Collecting, managing, and leveraging customer feedback is an essential skill in today’s fast-based business world. Not only does customer input provide critical insights into improving your product or service, but it also goes a long way in maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty. I recently spoke with Intuit QuickBase program manager, Adam Kowal, for some advice on how to best collect customer feedback.
Understand what you’re trying to achieve
For many project managers, soliciting feedback is simply announcing a beta test or similar campaign, sending out a survey link and a deadline of two weeks for responses, and listening to the sounds of silence. You will be much more effective at collecting meaningful feedback if you first define why you want and need it. What do you want to improve, what are you hoping to learn, and what will you do with the data once you have it? How will you know when you have enough? These questions provide the foundation for a “learning plan” that will guide your execution.
Pick the method that makes the most sense
There is value in a quantitative result, especially if you need to know if something is statistically significant. However, for most customer feedback you will need a qualitative portion – or a part of the survey where users can answer open-ended questions. An online survey is effective for some quantitative and qualitative questions, but in many cases you are better off getting feedback via active, one-on-one engagement with the customer. When you do this, set boundaries around the conversation but be careful not to lead him or her. Researchers may unconsciously get participants to tell them what they want to hear versus what they need to hear.
For more best practices on collecting customer feedback, check out the full post on Intuit's Fast Track blog.