7 ways to communicate customer feedback

Written by on March 8, 2018

For a customer service agent, few things match the thrill of solving a customer’s problem. In fact, in a recent informal poll we conducted, support reps said that they are more motivated by their eagerness to solve problems than anything else (more than customer love!).

But every now and then, you come across a problem so complex that solving it will require a lot of time and effort. For example, some customer’s problem can only be solved by adding a new feature to the product. If the feature will benefit a large portion of your customer base, solving this would prevent the same problem¬†from occurring to other customers. But in order to do that, you need to work with other teams in your company – like product management, design, engineering and more. You will need to communicate customer feedback to these teams, convince them to focus on it, help them implement the feedback in order to successfully solve the problem.

Here are 7 tips you can use while communicating customer feedback. You can use one of them or a combination of a few to achieve the result you need.

1. Send them an email

This sounds simple but communication tools like Hangouts and Slack have permeated our lives so much that we just ping owners as soon as we get the feedback. When the company is smaller, it’s natural to even walk up to them to talk about the conversation we just had with a customer.

But the quick conversations and chat exchanges are not memorable for owners who are listening to the feedback. It would be hard for them to switch context from whatever they are doing to understand the feedback and then act on it. But with emails, even when the feedback is not on the top of their minds, it’s on the top of their inbox. They can open it whenever they have the time and they can reply to you asking for more details if necessary.

2. Set up dashboards

Every month, your team is likely to get major and minor feedback about a variety of things. Collect the feedback and create a dashboard that showcases the major complaints, issues, and compliments from customers to the whole company.

Categorize them into themes like feature requests, customer experience problems, miscommunication and more. Highlight the top problems within each theme. Owners of these themes like Product managers, UX designers, marketers, will get a clear idea about what customers like and dislike and tweak their work accordingly.

3. Use forums  

Set up community forums where customers can come together and explain their use cases and problems, upvote requests,¬†and comment on ideas. The owners will get to hear from customers first-hand about what is important to them. This way, you don’t need to convince owners about a particular feedback with anecdotal evidence.

4. Tag issues with right keywords

This is the simplest and the most basic way to organize feedback. If you are using a helpdesk to support customers, tag issues and feedback with keywords. This way, when the owner needs more intel to solve this problem, they can just pull up tickets with the corresponding tags and they will get all the information they need.

5. All hands on support

If the other teams in your company get a chance to support customers periodically, the communication gap between support teams and problem owners will be removed. By talking to the customers directly, they will get a sense of why certain features are important. They will also develop trust and give more weight to opinions from someone in customer service.

Even when your company becomes too big for an all hands on support model, a selected group of people can still continue this approach. This way, customer needs remain the first priority.

6. Do the groundwork

By the time the feedback for a project is taken to the owners, they would have moved on to the next project with new deadlines. To make it easier for them to pause the new project while they fix the old one, you can do some of the groundwork like gathering more use cases, preparing product mocks, arranging user research calls and more.

You may not always have the time or energy to go out of your way to do some of the owner’s work for them, but you can pick and choose the projects close to your heart and contribute more.

7. Become co-owners

Each person in support can take up one feature or theme in the product and become an expert in both the feature and the support issues related to it. This way, knowledge about a particular theme is not scattered across multiple people. It becomes easier for owners to include one expert in their meetings as opposed to picking the brains of everybody in the support team. In a way, you can think of it as co-owning the feature or theme with you helping with the research and the owner executing it. 

Knowing which feedback is truly beneficial and passing them on will add more credibility to your ideas. But remember to not be too biased about the feedback you share. It becomes easier for owners to listen to feedback when you pepper critical feedback with positive ones.

What are some of the ways in which you communicate customer feedback? Let us know in the comments section.

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