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How to collect customer feedback: 10 helpful methods & tools

How to collect customer feedback: 10 helpful methods & tools

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Andrea Ramsbacher
Growth Manager
Apr 24, 2024
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Table of contents

    TL;DR Collecting customer feedback effectively combines traditional and innovative methods, including detailed surveys, interactive website forms, active social media engagement, in-depth user interviews, focused group discussions, usability testing, analysis of customer support interactions, Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys, scrutiny of online reviews, and leveraging Productlane for streamlined feedback integration.

    How to collect customer feedback: Detailed Methods

    Let's go through all the great methods for collecting customer feedback and how to work with each to get the most out of it. Also we'll show you how to leverage user insights and get more user feedback with the help of Productlane.

    "We instantly had a nice looking public page where our users and customers could start putting in feedback. Within a few weeks we had hundreds of people suggesting ideas, voting on existing ideas, etc.!"
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    Jeff Escalante
    Engineering Director, Clerk

    1. Customer feedback surveys

    Customer feedback surveys and questionnaires are versatile tools to collect customer feedback feedback. They can be customized to gather quantitative data on customer experience, product usability, and feature relevance. The key to crafting effective surveys lies in asking the right questions—those that are direct, unbiased, and designed to elicit specific insights. Distribution channels play a crucial role as well; deploying surveys through email campaigns, social media, and within the product itself can help reach a wider audience. Analytical tools can distill these responses into actionable data, guiding product enhancements and leading to a higher customer satisfaction score.

    2. Website Feedback Forms

    Embedding feedback forms on your website offers users a direct channel to voice their opinions at their convenience. Strategically placing these forms across different parts of your site—product pages, FAQs, and checkout processes—enables you to capture the diversity of user experiences and gather customer feedback. Tailoring forms to solicit input on specific features or services can yield immediately actionable feedback, allowing for rapid iterations and improvements.

    3. Social Media Monitoring

    Social media platforms are not just marketing tools; they are rich sources of candid feedback and a great way to collect customer feedback. Monitoring brand mentions, hashtags, and direct messages can unveil customer perceptions and emerging trends. Social listening tools facilitate this process by aggregating data across platforms, providing a comprehensive view of public sentiment. Engaging with customers on these platforms also builds brand loyalty and opens a dialog for direct feedback. Many great tools support social media listening, like Sproutsocial, Brandwatch, Brand24, Buzzsumo, and Meltwater.

    4. In-Depth User Interviews

    User interviews offer qualitative insights that other methods cannot. By engaging directly with users, companies can delve into the motivations, negative feedback, and preferences that drive user behavior. These interviews are best conducted in a structured manner, with open-ended questions that encourage detailed customer feedback. The nuanced feedback obtained can inform not just product features but also marketing strategies and customer support approaches.

    Did you know? One of Productlane's features is a call recorder that automatically creates notes when conducting user interviews and lets you take timestamped notes. Those notes can then be linked to your issue tracker and give developers context.

    5. Focus Groups

    Focus groups bring together a select group of users to discuss their experiences and opinions about a product or service. This method allows for dynamic interaction among participants, often leading to richer, more detailed customer feedback than one-on-one interviews. Moderators play a crucial role in guiding these discussions, ensuring that every participant's voice is heard and that the conversation stays on track. Collecting customer feedback this way also helps surface customer feedback that you would not get from one-on-one meetings, as people start discussing with each other - instead of only answering your questions, which could be biased.

    6. Usability Testing

    Usability testing observes users as they interact with a product, identifying areas where they struggle or become frustrated. This method provides direct insight into the product's customer satisfaction, highlighting both its strengths and areas for improvement. Conducting usability tests at different stages of product development ensures that customer feedback is integrated into the design process, leading to a more intuitive and satisfying customer experience.

    7. Customer Support Logs

    Analyzing interactions from customer support channels—calls, emails, chat logs—offers a goldmine of feedback on the issues users face. This method to collect customer feedback helps identify recurring problems, guiding prioritization in the development process to address the most pressing issues first. Additionally, analyzing support logs can reveal gaps in user knowledge, indicating areas where additional resources or training might be needed.

    8. Net Promoter Score (NPS) Surveys

    The NPS system measures customer loyalty and satisfaction with a single question: how likely users are to recommend the product or service. This metric provides a straightforward assessment of overall user sentiment and surfacing if there are any unhappy customers, allowing companies to track improvements or declines in satisfaction over time. Analyzing the reasons behind the scores offers insights into what drives user loyalty and what areas might be causing dissatisfaction. It is a less detailed yet very helpful method to collect customer feedback on a regular basis to observe the trend in customer experience.

