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Customer feedback systems and software products are quickly becoming a must-have for organizations of all sizes and across all industries.
And for good reason: if you’re hoping to deliver customer experiences that delight in ways that make a positive impact on the bottom line, you must be able to effectively manage customer feedback.
Defining customer feedback
Using a traditional definition, customer feedback is any information that comes directly from your company’s customers. This information can convey these customers’ thoughts, feelings, satisfaction levels, or opinions about your product, service, or brand.
Technology has expanded the ways in which feedback is generated, captured, and collected. Now, customers can share their feedback using various platforms and channels, such as:
- Online reviews and ratings
- Social media comments
- Emails and phone calls
- Comment cards
- Focus group discussions
- Customer interviews and roundtables
- Usability tests
Customer Feedback System
A customer feedback system — which these days usually takes the form of a software product or application — helps business organizations manage what customers are saying on multiple feedback platforms and channels, as well as gain valuable data-driven insights essential to improving overall customer experience.
Customer feedback software can also helps organizations, from the C-suite to frontline employees, understand their customers better and therefore more easily measure (and improve) customer satisfaction and loyalty.
What a customer feedback system does
While products vary, there are several key features that can be found in most of today’s customer feedback software applications or systems.
Social media listening and feedback monitoring and response. Customers often share their feedback even if the business hasn’t asked for it.
That’s why a number of customer feedback systems make the ability to monitor online reviews, social media comments, star ratings, and other forms of third-party feedback a key functional component. Some systems also provide its business customers the ability to respond to internal and external feedback.
Text analytics and sentiment analysis. Beyond data collection, customer feedback software can also offer analysis of feedback data through the use of sentiment analysis and text analytics. It can bring customer feedback to life by finding hidden trends and patterns from unstructured data and textual information.
Customer surveys and feedback collection. A number of customer feedback systems are designed to help companies capture customer feedback through survey creation and distribution.
Some offer the ability to sync survey requests with a business customer’s CRM (customer relationship management) application, so that new customers are automatically and immediately contacted for the survey.
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one of the most common survey methodologies utilized by customer feedback systems, but there is a growing number of systems that offer alternative methodologies, such as capturing feedback through the use of emojis, thumb ratings, and star ratings.
Voice of Customer program. A Voice of the Customer (VoC) program helps your business reap the benefits of listening to, acting on, and responding to what customers are saying about your brand, product, service, or business location.
Often applied as a market research technique by firms looking to achieve a better and more complete understanding of the customer, VoC can also help companies measure and understand the experiences that they deliver to customers.
Review requests and review generation. With online reviews and ratings exerting a huge influence on consumer behavior, a number of customer feedback software products offer review generation features.
This allows businesses to engage with and reach out to their biggest advocates and brand promoters, so that they can generate more 5-star reviews and improve their presence and visibility on online review sites and across the Web.
Multi-platform feedback system. A growing number of systems that are designed to capture feedback are also banking on their ability to survey customers using multiple platforms: email, social media, SMS, unique landing pages, or point-of-sale and point-of-care devices (in-store kiosks, for example).
Customer Feedback Software: Key Characteristics
As your organization looks to invest in a customer feedback system or application, consider the following qualities and characteristics:
Comprehensive: Customer feedback systems vary in terms of their offering. Some are designed exclusively or mainly for customer feedback surveys or customer satisfaction surveys, while others focus on feedback monitoring or social media listening.
The best and most valuable systems are versatile and scalable, helping organizations manage, capture, and connect multiple types of customer feedback and data across all possible touchpoints, platforms, and channels.
Timely: In today’s digital landscape, customer feedback moves fast and in real time. Your customer feedback system should therefore be able to deliver the data that you need, and alert you of any high-impact customer experience issues, in the timeliest possible manner.
Engaging. Customer feedback systems should empower your entire organization. From marketing and customer support to product development and leadership, everyone has a stake in your business’ customer experience, which means that the system you choose should unite everyone around the goal of understanding customers better.
Insights-driven. Customer feedback systems should be judged not only by the amount of data they collect, but also by the kind of insights they can generate about your customers.
While the selling point of some systems will be flashy dashboards and colorful data reporting and robust data collection technology, the one you choose should help your business understand customer feedback and, from it, gather truly actionable insights.
By making a strategic investment in the right customer feedback system and tapping into data provided directly by your customers, you can deliver greater experiences and successfully set yourself apart from the competition.