CX Insights

How to Capitalize on the Feedback Economy

6 min read

The majority of people — 93%— look to consumer reviews before making a purchase. They’re 91 million strong and account for more than $1 trillion in U.S. consumer spending.

The digital revolution empowers users to get directly in touch with companies like never before. New and fast digital technologies enable consumers to voice their opinions, often uncontrolled through social media and review sites like Facebook, Yelp, and Google Reviews. And those are just the beginning.

The combination of consumer’s expectations and the rise of smart technology brought along what we call the Feedback Economy. It’s an economy driven by consumers expecting companies to rapidly adapt and “improve” based on feedback. Are you prepared to digitally transform with customers at the heart of your strategy? Let’s show you how.

Why Should Companies Listen to Feedback?

When businesses ignore customer feedback, they put themselves at risk of losing customers, visitors, and even employees. Ultimately, the risk of ignoring the Feedback Economy is revenue loss.

Our digital reputations have become our most valuable currency.

Michael Fertik, Forbes

Organizations must chime in and become active participants in the Feedback Economy to achieve their goals. There must be a desire and initiative to stay close to consumers, using feedback to fuel conversations and business decisions.

In the Feedback Economy, engagement is king, consumers have more power, and consumer sentiment can change with a single tweet.

Michael Fertik, Forbes

What Happens If Companies Don’t Listen?

If a company ignores staying continuously in touch with its users, it misses the opportunity to discover how its products and services are experienced. It’s at risk of developing the wrong products and pricing too high or too low. Ignoring feedback might also lead to building a website that does not represent the company and what it sells.

In its 2018 “Hospitality Sector Report,” TripAdvisor found that “97 percent of travel companies said online reputation management is important to their business.”

Without feedback, the company might create an application that does not achieve what it should. By continuously collecting feedback in the moment it matters, companies can chime in the conversation with its users and make the right decisions that will drive success.

Ask, Analyze, Act and Grow

If you want to have any influence over how consumers view your brand, you need to engage with them and collect customer feedback.

1. Ask

First things first, create a communication line between you and your users. You do so by enabling a simple feedback collection point on your website, app, and other digital products. This contact point needs to be easy to access, simple and fast. Nobody wants to spend more than two minutes giving their opinion.

There is also a more targeted option. Imagine you really want to know what people think about your new blog article. You can see how many people viewed it and for how long, but how do you know if the content resonates? With in-page and targeted feedback you can ask the right questions at the exact time you need. Do you want to know why so many shopping carts are left abandoned in your webshop? Simply ask.

2. Analyze

Asking is just the beginning. Now you need to take the time to go through the feedback you have received as a company. The worst thing you can do is ask for feedback and subsequently ignore it. Have you ever taken the time to write a well-founded complaint and nobody got back to you? Do you remember how frustrating that was?

For companies, your team must look at collected feedback, go through the data, and unearth what the numbers might be telling you. If you are measuring your NPS score, you can aggregate qualitative comments to form a distillation of what consumers are trying to say. Going through this process, you might be surprised as unknowns start to unearth. For example, you might find a “deadhole” in your website that you had no idea about.

Translilien, the biggest railroad provider in France, found out that travelers wanted to do more than plan their trip on its website. It came as a surprise to Transilien’s web team that customers also wanted to see the metro schedule. In the analysis process, you can easily:

  • Validate changes or new features
  • Confirm your gut feeling or debunk what your intuition was telling you
  • Find bugs rapidly as they come to the surface
  • Discover frustrations at checkout

On that last point, how bad would it be if people are trying to checkout, but the box for the postal code won’t work when an extra parenthesis is added? How will you know about this? You can’t expect people to take the time to write you a long email just on that. Give users the opportunity to let you know, in the moment it matters.

3. Act

Feedback will guide your decisions and plans on what to do next. It will provide you with the arguments to push through certain updates on your website or product. Depending on the feedback you receive, various teams will know what to do next.

Feedback is only as valuable as it is actionable.

Here is how this might look by team:

Marketing will be empowered to adapt and adjust its messaging to something that resonates with its audience.
– The web team will know which bugs to fix and how people are behaving on the website.
Recruitment will find out why candidates dropped while others chose to take the offer.
– The product team will know which features to develop first and which not to.
– The CRO team will know which roadblocks are in the way of checking out.

By making informed decisions and closing the loop with your users, you will be able to drive success that lasts through returning visitors, loyal customers and engaged employees.

VoC and the Feedback Economy

Collecting feedback drives cost savings initiatives for many reasons, from focusing on product developments that match customers’ expectations to better service. With the insights gathered from feedback, you can adapt your products & services to create experiences that customers want and are willing to pay more for.

A PwC survey says customers would pay up to 16% more for better speed, convenience, friendliness.

Today’s leading companies are those that prioritize customer feedback. In the end, a strong Voice of Customer (VoC) approach like Usabilla’s translates to successful innovation, a competitive advantage, higher customer satisfaction and retention, and cost savings.

A more customer-responsive sector is likely to see greater customer numbers, more repeat and longer stays, higher spend per customer, better customer service and more customers making recommendations to others.

Adam Rowse, Head of Business Banking Barclays

Usabilla technology empowers companies to ask, analyze and act on customer feedback across all digital channels. With feedback, you open the channel between you and your customers. From visitors to return users, their feedback alerts you to blind spots and areas of improvement. You earn an instant competitive advantage, so you can craft delightful customer experiences and leave the competition behind you.

Rachel Bodony
Rachel is currently living in New York City as Usabilla's Content Writer. You can find her at her desk taking grammar quizzes, reading about AI, or dreaming up her next adrenaline-inducing adventure.