So far in our Close the Loop series we’ve looked at who should own customer feedback, we’ve walked you through our own ideation process at inSided, and how Customer Success can manage feedback effectively.
Today, we want to talk about why a customer community is the best channel to collect customer feedback.
Let’s dive straight in.
Why use a customer community to collect feedback?
It’s hard to capture all the ideas and suggestions that come in across tools and teams. And ultimately, when it’s time to prioritize, decisions are often riddled with bias.
So how can you democratize the customer feedback process and build transparent relationships between Customer Success, Product – and your customers?
The answer is: a customer community.
Because where better to collect customer feedback than in your own backyard? Leverage your customer community to access invaluable insights and feedback along with user-generated ideas and requests.
Here are six reasons a customer community is the best channel to collect customer feedback:
- Facilitate unprompted feedback – Prompted feedback, i.e when you ask customers to give feedback by filling out a survey about a specific feature or experience, and – while useful – that type of feedback tends to be less powerful than unprompted feedback. Why? Because it’s often the issues you’re not even aware of that you need to hear the most. That’s why allowing customers to submit feedback and ideas freely often has the biggest impact.
- Avoid bias – Asking for feedback is difficult. Often we create bias because we’re not aware of our own assumptions and personal opinions. When feedback is generated organically, you don’t run the risk of creating a bias in your customers.
- Prevent loss of context – When the feedback is immediately available to Customer Success and Product (and the rest of the company), you don’t run the risk of feedback getting lost in translation as it’s shared directly between departments and individuals. The feedback always comes straight from the horse’s mouth.
- Offer full transparency – With a designated place for customer feedback open and available to your entire customer base, you communicate that you take customer feedback seriously and include the voice of the customer in your roadmap, progress, and vision.
- Create a self-informed environment – Plus, customers will also inform each other of the status of features, for example, if something’s already been requested or delivered. This way, they’re upholding the product information ecosystem among themselves, often without the need for CS or Product to step in.
- Generate peer-to-peer discussions – Ideas breed more ideas. And in a customer community, discussions come easily. Those discussions help judge how important an idea is and how invested users are in certain features.
The foundational element of a customer community is communication. Not only can you have an open dialogue with your customers, but you can also facilitate dialogue between your customers. This engagement often leads to a wider context, deeper insights, and a better understanding of their needs.
Customer communities allow Customer Success and Product to communicate effectively with customers to collect qualitative feedback. Pair this with quantitative engagement data such as the number of votes and replies, and soon, your customer community will paint the full picture of what they need.
Curious about what a customer community can do for you? Get in touch.