Learn From Your Customers

The comprehensive guide on how to build a customer feedback strategy

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
guide to a customer feedback strategy

Your company is smart. It studies its playbook and goes over past marketing plays to be prepared for its upcoming moves. It knows that brand reputation based on customer feedback is a critical step in growing as a healthy company.

Better decisions are made for the sake of your company not only through open discussions and internal feedback, but through the feedback from surveys you send out.

Your customers aren’t ashamed to tell you just how well or poorly their interaction with you went, and by leveraging the feedback from them, you gain valuable insights that will shape your current efforts at acquisition and retention, as well as shaping the way you prospect and build your sales.

In order to develop a proper review strategy though, surveys are only one aspect of how to collect and leverage customer insights. Just like reviewing game-tape helps point out what worked and didn’t work in a previous game, it’s a good starting point, but a lot more goes into making a team successful.

In addition to surveys, your company can also use NPS, product reviews, seller reviews, and internal feedback. Perhaps you’re even using more than one of the above, well then, kudos to you!

What we’re going to show you are the differences between each of the above, what each is best for regarding utilization, and how you can use each of them to create the most comprehensive feedback strategy.

Let’s get started


Net Promoter Score is a metric first developed in 1993 by Fred Reichheld and later adopted in 2003 by Bain & Company and Satmetrix as a way to predict customer purchase and referral behavior.

NPS measures the apparent likelihood that someone would recommend your company to someone else based on an index ranging from -100 to 100. It’s used as a way to measure a customer’s overall satisfaction with a company’s products/services and how loyal a customer may be to the brand.

Customers are surveyed on one single question - On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company’s product or service to a friend or a colleague?

Based on this rating, customers are then moved into 3 categories.

  • Detractors
  • Passives
  • Promoters

Detractors fall into the category of a 0-6 rating

Passives fall into the category of a 7-8 rating

Promoters fall into the category of a 9-10 rating

In order to determine the NPS, the percentage of detractors is subtracted from the promoters, thus yielding your NPS.

So why is the NPS important and why should you incorporate it?

Well, like any good team knows, it’s important to be well-rounded. Not only a strong offense wins games.

  1. Promoters account for 80 percent of referrals in most businesses
  2. Detractors account for 80 percent of negative word-of-mouth (and we all know how important word-of-mouth is)
  3. Promoters generally have longer, more profitable relationships with a company
  4. Average NPS leaders outgrow competitors by a 2X factor (Ross Beard)

Compelling stuff, huh?

By asking just one questions you can gauge an accurate level of the average customer feeling of your company and evaluate what you can do to improve and build customer loyalty. By factoring in your NPS, you can increase customer satisfaction, create more customer advocates and reduce customer churn to make your business outperform your competition.

Product reviews

Product reviews work for those companies who sell individual items, as opposed to services. Rather than overall ratings of a company’s performance and overall satisfaction level, product reviews highlight specifics about individual products featured by a company. See the example below.

free fall camo image

As a retailer, selling your items is your livelihood. It’s important that your product descriptions are accurate so buyers purchase exactly what they need, and that you have a method of showing reviews on your site.

All too often I find myself on sites that have a product I may be interested in, but there are no customer testimonials to let me know if the product is worth my money and time. Sadly, more often than not, these sites lose my sales as I look for others with some valuable customer insights.

When making a purchase, we all want to be reassured that our decision is going to prove to work out. Providing product reviews eases the buyer anxiety with buying something unknown, and shows that other people have gone through the experience already.

Customer reviews are like handing the ball to Marshawn Lynch on first down - odds are, we’re going to get some positive gains. On the other hand, sites without product reviews are like going for it on 4th and long; it’s a gamble that may pay off, but it’s a far more difficult situation.

Seller reviews -

Seller reviews, like those hosted on trustpilot.com, are a way for consumers to share with the world their experiences with your company. Seller reviews are important for EVERY brand to have.

Otherwise, the odds of someone taking a shot at using a company that no one has posted about their experiences with is far less than a company that has established its credentials. Seller reviews show that you want people to find you and read authentic reviews that account for your success as a business.

5 star shop

It shows anyone who may be interested in using your company for services or purchasing products from you, that you value feedback from the people whom you do business with and want others to see that you can be valued and most importantly, trusted.

Seller reviews increase clickthrough rates by 25% when included in eCommerce product emails. You don’t want to miss out on that massive boost in sales.

Seller reviews are publicly shared helping boost content that is written about your company, thus boosting your SEO and feeding the ever-hungry Google with the fuel it needs to get your brand to the top of search queries.

Seller ratings are a visual snapshot of how customers rate your business. They take up space in searches and on your website so prospects and customers can see openly that you are doing an excellent job and merit their hard-earned cash.

Internal feedback -

Long gone is the day of the anonymous suggestion box. Customers are willing to give you their names and let you know just how they feel. What we’re talking about here with internal feedback are manually created, collected and analyzed forms that are essentially extended versions of NPS.

Rather than containing one question with a scale of 1-10 however, these may contain any number of questions with ratings scales, multiple choices, and open-form feedback.

Internal feedback measure prove useful when the feedback is actually responded to so individuals know the time they spent to fill them out actually contributed to some sort of progress.

They are useful in the sense that the company can pick exactly what feedback they want back from their customers - answers to questions regarding improving processes, where site traffic is coming from, and levels of satisfaction with specific individuals.

Crate&Barrel Customer Feedback

However, they do lack transparency as the company only is seeing the responses, as opposed to a website that hosts online reviews for all to see. These are generally hosted on a subsection of your site or also as a popup window either before or after making a purchase.


Lastly, we have surveys. The tried and true method of gathering a ton of information in one shot. Surveys are generally sent out to a large sum of your customers to get feedback on an array of topics.

They are faster than traditional research methods, cheaper than ad campaigns, accurate because customers enter their information directly into a form which is submitted, rather than manually collected, and most importantly EASY for all parties involved.

clipboard clipart

Rather than providing feedback through the phone or emails, surveys provide a one-stop shop; getting you from questions to answers in one quick blast up the middle like Jerome Bettis in his heyday.

However, due to the increase in online polling, consumers are bombarded with surveys on a regular basis, so you may not see the most return on a survey request. (Tyson Gingery)

In conclusion

While it isn’t necessary to incorporate each one of these forms of feedback into your strategy, it is important to work together with your team to develop the best plan of action to get the win.

Try experimenting with different types of feedback and see what combination of them works best to give your company the winning combination!


Related stories

Do you trust us with your inbox?

You should — we’ll pick out the latest articles,
industry reports, and webinars on review culture
and deliver them straight to your inbox.