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The Importance of Collecting Customer Feedback (and Best Practices)

Gordon Ramsay is probably the most famous chef in the world. Across a seemingly endless series of TV shows, he dishes out brutally honest feedback that’s hot enough to singe your eyebrows off.

But the reason his shows work is that people who can take the heat of his comments end up getting excellent advice from a certified cooking genius. The trade-off is definitely worth it!

Recurring revenue businesses can learn a lot from the Gordon Ramsay model when it comes to customer feedback. Feedback from people who use your products can be extremely spicy, but it’s totally worth listening to because customers are the experts. 

Instead of seeing customers as the peanut gallery, smart customer success managers (CSMs) see them as mentors. Listening to what they say will help you build a better product. And if you engage with customers in an open dialogue, they will start to trust you and become invested in your brand. Invested customers lead to profitable, long-term relationships, which are at the heart of a successful business.

Why Is Customer Feedback Important?

Customer feedback is powerful information that gives you insights into not only your product but every aspect of your business. That’s because every department within your company—product development, marketing, operations, sales—ultimately impacts the customer.

If you don’t ask your customers what they want, it’s impossible to know what they need. Sure, they’re buying your product, but it might not be for the reason you think. And if you’re delivering what you think they want instead of what they actually want, churn is right around the corner.

Customer feedback also lets you know what aspects of your product aren’t working well. Maybe onboarding takes too long, or maybe the UI needs a makeover. But you won’t know unless you ask.

It isn’t just the feedback itself that is important, though. The customer feedback process itself generates huge benefits by helping you build a true relationship with your customers. 

When you ask customers how they feel and then truly listen to what they say, it makes them feel involved. It’s almost like they’re part of the product development team! They will start to see you as more than just a product, they will consider you a trusted partner. 

And once customers feel ownership over your product, they become much more likely to sing your praises to the wider world. After all, it’s now their product, in a certain sense. Word-of-mouth recommendations from invested customers, whether on social media or IRL, are the most powerful form of marketing out there. 

What Can You Do with Customer Feedback?

There are many ways to gather customer feedback. Which customer feedback methods you deploy will vary based on the specifics of your product. Some common methods are:

  • Surveys
  • Emails
  • Social media listening
  • Live chat in-product
  • Product experience analytics
  • Usability tests

This list is by no means exhaustive. Essentially, any customer touchpoint is an opportunity to gather customer feedback. Depending on how and when you get feedback, you will receive information from different stages of the customer journey. 

Once you have the feedback, how should you use it? There are several different approaches you can take (and you can use multiple approaches at the same time).

Improve your product offering. This includes fixing problems within the existing product, but it also could be finding ways to expand your current offering or create an entirely new product to meet customer needs. It could also mean creating customized versions of a product to target certain customer segments. 

Optimize your sales funnel. Customers often have feedback on the acquisition process in addition to the product itself. This could include marketing (how customers find you), the sales process, free trial conversion, and onboarding. They will also have comments about specific milestones after adoption that will give you insights into why customers churn or renew. 

Profile your customers. The more feedback you get from customers, the more you will understand who they are. This knowledge will open up opportunities to create profiles and segment your customer base, which can be invaluable information. 

Increase customer satisfaction. As we stated earlier, the customer feedback process itself can be a win. Soliciting feedback, showing that you are listening, and giving customers a chance to help optimize your product can increase customer satisfaction. To measure this, use metrics like NPS and CSAT scores and try to correlate with customer feedback efforts. 

Gather Feedback and Transform your Product with Gainsight

Gainsight PX is a powerful tool to help you gather customer feedback and transform it into actionable strategies that grow your business. 

Once you put customer feedback insights into action with the Gainsight platform, you can accelerate user onboarding, increase product adoption, and leverage product data to drive growth and quick time to value.