
2. Bring different feedback sources together
Is your organisation measuring the same metrics across various channels, domains or countries? Then you might want to consider a solution that can line these metrics up next to each other in charts. By putting all of this data into one chart, you’ll be given a bird’s eye view of what is happening across your entire digital front.
For example, let’s say you want to monitor the Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score provided by your customers across your website, mobile and email channels to get an idea of how these channels perform in relation to one another. You could do that by merging the results from these feedback forms into one chart and comparing.
This would look as follows:
Note: this chart also measures the score over a period of time.
Or you can measure a score like NPS across countries. Here is an example of measuring promoters only:
To learn more about how Mopinion tackles the challenge of bringing together multiple data sources in one chart, be sure to check out this post.
Pro Tip #1: Creating your ‘ideal’ dashboard
The ideal customer feedback analytics dashboard isn’t a one-size fits all solution. In fact dashboards vary greatly from organisation to organisation. So our advice is – depending on the priorities you’ve set for your feedback program, i.e. your focus KPIs, channels, and/or campaigns – try organising the data in a way that helps you quickly detect anomalies. For example, by listing your top KPIs first, and then funnel down into charts that need to be monitored less frequently.
3. Monitor online testing efforts and specific pages
Additionally, many organisations leverage feedback for online testing purposes. In other words, to understand how the changes on any given page of your website or mobile app are received by the user.
Let’s use an A/B test as an example.
Let’s say you want to see how your users experience two different versions of your homepage. You could use a chart this like the one below. This chart shows the level Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) on each of the two versions.
Another simple way of measuring how a page is received by your users is by mapping out the best URLs. For example, if you want to know which blog posts are performing well, you could create a chart with the top 5 best performing blog posts (using metrics such as smileys, stars, a scale of 1-5, etc.). This will give you a quick and easy overview of your pages, which will ultimately enable you to better prioritise your content strategy.
Example of a pie chart showing the top 5 URLs:
Example of a bar chart displaying the top 5 URLs:
4. Instantly gauge (changes) in sentiment
Looking to quickly gauge sentiment on certain pages or within email campaigns? An easy way to do this would be to create a simple chart that measures positive and/or negative feedback. For example, many feedback solutions offer feedback survey elements such as the ‘thumbs up / thumbs down’ which are usually found at the end of an email, or embedded at the bottom of a page, i.e. FAQs or blog posts.
They look like this:
But how do you visualise this?
Measure both the positive and negative feedback over time:
This gives you a quick indication as to how your page (or newsletter in this case) performed over the span of a time.
Or as a line graph (with the total amount of feedback):
Measure ONLY positive (or negative) feedback over time:
Pro Tip #2: Dig deeper into your data
Dashboards are great for quickly detecting data anomalies, but why stop there when there’s a whole other level of data waiting for you. To better understand why metrics are fluctuating, dig deeper into your data and analyse open comments and metadata (i.e. browser, user agent, OS).
For example, let’s say the last three days, your mobile channel has experienced a significant drop in CSAT. If you work with a feedback solution like Mopinion, you can simply click through to the feedback straight from the chart and get to the source of the problem.
5. Measure total amount of feedback collected
Additionally, one of the more seemingly simplistic yet effective ways of analysing your customer feedback is to monitor the amount of feedback being gathered. This can quickly give you insights into which areas you might need to focus on. The reason being is that particularly a rise in feedback may indicate an issue many of your customers are encountering. To measure this effectively, many organisations leverage line graphs (over time) to quickly discover any rise or drop in feedback. The amount of feedback you gather can also be compared across multiple sources (as mentioned above).
Here’s an example of chart showing feedback items collected over the course of three weeks:
Want to compare the amount of feedback across multiple sources? Here’s an example of how that might look:
Pro Tip #3: Understand customer emotions
In addition to measuring key KPIs, many organisations also leverage techniques such as text analytics. In the context of user feedback, text analytics is typically used to analyse and break down the content in open text fields within a feedback form. It also involves categorisation, clustering, pattern recognition, tagging and visualisation.