    9. Online Reviews and Ratings

    Online reviews and ratings on your website or third-party platforms provide honest, unfiltered user feedback. Regularly reviewing the customer feedback there can help understand what aspects of the product users appreciate most and where they see room for improvement. This feedback is particularly valuable as it comes from engaged users who are motivated to share their experiences, and the customer feedback is usually more honest.

    10. Shared Slack Channels

    In addition to more traditional feedback methods, you should consider creating shared VIP channels on platforms such as Slack or WhatsApp with a few of your close customers. You can have "real" conversations with them and get quick (and good-quality) feedback on what they want because the contact is personalized. And once again, this will help customize your offerings to fit their needs.

    Did you know? Having shared channels on Slack works well for us. A few of our close customers are always happy to share their feedback on new features we've implemented and have a direct line if they encounter any issues while using our platform.

    11. Productlane: Streamlining Feedback Integration

    Productlane offers an integrated solution for collecting, organizing, and acting on customer feedback. Productlane facilitates direct communication between users and product teams, ensuring customer feedback is quickly captured and addressed. Features like a feedback portal, research repository, and meeting recorders combine various methods from above in one tool to collect customer feedback. Prevent customer feedback silos and promote collaboration across teams. By making customer feedback actionable, Productlane ensures that product development always aligns with user needs and expectations based on real customer insights.

    Collect feedback: Conclusion

    Incorporating customer feedback is crucial for product development and customer satisfaction. By employing a mix of the methods outlined above and leveraging platforms like Productlane, product teams can gather comprehensive insights that drive innovation and enhance user experience. Remember, the ultimate goal of gathering feedback is to foster a responsive, user-centric development process that continuously adapts to meet and exceed customer expectations.

    FAQs on Customer Feedback

    What is the best practice for collecting customer feedback?

    The best practice involves making it easy and convenient for customers to provide feedback, ensuring anonymity if needed, and asking straightforward, concise questions that lead to actionable insights based on customer feedback. It's also crucial to act on the feedback received and communicate to customers what changes have been made due to the customer insights. This is also called closing the feedback loop.


    How do you ask for customer feedback?

    A polite request for customer feedback can be made by expressing genuine interest in the customer feedback and explaining how their feedback contributes to improvements. Example: "We'd love to hear about your experience with [Product/Service]. Your feedback is invaluable to us and helps us improve. Could you take a few moments to share your thoughts?" It is essential to value the time and effort your customers put into sharing their customer feedback with you.


    Why should you collect customer feedback?

    Collecting feedback is essential for understanding customer needs, measuring satisfaction, identifying areas for improvement, and guiding product development. Customer feedback provides direct insights into what works well and what doesn't, allowing businesses to make informed decisions that enhance the customer experience. Developing a product without taking the actual customer experience and their feature requests into account can lead to you prioritizing the less helpful things. It also demonstrates to customers that their opinions are valued, fostering loyalty and trust. Your users notice that you value their opinion, which leads to them providing even more customer feedback and being confident that you will take it seriously.


    How do you track customer feedback?

    Customer feedback can be tracked using customer relationship management (CRM) tools, feedback management platforms, and dedicated tracking systems that aggregate input from various sources. These tools allow you to collect feedback, categorize, analyze, and monitor feedback over time, ensuring that you can effectively measure improvements and respond to customer needs.


    How can Productlane help you with collecting customer feedback?

    In Productlane, you will find a tool that helps you collect and process customer feedback in different stages.

    1. Collect feedback: You can create a public page and widget, where users can interact and directly give feedback. Simply by sharing this page with users, a lot of Productlane customers have already increased the number of customer feedback reaching them. All feedback from different sources like email, slack, and calls will be gathered in the feedback repository. Collecting feedback done easy.

    2. Process feedback: Respond to user feedback by answering them directly from the Productlane user interface, acting as an inbox for all requests and reports. Also, you can connect the input directly to Linear, providing valuable insights for your engineering prioritization.

    3. Close the feedback loop: As mentioned above, it is important to not only gather feedback but also keep the user in the loop about the next steps for their request or bug report. Whenever a requested feature has been released, you can automatically notify all customers who requested it.

    4. Call recorder: Productlane supports you with a call recorder when doing user interviews. Within the recording you can take timestamped notes and also get a transcript automatically. Your notes can then also be connected directly to linear issues and projects. Never loosing valuable feedback from customer calls again.


    Time to start with continuous discovery.

    Productlane is built for a continuous feedback loop. With your customers as well as potential users.
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