What Does a Successful Customer Feedback Loop Look Like?

Written by Adam Calica
Published on Dec. 09, 2020
What Does a Successful Customer Feedback Loop Look Like?
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One advantage of living at an apartment complex that uses Livly is the ability to use the tech company’s community feed software, which encourages residents and staff to communicate in an open forum in real time.

But recently, Livly learned of a problem with this feed.

Some property managers had felt burdened by approving every feed post and wanted more control over what could be posted to the feed in general. So Livly created a solution.

“We rolled out an automatic moderation capability for our community feed,” Rachel Blake, a data analyst at Livly, said. “It automatically flags potentially problematic posts, while not requiring every message to await approval. Residents can still engage with one another in real time, while property managers maintain the control they desire.”

This solution would not have been possible if not for Livly’s client feedback loop. It’s a key component of any business to learn customer concerns and needs, and how companies go about attaining this insight differs across the board.

For example, Palette, a tech company that provides companies with automation-based accounts payable and purchase-to-pay tools, recently rolled out a voice of the customer project where team members reached out to various clients across the country to better understand their needs.

We spoke with eight tech companies to learn how they navigate the client feedback loop.

What is a Customer Feedback Loop?

A customer feedback loop is when a company consistently collects and utilizes customer input to improve its products and services.

Yotpo

Ali Magno

CLIENT SUCCESS MANAGER

Ali Magno

Yotpo is an e-commerce software company that helps brands accelerate direct-to-consumer growth. At Yotpo, customer feedback is shared with not only managers and directors but also with the product and R&D teams. Client Success Manager Ali Magno said that this allows for the entire company to cohesively work together to understand what their customers are truly looking for.  

 

What are your company’s main methods for collecting customer feedback?

Our customers’ feedback strongly influences processes and product development. We’re always trying to break down the customer journey of our clients and ask them to provide feedback at the end of each phase. We regularly roll out new features and enhancements influenced by customers’ needs and the business goals they’re trying to achieve while also identifying gaps and areas for improvements.

Yotpo collects feedback from customers in a number of ways. As a CSM, I’m able to gather feedback throughout regular calls with customers and we’re always proactively asking for feature feedback and requests.

Our product team is regularly on calls, and they hear first-hand how customers are leveraging Yotpo and what other features they’re looking to see from us to drive business growth. Surveys — like net promoter score (NPS) and onboarding and renewal surveys — are often sent out via email based on predefined triggers and through the Yotpo platform itself. These surveys gather additional feedback from customers who may not feel comfortable sharing their thoughts directly. Our customers play a core role in product betas, giving them opportunities to give direct feedback and change the course of a new feature.

 

Typically, how does your company act on customer feedback?

Once we gather feedback from customers, we perform an analysis and try to understand which departments this feedback is intended for — product, service, support, etc. We then try to bring to the discussion all of the relevant internal partners.

When we collect customer feedback, it’s shared not only with managers, directors and the executive level but also directly with our product team and R&D. This allows us to cohesively work together as an organization to analyze the feedback from the perspectives of each department and identify trends to understand what our customers are truly looking for. It also allows us to understand where the majority of our customers’ pain points lie and prioritize feature improvements and innovation accordingly.  

As a CSM, this is one of my favorite parts of working at Yotpo. I’m able to directly collaborate with various departments in an open forum and get exposure to members of the organization that I might not otherwise work with. I also love knowing that my voice is heard at pivotal decision-making moments and I have a direct impact on the company’s long-term vision and the product roadmap.
 

I also love knowing that my voice is heard at pivotal decision-making moments and I have a direct impact on the company’s long-term vision and the product roadmap.”


How has customer feedback recently promoted a change in your company’s product or services?

We recently rolled out a new feature and immediately received feedback from customers on the overall user experience of this feature. Since this information was shared directly with CSMs from customers, the CSM team was able to compile and share all of the customer feedback directly with our product team. Given the overall feedback, our team was able to determine this feature was impacting our customers and, as a result, worked with the product team to implement a resolution within two weeks. 

