A critical element of product marketing, customer/market feedback presents product marketers with the opportunity to step into the mind of their audience, with their responses providing an indicator of how well a product or service has performed, and where changes can be made in the future.
But is it really that essential? How should PMMs complete the process? And more to the point, how should findings influence long-term strategy.
In this article, we'll focus on key areas, including:
- What is customer/market feedback?
- Why is customer feedback important?
- How often should you collect customer feedback?
- How to collect customer feedback
- How should customer/market feedback feed into your strategy?
What is customer/market feedback?
Often confused with win/loss interviews, customer feedback is the process whereby customers who have completed their journey through the sales funnel are quizzed about their experience with the product, post-purchase.
For instance, companies may ask their target market questions to establish how easy a product is to use, and what modifications could be made to enhance its overall quality.
Unlike with win-loss interviews (which take place approx. four weeks after a deal’s won or lost), this process can take place at any stage throughout the customer journey.
Why is customer feedback important?
Customer feedback is an essential part of the product marketing process.
It enables PMMs to not only identify and comprehend pitfalls in their current practice but also introduce relevant changes whereby they can be improved in the future.
Although you as a product marketer may know the dynamics of your product, you probably don’t use it day in, day out, like your customers, in which case, feedback can provide invaluable insights that could otherwise go unnoticed.
When PMMs use customer feedback, products can be improved, which in turn will increase customer satisfaction, decrease churn, and give you the upper hand on rivals within your market.
Customers mold companies, not the other way around.
Did you know...
It’s widely acknowledged that attracting new customers is much harder than keeping the existing market happy. Lead generation can be a time-consuming exercise, and an expensive one, at that; it costs 5x to 25x more money to secure new customers than keeping existing clientele happy, highlighting the sheer value of giving customers a platform to make their voices heard.
This process attributes value to the customer and makes them feel important. When customers are engaged, it’s been proven to have a profound effect on buying habits, with engaged customers likely to purchase a product 90% more often and spend up to 60% more, per transaction.
How often should you collect customer feedback?
There’s no definitive time frame in which feedback from customers needs to be collected; it’s an ongoing process, and this will vary.
When we speak to product marketers in search of a more clear-cut answer, there’s no consistent answer provided, with some conducting customer feedback daily, whilst others check in fortnightly.
Psst. Check out this article on ‘How often should you talk to customers?’ for more on the frequency side of things.
Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that customers are at the core of your practice and so liaising regularly will enable you to spot flaws quicker and rectify such issues.
How to collect customer feedback
When collecting customer feedback, it’s pivotal to utilize all resources and contact points available.
While phone or face-to-face interviews are the preferred means of collecting customer feedback, we get this can be difficult to facilitate sometimes. However, there are alternative options out there, like:
- Internal data - communicate with your sales and customer success teams, to ensure their data is being used to its fullest potential.
- Surveys - whether it’s in-app or over email, sending out surveys in standalone communications, or engrained into your email footer, for example, is a fairly low-resource route to topping up your feedback pot.
- Social media - with 3.8 billion people registered, the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram are a great way to generate feedback from your target market. User-friendly tools such as poll options present product marketers with the opportunity for customers to offer their opinions in an engaging, interactive way.
- Email - email contact forms are a simple, yet highly effective way to generate feedback from your customers, and there are proactive steps that can be introduced to improve response rates. For instance, set expectations amongst the recipients of the correspondence, and let them know when you’ll be back in touch. A range of specialist tools are also available, to ensure that minute details are captured.
- Customer interviews - Going direct to the source and proactively seeking feedback is an effective way to gain useful customer insights. Interviews give customers the chance to candidly express their opinions, and this qualitative data can add further detail to quantitative findings that may have materialized.
- Online tools - Analytical tools such as Google Analytics and Hotjar offer statistical insights into the performance of a product or service. Plugins such as website heat maps indicate which areas of a website are being attracted to most, while statistics such as bounce rate reveals whether the content is engaging, or not.
So, you’ve got the customer on the phone or convinced them to open your online survey, now what? There is a multitude of questions that can be asked when asking customers for product feedback, and here are just a few:
- How did you find our onboarding process?
- How would you rate the usability of our dashboard?
- How can we improve a certain feature?
- How would you describe our customer service?
How should customer/market feedback feed into your strategy?
Having collected feedback from your target market, it’s essential to act proactively and implement relevant measures within your product marketing strategy.
For example, if your feedback suggests you’re targeting the wrong market, reassess your strategy and reevaluate the existing buyer personas.
Or, if customers indicate they’re unhappy with their customer service experience, introduce appropriate alternatives. For instance, if they want around-the-clock support, a live service, like a chatbot, could be a solution, or if they’re struggling to understand a certain part of your product, creating and communicating out a how-to video could be a relatively quick fix.
And remember, feedback isn’t always just acting on negatives. For example, if you identify a trend that tons of your customers are seeing inordinate amounts of value in a feature you weren’t previously promoting all that much, it could spark a new marketing campaign, or even new messaging.