Customer Feedback Strategy – The Complete Guide For SaaS
Looking to build a customer feedback strategy for your business?
You’re in the right place.
This post will discuss why knowing what customers feel about your SaaS business is important and how to collect and analyze feedback to keep old customers and generate new ones.
- Customer feedback is all the data you collect about how users use your product and feel about their experience.
- Having a customer feedback strategy enables you to continuously collect and analyze user responses and develop an action plan for improving your product and driving engagement.
- You can collect user feedback using surveys, social media mentions, third-party platform reviews, heatmaps, or session recording and also by talking to your customer-facing teams to learn what users complain or are happy about.
- Always segment users when collecting feedback so you ask relevant questions to specific users and collect accurate data.
- Collect both active feedback data through surveys triggered at specific times, and passive feedback through embedded surveys across your UI that users can trigger on request.
- You can collect feedback using customer satisfaction surveys, net promoter surveys (NPS), customer effort score surveys, feature feedback surveys, offboarding surveys etc. The key is to trigger the relevant ones at different touchpoints in the user journey.
- Analyzing customer feedback requires the use of tools to help expedite the process and proceed to take action on customer insights.
- You can use Userpilot for collecting in-app surveys and analyzing responses automatically (applies for NPS responses, but more functionality is on its way soon).
- Use brand monitoring tools to understand user sentiment across different platforms and Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools to let AI extract relevant insights from qualitative feedback.
- Once you’ve collected and analyzed feedback, close the customer feedback loop by personalizing and automating responses. Saying the right thing at the right time and being sincere increases customer loyalty.
- Ready to start implementing a customer feedback strategy? Get a Userpilot demo and start collecting feedback in-app.
What is customer feedback?
Customer feedback refers to information provided by customers about their particular experiences with a brand and product.
Its goal is to get actionable customer insights that you can use to improve both the product and the user experience.
What is a customer feedback strategy?
Collecting feedback from customers is just half of the battle. The other half is analyzing and acting upon the feedback gathered.
This is called closing the feedback loop, and it’s part of a customer feedback strategy.
The strategy part determines:
- when and where do you collect feedback
- from which users do you collect feedback
- how do you acknowledge it (automated responses, personal emails, etc.)
- how do you analyze and act on the feedback received
- following up and closing the feedback loop
Why is it important to collect customer feedback?
Customer feedback is at the center of a customer-led growth strategy.
Meaning your product team is not just a feature factory trying to build as much as possible, but an insight-driven team, building a product that actually helps its users and drives growth in return.
It all starts from insights collected from users.
Drawing insights from what customers feel and say about your products and services, customer feedback helps your business achieve the following:
- Understand what the customers value – Even if you designed your products and services to serve your customers best, it’s possible that they have something else in mind. Feedback enables you to shift your focus to features that benefit your customers better.
- Listen to your customers – By lending an ear to and acknowledging custom concerns, you validate their feelings and thoughts, which help increase customer satisfaction and drive customer loyalty.
- Put insights to use – Knowing what customers mean with their feedback helps you determine the best route your business should take. The feedback that provides the best insights gives your company direction and allows you to strive towards achieving that goal.
- Provide great product experience – By keeping in touch with the pulse of your customers regarding your products and taking action on them, you involve them in how your products take shape. Allowing them to participate in your company’s growth actively deepens your relationship with them, turning them into even more loyal customers.
Best practices when collecting customer feedback
Now that you know the value of an effective customer feedback strategy to your business, it’s time to put your feedback management system in place!
Below are the best practices you should follow when collecting feedback.
Segment your users before sending customer feedback surveys
Fancy yourself as a SaaS customer for a second. The company asks you to answer questions about features that you haven’t even used or known existed.
What would you feel?
“Frustrated” is probably a good word for it.
In most cases, the company is asking the wrong question or reaching out to the wrong customers with their feedback surveys.
The disorganization goes to show its unprofessionalism, leading customers to sour on the company until they unsubscribe.
So, before you even consider collecting feedback, determine the type of response you want to gather from customers and what kind of survey you must use to get it.
Next, you need to segment your customers according to in-app behavior, different user attributes, and even previous feedback. You’ll then be able to single out who among your users should receive which survey.
You can do this by using a tool to automate your surveys and trigger them to specific user segments.
Gather customer feedback across multiple channels
Asking for feedback in-app may be the most direct way of knowing what customers think about your SaaS product.
But it’s not the only place where you can extract comments from users.
You can also refer to other channels and feedback types to refine your customer feedback strategy.
Below are other platforms to derive customer feedback from:
- Email – Send emails to inactive users to get insights into why they aren’t using your app as much as you want them to. This is also a good way to reengage users and reduce churn by implementing their suggestions.
