What is Real-Time Customer Feedback in SaaS? Benefits, Examples, and Best Practices
Customer feedback is an invaluable resource for SaaS businesses. The more effectively you manage customer feedback and incorporate it into your product, the more valuable it becomes to your customers. One of the most powerful types of user sentiment is real-time customer feedback.
By collecting data in real time, your business can respond to customer concerns immediately and strengthen your relationship with them.
In this article, we’ll dive into what real-time feedback really means and teach you step-by-step to set up a feedback system.
- Real-time customer feedback is about capturing the sentiment, opinion, and behavior of customers at the time of their experience or immediately after an interaction.
- It can be collected through various methods, such as in-app surveys, email surveys, feedback widgets, and live chat.
- In-app surveys are great for collecting feedback in an easy, effective, and contextual manner.
- Different types of in-app surveys include customer satisfaction survey (CSAT), customer effort score (CES), and net promoter score (NPS).
- Feedback widgets are passive and allow users to submit feedback on their own terms, in different parts of the product or user journey.
Steps for creating a successful system include the following:
- Defining important customer touchpoints or milestones to collect feedback on.
- Create the survey and ask relevant survey questions to collect the most relevant data.
- Set event-based triggers to automate the process and send the survey at the most relevant time for the customer.
- Follow up after the survey and inform customers of any changes to close the feedback loop.
- Want to set up a real-time customer feedback system? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can collect better customer feedback.
What is real-time customer feedback?
Real-time customer feedback is capturing the feelings and thoughts of customers at the moment they’re experiencing a particular aspect of your product.
What are the benefits of real-time customer feedback?
There are a number of advantages real-time feedback has over traditional feedback collection methods. Here are some:
In-the-moment feedback is more accurate and reliable
Real-time feedback is more accurate and reliable because your customers’ experiences are still fresh in their minds. They will be able to tell you exactly what went wrong or right during their interaction with your company.
And if you follow up to get more clarity, they’ll be able to provide additional details and accurate insights.
As time passes, your customers’ memories become tainted, their brain alters the content of their memories, buries some details, and fills in the gaps with false info.
As a result, delayed feedback is less valuable. Even if you know that your customer had a positive or negative experience, you don’t have enough information to act.
That’s why Hubspot asks for feedback on its onboarding program while the customer is still in it.
Real-time feedback yields higher response rates
This method is fast and low-friction, and it captures customer feedback when they are most open to sharing it.
Right after a user completes an action, you still have the customer’s attention. They are enthusiastic and willing to give feedback right there.
If you come back to ask after a week or a month, their minds will be occupied with something else and they won’t care enough to fill out your survey.
Real-time feedback enables you to identify and solve problems immediately
Every customer knows that problems happen. The problem itself isn’t what causes a customer to abandon a brand. It’s when the company takes too long to resolve the issue.
Moreover, according to Harvard Business Review, if a complaint is resolved within 5 minutes, the customer will be more inclined towards loyalty.
Whether it’s a bug, technical issue, or customer service request, you can solve those right away and change the customer experience in real-time, before they get frustrated and churn.
Prevent negative word of mouth from spreading
An unhappy customer will tell an average of 9.5 people about their experience. Not only that, but they will also share their negative feedback on numerous popular platforms.
Keeping your customers happy is your top priority, and solving problems quickly can prevent negative reviews from going viral.
Build customer trust and loyalty
Asking customers for their feedback makes them feel respected and heard. But when you delay acting on it, it sends a different message. It can make customers feel devalued and as if you don’t take them seriously.
Giving customers real-time updates on their feedback reassures them that you really do care about them which in turn builds trust and loyalty.
Real-time customer feedback collection methods
There are plenty of ways to gather real-time customer feedback, such as online surveys, email surveys, feedback widgets, and live chat.
Let’s take a look at each one in detail.
In-app surveys are the easiest and most effective methods for collecting feedback at scale. They’re short feedback forms with on-point questions that are triggered contextually based on certain in-app events.
There are different types of in-app surveys that can be triggered based on the data you want to collect. These includes:
- CSAT surveys: customer satisfaction surveys measure how satisfied customers are with your product or experience. These surveys provide a quantifiable measure of customer satisfaction which can help SaaS companies identify areas of improvement.
- CES surveys: Customer effort score surveys track the amount of effort that a user put into achieving a certain goal. It’s a measure of the ease with which customers navigate through your product to complete desired actions.
- NPS surveys: NPS is a loyalty metric that measures the likelihood of customers recommending your product to other people. NPS is measured on a scale of 0-10 and then respondents are segmented into three categories based on their scores: promoters, passives, and detractors.
Where in-app surveys are more active in nature, feedback widgets are more passive. This means they’re readily available and give users the freedom to submit feedback on their own terms.
You can place feedback widgets on different parts of your product or user journey, such as on specific features or in the knowledge base.