This type of data can aid your organisation in understanding customer sentiment and emotions, providing you with the means to boost struggling areas of your website, mobile app or email campaigns.
Click here to learn more about text analytics.
3. Taking Action
The final step of the customer feedback management process is taking action (or closing the feedback loop). This process is a pivotal part of the customer feedback cycle as oftentimes data gets ‘siloed’ and never reaches other departments where it can be leveraged for improvement. It can also build loyalty among your customers when they know something is being done with their opinion.
The strongest feedback loops do more than just connect customers, the front line, and a few decision makers in management, however; they keep the customer front and center across the entire organization.Harvard Business Review
To do this properly, it is ideal to have the right action management process in place, enabling you to engage your ‘at-risk’ customers and put them back on the path to success. Taking action on feedback insights can be looked at from two perspectives: internal and external actions.
Internal actions for closing the customer feedback loop
First things first. We need to make sure that the feedback insights obtained fall into the right hands. There are a number of ways to take your feedback from analysis to action (internally).
Note: these are all solutions available within the Mopinion software. Check with your feedback software provider first to make sure these options are available to you.
1. Categorise your feedback with tags or labels
A great way to keep your feedback data organised is by tagging items based on their category. By ‘tagging’ or categorising certain items with a label, it’s very easy to search and group similar feedback items together. This also makes it easier to assign tasks to the right teams. For example, if you add the tag ‘bug or error’, it is immediately clear for your IT team to see that that particular item is for them to solve. Alternatively, if you add the tag ‘expensive’ or ‘pricing’, your sales team will know to involve themselves in the matter.
In fact, some feedback software solutions such as Mopinion even leverage machine learning technology that allows for this process to be done intelligently and automatically. The user simply has to specify the conditions in which tags should be added to feedback items and based on the parameters, the items will be tagged automatically.
2. Assign feedback tasks to team members or departments
Got your feedback sorted properly? Then it’s time to distribute it to the person or department responsible for handling the item. The easiest way to do this is to assign feedback to individuals or teams directly, especially if you can do this within the same software. This way it is clear who is responsible for which action and the assignee knows what is expected of them.
*Adding notes for yourself and colleagues is another great way to further simplify the process. Many feedback tools are capable of doing this. It is a quick and easy method for communicating suggestions or comments about a particular feedback item. What’s great about this too, is that rather than sending a separate email to a colleague, all details are in one centralised location.
3. Set up feedback email alerts
Need a faster and more direct way of notifying your team members of a new feedback item? Feedback email alerts might be a good option for these urgent matters. With some solutions, these alerts can also be automated depending on the conditions set in place (such as low scores or specific comments) so that your organisation can quickly resolve any majors issues.
4. Automate distribution to external tools with webhooks
Got a big marketing tech stack? Then it may be beneficial to set up webhooks. For those of you who are unfamiliar with webhooks, these essentially serve as a way of relaying data to other applications in real-time. Unlike an API which must poll for data quite frequently, webhooks are transferring live data to your application of choice every time an event meets your criteria (i.e. low score, feedback comments containing certain words, feedback from a specific device, browser or url, etc).
This is ideal for pushing feedback to your project management, chat, or other collaboration tools used internally.
External actions for closing the customer feedback loop
To bring your feedback ‘full circle’, the next step is to revert back to the customer. But where do you start?
Depending on priorities, it can be helpful to set the timescales for the fix. When it comes to online channels, customers generally want a resolution as quickly as possible, so it is advisable to bear this in mind internally. Put simply, if a customer has to wait more than a reasonable period of time they will take their business elsewhere!
It is also very helpful to include a schedule of follow-up points following the resolution. You will want to see what the results are from your actions, not only from the individual feedback customers but also the overall trends, to ascertain if it has generated the benefits you wanted.
Track progress and keep all the right parties informed
Not all issues can be resolved within a short period of time (perhaps a number of hours or even a day or so) so it is important to manage the expectations of your audience accordingly. This could be directly via your online customer portal, social media or customer support centre.
In fact, there is nothing worse than your business going silent on an issue – it is much better to show you are working on a resolution and value the opinions of your promoters (as well as your detractors!).
