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Customer feedback

What is customer feedback?

Customer feedback is information provided by customers about their experience with a product or service. Its purpose is to reveal their level of satisfaction and help product, customer success, and marketing teams understand where there is room for improvement. Companies can collect customer feedback proactively by polling and surveying customers, interviewing them, or by asking for reviews. Feedback can also be passively collected by providing users a place in the product where they can provide comments, complaints, or compliments.

Why is customer feedback important?

Without customer feedback, a company will never know if customers are getting value out of their product. Without knowing if they’re getting value, the product and go-to-market teams won’t know if they’re nurturing loyal customers (not to mention be able to measure customer retention and customer health). And without loyal customers, well…

According to Gartner, “customers’ salient experiences with the company heavily influence their long-term switching behavior and reflect the true drivers of loyalty.” How does one find out what their salient experiences were? Customer feedback.

How can I improve my customer feedback strategy?

Make it timely: Emailing a survey to a user may be asking more than they’re willing to give, especially because reading the email pulls them out of the product. Instead, survey them in-app so they receive the question while they are using the product. In-app surveys yield more accurate feedback and typically have higher response rates.

Make it easy: Collecting feedback should be done on the customer’s terms, not the company’s. What does this mean? Well, if a customer has to dig around in the product to find a “contact us” form, then it’s not exactly easy for them to provide the feedback the product and marketing teams covet. An occasional survey is also not enough. Effective programs make the feedback mechanism as simple as possible, available to any customer, any time.

Make it smart: Customers may have more than one piece of feedback to share, but not all feedback is created equal. It should also be easy for customers to rank their feedback priority — let them share what is most pressing for them, so that product, marketing, and customer success teams can better prioritize their actions.

Close the loop: Too often, companies collect feedback, but it ends up in a black hole, never to be synthesized or acted upon. Make sure the company has a clear vision and process in place before collecting feedback, as well as a tool to collect, prioritize, and manage feedback.

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