Close the loop 4 min read

A step-by-step guide to establishing a Customer Success-driven feedback loop

Jo Johansson • March 4, 2021

Earlier this week, we launched our revamped Ideation Module and brand new Product Updates Module in an effort to help Customer Success and Product teams create a better way to manage customer feedback and close the loop.

But how do you build a Customer Success-driven feedback loop? We’ve broken it down into seven steps to help you get started.

Let's take a look.

Step 1: Identify the best way to collect and organize customer feedback

While you can collect customer feedback across numerous channels, tools, and teams – if all that feedback isn’t hosted in one centralized place, it can be difficult to put all the pieces together. Leverage your customer community or use a tool like Productboard to collect customer feedback and feature requests. It’s important to choose a tool or process that can easily fit into existing workflows in your Customer Success team as well as Product. For example, you might want to make sure it offers integrations with other tools you use daily, such as Salesforce, Gainsight, Slack, and Mixpanel.

Step 2: Create a standardized format for sharing customer feedback with Product

Identify exactly what information you need from customers to fully understand the feedback, and what business goals it would contribute to. You also need to define what information you need in order to qualify the feedback. This will help you determine the importance of different types of feedback and help you communicate this to Product. For example, if Product requires you to come up with a high-level business case, it might be good to know the ARR backing a specific feature request. Make sure to always use the same format so there’s no confusion.

Step 3: Establish the best way to analyze and prioritize feedback

Choose one centralized feedback hub where Customer Success and Product can both get a complete overview of the voice of the customer. While Customer Success often has more intimate knowledge of customer needs, Product has the advantage when it comes to product capabilities. Level the playing field by making sure that the actual discussion or feedback from the customer is given in an accessible and open environment for both teams. Other customers can participate, and both teams can help qualify feedback and requests before it’s discussed internally.

Step 4: Manage expectations and communicate updates

The most important aspect of collecting feedback is to manage expectations. All product feedback and ideas should be welcomed. Not all ideas can be implemented, either because they are too complicated, too specific or because they don't fit the product vision. Ideas that can be implemented might take some time to investigate and execute on. Explain to your customers what Product is working on, how they prioritized feedback, and what customers can expect to be delivered.

Step 5: Incorporate feedback into product roadmap and implement

Once Product has reviewed feedback and prioritized requests, it’s time to get to work. But let’s not forget where the feedback came from! Invite customers – especially the ones that gave the feedback – to participate in Beta groups to help your product team make sure the new features and improvements are delivered to full satisfaction.

Step 6: Close the loop by communicating product updates to customers

When you successfully deliver on product feedback and ideas it’s time to close the feedback loop. Inform your customers what’s new, improved or changed based on the feedback they gave you. Always make sure to mention or reference the original idea or piece of feedback that sparked the update, and the customer who came up with it.

Step 7: Measure the success of new releases qualitatively and quantitatively

Send a customer satisfaction survey after the release, specifically to customers that were involved throughout the process. Catch up with your customer advisory board and ask them about the newly released features, improvements, and other product updates. And lastly, measure the impact of the update quantitatively by looking at product adoption and usage data.

Final words

Your CSMs are the face of your product. They will sit on some of the richest and most valuable information your company has. From interacting with customers over email, phone, in your customer community, and QBRs – they will have insights that go far beyond any data points the product team is analyzing. Your CSMs are the very beginning of the feedback loop.

But in order to keep the feedback loop going, Customer Success has to establish a workflow with Product in order to effectively analyze, prioritze, and implement that feedback so that they ultimately can close the loop – together.


Do you want to discover how you can improve collaboration between Customer Success and product? Download our eBook to learn more.

Close the Loop

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By Jo Johansson

Head of Content at inSided. Passionate about content ops, words and horses.

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