Creating Customer Feedback Systems: A Step-By-Step Guide

Creating Customer Feedback Systems: A Step-By-Step Guide cover

How to create customer feedback systems to gain insights into user needs?

This is the key question we discuss in the article, so if you’re after the answer, you’re in the right place!

Let’s dive in!


What is a customer feedback system?

A customer feedback system is a framework of tools and processes for collecting, organizing, and analyzing customer feedback to obtain actionable insights.

Customer feedback systems normally involve multiple channels for collecting feedback like in-app surveys, feedback emails, or social listening. The feedback can be both actively solicited or provided by customers voluntarily.

Why is it important for SaaS companies to collect customer feedback?

Customer feedback delivers a number of benefits for the business collecting it. Specifically, customer feedback:

How to create customer feedback systems to gain actionable insights?

Customer feedback systems handle customer input at different stages of the feedback loop. This includes:

  • Collecting feedback
  • Analyzing it to extract actionable insights
  • Acknowledging its receipt
  • Acting on the feedback by updating the product, removing friction, or developing new features
  • Communicating the changes to customers
  • Collecting feedback on the impact of the changes
Customer feedback loop
Customer feedback loop.

Step 1: Gather customer feedback via multiple channels

To get a complete picture of user needs, preferences, and pain points, it’s essential to collect feedback via multiple channels. These include:

  • In-app surveys for active users
  • Email surveys and questionnaires to reach churned or inactive customers
  • Interviews and focus groups
  • Sales and customer service feedback
  • User reviews on sites like G2 or Capterra
  • Social media comments
  • Bug reports and support tickets

Each of the channels allows you to collect different kinds of feedback. Let’s look at a few types of in-app surveys and the insights they offer.

NPS survey to monitor customer loyalty

The Net Promoter Score, NPS for short, is an indication of customer loyalty.

The question the NPS survey asks is ‘On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend the product to your friends/colleagues?’.

Calculating the NPS score is complex, so it’s best to use a calculator or let your analytics tool do it for you. What is a good score depends on the product and industry, but aim for 30+.

By tracking the NPS scores over a period, you can identify trends in customer loyalty and satisfaction.

What’s more, based on the responses, you can classify users into three segments:

  • Detractors (score 0-6) – dissatisfied and likely to churn
  • Passives (score 7-8) – sitting on the fence, neutral
  • Promoters (score 9-10) – loyal, engaged, and likely to spread the good word about the product
NPS survey
NPS survey in Userpilot.

CSAT survey to measure customer satisfaction

CSAT surveys measure overall customer satisfaction with the product or feature.

The CSAT survey question is very direct ‘How satisfied are you with the product?’. They usually come with a scale, either numerical or made up of emojis/symbols representing different levels of satisfaction.

They are usually followed by open-ended questions encouraging users to provide more details supporting their responses.

CSAT survey
CSAT survey in Userpilot.

CES survey to understand customer experience

Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys focus on the effectiveness of the customer experience.

In short, they aim to gauge how easy or difficult it is for users to achieve their goals in the product. Such insights are essential for identifying friction points and optimizing the customer journey.

CES survey
CES survey in Userpilot.

Feedback widget for collecting customer feedback passively

Apart from triggering targeted surveys to collect NPS, CSAT, or CES data, it’s good practice to provide users with a venue to submit voluntary feedback.

In this way, they will be able to share their views, impressions, and insights at the time that is most suitable for them and not when you decide to launch the survey. Such unsolicited feedback can be more insightful because users submit when they really feel the need to do so.

The easiest way to collect passive feedback is via a feedback widget that you can embed in your resource center or another convenient part of the UI.

In-app widget for collecting passive customer feedback
In-app widget for collecting passive customer feedback.

Step 2: Analyze customer feedback data

Once we have the feedback data, it’s time to analyze it. What exactly this involves and how complex the process is depends on your goals as well as the tools that you have at your disposal.

Quantitative customer feedback analysis

Quantitative data analysis has two benefits.

First, it allows you to follow trends in customer sentiment or satisfaction. To do this, you need to collect the feedback regularly, say every 3-6 months. It also helps you determine the impact of product changes on user experience.

Second, it helps you segment your users. For example, you can identify your power users in this way as well as those customers that are at risk of churning. When combined with product usage analytics, it allows you to identify successful user behaviors and happy paths – or warning signals.

What exactly you have to do to get such insights depends on your tools stack. With some analytics tools, you may need to export the data into spreadsheets or other 3rd party tools for analysis.

Other tools, like Userpilot, display all the data you need in dedicated dashboards so the amount of work you have to do manually is very limited.

NPS dashboard in Userpilot
NPS dashboard in Userpilot.

Qualitative customer feedback analysis

Qualitative feedback gives you the ‘why’ behind the quantitative data. This is essential to truly understand user problems, needs, and wants. For example, qualitative responses can reveal technical issues or inadequate onboarding processes.

Modern analytics tools allow you to tag qualitative responses. You can use the tags to segment users and further investigate their in-app behavior or follow up with more surveys or interviews to get to the root cause of the issues.

That’s not it. AI-powered solutions are revolutionizing qualitative feedback analysis. By using NLP and ML models, tools like Qualtrics or MonkeyLearn are able to extract valuable insights from customer responses with only limited human input.

NPS qualitative customer feedback analysis
NPS qualitative customer feedback analysis.

Step 3: Acknowledge feedback with automated responses

As soon as your users submit their feedback, you need to acknowledge receiving it.