This was a very rewarding and fun experience, as it was a direct testament to how Yotpo takes our customers’ feedback and quickly acts on it. I was able to work first-hand with the product team to resolve an issue and witness the customer feedback loop in action. To personally be able to deliver this great news to my customer and let them know that their voice was heard was an amazing feeling!

 

OpenWeb

Madison Zinsenheim

DIRECTOR OF PARTNER SUCCESS

Madison Zinsenheim

OpenWeb empowers publishers and advertisers to obtain quality online conversions. Director of Partner Success Madison Zinsenheim said that OpenWeb collects customer feedback via an inbound support ticketing system, a quarterly NPS survey and regular check-ins with partners.

 

What are your company’s main methods for collecting customer feedback?

At OpenWeb, we have several channels for collecting partner feedback, as it’s one of the main ways we stay informed on our current performance, strengths, areas of improvement and new ideas to exceed our partner’s business goals. 

Beyond the inbound support ticketing system, we rely on our quarterly NPS survey to compile answers for specific questions related to product performance, moderation, account management, monetization and overall partner satisfaction. Additionally, we ensure our team has a regular cadence where they’re checking in with partners as well as connecting them to our product team to review any open betas they’re participating in including roadmap reviews. A dream of ours is to start a partner advisory board where we can connect industry leaders to converse and bring ideas to the table so that we can iterate on our current products or add new items to our roadmap.
 

When we receive feedback around the functionality or a design aspect of our platform, we take it to heart and work tirelessly to deploy a new version quickly.”


Typically, how does your company act on customer feedback?

We want to be the best advocates for our users and partners, and as a startup, we’re constantly battling limited resources. Once we collect feedback from our partners, each request moves into an evaluation phase by our product and R&D teams to determine the estimated effort behind each request and impact across our network. We assess the urgency of each request, revenue impact, amount of resources needed and the probability of adoption among partners (to name a few details considered when assigning priority). It’s definitely a never-ending cycle of wanting to do it all. Fixing bugs, while also developing new features and products, all ultimately come into play when we’re trying to reach some sort of decision.

 

How has customer feedback recently promoted a change in your company’s product or services?

Because we are a small company, we have the ability to really go above and beyond for our partners and pivot quickly to meet their strategic needs. Several months ago, a prospective customer came to us asking for demo pages of our live blog and conversation because they were interested in hosting an AMA (ask me anything) event. They eventually landed on using our AMA product, which didn’t yet exist. Several members of our New York team and product team in Israel were against selling a product we didn’t technically support but knew it was possible to create. We used our resources to develop a new product for their site and the experience was seamless. 

Due to the success of that launch, we are already discussing ways to improve this feature for future use cases. Most importantly, the partner was thrilled and now has a longstanding contract with us. 

Additionally, when users post a critique (and/or praise) of our platform, we share those details internally. We strive for our product to be both accessible and attractive for the masses, so when we receive feedback around the functionality or a design aspect of our platform, we take it to heart and work tirelessly to deploy a new version quickly.

 

More Customer Success StoriesImproving Customer Focus: Tips From 5 Customer Success Teams

 

Reonomy

Ismail Pathan

MANAGER, CUSTOMER SUCCESS

Ismail Pathan

Reonomy leverages big data, partnerships and machine learning to connect individuals and businesses to commercial real estate properties. Manager of Customer Success Ismail Pathan said that they collect customer feedback using Google Forms and then the customer, product and UX teams meet monthly to discuss each problem in depth and curate a solution. 

 

What are your company’s main methods for collecting customer feedback?

When you work at a company that ingests millions of data points and operates in an agile environment, customer feedback is key. While my team is in the product daily, our customers are the true experts and are the best to look to for areas of improvement, new feature requests, and ways that we can provide more value in their day-to-day operations. 

Something that I love about working in customer success is that we are truly on the front lines in terms of understanding our customers’ wins as well as pain points. Reonomy is a unique place in that our product and customer success teams work collaboratively to gain insight from our customers and then use that feedback to inform our product roadmap and top priorities. 
 

We action our customer feedback by logging it into our product feedback form and prioritize discussing it in our monthly product meeting.”


