Customer feedback is a gift. While many people like giving feedback and welcome the opportunity to connect with their favorite brands, they are driven by their own goals and deadlines, so they are not obligated to complete a survey or fill out their form. 

When they do, they provide feedback that is an invaluable resource, allowing businesses to measure customer satisfaction while helping them make better decisions about their products and services. As a result, requests for customer feedback are ubiquitous in today’s digital-first operational environment.

Unfortunately, most companies don’t know how to analyze customer satisfaction survey data to create actionable insights that improve their products and services.

In many cases, the consequences of inaction can be devastating. For example, Gartner’s cross-sector customer service survey found that 83 percent of consumers say they will not do business with a company they don’t trust. When companies collect and ignore customer feedback, they break trust and lose customers in the process. 

Similarly, since how customers feel about a company is 1.5 times more important than what they think of a brand, these sentiments can undermine customer loyalty while diminishing the impact of brand organic brand ambassadors and word-of-mouth promotion that often drives future growth and sales.

Simply put, collecting customer feedback is easy, but analyzing customer feedback is difficult. That’s why we’ve brought together the best ways to process and analyze customer feedback, allowing every business to make more informed decisions and drive improvements.

How to Analyze Customer Satisfaction and Feedback Data

It’s estimated that the total number of customer reviews doubled since the recent pandemic, underscoring the challenge that many organizations face as they try to derive actionable insights from a proverbial firehose of information. 

Even in small quantities, customer feedback data can be overwhelming. Review just a handful of customer feedback responses, and you will find that even limited responses can feel like performing big data analytics. In the meantime, the number of customer reviews are soaring. 

That’s why companies looking to conduct customer feedback analysis to create agile organizations that are aware and responsive to their customers need a systematic approach to analyzing customer satisfaction and feedback data. 

Here are six ways to improve this process today.

#1 Analyze All Customer Feedback 

Customer feedback surveys let companies hear from their buyers, but the impact is limited when businesses restrict analysis to certain market segments or feedback types. 

Some data suggestions that people are more likely to leave positive reviews than convey negative feedback. For instance, 56 percent of buyers report leaving positive feedback for an excellent product while only 40 percent will leave a review for an unsatisfactory product or experience. 

In response, companies need to gather customer feedback from a variety of viewpoints while analyzing all results regardless of the medium or message. This empowers companies to reinforce their best qualities while addressing potential shortcomings. 

#2 Categorize Feedback 

Feedback often falls into general categories that can enhance analysis. Consider differentiating product and service feedback while implementing sub categories for important facets, including product quality, perceived value, service efficacy, customer experience. 

Furthermore, differentiating positive, negative, and neutral feedback can help companies understand and respond to customer feedback.

In other words, categorizing feedback helps decision-makers better understand the insights available by presenting a big picture portrait of the customer experience and its more nuanced impact on specific teams and people. 

What’s more, by breaking down data into sub categories, leaders often find previously unexplored and unidentified elements that are creating happy customers or pushing unhappy customers away. 

#3 Identify the Root Causes 

Customer experiences are unique, created by a confluence of factors that are not always controllable or predictable. Categorizing feedback helps understand individual experiences as part of a broad set of experiences, and it can help companies identify the root causes of many customer complaints. 

As a McKinsey & Company customer experience analysis notes, “Addressing touchpoint-level customer pain points without understanding how the pieces fit together often leads to incremental CX changes that don’t get to the root of the problem.”

To illustrate this concept, the company evaluated the customer feedback for a direct-to-consumer retailer that routinely heard from customers waiting 20 minutes to connect with an agent and receive a product refund. Although the company had agents trained to manage these requests, the volume was overwhelming. However, by considering why customers were refunding a product in the first place, the organization was able to address the root cause of the complaint. 

In this way, combining quantitative feedback analysis with qualitative feedback opportunities produces the customer insights that drive change.

Ultimately, identifying the root causes of a problem is one of the most effective and efficient ways to turn customer feedback into meaningful change. 

#4 Track the Trends 

Consistently collecting customer feedback illuminates trends impacting customer experience and satisfaction. These trends reveal what a business is doing right and where it’s going wrong by considering the aggregate impact of customer feedback rather than the positive or negative experiences of individual buyers. 

For instance, if one person has a problem with a product or service but the general customer feedback is positive, this is likely an aberration rather than a foundational flaw. That doesn’t mean the single customer’s experience isn’t important, but it does allow leaders to invest resources accordingly. 

Similarly, actionable feedback like feature requests or product maturation insights can help companies make and develop a long-term product roadmap that delights their customers and supports sustainable business growth.

#5 Determine a Response Plan 

Customer feedback demands a response. After collecting and analyzing feedback data, gather decision-makers to create a response plan that accounts for various feedback varieties, including:

  • How will you thank customers for positive feedback and acknowledge employees responsible for these outcomes? 
  • What training and operational changes must be made to improve the customer experience moving forward. 
  • How can we connect with disgruntled customers to address their concerns and improve future outcomes?

Undoubtedly, response plans will look different for every organization, but a response plan is essential for cultivating customer loyalty that lasts.

#6 Empower Teams to Take Action 

Since customer feedback is about producing satisfied customers and enhancing customer retention, it’s essential that businesses distribute results to the right managers who can empower their teams to take action. 

Reporting on best practices for empowering employees, the Harvard Business Review encourages leaders to promote self-confidence among their staff and embrace tough decisions, noting, “When you empower your team to work more independently, you improve as a leader and ultimately, you contribute more to the success of the organizationTo respond to pricing concerns, product quality shortcomings, or customer service engagements, companies must empower their people to take action, closing the feedback loop to produce long-term results.”

That’s why leaders must empower their support team to take action in response to customer feedback analysis.

#7 Choose the Right Tools 

It’s difficult to analyze customer feedback manually. Fortunately, businesses don’t have to undertake this process on their own. 

Whether you’re leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to measure open ended customer feedback or crafting more compelling customer survey that enhance results, there are a cadre of platforms and services that can help.

Today, it’s easier than ever to better collect customer feedback and analyze and respond to qualitative feedback and quantitative responses. 

Checkbox Tools for Analyzing Customer Feedback

Checkbox provides companies with enterprise-grade customer feedback features without an enterprise price tag. We are supporting many of the largest organizations in the world, helping them gather customer feedback with beautifully branded, intelligent surveys.

However, we know that simply sending a survey is just the first step.

That’s why Checkbox offers flexible, real-time reporting that turns customer feedback into immediate, actionable data. For example, users can easily

  • export raw data in the app, using our API, or using our web hook feature to push responses out of Checkbox in real time
  • run custom feedback reports complete with charts, data tables, and trend over time graphs
  • analyze open text responses
  • share real-time results with team members and clients

In this way, customer feedback becomes a dynamic asset, empowering action and inspiring customer success.

What’s more, equipped with powerful automation and integration capabilities, Checkbox enables you to harness our technology to reduce your workload and streamline feedback analysis.

In the end, customer feedback metrics will look different for every company. Some will want to measure their customer satisfaction score while others want to understand their customer effort score or empower their support team with more precise insights into the customer journey. Regardless of the

Customer feedback matters. It’s a gift that today’s companies can’t afford to ignore or leave unexamined. With the right processes and tools, every business can harness customer feedback to improve customer support channels, identify new feature requests, increase customer loyalty, and so much more.

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