The Discover phase in Product Marketing is an opportunity to collect data and analyze it before proceeding toward strategy and growth. The first step I tell you about is related to customer feedback. Let’s dive into this topic by answering the focal questions:
- How does the customer feedback process in Product Marketing work?
- Is it really that important to the product strategy?
What is customer feedback: definition
Customer feedback is the way you try to connect with your target audience. It is usually positioned at the end of the sales funnel: the customer has gone through the entire funnel and, after the purchase, has the opportunity to express his opinion. But it can also position itself when using a freemium version.
Definition of customer feedback – Collection by a brand or company of customer reviews on a product/service. Both negative and positive feedbacks are useful as performance indicators: on the one hand, they allow you to identify areas for improvement, and on the other they highlight strengths.
For example, a software company may ask if an application is easy to use and based on the answer try to obtain more information to reduce the barriers to use. How does he do it? Through active customer feedback, or through passive customer feedback:
- The passive method of collecting customer opinions: Requires filtering the feedback customers leave in forums, comments, and review sites.
- The active method of collecting customer opinions: the company asks users and customers directly for feedback on the product/service. The software company taken as an example could send an e-mail to customers asking if they have encountered difficulties in use and, if so, at what time (installation, update, and the like).
Why is customer feedback important?
Like every other step in the Discover phase, customer feedback is also essential in product marketing. It allows the Product Marketing Manager (PMM) to enter the minds of the user personas, one of the keys to the strategy.
The customer models the product and not vice versa.
Although developers and managers know by heart all the dynamics and features of the product, they do not have the direct sensations of those who use it day after day for their own needs. The customer provides valuable information that otherwise risks going undetected.
And how does the PMM use this information? To implement a virtuous and effective marketing process, or to:
- Raise the engagement rate: giving customers a voice means giving them importance. This also has an impact on shopping habits, as shown by data showing that customer engagement increases the probability of purchasing a product by 90% and the value of the transaction by 60%.
- Increase customer satisfaction: by transforming customer feedback into analytical data, the PMM can obtain information on how to improve products and increase user satisfaction.
- Lower the churn rate: Attracting new customers is much more difficult than keeping existing ones. Lead generation costs 5 to 25 times more than customer retention. A good reason to understand what your current customers want and give them the best possible product.
Main types of customer feedback and examples
What are the main types of customer feedback? At a macro level, three are identified:
Product feedback: PMM is most interested in it, even if it is not the only one. Positive comments and negative feedbacks relating to functionality, ease of use, and defects found are part of this type.
Feedback on marketing and sales: these are the opinions on information materials and promotional tools through which the customer knows the product and its unique value proposition.
Customer service feedback: customer service is evaluated on specific parameters. Contact with assistance can be a tool for identifying the expressed needs and latent needs of the typical customer.
Each of these types can be exploded into a multitude of questions that allow the PMM to know at all times what customers are thinking.
Customer feedback examples on the product
Here are some questions you can use to ask for an opinion on the product:
- What do you need our product/service for?
- What do you think about the X feature of the product?
- What changes have you experienced after starting to use our product?
- What functionality should we add to improve your experience?
Customer feedback examples on marketing and sales
Customer feedback in marketing and sales is used to get feedback on what works on the commercial and promotional sides. Here are some questions that may help in this regard:
- How did you find us?
- How long have you been our customer?
- Why did you decide to try our product/service?
- Do you know similar products from different brands?
Customer service feedback examples
Customer service is strategic both for the technical assistance phase and for any outbound marketing techniques. Verifying its efficiency is essential to raise the level of customer satisfaction and customer retention. Ask your audience for a judgment, using questions similar to these:
- How would you describe our customer service?
- Were you helped in a timely manner?
- Did our staff answer your questions satisfactorily?
- How can we make your experience even better?
How to ask the customer for feedback?
Each customer touchpoint can be helpful in developing a feedback-gathering tactic. There is no shortage of alternatives and it is up to the individual company to decide, based on the product and the target audience, which is the best.
Customer Interviews: Going straight to the source is an effective way to gather information on product and/or service quality.
Email Forms: Email contact forms are still an effective way to connect with customers. To generate even higher response rates, you can insert successive steps and thus maintain proactive communication.
Social Media: Social media survey options offer marketers excellent opportunities to intercept customer opinions in an engaging and natural way.
Online tools: Google Analytics statistics and heat map plugins measure the performance of a site or a promotional campaign in relation, for example, to the bounce rate or areas of greatest interest on-page.
How often is customer feedback needed?
Collecting customer opinions is a constant process. For this reason, the time frame within which to proceed with the customer feedback is variable. Although therefore, there is no strict rule, it is important to emphasize that maintaining regular contact allows the PMM to promptly identify any problems and correct them before they turn into a wave of negative feedback, difficult to manage.
4 practical tips for performing customer feedback in Product Marketing
To make collecting product feedback truly effective, you just need to set up an action plan based on a few rules:
Timeliness: alongside, for example, the e-mail survey which, in the case of digital products, takes the customer out of the main channel, also uses in-app tools. In this way you will be able to intercept users in a timely manner and ask the question ‘promptly’, receiving more accurate feedback in return.
Simplicity: The mechanism for submitting opinions and comments must be simple and accessible. The customer doesn’t have to waste time.
Priority: The product team must be able to segment feedback data by customer type to track down any repeating patterns. This done, it will be able to prioritize allowing users to report what is most urgent for them.
Monitoring: once the customer feedback data is in the possession of the company, it must not end up in a black hole. It is necessary to manage, synthesize and analyze them in order to assign the necessary priorities to the actions.
Customer feedback is one of the steps in the Discover Phase of Product Marketing. It allows you to act proactively and implement corrective and/or improvement solutions. The indications of the customers give you the measure of how much and how the product is appreciated by the buyer personas.
For example, a survey reveals a criticality in customer service. In particular, the hourly availability is not considered adequate. If so, a 24-hour chatbot could satisfy that need.
Or, again, you have encountered several reports on the difficulty in using the product. A video tutorial could be a decisive answer.
Remember, the strength of a good collection of customer opinions is the ability to act not only on negative feedback but also on positive ones. If a large part of your audience shows that they appreciate a product feature that you do not value enough, you may decide to activate a promotional campaign or, even, invest in its development.
Before closing this post and giving you an appointment for the next articles, in which I would like to continue our excursus on the intelligence phase of Product Marketing with you, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Luciano Castro, president of the Product Manager Alliance: the first Italian and European association of Product Managers. As Senior Product Manager, assisted by a qualified group of professionals, I help startups and managers on the path of growth and development. Thanks to my experience as an entrepreneur, I support companies that want to create successful digital products.
To find out more get in touch now.