The Advocacy Channel Ep. 7: How to Build an Engaging & Successful Customer Feedback Program
As marketing technology continues to evolve, there’s a bigger shift towards more customer-centric products and platforms. Companies are focusing on engaging their customers, and listening to and prioritizing their feedback to create better product experiences and stronger relationships.
To help us understand what this looks like in practice, we’re excited to welcome guest Ozkan Demir to The Advocacy Channel. As the CEO and Co-Founder of Pisano, an all-in-one customer experience management platform, Ozkan helps us uncover what feedback loops are, how to collect the best feedback from your customers, and how to actually use that feedback to build stronger, more profitable relationships with them.
If you’re wondering how to start collecting and using customer feedback in your organization, this is one episode you don’t want to miss!
Check out the full episode below, or keep reading for our favorite pieces of advice from the episode.
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How often should you ask customers for feedback?
Just like many of us experienced “Zoom fatigue” while working from home, survey fatigue is also real. While obtaining feedback is incredibly important, the last thing you want to do is have your customers groan and say “Not another survey” when they open their inbox.
We asked Ozkan if he has any advice for setting your survey frequency. How often is too often to ask for feedback? It really depends on your business model and the way you interact with your customers. The more often you interact with your customers (such as every day at a coffee shop), the more acceptable it is to increase your frequency.
Are there any rules of thumb that you use or would recommend on how frequent we should be, or shouldn't be asking for feedback? You gave us an example about the credit card company - some might think that's almost too frequent, but it sounds like maybe that's not the case, so I'd love your input on that.
That's a great question. Basically, as soon as we onboard a new client, that's the first question we get. So, how frequently we should ask these questions? Are we bombarding our customers with surveys? With the technology we have today, a lot of communication preferences can be set up in different platforms, including ours too, where you can design these rules so that you're not over surveying a customer.
Overall, the frequency is really up to the business model. If you're talking about a retailer, and you ask your retail customer once, or even 2-3 times in a week, that's not too much because there is that much interaction. Imagine a coffee shop - you're going there almost every single day, maybe two times, three times to that store. Maybe you're also an online customer and ordering coffee beans to your home etc. You're having a lot of interactions with that business, so in order to get the right feeling and the right data, it's not too much if you survey them 2-3 times a week, just as an example.
But for the B2B customer, if you would ask them their feedback every week, they would say, look, we've just talked about a few days ago…What happened? What's changed? So this is about the pace of the business. On the B2B side, more frequent would be quarterly - nothing more than that. You also want to make sure that you don't ask the same questions at the same touchpoint at the same frequency. So if the content is changing and for different purposes, that shouldn't be an issue.
Yeah, that makes sense. I think it's a wonderful way to think about it. The rate at which the customer is engaging with you or if there's a change in their relationship or state can really help drive that cadence of when we're going to ask for feedback.
"Customer feedback is always increasing because people trust that it is not a black box. Someone is there reading it, analyzing it, and then taking some action."
How can you increase your chances of getting customers to actually give feedback?
Getting a high engagement rate when asking for feedback starts with establishing trust between your and your customers.
Ozkan emphasizes that the feedback loop is a two-way street and a process based on trust. A big part of continuing to receive feedback starts with showing that you’re actually willing to use the feedback in the first place. Keeping customers as a part of the process once you’ve implemented one of their ideas is critical to building this relationship and showing they are actually contributing to improving your product or service.
I think one of the challenges that a lot of groups face when trying to collect this feedback, is they’re trying to figure out how do I get a high engagement rate? How do I get people to actually respond? Are there any best practices you either have built into the platform or just tips and tricks that you would share with people?
Beautiful question. If you want your customers to respond to the surveys, we highly recommend it being personal. Making it personal doesn't mean that you just write the name of the customer in the email - that's not personalization. You know the customer, you know their preferences, you know their transaction history and accordingly, you design those questionnaires and forms for them. That increases the likelihood of customers responding to those. So that is one thing.
And if we are talking about these channel-based ones or transactional-based ones, those are already very short surveys, like two to three questions. So then it is really up to the timing. So if you can catch the right time to collect that feedback, you will collect the feedback of the experience that is remembered. That is not the actual experience itself, but the remembered piece of that experience. That's why being there at the right time and with the right context is so important. If people realize that there is that engagement, then it really increases the adoption on the customer side.
We've found that none of our customers have decreased their amount of feedback so far. It's always increasing because people trust that it is not a black box. It's not a wall that they are typing their feedback into- someone is there reading it, analyzing it, and then taking some action.
"Every day at Pisano we get together and discuss customer feedback one-by-one every single day. It’s how we survive in such a competitive market."
How do you close the loop on customer feedback?
Once you’ve managed to start collecting customer feedback, what do you do with it? How do you communicate with customers and keep them involved in the process? There are plenty of different methods, but Ozkan shares an inside look at how they close the loop at Pisano and stay true to their customer-centric approach.
When you’re receiving feedback on those larger projects, do you recommend that we reach back out to the customer to say, “thank you very much, we'll consider that” or is it more important to make sure we send out an update when their requested change is made and we let everyone know this is because of customer feedback? How do we help best connect those outer loops with the customer?
That is actually what we're trying to achieve with all these businesses, because that's when you're really customer-centric - you are actually run by the experience. So if you're asking me, the best products, best services, best processes are always developed with the customer. Always. And you would never know without asking those customers.
At Pisano, we’re also using our own platform and we're implementing our own processes. So our customers reach out to us through surveys, direct feedback, and we track all of their activities on our platform.
This may not be applicable to businesses of all different sizes, but we get together with all employees at Pisano around the world and we discuss all that customer feedback one-by-one every single day. That is how we survive in such a competitive market and how we are prioritizing everything.
How we tie this back to the customer is we always keep them a part of the process. So we tell the people sharing the feedback with us that yes, we take it and we're evaluating it. And then if we decide to do it, such as a new feature on the platform or changing some processes, we tell them, for example, "this will be available in May 2022". And then when it's live, we email them back saying “you asked for this, and it’s now available on your dashboard, come back and see that.” And they love it. That's why we say that Pisano is a platform developed for the customer and developed with the customers themselves.
It's great that you're actually maintaining that list of who needs to be updated when we decided to do this project and who needs to be updated when it launches and not just a general company newsletter that announces a new feature. You're connecting with a specific customer saying "Due to your feedback, this product is now been released. You can find it on your dashboard." That's a really cool level of customer-centricity that I think a lot of companies struggled to achieve.
Listen to the full episode for even more on building a successful customer feedback program.
Special thanks to Ozkan for being on the show! Connect with Ozkan on LinkedIn.
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