We collect feedback in a few different ways: our team spends almost all of the time talking to customers and helping them find value in our product so we’ve developed a real-time way to be able to collect customer feedback via a Google Form, that gets funneled directly to our product and engineering teams. After years of using Slack as the main method to report feedback, we realized we needed a more streamlined way to structure and share feedback that was more efficient. 

 

Typically, how does your company act on customer feedback?

On a monthly basis, our customer experience team meets jointly with our product and UX teams in what we call our product and data CX (customer experience) feedback meeting. In this meeting, we run through every product feedback submission. One of our senior PMs will bucket, highlight and comment on these pieces of feedback, creating Jira tickets and adding requests to the backlog when appropriate. After we run through what our customers are looking for, we do the same for data quality issues, taking a macro lens at the general themes actioning specific items to be investigated by our data analysts.

When the time comes to getting something ticketed into a sprint, our PMs set up calls with customers to further understand use cases and their feedback to ensure every potential gap is flagged prior to work getting started in the next sprint.

 

How has customer feedback recently promoted a change in your company’s product or services?

At the core of our product, our customers can utilize dozens of filters to sift through 50-plus million properties nationwide. As they trim down their search for properties that interest them, workflow tools to stay organized are a must — which is why we offer customers the ability to add a label to a subset of properties.

Over the last few months, we heard a number of users ask for the ability to exclude properties from their search using labels. We actioned this feedback by logging it in the product feedback form mentioned above and prioritized discussing it in our monthly product meeting. One of our PMs identified another section of work that was being done that we could squeeze the request into. My team set up a few calls for the product manager and a UX designer to fully understand the scope. After putting together some mocks, it was then ticketed and added to our engineering team’s next sprint. A few weeks later, the feature was out and it felt great to get back to the customer and inform them that they could now exclude properties as they wanted!

 

Crunchyroll

Matthew Reyes

DIRECTOR, CUSTOMER SERVICE

Matthew Reyes

Describe how your company typically acts on customer feedback. Once feedback has been collected, where does it go?

Feedback is separated into types and entered as issues in Jira. These types could be feature requests, beta bugs, sentiment or issues with corner cases. Once the tickets are created, they are then divided by services, platforms or features and assigned to product, payment or engineering teams for impact evaluation. Service examples include payments, video, e-commerce and growth; device teams include mobile, Xbox or PS4; and features could be offline viewing or our watchlist. From there, the product manager that oversees the specific service or feature on the ticket takes the lead to triage. If the issue is cross-functional, then each product manager brings in respective product managers to coordinate.

 

BEHIND THE ANIME:

Crunchyroll’s platform includes managing the rights for more than 350 anime titles and partnering with more than 100 global licensees to offer anime content and retail products. Its fan base includes 40 million social media followers and 3 million paid subscribers. 

 

Take us through how customer feedback recently prompted a change in your company's product or services. 

An increase in reports of a specific type of problem, even a known issue, triggers an update of a Jira ticket. This happened recently regarding a sign-up process for a new Crunchyroll offering. The sign-up process was designed for first-time customers looking to sign up for a free trial. We learned that returning customers couldn’t get to the premium membership payment page without signing up for a trial. The customer support cases around this issue began to increase, which caused a Jira update that showed the value of allowing returning customers to skip sections of the sign-up flow. 

Once the Jira update came through, our payments team took the lead in solving this issue.  With the help of multiple teams, including our growth team, we implemented a solution that allows customers who already know what they want to go directly to the payment methods to subscribe to one of our premium plans. 

 

How long did the fix take? 

The work itself was a simple fix, but, given this was an emergent request, we needed to prioritize developer time within the current roadmap. Because of that, the issue took two weeks to evaluate, design and test, and another week to schedule for production rollout.

 

Altruist

Michelle Shotts

HEAD OF CUSTOMER SUCCESS

Michelle Shotts

How does your team collect customer feedback? 

Leaning too heavily on any single source for customer feedback can lead to a skewed understanding. To ensure a comprehensive view, Altruist connects the dots across three main feedback channels: solicited, unsolicited and observed.

