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Customer feedback:
How to improve
customer experience
with feedback

Author: Rose de Fremery

Customer feedback can be discouraging at times—for every satisfied customer you could just as easily get a complaint—but experienced business leaders know that it holds valuable insights regarding how to improve customer experience. Even businesses that want to resolve customer issues sometimes find that their systems and processes aren't always conducive for translating feedback into concrete improvements, however.

Fortunately, smart technology solutions can help. Here's how to improve customer experience using feedback and how the right technology can facilitate this process.

How to use customer feedback as a growth opportunity

When a customer pipes up about something that didn't go well in their experience with your brand, they're actually indicating that they trust you enough to give you the opportunity to fix what went wrong—both for them and all the other customers who may have run into the same problem. And while it might seem challenging to create an even stronger relationship with a customer who's just voiced concerns, particularly if they've been strident, your prospects of doing exactly that are better than you might think.

Customers want to feel heard first and foremost, especially in a digital age when two-way communication between customers and brands has become the norm. When you let customers know you're actively listening to their concerns, they appreciate it. When you make the effort to fix the issue, customers may well become brand advocates and recommend you to their networks. What at first seems like a grievance can actually become a chance to stand out from the competition and increase revenue.

How to collect customer feedback

To understand how to use customer feedback to address a customer complaint, you must first understand the full scope of the issue and its impact on your customers. For this reason, you'll need systems for collecting and organizing customer feedback. Your customer relationship management (CRM) platform can integrate with several tools you might use to glean insights on the customer experience, such as the satisfaction surveys you can use to find out what customers want. Some of these customer experience management platforms will also help you gauge your net promoter score (NPS), giving you a holistic understanding of customer satisfaction over the long term.

You can also use social media monitoring tools and the sentiment analysis capabilities they offer to pinpoint areas that can help you understand how to improve customer experience. This way, you can better understand how your brand is perceived and be more responsive to customer complaints. Artificial intelligence (AI), one of five contact center technology innovations you should be exploring, can similarly analyze patterns in customer calls and proactively flag issues for you to address.

Using these technologies, you may even be able to get out in front of emerging customer experience issues before they develop into customer pain points. If you want to go deeper still, customer journey maps can give you even more powerful insights into areas of friction in the customer experience, so you can create a satisfying customer experience for new and existing customers alike.

Technology challenges to anticipate

When figuring out how to use customer feedback to improve customer experience, you'll need to decide in advance what kinds of customer data you want to collect and how you'll use it to measure your progress toward your desired outcome. As you're mapping out the data you want to collect, use an omnichannel approach that encompasses all the channels where customers are communicating with you or about you. This can include anything from email, text, chatbot, call center and social media exchanges all the way through website data. Only with a comprehensive view of your customer experience will you be able to fully understand how customers are experiencing your brand.

When each team uses its own point solution to collect and analyze data, such organizational silos often lead to data silos. With this in mind, you'll also want to determine where your most valuable customer data sets lie and bring them together to present a unified view of your customer experience. Sharing data across teams is essential for operationalizing customer experience improvements, so you'll also need to anticipate how you'll share customer experience data with the relevant teams and leverage it to carry out the necessary process improvements. Only then can you close the customer feedback loop and make sure you're acting on your customers' wishes.

How to improve customer experience: How a cloud contact center can help

A cloud contact center also offers valuable capabilities for collecting and assessing customer complaints. Because these contact centers support omnichannel customer experience, they allow you to engage customers on their channels of choice, and they also let you collect detailed data on those interactions that can help you understand how to improve customer experience. A virtual contact center features robust analytics that you can use to make this data actionable, improve decision-making at all levels and enhance contact center productivity. And because it's cloud-native, a virtual contact center can also integrate with your CRM and the customer experience tools you use to collect customer feedback.

How to use customer feedback

Customer complaints aren't always easy to hear, but they can be a blessing in disguise. By learning how to use customer feedback to improve the customer experience, you can forge even stronger relationships with your customers. As you do, you can boost customer retention and brand advocacy. Even better, you can achieve compound benefits by continually analyzing and acting on feedback from customers. With a commitment to continuously improving the customer experience, you can differentiate your brand from the competition and drive growth.

Learn how Verizon's Virtual Contact Center can help your business deliver world-class customer experiences.