While users are in the experience, they can pause and provide feedback if they feel like it. They can share their thoughts and opinions on things without waiting for a microsurvey to pop up.
Here’s a passive feedback example from Miro.
By designing the feedback survey into the UI, they collect feedback in real-time on the “Feed” feature.
With live chat, customers can interact with a company in real-time through a chatbot or a live agent. Live chat interactions encourage customer engagement and also get valuable insights into customers’ needs and concerns, which can be a valuable data source.
How to set up a real-time customer feedback system
Below are steps for creating a successful system for collecting customer insights in real-time.
Define important customer touchpoints
When it comes to collecting customer feedback, timing is everything. However, it can be difficult to know the best time to trigger feedback if you don’t understand your customer’s journey. That is why you need to define important customer touchpoints.
Map the customer journey, starting from the beginning, and identify the interactions you want to collect feedback on. Ideally, you want to target interactions or milestones that are key to the customer journey, with specific objectives.
For example, one key touchpoint to consider is the “adoption point,” when a user starts to engage more with your product and even upgrades to a paid account.
Design the survey and create the questionnaire
Next, decide on the types of surveys you want to use at each milestone – CES, SAT, NPS, etc.
An in-app survey should be a part of your UI — in harmony with the brand’s look and feel.
Then finally compile survey questions that will give you the answers you are looking for.
Make sure to keep your user feedback questions short and on point so that users don’t abandon the survey in the middle. Also, avoid asking leading questions that can lead to bias such as “How happy were you with your experience?”.
Set event-based triggers
You don’t need to follow up after every interaction manually. A simple way is to use a tool like Userpilot to create a custom event based on the user’s action. This action could be completing a checklist, interacting with a new feature – basically anything of your choice.
Once the event is complete, the survey will be automatically triggered.
Best practices for collecting real-time customer feedback
Let’s go through some of these best practices for real-time feedback collection:
Collect both qualitative and quantitative feedback
To get a comprehensive view of your feedback, you need to mix both types of feedback.
With quantitative feedback, you can set measurable benchmarks and see how your efforts are changing the user experience. But, you need qualitative feedback to understand the reasons behind the scores and tackle issues
Generally, you need to first collect quantitative data. Then ask follow-up questions so that users can provide better insights into their answers.
Don’t forget to close the loop
Closing the feedback loop is the crucial final step in the feedback collection process. It’s not enough to simply gather customer feedback, you must also act on it.
If you’ve resolved the issue, let the customer know. And if they didn’t mention a problem, just thank them for taking their time. However, if their issue requires more time to fix, let them know you are working on it.
For example, if users submit a feature request, let them know it’s on the product roadmap. Tell them how important their request is to you. And once it’s launched, announce it to them with in-app messages.
Here’s an example of a new feature announcement with a slideout.
Real-time customer feedback examples from SaaS
Enough of the telling; let’s show you some real examples of SaaS businesses implementing real-time customer feedback. Here are 3 companies to inspire you.
Slack allows users to leave feedback from any chat box they’re in. This means that at any moment they feel like sharing their insights, they can do so by typing the word “feedback.”
What we like: Slack’s thoughtfulness in this process makes it effortless and simple. They understand that not every user is technical-oriented, so they make the feedback process so easy.
Right after you publish a page, Jira asks you to rate your experience. This is good because the experience is fresh in your mind and not subject to a memory bias.
To make it more fun, they use smiley faces to gamify the experience. This way, it doesn’t feel like you’re taking a survey, but rather like you’re having fun.
Notice they also collect both qualitative and quantitative feedback? In this case, the smiley represents the qualitative feedback, which translates the user’s feelings, while the quantitative feedback gathers a more in-depth response.
It’s sad to see a user go, but Asana understands that this could also be an opportunity to retain them or gather their response.
So, when a customer hits the button “cancel,” Asana triggers an exit survey to understand what went wrong. Then, based on the answer, they offer solutions and try to retain the user.
How can Userpilot help you to collect and act on real-time customer feedback?
To utilize the full extent of your real-time customer feedback, you need a tool that functions on every end—and Userpilot is that tool.
One of the key benefits of Userpilot is its flexibility. It gives you the freedom to customize surveys to match your branding without coding. So, no more fussing about hiring developers—you can get it done in minutes.
Another important feature of Userpilot is its advanced segmentation solution. You can segment users into different categories and trigger feedback contextually. This saves you from annoying customers with irrelevant or poorly timed surveys.
Userpilot also makes analyzing survey results easy. With the advanced NPS features, you can view survey results in real-time on a dashboard.
You can tag recurring responses to spot trends that correlate with negative scores. So, no more hours spent poring over data—Userpilot makes it easy to identify patterns and make informed decisions.
With a real-time feedback collection system in place, businesses can get important insights during or right after a user interaction, which in turn enables them to make instant changes and improve the customer experience.
Want to set up a real-time customer feedback system? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can collect contextual customer feedback.