In a utopian world, customers would share their feedback easily. They would answer all feedback related emails and respond to all feedback. The truth, however, is that in a typical business only 4% of customers will tell you that they have a complaint. The remaining 96% won’t. And while they will not communicate their problem with you, in this hyperconnected world, they will talk about it on social channels and their social network. This can mean bad news for any business and more so for SaaS businesses where it costs five times more to acquire a new client than to retain an existing one. Taking customer feedback is a sure shot way to create products that users love and continue to use.
In the context of SaaS companies, the longer the customer stays with the company, the lower the churn, the better the revenues. To achieve this along with building a superlative product, SaaS companies have to ensure that customer interactions are built within all processes, be it marketing, sales, product management, customer support, etc. By doing so, SaaS companies can then understand not only why people are using certain features more than others, but also why customers drop off, or why the product usage declines. While all this information can be gleaned from customer surveys, in today’s complex and competitive marketplace, organizations need to become more proactive about receiving feedback and implementing it real-time. So how can companies move beyond the traditional annual survey and get their users to tell them more about the product?
Smart User Feedback
Does the customer of today have the time to fill up lengthy feedback forms? Lengthy feedback forms are usually dismissed since the customer is predisposed to doing so. In such a scenario, the trick is to give your product the capability to capture responses at every stage of the product lifecycle and at every point of use. For example, you can ask a customer to rate his/her satisfaction level at the end of a session with a module. If the answer is in the negative then you can proactively offer support to alleviate the problem. Branded polls and short surveys, always-on, customizable NPS, CSAT & CES surveys help in generating valuable customer feedback that consequently contributes to improving product experience.
Assess Product Usage
If you listen carefully, you can easily know what the users want to communicate and what they think about the product. Listening, when it comes to SaaS products, cannot be relegated to the annual surveys but has to be a continuous process. And to enable continuous listening, SaaS products need to build in the data advantage and not look at customer feedback as an isolated exercise.
Since data works proactively, it keeps providing us with valuable information on a continuous basis. It can be used to see how the users are interacting with the product, what kind of questions are being directed to customer support, what marketing messages are being opened, and how messaging services are being utilized. Data also makes it easier to create targeted surveys, target these surveys to specific customers, trigger surveys during critical events and during specific time periods. By having powerful analytics and built-in reporting capabilities, SaaS products can capture user interaction across mobile or web devices to accurately identify any activity within the product and get access to actionable insights that come from actual product usage.
Keeping Feedback Out Of The Inbox And Making It In-Product
Chances are, your customers will respond to you if you ask them relevant and contextual questions while they are using the application and before they leave the interface. Delayed interactions have no place in today’s environment hence, it makes sense to take gathering feedback out of the inbox and make it in-product. With in-product feedback, you can prompt users to get contextual information. With such feature, you can survey your customers and gather impactful, and relevant information that is worth its weight in gold. In product-feedback also makes it easier for users to provide inputs and gives them the power to give feedback as and when they need it whether it is to report bugs, lags, glitches, or enhancements. This also gives customers a way to share their experience with you seamlessly while they are still engaged with the product and, hence, this feedback tends to be more concrete and quick.
As we are living in the ‘Age of Social’, customer feedback can also be gathered by listening to the chatter on social channels. Online communities are a great information repository where customers provide unbiased, candid, and direct feedback on product performance. Given that human beings are predisposed to open dialogues, listening to online communities and social channels give organizations valuable customer feedback on what they like or don’t, what issues they face and what they want from the product. This helps in keeping your finger on the pulse of the market, gather information and also address their issues.
Companies now need to change their approach to customer feedback and look at making it more continuous and proactive. We are in an age where if you pay very close attention to how your customers are using and interacting with their products to become less of a vendor and more of a success-partner in your customers’ journey.
How are you getting your customers to talk to you about your product?
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