- Social media mentions – Use a brand monitoring tool to collect indirect feedback from social media posts mentioning your company and products.
- Customer service feedback– Ask your support team what your customers like and dislike about your app based on their conversations.
- Review sites – Check third-party sites for user reviews about your app.
For example, a quick search on G2 about your company provides a detailed breakdown of what they enjoyed and didn’t enjoy about your app.
Mix active and passive feedback surveys
Striking a balance between active and passive methods allows you to collect the best data for your customer feedback strategy and make informed decisions.
Let me explain.
Creating survey forms, as discussed above, is an active way of collecting user feedback. Monitoring reviews on social media and review sites enables you to gather their responses without you asking for them passively.
Regarding the latter, you can also use the passive customer feedback method on your website or in-app.
Miro does this using feedback widgets across its app’s different pages to collect highly-specific feedback.
Armed with the best practices in hand, let’s look at ways to collect customer feedback data.
Customer feedback strategy: How to collect customer feedback data
There are multiple customer feedback survey types you might want to collect as they’ll give you different insights.
But there are also other ways apart from surveys.
Here are the main ones to focus on.
Understand satisfaction with customer satisfaction surveys
Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys help you determine how happy your customers are with your product or service.
You can use CSAT surveys across different sections or features of your app to know what users feel about each.
To measure customer satisfaction use a one-question survey asking users how satisfied they were with their experience, right after it happened.
Users can then rate their satisfaction level on a scale from 1 to 7 (7 being the best). Like Hubspot’s example below.
Measure customer loyalty with Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys
Like CSAT, the net promoter score (NPS) asks users, “How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend.”
The survey’s goal is to measure customer loyalty by separating users into detractors or promoters.
Ideally, you want to get more promoters (users who gave you a 9-10 score) than detractors (users who gave a 0-6 score) of your app.
You can then compute your NPS score by subtracting the detractor score percent from the promoter score percent.
To make your NPS survey more useful, send a follow-up question for users to elaborate on why they gave you that score and collect qualitative data too. From here, you can make changes to your app in the hopes of turning detractors into promoters.
Track customer experience with customer effort surveys
The customer effort score (CES) measures the user’s perceived effort in completing a task using your product
As much as your want people engaging with your software, some—if not most—aren’t fully taking advantage of what your tool offers due to its design or simply because it’s too hard to use it.
CES surveys will help you understand where users encounter friction and how they feel about using your app to achieve their jobs.
Whether users responded positively or negatively to your app, knowing why they answered that way helps you improve their experience.
Uncover friction points with heatmaps and session recording
Use heatmaps and behavior tracking tools to understand how customers use your app. This will enable you to see if they’re engaging with your app the way you designed it.
For example on a heatmap, red sections mean users viewed that part of the page or click on it the most. Those in yellow are parts of the page that most users saw. Those in blue mean only a handful saw that part of the page.
When it comes to web apps, track where users click and how they navigate through your product and uncover friction spots.
You can also use heat maps to monitor the performance of your surveys. They will help show you if customers can see your surveys and engage with them.
Use feature surveys to collect product feedback
Feature surveys let you know what customers think of a product’s specific feature.
For example, if they love feature A more than features B and C, you must consider focusing on developing feature A more than the others.
If your app has a brand new feature, you’d want to collect feedback about it to help improve. Is the feature helpful, is it easy to use, and is there something missing, these are just a few of the questions you might want to ask.
It’s crucial to understand if what you’ve built is actually helping.
Feature surveys also help identify which direction your product should go.
You may know what features to include in your app moving forward. But if customers think differently based on their feedback, you ought to prioritize those instead and put your plans on hold for now.
Collect feature requests in-app or using public roadmaps
Asking users for feature suggestions allows you to develop an app that they would want to use, leading to higher customer engagement and retention.
At the same time, feature requests can be a hit or miss.
While some will provide a treasure trove of ideas for features to improve your app, you must focus on understanding the functionality the user is looking for rather than specific features.
In the end, all they want is to get their job done, not 10 extra features.
Here at Userpilot, we collect feedback on needed functionality across the platform with in-app passive surveys on our integrations page or inside the help center.
Use product betas and collect customer feedback before a launch
When taking your new product for a test run, launch a beta version of it by inviting relevant users to test it out.
Beta tests are effective in collecting customer feedback and improving the product before making it available to everyone.
Launching a new feature? Invite your power users to try a beta version and collect feedback.
You can also create a fake door test using to understand the potential interest in a feature even before you build it. And also invite users to test it.
In short, a fake door test involves faking the existence of something inside the product, say, a feature. When users click on it, you display a warning message telling them it’s not yet available.
