Blog Customer FeedbackHow to Collect Customer Feedback: Methods + Tips

How to Collect Customer Feedback: Methods + Tips

Customer feedback is essential for improving your products and services and growing your business. Here are the best ways you can collect it, combined with our pro tips.

Customer Feedback
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Best methods and tips on how to collect customer feedback.

Did you know that all the information you need to improve your products and services, improve customer satisfaction, and grow your revenue… Is at your fingertips?

All you need to do is collect customer feedback.

The feedback from your existing customers can drive more business in the future and help you better solve customers’ pain points. But if you’ve never given feedback a serious thought before, determining where to start can be difficult.

Today, we give you some practical advice on how to start collecting feedback from customers and turn those gold nuggets into ROI for business. 👇


Why collecting customer feedback is important

By default, we know that not listening to customers is bound to result in bad news. However, collecting feedback has far more benefits than just keeping customers from being angry.

  1. Improving products and services
  2. Improving customer satisfaction and retention
  3. Making informed decisions based on data rather than gut feel
  4. Gaining a competitive advantage
  5. Driving innovation and product-led growth
  6. Making unhappy customers slightly happier and preventing them from churning
  7. Managing your reputation in the market
  8. Engaging your employees by listening to them
  9. Fostering better customer relationships and driving customer loyalty
  10. Collecting negative feedback early on before it affects your business significantly

In short, you’ll improve your product, attract more customers, make your existing customers happier, and engage your team to provide even more value and better customer service.

But you don’t have to wait for feedback before taking action—there are customer feedback tools such as Featurebase that help you get started more quickly.


The best methods to collect customer feedback in 2024

Collecting customer feedback is the end goal, but there are various tools and methods to get there. Depending on the resources and the time you have, you can use one or multiple customer feedback methods to get to valuable insights from your target audience.

1. Feedback portals and widgets

A feedback portal such as Featurebase gives your target customer a place to voice their opinions about your product. With a feedback board on your website, customers can add new entries, which get automatically organized based on topics (e.g. feature requests & bug reports).

Featurebase's public feedback portal.
Public feedback portal.

The feedback goes live on your voting board, where other customers can tune in and vote on the ideas they also need. You can then easily prioritize the feedback that deserves the most attention based on the votes, comments, and voters' total revenue.

The feedback portal doesn’t just work on your website—it can also be added to your app via customizable feedback widgets to match the app's look and feel.

Featurebase's embeddable feedback widget.
In-app feedback widget.

As you update a piece of feedback, everyone who voted or commented is notified by email, helping you keep every user in the loop.

Once you decide to build a feature, fix a bug, or adopt a piece of feedback, it's also added to your public product roadmap.

Featurebase's public roadmap feature.
Public roadmap

Whether you sell a product or service, this customer feedback software is the easiest way to automate feedback collection, customer communication, and closing the customer feedback loops.

And the best part is that you can do it for completely free →

Pros: affordable, easy to automate, works well throughout the customer feedback cycle

Cons: may not be suitable for all types of businesses

2. Customer feedback surveys

If you want to poll a large number of people at once, customer surveys should be your go-to quick feedback method. They’ve been around for decades, but thanks to online survey tools, running and distributing them and analyzing their results have never been easier.

Customer surveys

Here’s how it works in most cases:

  1. You select a relevant target audience
  2. You select the type of survey that works best for the kind of insights you need
  3. You send out the survey through different channels (website, email, app, etc.)
  4. You collect the results in quantitative form
  5. You analyze the results
  6. You act on the feedback
  7. You close the feedback loop
In-app survey created with Featurebase
In-app survey created with Featurebase

Some of the most common survey types include:

  • NPS (Net Promoter Score)
  • CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score)
  • CES (Customer Effort Score)
  • Pulse surveys
  • Product feedback surveys

And many others. The great thing about surveys as a feedback collection method is that you can easily collect thousands of survey responses and analyze them, getting results immediately.

But not only that, you’ll immediately know if you’re doing well or not. Across industries, a score above 20 is great for an NPS survey. And even further, you can look into a good score for your industry and vertical. For example, a SaaS business can be happy if they have a score between 0 and 30 on an NPS survey.

Surveys can take various forms, such as email surveys, in-app surveys, SMS surveys, and others.

You can also come up with your own survey questions to create a survey that matches your customer feedback strategy.

Pros: easy to scale and analyze your scores

Cons: if you don’t know what you’re doing, your results will not be useful

Start running in-app surveys with Featurebase today →


3. Customer interviews

This is the absolute best way to collect qualitative feedback, and no other tool can match the insights you get from an honest, heartfelt conversation with a customer.

man in blue and white plaid dress shirt using macbook pro

Thanks to a variety of modern apps, you can schedule a video or a phone call with a customer that seems like a good fit. For example, they could be a pioneer in a new feature you launched, or they could be struggling with a portion of your app and you want to get their insights.

Or they could be long-term customers with a high lifetime value, and you can gain insights from them to help them stay longer and spend even more money. It all boils down to open-ended questions that result in actionable feedback from your customer base.

There are two main paths you can go with interviews:

  • individual customers
  • focus groups.

While groups can help you reach out to more people at once, you may get more valuable feedback from one-on-one conversations. Either option is great for collecting detailed feedback and getting deeper insights about your product or service.

Whichever path you choose, here are some basic guidelines to make the most of things:

  1. Have a structured interview process
  2. Explain why you’re reaching out for an interview
  3. Tell the customer what’s in it for them
  4. Thank them for their time
  5. Record and categorize their feedback
  6. Once implemented, close the feedback loop and let the customer know what you did and how
Pros: amazing qualitative feedback, chances to ask follow-up questions

Cons: very time intensive, requires significant resources to do properly

4. Email feedback

Email is one of the most effective communication channels, even in 2024. There are 333 billion (with a b) emails sent every day around the world. And many of them are read and opened fairly quickly. They can be a superb way to collect customer feedback, too.

