Customers are, more often than not, willing to talk about your business. When they do talk, the information they share is called customer feedback, and it can help you improve all aspects of your business.
In this post, learn exactly what customer feedback is, why it’s important, and discover insight from HubSpot experts about the specific benefits it brings.
What is customer feedback?
Customer feedback is information customers share with you about their experience with your products or services and any interaction they’ve had with your company.
This feedback can be indirect and direct. For example, customers can openly discuss your brand on social media without tagging you (indirect) or leave product reviews and comments on your business’ website (direct).
Why is customer feedback important?
Customer feedback is important because it tells you how they feel about your business. You’ll learn what they like about what you offer and areas where you can stand to improve.
Without this feedback, you won’t know if you satisfy the people you exist for — your customers. You won’t know if they use your product as intended and even if they want to continue doing business with you.
Let’s go over some specific ways that customer feedback is beneficial.
Benefits of Customer Feedback
1. Customer feedback helps you learn about your audience on a deeper level.
Your business likely conducted extensive market research and buyer persona research to understand your target audience and how they relate to your business. While you probably gathered valuable insight, nothing is more valuable than the insight that comes directly from your customers, which is what customer feedback is.
They’ll let you know more about themselves, how they use your products and services, and what they expect from you. When you understand more about them and who they are, you can create experiences that speak directly to their needs.
Customers also already expect that the brands they do business with understand their needs and champion them in their processes. Case in point:
- 82% of survey respondents expect retailers to be able to accommodate their preferences and meet their expectations.
- 70% of consumers say they’re highly likely to purchase exclusively from brands that understand them and their needs.
2. Customer feedback gives you insight into customer satisfaction levels.
Customer satisfaction is how happy customers are with your products, services, and any interaction with your business. It’s an important metric as it helps you address customer issues, prevent churn, and build a base of loyal customers.
Specific ways of collecting customer feedback, namely customer satisfaction surveys, tell you exactly how your customers feel and how satisfied they are.Katie Cort, a Senior Customer Onboarding Specialist, says, “If the company does not have a way of knowing whether or not their customers are happy — things like retention will not improve!”
3. Customer feedback helps support teams develop their skills.
The support you offer customers directly impacts their success with your products or services. Customer feedback helps you ensure that your support teams can help customers succeed as it can provide specific insight into rep performance.
Caleb King, an Inbound Consultant, says, “Customer feedback is a very important tool for managers to get anecdotal feedback directly from the customer as one of the many pieces for measuring team members’ performance.”
To get this feedback, you can send follow-up surveys after support calls to ask customers how satisfied they are with the help they received. Rachel Ang, a Senior Customer Support Specialist, notes this benefit as well: “Reps get to see the feedback, and that’s really helpful for training and learning what could be improved and what we can continue doing.”
Teams that use customer feedback to build and improve their skills are better suited to meet customer needs and create delightful experiences.
4. Customer feedback helps you improve your products and services.
Customers sometimes give feedback that mentions a negative experience they’ve had. While it may seem disheartening, this feedback actually helps you improve your products and business operations, especially if you use it to make changes.
For example, customers who consistently mention a pain point in your onboarding process telling you that you might need to give additional clarification and update your process to ensure it runs smoothly.
Using this type of customer feedback also ensures you’re not making changes on an assumption but rather on the actual thoughts and feelings that come from those who matter most.
5. Customer feedback helps you attract new customers.
Customer reviews are a form of feedback, and consumers often rely on it when it comes to making purchasing decisions:
- 98% of customers read online reviews for local businesses.
- User-generated content, which reviews are, is 8.7x more impactful than influencer content and 6.6x more impactful than branded content.
- 9 out of 10 people read reviews before visiting or purchasing from a business.
The stats above simply show that customers want to hear from your existing customers and their experiences with you. When you collect and ask for reviews, you’re giving potential customers the information they look for when deciding whether to purchase, helping you with customer acquisition.
6. Customer feedback helps you initiate conversations with dissatisfied customers.
Customer feedback can help you identify dissatisfied customers to begin a dialogue with and open the opportunity to make it right and change the course of your relationship. Their feedback about their situation also helps you learn their pain points and identify possible areas for improvement in your operations.
Opening a dialogue with these customers and using their feedback to make changes helps you increase customer loyalty, as 83% of customers agree that they feel more loyal to brands that respond to and resolve their complaints.
How to Get Feedback from Customers
Cort says, “Customers are already giving feedback — to friends and family, competitors, social media, etc. So the question becomes, are you going to start listening to feedback and implement change because of it?”
Here are some ways to get feedback from customers:
- Send follow-up emails after you have provided a service to a customer and ask for their feedback.
- Use social listening to see how customers are talking about you online.
- Monitor heatmaps on your website to see where customers spend the most time.
- Conduct customer interviews.
- Offer incentives for providing feedback.
Overall, hearing what customers say about you helps you make changes to your business processes and offers, inspire loyalty, and better serve your audiences. So, when you want to hear from them, just ask — they’re likely to share.