The key to building a successful product is to understand your customers and accurately identify their needs and solve their problems. Where best to find out what your users actually want than to get it straight from them?
Customer feedback analysis is one of the most important tools in your arsenal. Unfortunately, not enough SaaS companies are utilizing their customer feedback well enough – with many product managers ignoring feedback analysis entirely!
At June, we believe that providing clear, concise and beautiful product analytics is also one of the best ways to grow your SaaS products. June is a great product analytics platform for helping you carry out customer feedback analysis and helps you find out exactly what your customers want.
In this article, we’ll explore what customer feedback analysis is, how it can help you scale your business and introduce you to some best practices and top tips to help you carry out effective feedback analysis.
What is Customer Feedback Analysis?
Feedback analysis is the process of studying and understanding customer feedback in order to improve the customer experience. The goal of customer feedback analysis is to identify areas where the company and its SaaS products are succeeding and areas where they need to improve.
This information can then be used to create a customer experience (CX) strategy that will help the business achieve its goals.
Common channels that businesses use to collect customer feedback include:
- Product analytics
- Focus Groups – although these are increasingly used less
- Email forms
- Social Media
Why is Customer Feedback so important?
Before we dive into customer feedback analysis, it’s important to understand why we prefer feedback from existing customers over, say, usability tests or feedback from stakeholders.
First of all – your customers are the people you are making the product for. By gathering feedback, you’re allowing existing customers to share their thoughts and concerns. Remember, the goal of user-centric product design is to solve underserved problems users – whether they be existing or potential – are experiencing.
You will find out if your users’ needs are being met. If not, conscientious users will likely tell you why your product isn’t meeting their standards. This helps you create products with a more focused, higher-quality customer experience (CX).
Stakeholders and executive management have different requirements and needs from software. They will inherently use your product differently, and so in some cases, their feedback may be less relevant.
Secondly, collecting user feedback shows that you care about what your users have to say. This helps you build better rapport with your customers and boosts your company’s reputation as a friendly, customer-first organization.
Is there any difference between user feedback and customer feedback?
Whilst user feedback and customer feedback can broadly be used interchangeably, there are some nuanced differences between these two types of feedback.
User feedback refers to what anyone who uses your product or website has to say about it. Customer feedback is what actual customers have to say about it. Still not sure of the difference?
Well, customers are always users – but users aren’t always customers. User feedback encompasses all the types of methods used to get feedback. Feedback from user feedback analysis includes that from people that may not be part of your target audience.
Two examples of user feedback include sharing to friends and family or usability tests. Whilst the feedback might be relevant and helpful, your buddy may not be the type of person who’s likely to use your product.
Unless your mom runs an eCommerce site, chances are she’s not going to be using your SaaS product as a customer anytime soon.
It is possible to mitigate this problem through analyzing users’ demographics. That’s where you ask for feedback from people based on their characteristics and their similarity to your target audience. However, this still isn’t a perfect substitute for feedback from your paying customers.
How do I collect customer feedback?
We started this article by listing some common ways companies gather feedback. However, we find these following methods the most lucrative ways of finding feedback for you to gain actionable insights from.
The most popular way of collecting user feedback is through surveys. This research method simply refers to the act of asking a sample of your users' questions about your product.
Here are some of our favorite types of surveys.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) Surveys: measures how likely it is for a customer is to recommend your service to their friends, family or colleagues. With NPS surveys, customers are sent out questionnaires (whether that’s in-app, by email or at the end of a wider usability test), ‘How likely are you to recommend [product]?’. Here’s an example sent by Squarespace.
The higher the score, the more likely it is that particular customer will share your company with others.
This is a brilliant metric for easily identifying whether your product is useful enough for your existing customers to share. Word-of-mouth advertising can often be the most effective form of marketing, and costs very little to your business.
It’s useful to add an open-ended text box asking users to briefly explain why they gave their specific NPS. Beware of making this text box mandatory, however, as it may increase the likelihood users will just click off instead of completing the survey.
- CSAT Surveys: standing for customer satisfaction, CSAT surveys are short surveys asking your customers whether or not they’re enjoying your product during its use. This is often in the form of “Are you enjoying our product?” or “Rate your Experience” popups. Here’s an example from HubSpot.
You can use CSAT surveys to gain insights on whether or not customers are enjoying certain features in your product. Product teams can focus on improving features with poor CSAT scores or even axe them altogether. This helps you better understand and improve your feature retention and adoption.
