When entering a business growth phase, customer feedback can be imperative to your success. Understanding your customers’ wants and needs is key to managing customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention, and to improving your products and/or services.
A feedback loop refers to the process of using customer feedback to create a better product or customer experience. The loop can be either negative or positive. It’s a way to continuously measure and improve your business and to determine your business strategy and future actions.
Once you have built up your customer base, you will have valuable insights to draw from. A great starting point is understanding and mapping out your biggest challenges, key customer satisfaction points, and areas of opportunity. This will allow you to create very concrete KPIs.
It’s then about how you create the feedback loop and use the data you have collected as a business driver. Here are my top four ways to growth-hack your business with feedback loops.
Get business news first
Sign up to SmartCompany’s daily newsletter
1. Define desired outcomes
Understanding what feedback you need is key to building a feedback loop — what to ask, when to ask it, and knowing what to do with the results.
Start off by defining your desired outcomes, looking at what specific feedback would benefit the business.
From there you get really granular, mapping out when in the customer journey you would gain the most valuable insights, and testing various methods to ascertain the feedback. Depending on your business, methods could be an NPS survey, follow-up calls, or even online reviews.
Whether you’re a product or service-based business, it’s important to understand what your customers are thinking about your offering, and what they’re saying about it.
Getting insights from your customers will enable you to create a stringent process and track customer satisfaction in real-time, at different stages of the sale process.
2. Fast-track customer experience
Creating a feedback loop can fundamentally change the way you do business — it ensures you have the customer at the heart of every decision. Being able to iterate on your offering to improve service levels and your customer experience will act as a key growth pillar.
Creating a feedback loop will allow you to build a better business.
You will be able to use it as a tool to listen to your customers, so you know whenever you are implementing something new — whether launching a new product, price point, or service — that your customers are still happy, and what you are doing is being well received and improving overall customer experience.
3. Use data to inform your decisions
Using SaaS tools to track your customer journey will allow you to centrally manage your data, giving every customer an optimum experience at every stage of the customer journey. The loop gives you data that helps you make better-informed business decisions and to have meaningful customer interactions.
In short, it takes the guesswork out of it.
For example, we collect data from our contractors and feed it into Salesforce, and as milestones are hit in the customer journey, we can trigger interactions that require a response.
Doing this means you can understand how the customer is feeling throughout the journey and what your pain-points (or opportunities) are.
Throughout this stage, you’re listening for certain events during the lifecycle so you can make informed and quick decisions and fix any issues before they get bigger.
4. Using customer feedback for online reviews
Reviews are a reliable source of information for your potential customers and making the most of them can be a key driver for brand consideration and acquisition.
Customers are seeking out opinions and experiences (even more so when a substantial investment is required by them) to make informed decisions.
So, how can you use them to your advantage?
Positive reviews can be used as a sales tool, as a trust builder, and social proof that validates your offering. They help build trust with potential customers in the sales journey, so essentially it’s a lead generation tool.
Negative reviews also present an opportunity to improve on your offering, or even turn an unhappy customer into a brand advocate.
Another benefit of the feedback loop is discovering customers that require nurturing.
At the end of the day, knowing your customers’ opinions and experiences at every stage of the customer journey is key to mapping out your growth strategy, building stronger customer relationships, and customer acquisition.
With the data sitting in front of you, it’s a no-brainer.