All businesses have opportunities for improvement — they simply need to find them.
Rather than relying on gut instinct or intuition, customer feedback software collects actionable data to help give leaders a “bird’s eye view” of their organization. It does this in many different ways, all of which are worth exploring.
In general, customer feedback is any opinion a customer gives — regardless of whether it is positive or negative — that gives you insight into how your operations are being run. It sheds light on what you’re doing well, what you could be doing better, and where you may not be meeting their expectations.
Examples of customer feedback can include:
A customer feedback software platform is designed to gather and manage information pertaining to the quality of the experience you’re able to offer your customers. It helps you uncover things like recurring issues or common complaints that people may have, cluing you into certain trends and patterns that may have otherwise gone undiscovered.
One of the biggest benefits of implementing a customer feedback software tool is that it gives you more visibility into the customer experience than ever before. If you know which of your efforts are working, you also know something more important: which ones aren’t. That allows you to double down on the former and get rid of the latter as efficiently as possible.
Plus, the more you know about the customer experience, the better chance you have at making meaningful steps to improve it. You can get ahead of changing market conditions and capitalize on trends before your competitors do, thus giving you a significant advantage in the marketplace.
Overall, it’s critical to understand that not all customer feedback software tools are created equally. To ensure you find one that is an appropriate fit for your organization, there are a few key qualities that you’ll want to look for.
By far, the most important quality to look for in a customer feedback solution is one driven by data and insights.
The solution needs to prioritize data collection in a way that allows all organizational leaders quick access to the real-time, accurate insights they need to make the most informed choices possible. It needs to allow them to understand and visualize the entirety of the customer experience like never before. They should come away with a better understanding of customer behaviors and responses (especially to negative interactions) than ever.
These tools operate by pulling in data from various sources, distilling them down into a single interface. They can draw from notes made by employees, information in enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, and more.
Based on the sheer volume of data that you’ll be working with, a quality customer feedback tool also needs to be as user-friendly as possible. Remember: The goal is to improve the efficiency at which data can be collected, analyzed, and acted upon. You can’t get to that point if the solution you’re using makes it harder, not easier, to interpret that data through a difficult and unfriendly user interface.
Not only that, but a user-friendly tool will increase adoption company-wide, as it will be easier to train employees and easier for them to use.
Another important factor to consider in selecting a customer feedback software involves its ability to grow as your organization does the same. Historical data — that is, tracking trends and patterns over time — is a significant part of the value these solutions bring with them. That means storing and tracking higher volumes of data over time.
Therefore, any ideal customer feedback software must be able to consume and process large amounts of data that are ever-increasing — all so that it can scale with the company in question.
Finally, any customer feedback tool that you use should be timely — meaning that it should provide access to those insights and reports as quickly as possible.
This means that there must be some type of real-time component to the tool, yes. But it also extends far beyond that. There should be a mechanism to create alerts to changing market conditions or new evolutions so that the right people always have access to the right information at precisely the right time. Only then will they be free to act on these opportunities (or course-correct from potential mistakes) and focus more of their attention on matters that truly need it.
Starting a new customer experience initiative at your company? Download our e-book, How to Launch a Customer Experience Program.