The Problem with Relying on Customer Feedback


The best way to find out what your customers think of your organization is to ask them, right? Well, the answer is "both yes and no". 


Many companies use surveys like Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), which asks customers to rate their satisfaction, NPS (Net Promoter Score), which asks customers to rate the likelihood they would recommend the company to a friend, and CES (Customer Effort Score), which is used to gauge how much effort a customer had to put in to resolve an issue. There is no doubt that these surveys yield valuable insights for organizations looking to improve their customer experience.

But in "Understanding Customers," Ruby Newell-Legner found that 96% of customers don't actually voice complaints, even with all these mechanisms to collect customer feedback.

Think back to the last time you were asked to complete an online survey after making a purchase, or to stay on the line and give your feedback about the customer service. Unless you were very unhappy with the interaction, the chances are that you couldn't spare the time, so how can you expect your customers to do so? And how can you be sure that that 4% who do voice their complaints truly represent what your customers think about you? 

Research has also found that there is a big disconnect between an organization's perception of how good their customer service is, and the way their customers feel about that customer experience. In fact, 80% of companies think they provide good customer service, but only 8% of customers agree with that statement.


So while customer surveys are important, are you getting the full picture of what your customers think? 

To get the full picture, Kissmetrics suggests you try:

  • Looking at individual user activity in your web analytics tools – how long are they staying on your site and what are they looking at? If their interest drops off, when does it happen? Can you pinpoint why?
  • Usability tests – these can help you see how people use your product or service and identify pain points
  • Feedback boxes on each page of your website – these will capture any minor issues your user might have with a page in the moment

  • Find out more about automated testing!

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