In this way, you show them that their input is valued and that you are ready to act on the feedback. It is also a good way to set realistic expectations as to when you will act on the feedback.

The easiest way to do so is through automated responses. When the user submits their response, a pop-up modal with a quick thank you is all you need.

It’s good practice to customize the messages for different users. For example, if the user gives you a really good NPS score, you can prompt them to promote the product by writing a review. If the score is low, you can follow up with an invitation to an interview.

A modal acknowledging customer feedback
A modal acknowledging customer feedback.

Step 4: Prioritize feedback and act on it

At this stage, you need to prioritize the feedback and generate ideas on how to act on it.

For prioritization, use a framework that is aligned with your organizational and product goals. The Cost of Delay or the Urgent vs Important matrix are two examples of possible prioritization techniques you can use.

In this way, you will be able to identify the items that require immediate attention and will have the greatest impact.

How you act on the feedback depends on the nature of the identified problems. Here are a few options.

Improve the overall experience through contextual guidance

One of the most common reasons why users provide negative feedback, fail to achieve their goals, or churn from your product is not missing functionality but inadequate onboarding. Users simply don’t know about features or don’t know how to use them.

This is very easy to address with in-app guidance.

Let’s imagine a user gives you a low NPS score. To follow up, you look at their other feedback, including their welcome survey responses. This tells you what their goals are. Next, you look at their usage data and discover that they don’t use features that are relevant to their JTBDs.

To help them discover the features, you can trigger an in-app message or interactive walkthrough and show them how to use them.

Such in-app guidance can be easily tailored to specific user segments and triggered contextually when they most need it.

A tooltip with in-app guidance
A tooltip with in-app guidance.

Enhance the customer support system

Another way to help users adopt the product and realize its value is by providing them with on-demand in-app support.

You can do it by building a resource center with support documents, onboarding resources, video tutorials, and webinars.

With the AI tools available at the moment, these are easy to develop and localize for audiences all over the globe. For example, you can use an AI-powered writing assistant to develop text documents and scripts for your videos. After that, use Synthesia to create your tutorials.

Resource center
Video tutorial in a resource center.

Introduce new features to improve customer satisfaction

Expanding your product functionality by adding new features is the most obvious way to improve customer satisfaction.

New features enable users to achieve more with the product, enhance their workflows and keep them engaged. They also allow you to stay ahead of the competition.

The catch is that developing new sexy features that set customers’ hearts racing is time-consuming and requires considerable resources. That’s why, the decision to build new features should be based on research to:

  • Identify user problems
  • Investigate the reasons why users are experiencing the problems or requesting features
  • Find innovative ways to solve problems instead of simply copying what your rivals do
  • Validate the feature ideas before investing in their development

Approaching new feature development in this way reduces the risk of sinking precious resources into features that nobody wants or which fail to satisfy the need.

New feature release notes
New feature release notes.

Step 5: Follow up and close the feedback loop

Well done! You’ve collected the feedback, analyzed it, and acted on it. All that is left to do is close the feedback loop and announce the new feature or update to the customers.

To do so effectively, make sure to use a range of channels. Apart from in-app messages, which are the easiest way to reach active users, send announcement emails, and post on social media. And not once or twice, but again and again, until users adopt the feature.

To make the messages more effective, it’s a good idea to customize them. For example, send a bespoke message to all the users who requested the feature.

Try triggering the messages contextually, for example at the moment when the users could really benefit from using the feature.

And what if you decide not to act on the feedback?

You still need to get in touch with the users that gave you the feedback and explain why you’re not going to implement these ideas. It will reinforce customer trust and strengthen your relationship.

Feature announcement
Feature announcement modal.

The best customer feedback tools of 2023

There are lots of brilliant feedback tools available to product teams. Let’s look at a few of them!

Userpilot – customer feedback tool for web apps

Userpilot is a product adoption platform with excellent feedback functionality.

What feedback features does Userpilot offer?

  • In-app surveys – easy to customize without any coding
  • A template library so that you don’t have to create surveys from scratch (unless you really want to)
Customer feedback survey templates in Userpilot
Customer feedback survey templates in Userpilot.
  • Survey localization
  • User segmentation (based on survey results or other attributes for targeted survey delivery)
  • Contextual survey triggering (for example to collect feedback on a feature the users have just used)
  • A feedback widget for passive feedback collection
  • Dedicated NPS dashboard for analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data
  • AI-powered feedback analysis (coming in September 2023)
  • Survey analytics
Survey analytics in Userpilot
Survey analytics in Userpilot.

Canny – customer feedback management tool

Canny is a comprehensive customer feedback platform that allows you to manage every stage of the customer feedback process, like feedback collection, thorough analysis, road mapping, and user communication.

Here are its key features:

  • In-app surveys for collecting feedback and feature requests
  • Integrations with 3rd party tools to collect feedback from other sources
  • Feedback analytics – both qualitative and quantitative
  • Roadmap and prioritization features
  • User segmentation
  • Changelog for feature and update announcements.
Canny, a complete customer feedback management tool
Canny feedback tool.

Typeform – survey tool for collecting feedback via emails

Typeform is a feedback tool that enables you to design and deliver dynamic customer feedback surveys, polls, and quizzes via email.

Its features include:

Typeform for customer feedback collection via email
Typeform feedback tool.


When implemented effectively, customer feedback systems allow teams to collect, analyze and act on feedback in a structured and organized manner.

As a result, they are in a better position to identify user problems, needs, and preferences and address them in a timely manner.

If you want to see how to build your customer feedback system in Userpilot, book the demo!

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