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Start Up 101, Sales & Marketing

September 8, 2016

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How To Get Helpful User Feedback That Matters

You may get excellent advice from the people around you but, but no one knows if your decisions are right or wrong like your customers do. Read on to find out the "Do's and Don'ts" on getting the information about your customers experience.

When I first got the idea for my travel startup, roammate, I found myself in an analysis paralysis over every detail of building my app. It wasn’t until I started investing my time into conversations with and feedback from my target community that my journey really accelerated. I no longer had to guess what would work, what they wanted, or what they would like. In the meantime, my competitors who do not have good feedback practices in their apps have stalled in their growth.

 

Your colleagues, peers, and mentors may be able to offer great advice, and following your gut may have gotten you far, but no one knows when your decisions are right or wrong like your customers do. Here is a bit about what to do, and what not to do, to get the information you need about the experience of your customers.

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DO Personal Conversations  

It may not be scalable, but holding conversations with your customers can be extremely insightful, especially early on. This can also give you the chance to create brand loyalty for yourself even if the user has encountered an issue. I received a text message recently from someone at 99.co after using the site a bit. This impressed me and kept me on the site even after having a bad experience with an agent that same day.

 

DO Timely Prompts 

You can increase the volume of user feedback if you find a way to prompt users at a relevant time. Try to think of the point in the user journey when they will have just completed an experience with you, and ask them there for feedback. Grab did a good job of this when they were still building up their user base by prompting for feedback right after a ride was complete.

 

DO Make it Easy to Find 

If a user has a problem, concern, or suggestion for you at any point, contacting you needs to be easy and fast. Airbnb has the options for help, support, and feedback right in their account menu.  Slack’s feedback option is clear in the settings menu. Users don’t have to work hard to get their messages to these companies. 

 

DON'T Avoid the Negative  

I tried to tell SingPost on their website about a problem I was having with my mailman, but the only feedback feature they had at that time was “Send a compliment” (they have since added a feedback option). I had to describe my complaint in the compliment field, making me feel that they did not want to hear from me at all. As Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder) has expressed, the harsher the feedback, the more passionate the user is about wanting your service to improve.

 

DON'T Offer Options Only 

You may see services like Facebook or Tinder give you options to choose from in the report and feedback features, but this wasn’t the case right away. They are able to do this after collecting immense amounts of feedback from their users and evaluating recurring themes. If you do this too soon, you are missing out on a learning opportunity to hear feedback you weren’t expecting. Or if you do give options, consider having an “other” option with free text.

 

DON'T Ignore Customers 

One of the few competitors I have who actually has a feedback option in their platform seemingly doesn’t respond to it according to their app store reviews. This is brand loyalty suicide. Users who have problems with your service may still return. Users who have problems with your company though are much harder to salvage.