Solicited feedback is generally collected through direct conversations and surveys. Our surveys include an NPS survey for brand-level insights and transactional surveys to understand satisfaction with various components of our offering. All surveys include open text responses to better understand the why behind any ratings we collect.

Unsolicited feedback can come through any number of channels. At Altruist, we see heavy engagement with our in-platform listening engine where customers can suggest, upvote and comment on feature requests at any time. The platform allows us to see what’s most important to our customers, publish our roadmap and automatically update requesters on progress and release updates.

That said, it’s no secret that human behavior doesn’t always match what we say. It’s imperative to also look at observed feedback and analyze what customers actually do on the platform and what they’re reaching out about.

 

ALTRUIST’S 3 FEEDBACK CHANNELS

  • Solicited feedback — collected through surveys and conversations
  • Unsolicited feedback — collected in-platform via customer engagement
  • Observed feedback —  collected by watching customers actions within the platform

     

    Once feedback has been collected, what happens next?

    We leverage storytelling and feedback loops to make sense of and capitalize on the insights. Stats and charts are hard to remember. Stories are memorable and create empathy that motivates action. We use stats and charts to punctuate the key points in the customer feedback story.

    Our process begins by collecting feedback from our solicited, unsolicited and observed listening engines that are regularly analyzed and translated into digestible, actionable insights — or stories.

    Then we share actionable insights cross-functionally. In addition to various reports and dashboards, we have cross-functional daily standups, monthly summits and quarterly business reviews where we share feedback. In all of our discussions, we invite each other to work toward solutions instead of putting each other on the defensive.

    From there, all of our teams, especially our product and engineering teams, fine-tune their roadmap based on customer feedback. This is an ongoing cycle of active listening and measuring, analyzing and acting.

     

    Take us through how customer feedback recently prompted a change in your company's product or services. How was it communicated through your team? 

    Recently, we upgraded our product offering, which included a major migration to a new back-end system — a significant undertaking would be an understatement. There was a great deal of attention placed on ensuring data stability post-migration. However, one of the key pieces of observed feedback customer success started to notice was the need for better in-flow messaging so customers could correct issues in-flow without needing to reach out to customer success. 

    In this instance, everything was working as designed, but there was an opportunity to remove friction and further simplify a huge aspect of our value proposition. Because our product and engineering team has standing daily checks-in with customer success to understand what customers are saying, we were able to get this non-defect feedback prioritized immediately. 

     

    FRONTSTEPS

    David Bradley

    DIRECTOR OF CUSTOMER SUPPORT

    David Bradley

    Using proprietary technology, FRONTSTEPS built a resident engagement platform that provides communities with integrated security solutions, instant access to a streamlined community resource hub and management tasks.

     

    What are your company’s main methods for collecting customer feedback?

    The main way we currently capture customer feedback is through an NPS survey, which is generated following an interaction with one of our customer-facing teams. We use AskNicely as our survey tool and, based on ticket frequency, a survey is generated when a support case is closed in our CRM system. If the customer opts to provide an NPS rating, they are prompted for comments related to their rating. Then, we ask a CSAT or CES question, and if they rate us, they are asked for commentary based on their score and experience. We then use filters and other tools within the application to help us interpret the data and provide the feedback to the appropriate teams across the company for additional action. 

    We’ve recently taken feedback gathering a step further by launching two additional customer-facing tools. We’ve implemented UserVoice, which allows customers to provide new product and feature ideas at any time, and customers can vote and rank requests. This allows our product organization as well as our executive team to better understand customer priorities for additional feature development within our software. Additionally, we are in the process of implementing an in-app feedback tool that allows customers the ability to provide real-time feedback on their experience with our application — and not just after they’ve had a transactional experience with our company.   
     

    Our mission is to nurture healthy customer relationships by listening to customers and continuously improving their experience.”


    Typically, how does your company act on customer feedback? 

    Once NPS/CSAT survey feedback is received, the most appropriate team takes ownership and reaches out directly to customers for additional information, usually within 24 hours. Our goal is to hold an in-person conversation with the customer as soon as possible to understand where and how we’ve fallen short of our customers’ expectations and to identify opportunities to remediate.

