If You Forget To Do This, You Can Forget Being SuccessfulStephanie Stupack / strategy / May 14th 2015
“How’re we doing?”
It’s a simple question that can earn your company millions more in revenue.
Customer feedback is a vital component of building a successful company. It provides the roadmap for new features which ensures customer satisfaction while decreasing churn.
If you forget to ask for customer feedback, you can forget your company being successful.
Nobody is Perfect
Companies that don’t secure customer feedback are assuming that their ideas and user experience cannot possibly be improved upon.
Successful businesses know that is far from the truth.
Think about the story of Myspace (yes Myspace still exists today!). Myspace was originally built as a social network with an emphasis on music as a way for people to follow their favorite bands.
After a huge influx of user feedback they pivoted. Myspace became a broader social network and in June 2006 surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States.
Myspace’s original idea got them a handful of users, but what brought them true success was listening to those users. As Facebook began eating Myspace’s market share, they pivoted back to the music industry and they are now the fifth most popular music site in the world (even surpassing Spotify).
Another example is SurveyMonkey, a survey creation and collection platform.
This is what they looked like in June of 2004.
And this is what they look like today.
Over time they used customer feedback to improve not just their user experience but have also added features such as “Audience” and “Benchmarks” to meet evolving user needs.
It wasn’t that their initial idea was a bad one, but rather that it was lacking features that users needed to make it worth their time and money.
These are just two of numerous examples of good ideas that were transformed into great ones.
The Best Ways to Get Customer Feedback
Collecting actionable insights from your customers can feel like a daunting task, especially, when they are all asking for different features and/or changes.
This is why it is vital that you create a system to collect and monitor feedback. This will keep your team from feeling overwhelmed and guide your product roadmap. Here are a few systems you can use to solicit and monitor feedback.
There are many survey tools you can use to collect information from your customers (including SurveyMonkey listed above). Surveys allow you to gather a wealth of information, but it's important you keep them short.
The longer your survey the more likely respondents are going to drop off before they complete the form. We recommend aiming for about 5 questions or less.
Feedback boxes are the small boxes that pop up on your screen (usually the bottom corner) asking you to rate a feature of the product you’re using. They work well because they collect feedback from users at the exact moment they’re using the product. This enables customers to easily provide detailed responses.
Here is a great example from Qualaroo.
Click, scroll, and mouse heatmaps provide insights into your product’s most clickable areas. Inspectlet is a fantastic heatmapping tool, which also provides video recordings of real customers using your product.
Another great way to collect customer feedback is through a good ole' fashioned phone call. The important factor here is to train customer success representatives to ask every customer the same set of questions and accurately bucket the answers into groups.
In the beginning it doesn’t matter which tool you use to gather customer feedback, as long as you are able to effectively collect, monitor, and execute on the results.
At Bitmatica we have run successful customer feedback and beta programs (to accompany product and software development) to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction while minimizing churn. For one of our projects, Dashtab, we use customer feedback to triple our customer list and decrease churn.
We think every great relationship starts with a conversation and some free advice so shoot us a message!