How can you conduct surveys?
There are many survey tools out there on the web – many allowing you to automate your feedback collection. The most well-known is SurveyMonkey. It allows you to import your user sample contact details, design beautiful surveys and send them out with a few clicks!
How about the humble micro survey? These are in-product surveys that pop up whilst your customer is using your app. That’s what a tool like Refiner helps you do. The advantages of in-app surveys are that they’re easy to fill out, are unobtrusive and so generally have a higher feedback completion rate.
How do you pick which customers to contact for surveys?
Your most lucrative customers are those who use your product regularly. These are the people who will have the best insights on how to improve your product. They’re known as power users and the product analytics platform June makes it easy to find who they are quick!
June allows you to track the most engaged users for a certain feature, event or your product as a whole. It automatically tracks how this list changes over time, and even allows you to export power user lists as a CSV.
Within a few clicks, you can import this list of power users into a customer feedback platform and get surveys sent out instantly.
Social media is the perfect place for brands to collect customer feedback. Not only does social media offer a direct line of communication with customers, but it also provides a wealth of data that can be used to improve customer service and product development.
Brands can use social media to collect feedback in a variety of ways. Social media platforms like Twitter now offer surveys, polls, and questionnaires to gather feedback from customers and generally engage with your audience. Here’s an example from Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz.
Through the direct message, your business can connect directly with customers – allowing them to share their concerns and feedback directly. This requires a dedicated customer service team, however, to sort out customer queries. (Unless, you use an AI chatbot!).
You can also use social media monitoring tools to track customer sentiment and identify areas where they need to improve. By using social media data, brands can make better decisions about how to serve their customers and create products that meet their customers’ needs better.
It’s important to note that social media feedback analysis is more lucrative for B2C companies. Businesses tend to prefer getting in touch by email, and won’t be engaging with your business as a customer on social media. B2B SaaS firms should stick to other feedback methods.
How do I process feedback for customer feedback analysis?
Once you’ve collected some feedback data, it’s time to sort through it. The aim of the game here is to get the relevant feedback and insights from the right product teams so they can start making changes to improve CX.
Categorizing your feedback
The first step here is to group and categorize your feedback based on the subject area it relates to. To come up with useful categories, ask yourself:
- Where did this user fill out this survey? Was it on a specific feature or webpage?
- What is the feedback about? Is it: Relating to usability? Or Design? Or Bugs/Glitches? Or is it a feature request? If so, what team should the request go to?
- Is the feedback positive or negative? It is constructive or just a rant?
- It is useful or is it just spam?
Feedback comments should be sorted into groups based on common characteristics like keywords mentioned, types of feedback etc. You can do this by adding tags to comments or by assigning them a feedback theme or code.
How do these categories help? If there are lots of negative comments about a particular area or feature, you’ll know there’s something your company needs to fix. It helps you spot trends and patterns in your feedback.
Summarize action points for each feedback comment
If your data sample is small enough, reading each open-ended submission is vital to get the best out of your customer feedback. A useful technique here is to summarize the feedback comment into an action point that will solve the user’s query.
For example, let’s say you receive this feedback comment:
“Hi, I love your product! My team and I use it every day and it’s extremely useful for our business. There’s one small issue I have with it. I wish there was the ability to remove users from groups as asking everyone to leave after a project has finished is quite tedious.”
This can be coded into:
- Positive feedback. Feature request: Allowing admins to remove users from groups.
Tracking user engagement, user retention and feature analytics with June
Customer feedback isn’t the only way to gain actionable insights into how to improve your products and grow your SaaS business. Empirical product analytics is just as important as qualitative research methods like customer feedback analysis.
The difficulty here is that is collecting user metrics like this is tedious, and can take product managers much time and effort. That’s where a good product analytics platform like June.so comes in. June can automate this process, allowing SaaS businesses to use analytics to extract as much value as possible out of customer data and create products they know users will love. June gives product managers real-time access to a wide array of data on user engagement, user retention, feature adoption and more.
You can automate retention tracking by connecting your segment account to June. Acquired by Twilio, Segment is a platform for collating your customer usage data into one easy-to-access place. With Segment, you can automatically collect user metrics from hundreds of software tools like Google Analytics and Stripe. With June, you can easily generate attractive and functional engagement and retention graphs and reports.