Customers are the invaluable ‘brand ambassadors’ for any business. We are living in an age where the customer holds the most power, so companies are embracing a customer-first mentality and aligning all activities in hopes to delight the customer. The more the customer is engaged and involved, the greater possibility of customer retention.
Rather than engaging pre-sales, after or post-sales customer contact has become essential to gain a competitive advantage. As part of this process, gathering ‘customer feedback’ has become invaluable, since it provides marketers and business owners with insights that they can use to improve the overall customer experience.
There is a variety of feedback that can be gathered directly from customers, competitor reviews, and discussion forums that provide us with valuable insights. It could be related to new businesses/products, limitations or issues related to products/services, perceptions about the company and its products and services, and more. Additionally, information related to the limitations and drawbacks of the services can also be extracted from these queries.
Typically, companies do not showcase their own issues related to customer service, product feature roadmaps and updates, nor limitations or drawbacks. However, there are discussion forums where customers post their queries to a company on any issue related to products and services. Generally, following this query, a customer support person will respond and discuss future plans or updates regarding products and services – sometimes not even things disclosed openly.
The wealth of customer feedback data can support a variety of business decisions – including revenue growth, strategic insights, marketing strategies – and add significant value. There are numerous sources where customers typically post their feedback, such as company discussion groups and other third-party forums. When these insights are considered in combination with secondary data sources, and current market conditions, it can prove to be a good representation of the company’s market position and other business metrics.
However, while most feedback is a direct reflection of the customer’s interest and opinion, there could also be a lot of irrelevant feedback. So, when the appropriate customer feedback is properly mined for, analyzed and properly categorized, more meaningful insights can be gathered. Companies from any industry can translate customer feedback intelligence into improved customer loyalty, and gain the ability to identify unhappy customers, reduce churn and increase revenue.