How To Effectively Respond To Feedback? (11 Best Ways)

respond to feedback

How prepared are you to counter customer feedback? Do you have the necessary tools or systems in place to make an impactful response? These are the questions that we will be handling in this extensive guide on how to effectively respond to feedback.

Collecting customer feedback is crucial for the sustainable growth of a company as it directly connects the company with customer sentiments, expectations, and pain points.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that customer opinions and reviews can even become primary growth drivers for an organization.

But, gathering customer feedback is half the job done. The other half is responding and acting on it. So, let’s learn some of the best ways to effectively respond to customer feedback.

Table of contents
What is customer feedback?
Why respond to customer feedback?
11 best ways to respond to customer feedback
1. Establish a system for collecting customer feedback
2. Use the feedback to bolster product development
3. Ensure timely follow-up on customer feedback
4. Responding to negative feedback
5. Don’t take a long time to respond
6. Use incentives to win back customers
7. Request customers to review their negative feedback
8. Identify root causes of negative feedback before churn
9. Always thank customers for leaving feedback
10. Turn positive feedback into a testimonial
11. Direct survey respondents to online feedback portals

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What is customer feedback?

Customer feedback is essentially a form of information that customers share about their experience with a company.

These can be in the form of reviews, comments, ratings, emails, and more. There are different types of customer feedback as well — structured, unstructured, solicited, and unsolicited.

Since customers have several mediums to share their feedback through, they do not hesitate to share what they think and feel about a company.

They use their feedback as a vent for their emotions, letting brands know how satisfied or dissatisfied they were with their experiences.

As there are several types of customer feedback, it is important for business owners to know how to gather customer feedback and respond to them in the right way.

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Why respond to customer feedback?

There’s not one but many excellent reasons behind our suggestion to respond to customer feedback. Let’s discuss them all in brief —

1. Helps create an alert system or customer feedback strategy

When you are preparing yourself to respond to customer reviews, the first thing you’ll notice is a lack of a system that generates alerts or notifications. We have discussed how you can create a system that makes responding to feedback easier.

2. Indicates your performance

As you go through the positive and negative reviews, you’ll have the opportunity to figure out certain aspects of your business that are causing issues for customers. The ratings are clear indicators of your performance as a company.

3. Helps build customer-business relationships

Customers who leave feedback are anticipating a response from your end. If you leave a professional response and show that you care, it will go a long way in building a more meaningful business-customer relationship.

4. Boosts your brand

While negative reviews can impact your company’s growth, positive reviews can skyrocket it! Having positive feedback on your business listings is good, but responding to them from a point of gratitude is way better.

It shows how much you care about customers, regardless of their positive or negative sentiments.

5. Helps generate unique ideas

Reviews, if solicited regularly, can help companies generate incredible insights about their business operations.

While the reviews can reveal potential loopholes in your operations, they can also open you to unique ideas that once implemented, can lead to market domination.

6. Develop customer retention strategies

We all know customer acquisition is more expensive than customer retention. As customers leave reviews, you get to know the key pain points and issues that bug them. You can list the issues and work towards eliminating them to boost customer retention.

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11 best ways to respond to customer feedback

Now that you understand the importance of collecting and responding to customer feedback, it’s time we discuss the best ways to respond to customers leaving positive, neutral, or negative feedback. Let’s get started —

1. Establish a system for collecting customer feedback

You have got to build a system for collecting customer feedback. More importantly, the system should help you stay alert and notified whenever a customer leaves feedback.

Once you have a system in place, it becomes easier to respond to customer feedback in a timely manner.

The biggest advantage of this is responding to real-time customer feedback. You can set up Slack and Microsoft Teams notifications, email notifications, Google Sheets, or consider CRM integrations to directly feed the survey responses to your CRM solution.

Moreover, the collected customer feedback can even be shared with the relevant support team. The idea is to have a system in place and bring relevant support teams on the same page.

2. Use the feedback to bolster product development

Most companies collect customer feedback as part of their product development journey. This is crucial as you want to use the feedback to design products that are more user-friendly and ones that ease customer pain points.

If your company is up for implementing customer-driven change, then you should consider segmenting the collected customer feedback, not in terms of importance, but in terms of the subjects touched by customers.

If customer-driven change is a priority, you may even categorize the customer survey with respect to different aspects of the product or service and then use the feedback.

However, never forget to close the customer feedback loop. Always close the loop by sending respondents an email or message.

3. Ensure timely follow-up on customer feedback

Do you follow up with customers who leave feedback? If not, you should start following up without fail. This is because customers who take time out to share feedback are anticipating a response from your end.

You should be looking forward to following up with respondents as it can help turn a bad interaction into a good one or even help resolve customer complaints.

Did you know a huge percentage of customers don’t leave feedback because they believe companies hardly care about their opinions?

Don’t be such a company and assure customers some recognition for their feedback. Follow up on the customer feedback on a more personal level and build better business-customer relationships.

4. Responding to negative feedback

Negative feedback stings, no matter how big the company is. The worst part is that other customers might consider reading the feedback to make their purchase decisions. Should you be addressing negative feedback as a lost opportunity?

Well, the way you respond to negative feedback determines whether or not you turn the negative review into a business opportunity.

To help you make the right moves, we have published a guide on how to respond to negative feedback. Check it out to learn the best tips to use when drafting a reply. Regardless, you should always reply to negative feedback calmly and professionally.

5. Don’t take a long time to respond

Besides being good at responding to customer feedback, you should be good at giving timely responses.

Did you know that almost 81 percent of customers in a research claim that they are more willing to share feedback if companies are ready to quickly respond to them?

While most companies take almost 1-2 business days to leave a response, the ideal time to respond is 1-2 hours. Even if you are not able to leave a satisfactory response, use the time to show that you have acknowledged the feedback.

