Customer Feedback, turning feedback into insights

5 min read

Gathering customer feedback is an important part of the customer success journey, not only can it provide valuable insights but can help maintain relationships with customers. But once you’ve collected this information, what do you do with it and how do you make it actionable?

In this episode our host Anika Zubair chats with Kellie Lucas, author of the best-selling book, The Customer Success Pioneer, and coach to business leaders on pioneering customer success to drive growth.

Kellie has always been an advocate for CS but initially started in the corporate world at HSBC and IBM before becoming the VP of Customer Success at Artesian. She is the founder and CEO of ForseLucas, where she coaches leaders and businesses through the challenges of maximising growth by partnering with their customers to achieve their desired outcomes. Her mantra is Their Success = Your Success, and she passionately believes in the power of people, connection and community. A founding member of the EMEA Customer Success community, she is a regular speaker at conferences, events and leadership coaching workshops.

When researching for her new CS role, she spent a lot of time researching and reaching out to other Customer Success Managers to find out more information on the sector. This led to her passion in driving forward the European CS community. Kellie wanted to bring people together and to help people understand CS as a culture and philosophy, rather than one person or one team owning the customer journey.

Kellie then took some time out to do long term volunteer work in Ghana and found that the CS philosophy worked with the team even though it was a charity sector. It was here that Kellie rekindled her passion for writing. She has always been a lover of books and reading and always dreamt of being an author and presumed it would be fiction, but instead wrote about her passion, customer success. Kellie had lived and breathed it having built a CS function, philosophy and culture from the ground up.

“We all want to share our experiences, we all want to learn from each other and also we want to get validation that we’re thinking along the same line.”

When it comes to customer feedback, Kellie’s approach is to start when you are ready to start doing something about it. If you're going to put a feedback process in place you need to make sure you're serious about it. From her experience she found that a lot of companies created feedback processes for a vanity score and a pat on the back. Enabling them to tell prospects what customers think about the product in order to get more sales conversions. If you're going to ask customers to give you their time and feedback then you need to show that you're going to do something with it. If you don't do anything then the customer needs to know.

“The worst thing you can do is ask your customer to spend their time giving what they think is very valuable feedback, and nobody in the company has any time to do anything with it. That's actually going to cause more damage to your reputation than if you didn’t collect the feedback in the first place.”

Kellie is not big on metrics, she believes that many organizations get bogged down on metrics and that everything should be measured. If you put too much emphasis on this then it can be detrimental, she believes in paring things down and suggests really thinking about the key pieces of information that you need to move things forward. Her suggestion on basic metrics to understand customer feedback is usage. Are people using your product? What role do they have? Are they using the right part of your product? The objective is to gain an understanding of which parts of your products are being used and which parts are being used well.

“My basic advice and recommendation would be, don't go overboard, don't get too hung up on following the metrics. Put in place some fairly light touch feedback channels such as user groups, customer satisfaction surveys and look at who is responding”

From experience, Kellie started with user groups as her last company had a lot of high touch engagement with their customers. This meant that they preferred in-person events to gather feedback. In these situations it was important to make sure the whole team, from product, sales and marketing were there so that everybody from the organization got first hand knowledge of what the customers were saying.

“When someone provides you with feedback, a courtesy could just be to send an email to say thank you. It doesn't have to be hard work to close that feedback loop and make the customer feel it was worth their time.”

Listen to the full podcast with Anika and Kellie to find out more on turning customer feedback into insights.

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