A Comprehensive Guide to Customer Feedback Analysis (2024)

A Comprehensive Guide to Customer Feedback Analysis (2024)

You probably know your customers pretty well.

But do you really know what they think about your business? Are they satisfied? Were they pleasantly surprised after coming aboard? Or are they ready to jump ship and switch to a competitor? How can you know what they think without a good mind-reader on your staff?

Enter customer feedback analysis.

Without customer feedback analysis, you only think you know what your customers think. Effective analysis enables you to generate actionable insights and make informed decisions to help your business continue gaining — and retaining — happy customers. 

Let’s dive into customer feedback analysis to see how you can use it to benefit your business.

What is customer feedback analysis?

Customer feedback analysis involves taking customer data, analyzing it, and figuring out how to apply the insights to business decisions. 

Effective analysis comes down to distinguishing between insightful and non-insightful feedback from customers. Insightful feedback is just that; it brings valuable insights into the user experience you didn’t already know so that you can take the necessary action. 

Non-insightful feedback, on the other hand, confirms what you already know. In fact, you may already be taking action as a result of it.

Your business model will determine who is in charge of feedback analysis. You may have a dedicated customer service team or marketing department taking the helm on this.

Although how you analyze the data will come down to your business goals, you’ll want to ensure you’ve employed quantitative and qualitative measures to examine it well. Quantitative data will give you the hard numbers, while qualitative feedback will bring you user thoughts, feelings, and observations.

Why is it important to analyze feedback from customers?

You already know that analyzing customer feedback is essential for user retention and satisfaction — not to mention business growth.

The key, however, is to analyze your customer feedback effectively🎯. Here’s why:

It brings you actionable insights

Effective feedback analysis may reveal a new user pain point you weren’t aware of. As a result, you can start taking steps to resolve it. 

Specifically, you’ll take action based on only insightful feedback and discard the rest.

It helps you maintain and grow your customer base

Effective feedback helps you keep your current customer base happy, as you’ll know their level of satisfaction and how to improve on it. Notably, both service quality and promotional appeal positively impact customer satisfaction.

You’ll also notice markedly decreased churn, as customers won’t be tempted to look elsewhere to meet their needs. 

Finally, you’ll find new customers as your current base spreads the word about their positive experiences through stellar reviews and personal recommendations.

It saves you time, money, and energy

Creating a solid customer feedback management system saves you time, money, and energy in the long run.

A step-by-step guide to customer feedback analysis

Customer feedback analysis has four steps: collection, categorization, analysis, and application. Let’s look at how you can get the most out of each one.

Step 1: Collect customer feedback

If you haven’t already, plan to use different methods to collect feedback from your customers. 

As you get started, here are a few tips:

  • Determine the right time to ask customers for their input. 

Don’t delay. Get feedback within a few days of them purchasing your product or accessing your service. Their customer experience will be top of mind and likely to reflect their true thoughts and feelings.

  • Provide an incentive for customers to submit feedback. 

For instance, you could enter completed customer surveys into a random draw, provide a percentage off a future purchase, or offer exclusive early access to an upcoming product or service release.

  • Don’t forget that feedback quality will vary widely among customers. 

Some users will prefer giving long-winded responses, while others will only provide a sentence or two. 

Keep in mind, too, that customers who have previously heard back from managers or customer service representatives tend to post more positive reviews than those who don’t.

Now, let’s move on to the various ways you can collect customer feedback.

Surveys

Surveys are an ideal way to gather customer data. Here are the most effective types:

Customer satisfaction surveys (CSATs): As the name indicates, these surveys measure how satisfied your customers are with your service or product. CSATs use a form of the question, “In general, how satisfied are you with [company name]?” with further breakdowns, depending on the company. 

For example, a hotel might ask additional questions regarding customer satisfaction with their room, the hotel’s amenities, and the building’s location.

Respondents select their answers to each question from the following rating scale:

1 - Very Unsatisfied

2 - Unsatisfied

3 - Neutral

4 - Satisfied

5 - Very Satisfied

You can obtain the total customer satisfaction score by taking the number of “very satisfied” customers and dividing it by the total number of respondents.

Comment areas are often added for customers to shout out exceptional service, share complaints or concerns, or offer suggestions for improvement. 

Net promoter score (NPS) surveys: These surveys go beyond customer satisfaction to focus on the user experience. They zero in on users loyal to your business through variations of the question, “How likely are you to recommend [company name]?” 

