5 Types of Customer Feedback (& what to do with them)

by Outcry June 22, 2020
types of customer feedback

So you’ve spent all this time gathering different types of customer feedback, but you’re unsure what to do with all that data. 

We all know customer feedback is golden. 

As a business, it’s the best way to find out if you’re delivering on your goals, where your customer’s pain points are, and what you’re doing incredibly well.

But only if you know what to do with the feedback once you have it.

Once you have the data, it’s essential to understand what types of customer feedback you’re dealing with – and how to implement it to ensure that your product can continue to deliver.

In this article, we’re going to look at 5 different types of customer feedback and help you figure out what to do with them.

1. Customer Reviews 

For those who are afraid of customer feedback, a customer review site can be a disturbing place. After all, it’s a space where you have no control over what is said about you. 

But it’s also a great place to find out what matters to your customers.

Research has shown that 90% of people will read reviews on a product or service before using it. Furthermore, 88% of people will be influenced by that review.

There’s a common misconception that customer reviews simply pertain to brick and mortar businesses, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, there are many websites nowadays that review software and digital products. No business is immune from online reviews.

type of customer feedback

Example: Capterra is an online review site of software products

What to do with this type of customer feedback 

Firstly, it’s essential to keep track of what people are saying about your company. Ensuring you have a good overview of what’s being said about you means that you can better understand your customers.

However, whether the feedback is good or bad, it’s important to publicly address the issues. You might think this only makes sense when it’s a positive review. But a Harvard Business Review survey found that a company that responds to feedback publicly enjoys a better rating than doesn’t.

Respond to customer feedback with specificity. Be appreciative of positive feedback, and if it’s negative, use it to highlight how proactive towards your customers, you are by seeking to fix the problem.

2. Complaints and Bug Reports

First of all, dealing with complaints requires a troubleshooting mindset. Don’t see a complaint as an insult. Instead, consider it an opportunity to improve your offering.

It’s also a great way to keep an eye on your churn rate. The churn rate is the number of customers who leave your product or service behind, and it can be exacerbated by having a buggy system or product.

Remember that this particular type of customer feedback comes from people who are engaged enough with your product or service to let you know that something isn’t working. 

While it may well highlight something that isn’t working, it allows you to know more about how your customers interact with your offering.

This type of customer feedback also helps show that you are proactive and invested in improving your customer’s experience – which is a crucial driver for satisfaction and loyalty.

What to do with this type of customer feedback

types of customer feedback - bug fix flow chart

Your first step to dealing with complaints or bug reports should be to check that the issue really exists.

You want to find out how the user found themselves in the situation, and whether or not you can replicate it.

Once you find the bug or problem in your product, it’s worth looking to see how many customers are affected by this, and how severe it might be.

If a bug is easy to fix, then fix it. If not, make sure you address why you aren’t doing so yet, so that your customers can understand that you care and take their feedback seriously.

3. Customer Preferences and Feature Requests

Arguably one of the most valuable types of customer feedback comes from the feature requests. 

Why? A feature request helps you understand what your customers want from your service, and how you can best provide it for them. While they usually come from a pain point, they also allow you to address issues now – as well as road-mapping where to go in the future.

The same can be said of keeping track of customer preferences. Rather than having an idealized view of what your customers are looking for, you can see how your service or product works in the real world.

Feature requests are one of the most useful types of customer feedback.

What to do with this type of customer feedback types of customer feedback - feature request flow chart

The truth is that not all feature requests are going to make sense for your particular business. However, it’s essential to track your feedback requests so you can see how – or if – it fits into your roadmap.

It’s also an excellent way to aggregate data from your customers to find out where you should be focusing your attention – and allows you to do so before they find another company that will.

4. Positive feedback

We’re stating the obvious here, but positive feedback is an excellent thing.

Not just because it’s always pleasant to be appreciated, but because someone has taken time out of their day to say something good about your company.

What to do with this type of customer feedback 

types of customer feedback

Example: Salesforce turns positive feedback into case studies / success stories

Showcasing your positive feedback is a fantastic way to show your team how much clients and customers appreciate their hard work and it’s a great way to boost company morale. You can also use this feedback to help your company grow.

Highlight your positive feedback by asking your customers:

  • For a testimonial or a quote
  • To leave a review public review
  • Be featured in a case study on your site
  • Refer any friends or potential customers to your business

But remember: don’t be pushy. Asking too much of a customer could sour the impression they had of you. 

5. Questions

At first glance, you might think that a question isn’t really feedback. After all, at every stage of the customer’s interaction with you, they’ll have questions.

But, there will still be times when people can’t find the answer they’re looking for and reach out to you.

What to do with this type of customer feedback 

types of customer feedback

Example: Facebook adds popular questions to their help center page

A question means that there is something that isn’t as obvious as you might like. It’s important to log the issues, and regularly review the list.

Are you getting the same question over and over? Then perhaps consider an FAQ, blog post, or a help center article.

Once again, proactively dealing with people’s questions is one of the best ways to show customers that you’re there for them and are invested in their participation.

So, there you have it. Five types of customer feedback and what to do with them. Was there a type of feedback that was new to you? If not, how have you been implementing the different types of customer feedback into your business?

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