Creating opportunities for your customers to give feedback is super important. It helps you to provide a superior customer experience and shows your customers you value their opinion.

But what do you actually do with the feedback you get given? What is best practice for responding to and acting upon customer comments – the good, the bad and the downright ugly?

We can’t promise that you’ll get glowing reports from your users. It’s a well-known fact that unhappy users are much more likely to share their views than happy ones.

Nevertheless, treat feedback in the right way and you stand to gain valuable and actionable insight from your customers.

These are the guys using your website day in, day out. Respect what they have to say and you’ll make big improvements to your website, your customer experience and your offering as a whole.

  1. A quick recap on how to collect website feedback
  2. Decide which feedback to act upon
  3. How to respond to customer feedback
  4. How to act on customer feedback
  5. Manage customer feedback like a pro with Saber Feedback

Respond and act on customer feedback

A quick recap on how to collect website feedback

First things first, how should you go about collecting website feedback?

For the full rundown on how to collect feedback on your website, check out our pro’s guide. If you’re pressed for time, here’s a quick summary.

You can collect website feedback by:

Using feedback buttons

Some people will go out of their way to leave you feedback. Introduce a passive feedback feature, like a floating button, to your website and you give these users an easy way to make their opinions heard.

Using pop up surveys

Sometimes it’s useful to find out what your users think of a particular feature on your website. For this, you need triggered feedback – a pop up that asks your users for their comments after experiencing a specific site element.

Collecting customer reviews

Right after your user has made a purchase, take them to a review screen or send them a review email. You can often collect more feedback information this way, and also link comments to user personas, which can come in handy for analysis.

Decide which feedback to act upon

If you’re asking for feedback in all the right ways, you’ll get lots of lovely customer comments to sift your way through.

But time is precious. And if you acted upon every piece of feedback you received from your customers you’d waste lots of it. Not only that, your customer feedback would pull you in all directions. Letting customer whims drag you from pillar to post doesn’t make for a great business strategy.

That’s why you have to cast a discerning eye over your customer feedback and cherry-pick the stuff you think is worth taking on board.

That’s not to say you should ignore the tricky complaints and big issue problems. Or that you shouldn’t write a friendly, helpful response to comments you’re not planning to actually act upon.

Just that complaints should meet the following criteria before you devote too much time to implementing something new:

1. The feedback uncovers a pain point

A rambling rant, however smug your customer will have felt writing it, doesn’t always give you a lot to go off.

You need concrete pain points or problems to address. If the feedback is too vague, there’s really not much you can do with it.

If it isn’t constructive criticism with a specific point to make, put it aside and move on.

2. The feedback is mirrored by other customers

So one person is irritated with your site. It could be that they’re not particularly tech-savvy. Or their device is playing up. Or they’re just having a really bad day and they’re in the mood to vent.

If, however, several customers are complaining about the same issues you need to sit up and take notice.

Responding and acting upon this feedback will create a better UX for a large number of people, which has the potential to affect your business.

3. The feedback is long, detailed and relatively polite

Keep an eye out for long, carefully crafted, non-ranty feedback. These comments are often written by people who feel invested in your brand and really want to give you some helpful pointers.

As a result, you get the perspective of your market (or at least a segment of it). These are the people you want and need to impress with your product, service or website.

4. The feedback doesn’t suggest a complete change of strategy

If feedback clashes with your core vision or unique selling point, it’s not worth acting upon.

Remember that this person might not fit into your target market. And you really can’t please everyone. You certainly can’t overhaul your well-honed strategy to appease the naysayers.

So stick to your guns. Feedback that suggests just a single improvement or a few tweaks here and there is much more useful to you and your brand.

How to respond to customer feedback

When someone simply bashes your company, there’s no need to write back. Almost all other feedback, however, deserves a well-pitched response.

Before we dive into the specifics of responding to positive and negative feedback, let’s take a look at some pointers that are relevant to both.

Firstly, you should introduce a company-wide process for dealing with feedback. Ensure that the right people in the right teams see useful feedback and can act upon it if needs be.

Secondly, whilst a personalised, real-person response is preferred, consider developing a few stock responses for regular but minor complaints and compliments. You’ll save your customer service team some time and also keep responses on-brand.

Responding to positive feedback

So what should you do when someone is super happy with your product, service or website? Firstly pat yourself on the back. And then go about crafting a great response.

Review the feedback

What exactly does your customer like about your product, service or website? It isn’t just negative feedback that warrants pause for thought.

