A customer feedback loop will help you stand out
We’ve spoken with a lot of founders and marketers about customer feedback. Most of them would tell us that they’re all about their customers. They’d tell us they focus heavily on getting feedback in order to improve their product. But the truth is that most companies tend to ignore it.
Not a lot of companies actually apply customer feedback loops in their process. Some companies just don’t feel the need for it or some founders just don’t know where to start. The same questions come up all the time:
- Where do I start asking for customer feedback?
- How do I ask for customer feedback if I don’t already have a list of email subscribers or users?
- What type of questions should I be asking my customers?
- We don’t have a need for user and customer feedback now…
According to a study by RXL, 68% of your customers will leave you because they feel like you don’t care about them.
Another study by Monetate shows that 79% of customers will buy from a company again if the experience is good. But 89% of them would switch to a competitor if the experience wasn’t satisfactory. And nearly everyone agreed that the online experience influences their decision to buy. 95% of your customers will tell their friends about their bad experiences. This is why communication with your customers is so important. Their success is your success!
Creating a customer feedback loop isn’t as difficult as you think it is. You can add customer feedback to any stage of your funnel. In this guide, we’ll briefly go over the different stages of a funnel and how you can implement customer feedback across all stages of the different funnels.
Most of us personally sign up for a lot of products and services. But we notice that 90% of those companies never ask for our feedback. If they do it’s usually just a personal email at the very beginning when we sign up. We might receive an NPS survey here and there a couple months down the line, but nothing engaging enough to make us feel that we’re highly valued as a customer.
Different Stages of the Funnels
You should be looking to gather feedback at every opportunity possible. Most companies tend to think that they should only be getting feedback from people who are already on their list or an active paying user. But that is only one part of the funnel. Every marketer knows that the sales/marketing funnel begins with the landing page. But it doesn’t end there!
This is where all your potential customers visit before they know anything about your product. They could have found you through a Facebook ad that you have been running or heard about you from a friend. Either way, this is where they land and this is where the customer feedback loop can start.
This includes your blog. Content marketing is super powerful and it’s a great way to grow your brand and attract new visitors. However, it takes lots of engagement and revisits before the prospect subscribes to your email list. It normally takes even longer to decide to give your product a try.
According to Groove, In their first 30 days after subscribing, roughly 10% of our subscribers sign up for a free trial of Groove.
This is the stage of the funnel where the potential customer has already committed and made their first step towards becoming a customer. Users tend to engage in a conversation with the company before attempting to make a purchase. This usually happens through a live chat, submitting a website form, or subscribing to the company’s blog.
This is the perfect sweet spot for gathering customer feedback because this is the stage of the funnel where you already have the user’s contact information or their email in your database. You can start nurturing them at this point and make the customer feel like you care about them.
Woo hoo! This is the stage of the funnel where you should be giving everyone on your team a high five! You’ve successfully converted a user into an actual customer. Time for the hard part! Retaining your new customer and ensuring that you can turn them into an advocate requires proactive engagement and careful planning.
Most of these customers are considered to be first time users. They don’t have enough experience with your product in order for them to know how to use it right away. This is the part of the funnel where you want to take customer feedback very seriously and use it to improve the user onboarding process.
Long Term Customers
These are the type of customers that have already been using your product for a while. They probably know most of the in and outs of your product and found a very strong use case for your solution. Regular feedback loops at this stage are crucial at this stage. You’ll gain insights on how you can improve your product even more. They’ll tell you what features they want, which ones they love, and which ones they have trouble with. Usually, these are the type of customers that have a high engagement rate and more likely to refer their friends to your product/service.
This is the last part of the funnel. You don’t want the user to end up in. The longer the customer sticks with you the better. But just because a user canceled their account doesn’t mean that it’s over. We wrote a related blog post here on, “How you can set up a process to win back your canceled customers”. This is the stage where you want to take customer feedback even more seriously! If you know exactly why they churned, you have a chance to save them or have them revisit your application.
Gathering Customer Feedback
Cool, now we have most of that covered, let’s dive into how you can gather customer feedback and create that ultimate feedback loop for every single one of those stages.
Leads And Cold Traffic
As mentioned above, this is the very first stage. The hardest part about this stage is that we do not have the lead’s contact information, social media accounts or any other way to reach out to them for more feedback. There are two main go-to ways for collecting customer feedback during this stage.
Live Chat Widget
The very first way is through a live chat widget like Intercom, Olark, Drift. We use Intercom ourselves on our landing page to communicate with the leads that land on our site so we that we can answer their questions immediately.