The primary reason is that emails can be automated and sent at specific intervals and after certain events. Some great examples include:

  • Follow-up email asking for feedback after a customer call (to see if you met the customer's expectations)
  • Post-purchase emails to get customer experience feedback on the checkout process
  • Automated emails after completing the onboarding period in a SaaS product to get the customer opinion on potential improvements
  • Emails for users who sign up for a product or service but stop logging in
  • Follow-up emails asking for an interview when someone gives you a low NPS survey score

In short, you can combine email as a channel with various types of customer feedback to get the best response rate. With the right email marketing software and a good CRM, you can segment your audiences and fully automate your campaigns.

For email automation, we like to use either EmailOctopus or Customer.io, but there are tons of tools to choose from.

Pros: automated follow-ups ensure consistency, wide reach due to universal email usage, cost-effective way to gather feedback.

Cons: low response rates as many emails go unread, impersonal nature may lead to less detailed feedback, risk of emails being caught in spam filters.

User analytics

You can collect user feedback without even asking the users about it. Every time someone logs into your app or performs an action, they leave a digital trail behind them. 📊

When someone creates an account, make sure they give you permission to track their activity in the app so that you can see what you’re doing well and what needs to be changed.

One such example is the app Hotjar, which tracks mouse movements and clicks on your website and app and translates them to heatmaps. The “hotter” the color, the more active the part of the screen.

For example, if you just launched a new feature and users are not finding their way to it… There is a good chance that the user experience is not that great and that they are getting stuck somewhere. And if they’re a loyal customer, this makes matters even worse.

These apps can also provide screen recordings for individual users, allowing you to examine browsing sessions more closely and guiding your product development with direct feedback from real customers.

PostHogs session replays.
PostHog's session replays

While Hotjar is the most popular option, we use PostHog. Some alternatives also include Smartlook, Mouseflow, Crazyegg, etc.

Pros: ease of use, great for revealing user experience issues, ideal for proving a hypothesis

Cons: primarily made for qualitative feedback, some users may not consent to being recorded and tracked, work well only for digital products

Social media feedback

If you ever wanted to know what customers say about you on social media, it’s never been easier. Instead of manually searching various platforms, there are now media monitoring tools that allow you to listen in on your chosen keywords or topics automatically.

For example, you could monitor “Hubspot” or “CRM software”. Every time someone mentions either term on social media channels or on the web, that mention and (potential) customer response is added to your dashboard, in real time.

This allows you to collect feedback on autopilot and determine which platforms are most popular with your customers. For example, if most of your customers come from Pinterest, you can create tailored strategies for it.

And some more modern tools go even one step further: you can do a sentiment analysis of your mentions. Each time someone mentions you, the algorithm determines if the customer sentiment is positive, negative or neutral, allowing you to collect qualitative and quantitative feedback from customer conversations at once.

Note that a happy customer is less likely to leave positive feedback, which is why it may seem like an overwhelming amount of comments come from disgruntled customers. However, you should monitor this feedback channel closely as many potential customers read online reviews on various platforms before purchasing.

And the best part is that you can do all of that for each of your competitors too, tracking both their satisfied customers as well as those that have complaints.

Pros: easy to automate and scale customer insights, mix of qualitative and quantitative feedback

Cons: can be expensive if you monitor a lot of terms, still requires manual work for the best results

General tips for collecting customer feedback

No matter the platform you choose and the type of feedback you want to collect, there are some guidelines to help you get the most useful feedback quickly.

  1. Use multiple customer feedback channels
    Not every customer is active on social media, and not everyone will be available for a phone interview. Give customers options so they can choose the format that works best for them. The easiest place to reach your customers is often inside your own product, where you can intuitively collect in-app feedback.
  2. Make it easy to provide feedback
    Give customers instructions on what they should do specifically to give useful feedback. Ensure that whatever platform you choose is one click away. For example, they can click on a booking link in your email and schedule a customer interview.
  3. Offer incentives to encourage participation
    Customers will be more eager to participate if there’s something in it for them. Freebies, discounts, exclusive access to special features, upgrading them to a better plan - these are some great ideas to get started and your customer success team can give you a sense of direction on what to choose first.
  4. Segment your audiences
    Collecting feedback from everyone seems like a noble cause, but it’s even more valuable to get it from a customer segment that can truly help improve your product or service.
  5. Analyze feedback and act on it
    For example, if your CSAT scores are dropping low or you get a sudden surge of negative social mentions, you should analyze why this is happening and aim to prevent it.
  6. Provide an option for anonymity
    Not everyone wants to disclose their identity when providing feedback. Give the option of sending in anonymous feature requests, bug reports, and general feedback items.
  7. Close the feedback loop
    If someone sends in feedback, guide them through what happens next. If you start working on their item, notify them, and always let them know if their suggestion has been completed or if a feature they requested was built. Public changelog and release notes are super intuitive for this. 👇
Featurebase's in-app changelog popup.
A popup with new updates that you've made (Featurebase)

Conclusion

Collecting customer feedback may seem like a huge deal but nowadays, the wide choice of tools and techniques makes it easier than ever to get actionable insights from your customers. With a little bit of work, you can set up systems and processes that keep your customers happy and your business thriving.

At Featurebase, we can help you do all of that for free. You can create feedback boards and start collecting feedback from your customers today and growing your business, all in just a few clicks.

Start collecting and managing feedback with Featurebase for free →