And then, of course, when the issue has been resolved, be sure to notify the customer (or group of customers) depending on how widespread the issue is.
Harmonising internal and external actions
It’s important to understand that internal and external actions will often influence the other, as these actions are often linked.
Let’s look at an example:
One of your customers has identified an issue. The first step you’ll want to take is to alert the appropriate teams (in a timely manner) so that the issue can be diagnosed and steps can be taken to resolve it. However, this doesn’t mean that the feedback item is then ‘closed’.
There are a lot of cases in which businesses collect feedback but never inform the customer of the result. This can be detrimental to customer retention and satisfaction – mainly because you’ve left the customer in a sort of ‘limbo’ where they don’t know if their voice has been heard or not. The perfect example of this? A customer awaiting a confirmation before they go on to purchase your product.
As you can see, the level of importance in resolving the issue is just as high as keeping the customer informed of the issue.
But… truth be told, you can’t do any of this without the right customer feedback management tool in place…
Customer feedback management tools
Take a look at some of the tools we’ve selected for you below.
Mopinion is an all-in-one user feedback tool that helps organisations collect and analyse website, mobile and email campaign customer feedback. It has an easy-to-use interface, with which users can build, design and configure feedback forms however they like. Mopinion users can also target specific groups of visitors with feedback forms and gain insights into why they are struggling to convert. Once collected, feedback items can be visualised in customisable dashboards and charts for advanced analyses. Additionally, digital teams can share and take action on these feedback items in a timely manner with the help of smart alerts.
Feedier (IXM) is an intuitive experience management solution that allows you to listen carefully to the Voice of the Customer in order to improve your customer experience. Collect in real-time direct and indirect feedback through gamified forms, analyze your data with an intuitive and visual dashboard via features such as analysis of the most used keywords in your responses, correlation matrix, User Stories, NPS and many others.
InMoment is a cloud-based customer experience optimisation platform which offers multiple solutions including a Voice of the Customer (VoC) platform. It’s VoC platform allows for feedback collection, online reporting, real-time alerts and occurrence management. It also offers unique features such as data exploration, an active listening studio and action planning. The platform combines the survey data it collects with customer data from other sources such as CRM, social and financials.
Survicate is a well-known web survey solution that lets users trigger targeted surveys across various funnels of the website. Alternatively, you can send out email questionnaires to different customers using digital CX metrics such as NPS, CSAT, CES, and more. Survicate also allows users to perform some analysis activities including dashboarding, NPS analysis and exporting feedback to XLS or CSV.
Qualtrics is an Experience Management Platform which offers various data collection methods such as website/mobile feedback, email surveys and social feedback for actionable customer, market and employee insights. Though this solution is more of a traditional survey software, it does offer a dedicated solution for digital. Users have access to their own role-based dashboards and can view results in trend vs. target charts. There is also a closed loop ticketing feature that notifies users of customer interactions, such as the presence of a detractor.
Looking for a more comprehensive list. Here is our roundup of the best customer feedback tools.
Using Mopinion to manage your customer feedback
The process of collecting, analysing and taking action on feedback may appear to be a daunting task, but with the right solution in place, a lot of the work is actually facilitated for you. A customer feedback management tool like Mopinion gives its users the flexibility to decide how and when to collect feedback with customisable feedback surveys deployable across web, mobile apps and in emails. Are your customers struggling to convert? You’ll be the first to know thanks to Mopinion’s intuitive and advanced analysis capabilities. We’ll then help you bring your feedback full circle with plenty of feedback sharing opportunities such as integrations (with webhooks) and built-in action management tools.
Mopinion is always improving its software so that it can call itself one of the best customer feedback management tools on the market. Have you seen our newest release: conversational feedback? With this new feature, our users can leverage chat-like technology to personalise and humanise the feedback experience.
Ready to see Mopinion in action?
Want to learn more about Mopinion’s all-in-1 user feedback platform? Don’t be shy and take our software for a spin! Do you prefer it a bit more personal? Just book a demo. One of our feedback pro’s will guide you through the software and answer any questions you may have.