One of the advantages of live chat is that visitors really get ALL their questions answered by a real person. If you sell something technical or your offer raises questions then having live chat capabilities can help to reduce any friction to buying. You can use the live chat to schedule a demo or provide them with help. Show them that you care!
Triggered Website Feedback Widget
This is a favorite of ours and it’s the one that works best. You can use a lot of tools like Crazyegg to look at heat maps and see how far the user is scrolling etc. But that’s not nearly enough to figure out where the user is coming from or what their intentions are. This is where a triggered website widget or an on-page survey works beautifully.
You do not necessarily need this to be on your home/landing page. It can appear on your blog or on a category/resource page. Both can be super effective. An interesting fact is that people are more willing to subscribe to an email newsletter after they’ve made a micro-commitment. They will do this once they have answered your simple question!
Here are some places you can place a website feedback widget:
Landing page– We run Facebook/Google Adwords and retargeting. A lot of our traffic comes from the cold ad clicks and we want to be able to segment them and figure out why the user is visiting our site. One of my favorite on-page survey questions is, “What’s the goal of your visit today?”. It helps them define what they’re looking for and if we are a possible fit. And it gives us priceless insights on what they are looking for or interested in.
We created this with our own app YesInsights and we have it display only on certain pages. In this case, it will be on our landing page. The best practice is to ensure that you have the proper call-to-action set after the visitor selects a response. For example, if they select that they’re, “Looking for a user feedback tool”, we might want to set the action to redirect them to our sign up page for a free trial.
Check out page – If the visitor does click on sign up and decides to fill in their information it means that they’re micro committed and their chance of becoming a paid customer is much higher. Unfortunately, people drop off from that stage of the funnel a lot. We like to trigger an exit survey before they leave the page to capture their feedback on what’s stopping them from buying right now. It’s much more accurate than just guessing why they dropped off.
Again, every single feedback is extremely important to me (and should be for you!). So we like to redirect and implement the proper call to actions depending on which answer they select. If they want to learn more about our product, we would love to hop on a call with them ASAP to answer all of their questions.
Blog – We get a good amount of traffic that comes to our blog every day. Just like with every other content marketer, we struggle to figure out what to write next. Does the post help with our ideal audience? Can it help grow YesInsights? Who’s our reader? We ask a lot of questions before writing a blog post. And the best way to answer those questions is by asking for feedback directly on the blog with an on-page survey or website feedback widget. Hiten Shah, one of our customers, talks about the importance of customer feedback when it comes to content marketing in our brief Q&A here – Hiten Shah On Leveraging Customer Feedback For Content Marketing
There are a lot of questions we like to ask on our blog to figure out what my audience wants to read next, but here’s my go-to question.
We like to start off by simply asking a close ended question that says, “Did this article help you find what you need?”
If they select YES, we like to capture their email right away! So within the YesInsights settings, we would choose the setting to “collect their emails” and it will show them this:
Boom! Email address collected. You can get creative with this and play around with different A/B testing. For example, you might want to display an NPS survey instead to see how people rate your article and so forth. It’s all about testing and optimizing.
Leads/Email Subscribers/Trial Users
This is the next stage of the funnel where you have already successfully captured the user’s contact information. Now you can do more research on them, understand their use cases, and ultimately take the guesswork out of knowing what they want. For this stage, we like to use one-click email surveys because now we have to chance to actually talk to them through email.
The most common thing companies do is send out a welcome or thank you email after the user has signed up. The first thing we do when a user signs up for our app is to send a welcome email asking them where they heard about us. This is extremely important because it is an open ended question that allows us to find out which marketing channel is working best for us and which marketing channel we can double down on. It looks like this:
This is a one-click survey that we created through our own platform and integrates into Intercom. We integrate with Intercom, Drip, Convertkit, MailChimp and over 30 other email service providers. Creating and implementing a survey takes less than a minute with YesInsights. Seriously.
This is considered to be a “triggered email” and only gets send out through Intercom as soon as the user signs up for our trial.
Why does this work?
Because triggered emails tend to be highly relevant to the customer. In fact, research shows they get up to 8x more opens and clicks than marketing emails. Secondly, these emails also tend to help the customer. If you help them, they’ll help you.
By asking questions in your email drip campaign, you’ll establish a system that consistently gets feedback early and often. And by giving customers easy opportunities to give feedback, you also show them that you value their opinion highly. We get 60% response rate from everyone that opens up this email, which is relatively high for surveys.
