Recruitee is a cloud-based ATS (Applicant Tracking System) that streamlines the recruitment process. In order for us to successfully save our users’ time and effort during hiring, we have to listen to their feedback! While we have a firm grasp on how to best execute recruitment software in order to produce results, there may be a feature every once in a while that could be improved for the vast majority of users. It helps tremendously to receive feedback on feature requests, bugs, or other comments, because we are constantly updating and improving the software to be the best it can be and allow our users to make the best hires possible.
Whether it is positive or negative, customer feedback is essential for companies building products. It’s hard to see the forest through the trees when you are extremely focused on the details of your product or service. Customers are sometimes useful at pointing out areas that could use improvement that you may have otherwise missed! However, there will inevitably be disgruntled customers that complain about minute details or bored individuals who send in comments that only they think are funny. How do you sift through these? More importantly, how do you encourage useful customer feedback in the first place? Stay tuned.
1. Make it easy for customers to communicate
The first step to getting customer comments is to make yourself open to them. This applies not only mentally, but practically. Humans, in general, tend to gravitate toward things that are easy to accomplish and rewarding. If you can offer both, great! However, be careful when offering incentives. You don’t want a gift card to be the only motivator. It may cause you to get more “feedback” than you can sift through. Keeping that in mind, here are some channel ideas:
Along with your email newsletters, make it known that you are open to suggestions! A survey embedded right in the email, itself, will make it more convenient for recipients to answer.
Live support feedback
If you use live chat on your website, there are oftentimes ways to ask customers for feedback during or at the end of the conversation. Find a tool that has a feedback feature (among others) that can automatically send feedback requests to certain users based on their activity. This is, of course, in addition to the comments you will get right in the live chat!
User activity data
I’ve talked mainly about written feedback, but data and analytics are still a powerful form of insight into consumer behavior and perception of your product or service. For instance, keeping an eye on which parts of your site users dwell on can show you what’s working in terms of messaging. Heat maps are one of the features that proves particularly useful.
Ask for it IRL (In Real Life)
If you get the chance, you can get candid feedback when meeting up with local customers! They will likely appreciate the consideration. Take notes over lunch and promise to take their comments to the team. This is one instance in which you need to be wary of overly positive feedback, but it’s still helpful. It can boost the connection you have with your consumer community at the same time.
2. Give feedback to the customers in return
If you are expecting your customers to take the time to submit feedback, the least you can do is reply! Acknowledge the customer and manage expectations, saying thank you and giving them some idea of how you plan to implement their suggestions. Be careful not to guarantee any dates or solid plans here – there is only so much you can do! You will never make all customers happy. However, you can make them feel heard, which is half the battle.
3. Categorize feedback
You will certainly run into customers who complain just to complain, but this must be dealt with respectfully. Treat them according to the point above, but leave team notes for anyone that comes across them in the future. Further, categorize these types of comments so you don’t have to rifle through them to get to the good stuff. Here are some more examples of categories to think about:
- Possible additions to the current roadmap
- Relevant ideas for later contemplation
- Irrelevant ideas
- Reviews on external sites, like Capterra
It’s a good idea to convert comments into something that can be quantified in order to analyze it and put your findings to use immediately. You will most likely use a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data, such as comments and star ratings. At Recruitee, we use a feedback tool to get numerical ratings from customers in addition to their feedback. These are helpful to see the big picture and set benchmarks to look back on progress along the way.
4. Translate feedback into relevant input for the team
Now that you are testing feedback avenues, you need to set aside time to put it into action. Here are some examples for creating tangible plans out of customer reviews:
- Weekly Friday meetings with the tech team and prepared notes synthesizing important feedback
- List out ways to attack issues and start improving
- Use project management tools, like Trello and Asana, to log useful ideas and their coordinating plans of action
5. Beta test purposefully
Ask the same customer that suggested a feature to test that feature! This will earn your company brownie points and loyalty. Just like humans like convenience, they favor situations in which they feel as though their voice is being heard. This is a great way to show them just that! Beta testing is not only a way to evoke feelings of inclusion in users and market your product, but it is a way to get tailored feedback for features before they are pushed to everyone. This way, you can get it right the first time: according to you and your most valued customers.
Even if your product seems flawless from the inside, a company can only build a good product with good customer feedback! After all, your customers will be the daily users. Ensuring you hear their feedback is crucial to successful product development. The product can be something that you think is invaluable and in-demand, but your target users may say differently. Note your findings, communicate with the team, test new features, and repeat!
About the Author
Perry Oostdam is the co-founder and CEO of Recruitee, a collaborative hiring platform for teams of all sizes. Recruitee helps optimize the entire hiring process, from candidate relationship management, employer branding, and job posting to candidate sourcing and applicant tracking. The company has offices and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Poznań, Poland and works with companies around the world.
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