The NPS is a 10-point scale from “Extremely Likely” to “Extremely Unlikely.” Respondents are categorized into Detractors, Passives, and Promoters, depending on the score they choose. Take the total Detractors (those with scores between 0 and 6) and subtract it from the Promoters (those with scores of either 9 or 10) to determine the NPS for your business.

Customer effort score (CES) surveys: These surveys focus on an aspect of the user experience that tends to reduce churn. Customers tend to be happier with companies that demand the least amount of effort from them to get an issue resolved or a complaint heard. 

A CES survey asks: “In general, how easy was it for me to resolve the issue with [company name]?” It then includes questions with the following 7-point rating scale to capture more detailed data:

1 - Very Easy

2 - Easy

3 - Somewhat Easy

4 - Not Sure

5 - Somewhat Hard

6 - Hard

7 - Very Hard

You can calculate a total CES score by adding the scores for each question and dividing that number by the total number of surveys received. 

Marketing surveys: These surveys are a bit different, as you tailor them to fit your business needs. 

For example, are you looking to gauge interest in a future product or service? Or do you need to determine whether customers would be willing to stay despite a price increase if you gave them additional offerings?

Once you determine your survey methods, it’s time to gather customer reviews.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews offer additional insights into your customers’ thoughts, feelings, and actions regarding your business. 

Provide various opportunities for your customers to provide feedback to generate useful insights. For instance, you can use:

  • Online reviews: These are often the first things potential customers look at when deciding whether to purchase from your company.

Ensure you have a means for customers to leave them, as they can significantly impact future purchases and decision-making.

  • In-app reviews: Encourage users to leave reviews in the product or service app, if applicable.
  • Social media: Allow users to share their comments through Facebook Reviews, your Google Business Profile, or Yelp.

Depending on your business, you can also use niche sites such as Tripadvisor or Angie’s List.

  • Online forums: These typically offer candid reviews of customers’ overall experiences and satisfaction levels. Reddit and Quora are two particularly popular ones.
  • Your user base directly: This could be done in person, on the phone, or via a text message or personal thank-you note.
  • Review platforms/aggregators, like G2 or Capterra: Use these tools to easily compare different types of software.

Emails and SMS

Capitalize on the information your business receives through standard email and SMS.

Direct email campaigns are an effective way to elicit customer feedback, especially with all the options for automation. Send emails immediately following a customer purchase, schedule feedback requests at regular intervals throughout the year, or reach out with personalized follow-ups from management or support personnel.

Use those interactions to your advantage. Here’s an example of a chat interaction from Fibery that could be analyzed:

Feedback via chat, handled in Fibery
Feedback via chat, handled in Fibery

Feedback forms

With feedback forms, you move beyond rating scales and top-of-mind considerations to information that’s directly applicable to your business.

For example, dive into how the customer feels about a specific product or service you offer instead of asking them about their overall customer experience.

Feedback forms can be manual or automatic. You can simplify the process by using customizable templates.

Once you’ve completed the first step of data collection, you’re ready for Step 2.

Step 2: Categorize your customer feedback

Once you’ve gathered the feedback, take some time to categorize it. Here are the different categories:

Sort out all the feedback that’s directly related to your product or service itself. This could include how long the customer has used it, their favorite features of it, and any suggestions they’d have for its improvement.

Service-related feedback includes information about how your customers feel they were treated. It could touch upon your company’s professionalism, friendliness, and effectiveness.

Other issues

You may find other types of valuable customer feedback to your organization. For example, did the customer detect any bugs in their app purchase? Did they struggle to navigate your website in their search for product or purchasing information?

Once your customer feedback is sorted, you’re ready to analyze it.

Step 3: Analyze your customer feedback

While there are different types of analysis methods, you’ll want to remember the importance of insightful feedback. Insightful feedback provides actionable insights you’ll use to inform your business and keep your customers happy.

While manually completing these types of analyses is possible, you might not have extra time to burn. With an AI analysis tool, you can prioritize how you review and consider customer feedback based on your business’s needs. 

Three popular analysis models are sentiment analysis, feedback clustering analysis, and keyword analysis. Let’s unpack each. 

Sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis involves scanning the text to determine how the customer feels about your product, service, or business as a whole. 

You’re specifically looking to see whether the data communicates a positive, negative, or neutral emotional tone.