This way you can track how many and which users might be interested in specific functionality and get a highly qualified list of potential beta testers.
If the demand is great, you have all the reasons to build and launch it soon.
Monitor brand mentions and online reviews
Instead of going straight to your customer support, some people use social media to express their feelings about your brand, good or bad.
So, it’s in your best interest to check what they’re saying about your app using brand monitoring tools.
They search for posts that mention your brand or product name and determine the sentiment of each (positive or negative).
Positive feedback reinforces the idea that you’re on the right track with your app and must continue in the direction you’re going.
But what you must look for are posts with negative sentiment.
They present a chance for your brand to redeem itself by finding solutions to any gripes they have about your brand. Or you can learn from your mistakes and provide a better service next time.
Either way, you must respond to customers in kind to show that their voices are heard and that you care about their feedback.
Understand why users churn with exit surveys
Customer churn is real, whether you like it or not. No matter how much you try to please all your customers some of them will leave for various reasons.
But before unhappy customers unsubscribe, at least make an effort to make them stay and understand what made them leave using offboarding surveys.
Exit surveys not only help you know why they’re leaving, but you can also offer alternatives based on their answers to keep them from leaving.
Even if they leave, you have information regarding their decision. If many former customers provided the same answer, you should consider addressing it when updating your app to keep the churn rate low.
Customer feedback strategy: How to analyze customer feedback
Going through customer feedback for insights manually is a time-consuming process. This is why you need a tool to interpret data quickly and act on it.
There are multiple types of customer feedback tools, below are the most used ones.
Use customer feedback software to analyze qualitative and quantitative data
Quantitative data in customer feedback refers to the volume of gathered responses, while qualitative data refers to information from feedback that can’t be counted (sentiment).
Using software that computes both data allows you to interpret the insights and take action on them.
For instance, a tool like Userpilot can calculate the NPS score from surveys built with it.
You can also tag responses with specific tags created by you and determine what prompted low or high scores.
Even better, Userpilot lets you segment users based on the scores they provided and specific tags you’ve applied to answers. It then allows you to create automated responses for each group to increase engagement.
Use brand monitoring tools to track and analyze customer feedback through brand mentions
Using a brand monitoring tool, you can just type in your brand or product name, and it will gather all posts on social channels that contain those words.
The beauty of these tools is they will continue collecting these posts even if you’re not logged in. This way, you receive updates for any new mentions on social media that need utmost attention.
The tool will break down the mentions according to how many came from which channel and the overall sentiment of the messages.
The AI feature will take the most mentioned words from the posts and display them for you to see. The bigger the words are, the more they’re included in the post.
You should see words that describe how they feel about your brand to give you an idea of the quality of sentiment in their posts.
Use Natural language processing (NLP) tools to understand qualitative data
Analyzing large sets of customer feedback for qualitative data isn’t easy, even if you’re using the best tools available.
For instance, you want to determine the most repeated words customers say about your brand from different sources.
For sentiment analysis and opinion learning, you need natural language processing (NLP) like IBM Watson and MonkeyLearn.
Knowing whether the overwhelming sentiment towards your product is positive, neutral, or negative gives you ideas on how to improve it.
Customer feedback strategy: How to close the customer feedback loop
Analyzing customer feedback is the final step of the loop to help fulfill its goal. Below are things you can do upon collecting feedback.
Segment users based on feedback received
Group users who share the same sentiment and feedback when it comes to your product.
Segmenting customers based on these variables allows you to create more deliberate campaigns toward meeting each of their needs.
As a product adoption tool, Userpilot provides you with the best and most advanced segmentation options. You can create in-app surveys and then build specific user segments based on the survey answers.
Use the segments created to target specific in-app experiences to different user segments and improve engagement.
Automate personalized responses in-app to specific user segments
From the segments you’ve created, you can automatically provide a follow-up message to customers in specific groups addressing their concerns based on their feedback.
Let’s say customers chose “Product is too expensive” to answer why they’re unsubscribing.
Instead of just letting them walk away, provide a more affordable alternative to convince them to stay.
Creating automated personalized responses increases engagement without having to message each one personally.
Reach out and offer in-person help or thank customers for their feedback
As fun as automating personalized customer messages is, you can’t automate everything.
At some point, you have to reach out to customers yourself to address their issues or thank them for giving you glowing reviews.
Sending an email to customers individually gives your customer feedback strategy a human touch that no other tool can replicate.
To ensure your customer feedback strategy’s success, you must see it all through, from collecting feedback to taking action on customer insights.
Doing so allows you to make your product better and keep customers happy, if not strengthen your relationships with them.
Want to get started with your customer feedback strategy? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can gather, analyze, and take action on feedback with it.