The Power of Letting Customer Feedback Flow

By Leela Srinivasan, CMO, SurveyMonkey

Leela Srinivasan, CMO, SurveyMonkey

Business leaders today grapple with a challenging reality: Feedback is pervasive, public, and powerful. The total transparency of the web and social media, coupled with the age-old desire for humans to be heard, means feedback is constantly surfacing about every aspect of your company: your products, your culture, and the experiences you do or don’t deliver. Depending on its substance, that feedback can boost your business—or tank it.  Welcome to the Feedback Economy.

Knowing how to measure and understand this explosion of feedback is a challenge in itself. To complicate matters, more companies than ever are operating with a distributed workforce, in which employees work from multiple time-zones and geographies. Adding physical separation only increases the risk that valuable customer feedback will slip through the cracks, leading to lost opportunities or—worse—negative customer experiences.

"When marketers can tap into feedback at scale, it’s a powerful asset. That power only multiplies when you let feedback flow"

Marketers are clearly straining under the pressure to make customer feedback actionable. After I gave a talk to a group of SaaS entrepreneurs on using customer feedback to supercharge marketing, many of those who responded to my post-event survey expressed a great deal of anxiety. They understood the power of customer feedback, but their questions showed they were struggling to integrate it into their organizations in a meaningful way. They asked, “Who should own this?” and “This feels like it could impact the whole company. Is it just my job?”

The first step to success is surprisingly simple: Let feedback flow. Instead of assigning the job of gathering and acting on customer feedback to just Support or Marketing or Strategy, put it everywhere by integrating customer feedback into your existing systems of record and communications channels, whether that’s HubSpot, Salesforce, Outlook, or Slack. Piping voice of customer data directly into these tools means everyone on the team will have access to valuable customer feedback—and therefore much richer context—where and when they need it to make decisions.

The team at Box (the enterprise leader in cloud content management and file-sharing) saw firsthand the power of letting feedback flow when they undertook a huge effort to map their customer lifecycle and insert “listening post” surveys at key moments, like after a support interaction or when a contract was up for renewal. They pushed the listening post feedback directly into their CRM so customer-facing teams had critical feedback at their fingertips before a key interaction. Because they knew what each customer was thinking, they could deliver a tailor-made experience when it mattered most for the business.

Automation can help, especially for marketing organizations strapped for resources. For example, through the Hubspot-SurveyMonkey integration, you can trigger automatic follow-up emails to every customer who submits a low NPS score. You can alert account managers when a customer responds with positive feedback, accelerating your ability to cultivate champions. You can even segment and score contacts based on their answers to survey questions. A strong integration between your survey software and a platform like Hubspot allows you to take feedback data and turn it into something actionable. That’s why at SurveyMonkey, we’ve always partnered with leading enterprise tools like Hubspot, Microsoft, and Salesforce on 100+ powerful integrations (surveymonkey.com/integrations) that put data at the heart of critical business decisions.

When marketers can tap into feedback at scale, it’s a powerful asset. That power only multiplies when you let feedback flow.

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