Moreover, you shouldn’t leave negative feedback unattended. Use the negative feedback to show customers that you value their opinions and want to connect to learn more about their issues.

6. Use incentives to win back customers

Responding to customer feedback is all about providing an excellent customer service experience. After all, your after-sales service impacts customer satisfaction and experience.

Here’s what we suggest you do when dealing with unhappy customers who have left negative feedback.

You should provide them with a resolution and request a second chance. You may even offer incentives in the form of discounts and rewards if the dissatisfied customers don’t budge. The quest is to make them return.

We highly recommend offering reward points, discounts on future purchases, free products, free upgrades, or a refund.

A bad customer experience should be left unnoticed. Conduct proper follow-ups and investigations to make sure such complaints don’t become a norm.

7. Request customers to review their negative feedback

If you have been following this list of best ways to respond to customer feedback, we suggest you even ask the customers to make changes to the feedback they have posted online.

However, make sure that you have successfully resolved customers’ issues and that they are happy or satisfied with your response and action.

If you have turned the customer experience into a positive one, you should ask them personally to change their feedback.

Most clients that give companies a second chance are open to making the requested changes. We highly recommend having this conversation on a private channel because you don’t want to be seen as a brand that asks customers to change their feedback.

8. Identify root causes of negative feedback before churn

If your customers have to deal with persistent issues, the eventual customer churn is guaranteed.

Companies that do not pay heed to a rising number of negative reviews often see a huge increase in negative reviews as one negative review can encourage other customers to leave them too. Therefore, make sure you take action to fix the issues.

Communicate with your customer base that you are proactively working to fix the issue. This is important because almost 32 percent of customers consider leaving a brand right after experiencing one negative incident.

Make sure you identify the root causes of the negative feedback and ensure they are sorted quickly. Quick action may also lead to improved customer loyalty.

9. Always thank customers for leaving feedback

How often do you thank your customers? Well, you hardly get many opportunities to do that, don’t you? This is why we always suggest business owners never miss out on thanking customers for the time they put into reviewing their products and services.

Think about it — dissatisfied customers might have had to calm themselves down, find the right online feedback portal, think of the right words, and draft their discontentment in a way that makes sense to you.

Let customers know that you value their feedback and are willing to know more about the issue. Double down by offering a reward or discount.

At the same time, make sure you show how much you value customers leaving positive feedback! You can organize an online campaign showing your respect and appreciation for the support.

10. Turn positive feedback into a testimonial

Your prospects are finding reasons to do business with you. A testimonial provides the required push as it encourages prospects to take action. This is why we suggest you turn positive feedback into a testimonial.

You can do that by connecting with satisfied customers, i.e., customers who have left positive feedback.

Once you connect with them, try convincing them to be a part of your customer study and help develop a customer story.

When respondents are done with the surveys, you can send them an email or message requesting permission to use their feedback as testimonials on your business site.

11. Direct survey respondents to online feedback portals

If you are planning to make respondents leave positive feedback for your business, you can direct the respondents to your online feedback portals or business listings.

As respondents are done with the surveys, you can gently push them to leave reviews on your business listings. You may even couple your request with an incentive like a reward or discount.

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How to take action after collecting feedback?

Once you are done collecting feedback and even responding to the reviews, you should look forward to documenting the process and preparing a customer feedback report.

These reports help bring all the teams (marketing, sales, and advertising) on the same page and better understand the customers’ pain points. Here are a few tips for creating a customer feedback report —

  • Always set the right goals and expectations before generating a report. Mention which metric you want to track. It can be customer satisfaction, user experience, customer service, or other. You might even want to use the report to identify key new market opportunities.
  • Make sure you take a quantitative approach to taking action on collected customer feedback. This means you’d want to consider star ratings, social media likes, and responses to close-ended survey questions (NPS, CSAT, CES, and more).
  • Visualize the results, prepare yourself to take action, and close the feedback loop. You can do that by summarizing all the data points collected throughout the process and sharing the report with the relevant teams.

How to collect customer feedback?

If you are looking for ways to collect customer feedback, you are in luck as there are several methods to get the job done.

Here are a few methods you can use to collect feedback —

1. Customer feedback surveys

You can use customer feedback surveys to ask goal-specific questions. The questions you ask through the surveys should be thoughtful and open-ended.

Most importantly, you should couple the questions with the right rating scales. At the same time, make sure you don’t use leading questions.

2. Customer contact forms or emails

If you want candid customer feedback, email is the best channel. However, you’d want to set clear expectations because dissatisfied customers might not even consider replying. The best way to approach them is through personalized responses.

3. Collect customer feedback through usability tests

Even Google conducts usability tests. These tests help generate deep insights about the products and services. User testing can be conducted in almost any business model or industry. These tests will help customers provide feedback and feel listened to.

4. Customer interviews

Why not conduct extensive customer interviews? Create a list of satisfied and dissatisfied customers and send them invitations for exploratory interviews. Ask them insightful questions and collect feedback that helps your business serve them better.

5. Social media channels

We are certain that a huge percentage of your customer base uses social media.

You can connect with your audience on social media channels and run campaigns to make their voices heard. Look out for company mentions across the social media channels as these might also be potential customer reviews.

Final thoughts

There you have it. We have shared everything you need to know about responding to customer feedback. Then we discussed the fundamentals of customer feedback and how responding helps businesses grow.

Further, we mentioned some of the best ways to respond to customer feedback and shared tips on taking action on the collected feedback.

We wanted to let you know the importance of having a system in place to respond to customer feedback. In other words, we have prepared you well to counter reviews customers leave on public or private portals.

Did you find this post helpful? Stay tuned to learn more about building businesses on customer reviews and feedback.

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