We constantly engage with our users throughout their trial to find out which part of the app they are struggling with and benefiting from by sending these type of one-click surveys. Our customer PiktoChart uses YesInsights within Intercom a few days into the user’s funnel to figure out what’s the user’s main use case. It looks like this:
They get 75% response rate on this survey and they’re able to send users different educational materials based on their responses!
If you are sending a welcome email to a new blog subscriber, it would be good to use a survey like the one shown above to narrow down the focus of what they are trying to accomplish by subscribing to your blog and then segmenting all the users that are interested in giving your product a test run.
Customers/Long Term Customers
If you did well with your lifecycle email nurturing and provided the lead with a lot of value throughout the trial phase, they should convert into being a paid customer. Customer feedback is extremely important at this point because you want to be able to increase user retention and have them stick around for the long term.
At this stage, I like to ask for customer feedback on their experience with our product so far. We ask questions to determine whether or not our features are providing enough value and whether or not I’ve hit product/market fit.
The best way we’ve found to measure product market fit is by asking a very simple question: “How would you feel if you could no longer use [PRODUCT/FEATURE XYZ] anymore?”
You can get creative and re-word the question in many different ways. Another variation is that you can use is: “How disappointed would you be if you could no longer use this product?” or “How likely are you to recommend [PRODUCT/FEATURE XYZ] to your friends?”
All three of those questions will help you get into the minds of your customer and determine if your product or service has really achieved product/market fit.
The best way to do this is to provide a list of responses for them to select from. Providing a list of responses for the customer to pick from will increase your response rates because they won’t need to hit reply and type up a long answer. You’re removing all the friction other surveys usually succumb them to.
Here’s an example of how you can ask this in your emails that you send to your customers:
How would you feel if you could no longer use YesInsights anymore? (Feel free to answer!)
You can create a simple one-click survey with that question above using YesInsights. You can also track exactly who responded to the question and view all the analytics right within the analytic dashboard.
Here’s how the one-click survey will look if you’re creating it with YesInsights:
And here’s how the analytic results will look:
There is a great chance you can build sustainable, scalable customer acquisition growth on this “must have” product if you find that a high percentage of your customers are saying that they would be “very disappointed” without your product.
Conversely, if a good chunk of your customers are saying that they won’t be disappointed, then you might want to think about how you can improve your product. This is a good sign that you should prioritize improving your product rather than pouring more money into user acquisition without knowing what your customers want.
This isn’t the only way you can collect customer feedback at this stage. We also like to ask other questions such as: “What features would you like to see us build in the near future?” or “Which feature did you find the most useful?” Again, just get creative and play around to drill down the pain points so you can build the ultimate product.
Another thing we like to send out during the later stages of customers that have been with us for a while is a Net Promoter Score survey which you can also create within YesInsights.
If you’re looking for tactics on how you can leverage NPS for referrals, feedback, and best practices check out this post here – How To Leverage NPS To Drive More Sustainable User Growth and Retention.
Canceled Users 🙁
The last part of the funnel are users who have canceled from your service or didn’t come back to buy again. This is the part of the funnel we never want the users to end up in because that results in user churn. You should do all you can to collect enough valuable customer feedback before the user even thinks about canceling their subscription! And you can still ask for customer feedback if they do proceed to cancel.
A cancellation survey can appear in many forms, but the most basic one would be one where you swap out the “cancel subscription” button with a question and a series of responses. It can look something like this:
This isn’t necessarily a customer feedback survey. But if the user selects, “Delete your account but leave us feedback”, then we like to trigger a survey asking for additional comments or feedback.
The survey that I do send is a survey that starts with an open ended question related to the cancellation. It should look something like this.
We use this to gather all the data from our canceled users. Then we determine what we can do on our end to improve the product and create a better experience for our future customers. Ongoing customer communication is a great way to bring back canceled customers. We also like to send a survey out 30-60 days after the user cancel to update them with our latest features and updates to see if they might want to revisit our app again. This tends to work quite well for our churned users.
Building feedback loops into your products benefit everyone. It shows customers that the company actually cares about its products, services and the people using it. It helps you improve your business. And it rewards future customers due to the improvements you made.
If you’re not already creating a customer feedback loop, then we hope this article can help you reconsider doing so. The process is actually quite simple. It can be added to all your lifecycle marketing emails as well as triggered emails. And it’s a great way to take the guesswork out of knowing what your customers really want.