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Collecting Customer Feedback

It takes humility to seek feedback. It takes wisdom to understand it, analyze it and appropriately act on it.

Stephen Covey

Complaining customers are not your most at-risk buyers – the ones most likely to defect.

It’s the quietly disappointed ones that you have to look out for. These are the ones who, if approached by the competitor with a slightly better deal will abandon you for greener pastures.

Customer feedback has become one of the primary drivers of long-term growth. Present day organizations jump at every opportunity to talk to the customer or learn about them. Businesses are spending huge budgets on setting up feedback channels: emails, reviews, surveys, and website analytics.

The pertinent question now is: how do you utilize these channels to actually learn from the feedback? Before you establish the viability of a channel, it is crucial to develop a clear picture of WHY you are collecting feedback.

Are you seeking first-hand advice on product improvement? Are you building a new feature for which you’re seeking the users’ inputs? Have you been receiving a lot of complaints? Once you have the end goal clear, proceed to the tactical part: how do you collect feedback?

Customers often view the requests for their feedback as a redundant activity. They believe that they are giving the organization feedback each time they buy another product or service, recommend you to others, or remain a customer over time. So the question remains: How can your organization stay current on customers ever changing needs and expectations without annoying or estranging them with traditional customer feedback efforts?