Understanding the features that really stand out for your customers will help you deliver more of the same. Keep a log of positive feedback and put it in front of the right people.

Say thanks (but keep your sales head on too)

Thank your customer for their compliment. And then throw in a mention of your latest product launch or service upgrade.

According to research from Deloitte, customers who enjoy positive experiences tend to spend 140% more than customers who report negative experiences.

Capitalise on this fact. Fans of your website will be more receptive to your latest ad. You may even have a brand advocate on your hands, happy to spread the word about your company of their own accord.

Turn it into a testimonial

If the feedback wasn’t publicly posted, ask your customer if they’re happy for you to publish it. Then stick it on your website, social media or e-newsletter.

A great testimonial can work wonders in building customer trust. In fact, 72% of consumers say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more.

Pass your new lead onto the sales team

If the person providing feedback isn’t already a customer, get their approval and pass their details onto your sales team. Conversion should be easy when the customer has already had a positive experience with your brand.

Responding to negative feedback

Now for the trickier task – how to respond to customer criticism and complaints.

Take a breath

It can be tempting to rattle off a response to negative feedback in the heat of the moment. But it’s better to take a measured approach.

Don’t respond to feedback right away. Take a step back and try to be dispassionate. Consider discussing the complaint with other team members to get their take on the issue and your proposed response.

Consider the content of the feedback

Make sure you properly understand the gripe your customer has. You might want to reply with some questions so you can fully get to grips with their problem.

It’s really important that customers feel listened to. They should be confident that their complaint is being taken seriously even if it’s not something you’re planning to act upon.

Try to get a complaining customer one-on-one

When a customer complains on a public platform, respond speedily and give your details so they can contact you directly.

Having it out online gives the complaint way more digital space than is good for your brand. If your customer is receptive, you’re much better off talking it through calmly without an online audience.

Craft a friendly and authentic response

When responding to negative feedback, be transparent and own up to mistakes. Getting your tone right will go a long way to getting an unhappy user back on side.

Try to get your point across as efficiently and succinctly as possible and try to be authentic. An overly formal or impersonal response will feel half-hearted and insincere.

If you deem a negative comment useful, apologise for a poor experience and show appreciation for their feedback. Then assure the user that you’ll take action. Once you’ve implemented changes, follow up with your customer to let them know.

How to act on customer feedback

So you’ve responded to negative but useful feedback. What do you do now?

If users don’t have a flawless user experience on your site, there’s room for improvement. Use customer problems and proposed solutions to look at your website through new eyes.

Keep in mind that 84% of companies who work to improve user experience report an increase in revenue and mine that feedback for valuable business info.

Analyse and categorise your feedback

It’s incredibly important to establish a feedback action process. This starts with analysis.

Which feedback requires immediate action? Which needs to be discussed in more depth with the team before deciding on the best route forward? Which complaints are coming up time and time again?

You could try categorising your feedback into:

Major product or website bugs

Make these your top priority. They interfere with the core function of your product or website and have a major impact on customer experience.

Minor product or website bugs

These are the niggles people have with your product or website. Customers can still use all major features, but small elements of your offering don’t function as they should.

Feature requests

These fall into the long-term game plan category.

Deciding what features to focus on with your product, service or website isn’t an exact science. There’s always an element of trial and error. Use feature requests to make informed decisions and tailor your offering to your target market.

Once you have your categories in place, make sure there’s a timescale for this analysis and that someone has ultimate responsibility for this process.

Prioritise action points

Minor product issues and feature requests don’t need to be acted upon right away. Instead, assess them for viability and prioritise accordingly.

Take new ideas and pain points and do an opportunity vs risk analysis. Work out how much it would cost to implement these changes and what your company stands to gain.

If you decide to move ahead with a feature request, build changes into your roadmap and create a comprehensive plan for turning them into a reality.

Use feedback to motivate your team

A lot of time and energy goes into addressing negative feedback.

But don’t keep positive feedback to yourself. Pass compliments onto the person responsible for creating a particular feature or function. You’ll create a little healthy competition among your staff and reward standout team members for their initiative.

Manage customer feedback like a pro with Saber Feedback

Saber Feedback offers powerful tools for collecting, storing, responding to and implementing customer feedback.

Use Saber Feedback as your website feedback solution and you’ll be better able to fix bugs. You’ll improve customer experience. And you’ll be able to find and recognise great customer ideas.

By analysing these ideas and then running with them, you can grow and develop your product, service or site, making it more attractive to the end user in the process.

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And see what Saber Feedback can do for your business.