Customer sentiment analysis proves insightful if you learn users are particularly delighted with your product or service — allowing you to highlight this fact in a marketing campaign. And if reviews are trending toward the negative, you can make the necessary adjustments to get back on track.

Below is an example of how Fibery can apply sentiment analysis for incoming intercom conversations. In this case, the average sentiment for this user is good, indicating that the conversations are constructive and courteous.

Fibery staff and their respective sentiment scores. Thankfully, everyone is scoring fairly high.
Fibery staff and their respective sentiment scores. Thankfully, everyone is scoring fairly high.

Feedback clustering analysis

With feedback clustering, you sort the data into meaningful groups. Specifically, you identify the key features or characteristics you are interested in to find relevant, naturally occurring customer segments or clusters. 

Using an artificial intelligence platform like Fibery is crucial for sorting through massive amounts of data. The AI is also sophisticated enough to understand the context of the text by recognizing differences in wording and nuance.

Here’s how Fibery used feedback clustering with Dovetail. 

Feedback clustering via Dovetail
Feedback clustering via Dovetail

In Dovetail’s case, clusters of “problem discovery,” “team meetings and rituals,” and others were identified and highlighted for easy reference.

While you will need to extend some effort in creating the desired highlights, you’ll see that the overall result provides you with an easy way to identify common themes or patterns from the data.

For example, you may want to learn more about your customer base. In this case, you could segment your users by demographics to determine their average age, income, and geographic location. Or you could segment them by their behaviors, such as the amount and frequency in their purchase history, to determine which ones are returning to your business and why.

Keyword analysis

Keyword analysis focuses on a specific keyword or phrase you’re interested in learning more about.

Focusing on a keyword provides a broad-based analysis, but it won’t include the nuanced relationships occurring in feedback clustering. You’ll be able to quickly identify customer complaints or concerns this way — but keep in mind that you’ll have to tread lightly.

Keywords and phrases may be predefined and limiting. For example, customers may vary their word choice based on their experience and the situation, so you’ll want to consider the ones you choose to search for carefully.

For example, you can review customer feedback based on the key phrase “shipping delay.” You’ll then see all instances — both resolved and ongoing — where a customer mentioned a shipping delay.

While searching for this specific keyword phrase will bring you all the relevant information about shipping delays, it could miss related information you might find helpful, such as packaging problems.

Each of these customer feedback analysis methods comes with benefits and drawbacks. Once you decide which will work best for your business, you can start identifying insightful data and actionable takeaways💪.

Step 4: Apply what you’ve learned

Now comes the fun part: putting your insights into action.

What’s the prevailing sentiment from your user base? If it’s generally positive, you may still find ways to improve. If it’s negative, you can pinpoint areas of discontent through feedback clustering or keyword analysis, for instance.

Don’t ignore neutral feedback, either. Neutral customers can be swayed to jump ship, so dive into those nuanced conversations via feedback clustering to find out how you can make their outlook more positive.

AI gives you additional opportunities to analyze large volumes of customer feedback, too.

The team received actionable insights automatically from this AI product feedback tool. They now know what users are looking for from the product and can decide which product feature to tackle.

The most effective businesses take this process a step further and turn it into a customer feedback loop. In this loop, you work through each stage of collecting, sorting, analyzing, and applying the data. 

Then, close the loop by following up with your customers. Thank them for making the suggestion or sharing the concern. Outline the steps you took to address the problem and the importance of their communication to your team. 

A key takeaway? Customers may be willing to change a negative review to a positive one, showing your commitment to resolution and customer satisfaction to a new base.

Fibery hot take 

Having disorganized feedback silos leads to chaos. Or even worse: you’ll have close to zero idea what your customers actually want to see developed. And when that happens, stakeholders, C-level leaders, and the like will decide the fate of the product’s trajectory.

Streamline customer feedback analysis with Fibery

Now you know why customer feedback analysis is so critical. You also understand how to collect, analyze, and apply what you’ve learned for continuous improvement.

Don’t muddy the waters — turn to Fibery to get started with customer feedback analysis the right way. 

Fibery has everything you need to collect and interpret your data, whether you opt to add it manually or through your favorite integrations. Even better, you can organize it to gain the insightful feedback you’re looking for and ditch the rest. 

Why wait to level up your business? Sign up with Fibery for a free trial today.

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