Understanding Customer Feedback

Published: August 12, 2019

Tips for interpreting customer feedback

You already know that your customers are at the heart of your business. The smartest strategists understand that an outstanding customer experience leads to loyalty, brand evangelism and new business. But how can you find out what your customers are really thinking — or what they really need? After all, data only goes so far. The key is to ask the right questions. Then, you can adapt your strategy to answer the voice of the customer.

Where to Start

“Customer feedback” is a broad term. Known formally as Voice of Customer, VoC could apply to any area of the business, from an unsatisfactory experience with a website or a call center to a positive one with a product or service. You could gather data from older measures such as sales data, through newer routes such as social listening or use a combination of these — and other — tactics.

An effective approach to gathering customer insights incorporates the following methodologies:

  • Qualitative storytelling backed up by data. Qualitative analysis provides a nuanced picture, especially when supported by quantitative question sets. Your VoC should capture relevant data but also tell a rich, insightful story. Your customers are human beings — and human beings are complex.
  • A fluid approach to data mining. Do you anticipate finding one story but learn that the data won’t validate it? A flexible approach that accommodates a change in direction can help reveal deep learnings.
  • A scientific approach. One data instance does not mean it is a trend. A scientific approach to VoC analysis will track results over time, validating findings and informing a more thoughtful approach.

Why You Need to Analyze Customer Feedback

Customer feedback doesn’t live in a vacuum. It speaks broadly to how others — including your competitors and critics — view your brand. If you aren’t listening to what your customers are telling you, you’re allowing your competitors access to a bigger share of the market. Every action your business takes, from production to messaging to support, influences customer experience.

Long story short, feedback is a gift, and it comes in a variety of forms. Here are questions to ask while analyzing customer feedback:

  • Net Promoter Score. Have you turned your customers into brand evangelists? If not, why not? What is the industry leader doing to succeed, and how can you do it better?
  • Social media and customer reviews. What do your customers say online? Have you incorporated social listening into your VoC analysis?
  • Sales data. Do your sales data trends make sense when compared to your brand metrics? If not, why not?
  • Competitive analysis. What are other businesses doing in your space? Do you make time to review their press releases and employment listings? What direction are they going in, and how can you differentiate your products and services?

Proactive Worldwide can help you mine these rich resources to uncover the message that your customers are sending you.

Contact Proactive Worldwide

Proactive Worldwide’s customer-centric approach to strategic planning and analysis can help you better understand customer feedback. For more information on how stronger market intelligence can drive your business forward, get in touch with us today.