    Our entire organization takes pride in monitoring customer feedback distributed through various channels. We leverage AskNicely’s integration with Slack as our primary medium for real-time updates across the company. NPS feedback is also provided to our customer success managers to measure the health of the customer relationships assigned to them. Each team has its process, but our mission is to nurture healthy customer relationships by listening to customers and continuously improving their experience. 

     

    How has customer feedback recently promoted a change in your company’s product or services?

    We’re always looking to improve the experience our customers have when interacting with our products, and we’ve put a great deal of focus on our homeowner mobile app over the last year.  Our customers told us that they wanted an improved process for how to make a payment and how to book amenities from their mobile devices; at that point, that functionality had already been in development for a few months. 

    However, through our NPS and UserVoice programs, we received customer feedback that residents were also looking for enhanced ability to access and edit community classified ads. This feedback allowed us to prioritize and fast-track this functionality: The mobile app update with the improved experience will be released within the next few weeks upon approval from the app stores. 

     

    Livly

    Rachel Blake

    DATA ANALYST

    Rachel Blake

    Livly is a real estate software company in Chicago. It offers apartment technology that property managers use to simplify tasks and elevate resident experiences, and relies on their clients for feedback on how to improve its software.

     

    What are your company's main methods for collecting customer feedback?

    At Livly, we collect customer feedback through channels including regular customer check-in calls and emails, periodic customer surveys and ongoing user research. Our goal in talking with customers is to better understand how we can make Livly work for them.

     

    Our goal in talking with customers is to better understand how we can make Livly work for them.”

    Describe how your company typically acts on customer feedback.

    Livly employs a multistep process to understand customer feedback. The team begins by aggregating all product and services feedback. Next, we determine which department should address the feedback, and then that team resolves whether the feedback fits with the strategic direction of Livly's business. Finally, feedback gets prioritized alongside other updates the team is working on.

     

    Take us through how customer feedback recently prompted a change in your company's product or services.

    We recently rolled out an automatic moderation capability for our community feed. The community feed encourages apartment residents and staff to communicate in an open forum, sending news in real time, managing events and providing an engaging peer-to-peer commerce channel.

    Through regular touch points with customers, the Livly customer success team received feedback that property managers wanted more control over what could be posted to the community feed. The customer success team communicated this feedback to our product and engineering teams, which were able to build new functionality into the feed. Previous user research found building staff did not want the burden of approving every feed post. The final solution automatically flags potentially problematic posts, while not requiring every message to await approval. Residents can still engage with one another in real time, while property managers maintain the control they desire.

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    Palette Software

    Bernt Olausson

    COUNTRY MANAGER NORTH AMERICA

    Bernt Olausson

    Palette is a software tech company in Chicago that provides companies with automation-based accounts payable and purchase-to-pay tools. It relies on client interviews and surveys to capture the voice of the customer.

     

    What are your company's main methods for collecting customer feedback?

    We do surveys, and of course, our salespeople are always in touch with customers about support and upgrades. For example, if our clients are doing more business and their license requirements have increased, we’ll collect feedback on that interaction. The same goes for if they are looking to add extra modules to their solution or if they are reaching out with technical issues. We are also using voice of the customer methodology to further explore new features and solution sets. This process uncovers needs that may go unacknowledged due to assumptions made by both product development teams and the customers themselves.

     

    Customer feedback goes into our process for building out the roadmap for our solution.”

    Describe how your company typically acts on customer feedback.

    Customer feedback goes into our process for building out the roadmap for our solution, both now and into the future.

     

    Take us through how customer feedback recently prompted a change in your company's product or services.

    Our voice of the customer project has really helped with this. Members from various teams, from marketing to development to product, took part in interviewing current clients in North America and Europe. Various team members dissected the transcripts from the interviews and separated that feedback into hundreds of specified needs. Work like this will drive a new solution set that we’d like to include in future versions of the software.

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    Responses edited for length and clarity. Photography provided by companies listed, unless otherwise noted.
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