Business Advice

Listening AND acting: How putting customer feedback to work can make a real difference in your business

- July 25, 2022 3 MIN READ
Customer submitting online review 5 star rating

Australian businesses that want to up their game should focus less on net promoter scores and more on extracting actionable insights from the customer data in their keeping, writes Jason VandeBoom, founder and CEO at ActiveCampaign.

Do you like to think that your company puts customers at the heart of everything it does? In today’s times, few business owners would answer in the negative.

Customer-centricity and customer experience have become much discussed themes in recent years, as businesses of all shapes and sizes strive to demonstrate that they’re pulling out all the stops to keep their buyers satisfied.

Notable successes include the likes of McCrindle, a social research, demographics and data analytics agency that aims to bring data to life. The company consistently brings in 900 new leads every month and during the pandemic, McCrindle showed their strength and resilience in adjusting to a new business reality, by using customer experience automation (CXA) to successfully switch their in-person seminars and events to adapt.

Customers in store with data graph overlaid on image

Keeping score

One of the common ways for businesses to demonstrate they’re attuned to their customers and responsive to their needs, is through the use of Net Promoter Scores (NPS). The term refers to the results that are obtained by crunching the responses to customer satisfaction surveys – the type that pop up in your inbox every time you contact your telco or order something online.

A high NPS, nominally at least, means satisfied customers, kudos for team leaders and the adjuring of their teams to carry on doing whatever it is they’ve been doing.

Conversely, a low score is typically seen as a cause for concern, because it indicates customers are less than enamoured with the products or services they’ve received and may therefore be more likely to take their business elsewhere, next time around.

Digging into customer data

But collecting scores is one thing and delving deeply into the customer feedback that determined those scores – and using it to improve the customer experience, as businesses like McCrindle do – is quite another.

We don’t see enough Aussie businesses focusing on the latter, and it’s to their detriment.

That’s because Net Promoter Scores are a bottom line result – the customer experience equivalent of the solution to a complex mathematical equation. Yes, getting the right answer matters, but so does the methodology you employed to achieve that result.

Until you’ve analysed the customer feedback you collect at a granular level, you won’t properly understand why your customers choose to give you the scores they do. And, if they’re lower than you’d like, you won’t know what to do to improve them.

Scrabble tiles showing words: customer, trust, loyalty, confidence

Reading every review

At ActiveCampaign, our executive leadership team reads every single customer review, myself included. This is important since a continuous customer feedback loop gives us direct insights into how we can improve our technology for businesses of all sizes.

It enables us to get up close and personal with our customers and to really understand what motivates them and makes them tick.

And feedback from customers who give you a 3 rating is usually much more helpful than from customers who give you a 5, because there’s more actionable feedback on how you can better support them. Armed with that insight, you can then start to make necessary changes to increase customer satisfaction.

Focusing on continuous customer improvement

In today’s challenging commercial landscape, there’s little room for complacency. Businesses that hope to survive and thrive need to bring their A game; anticipating and responding to customers’ emerging requirements and providing a superlative customer experience, each and every time they engage with them.

Paying close attention to what your customers are telling you and actioning their feedback promptly will make it easier for you to do so.

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Now read this:

5 excellent reasons why local businesses should get on the data train

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