Almost any business process improvement can be stripped down to a pretty simple formula: achieve more with less time and effort. Whether it’s crunching data or integrating a bunch of analytics tools for understanding and boosting customer engagement, when you boil it down, people are just trying to do a better job and win some extra hours back into their days.
Following that logic, automation is the pillar of technology. Your processes can run day-and-night flawlessly to do the job, while you focus your energy on more important things.
However, this is not just about winning time back in your day, at least when it comes to customer experience. Tech maturity of customer success teams who automate their key processes strongly correlates to significant business growth.
Whether your team uses Retently or you’re just curious to learn more about customer feedback workflow automation, take a look at these practical ideas:
1. Automate the feedback loop
We’ve already written an in-depth article about customer feedback loop, and the main idea is this: it’s a customer insight-driven process that helps you continuously improve your products and services. Yet, closing the customer feedback loop is even more important because it shows customers you truly understand their pain points, act on their suggestions, and really want their business to be successful.
Unfortunately, doing it manually can be very daunting and time-consuming. You need to reach out – and this has to be personalized for each customer segment (Promoters, Passives, and Detractors).
Luckily, automation can help you with that. For example, if your Customer Experience Management platform has automation abilities, you can create predefined replies that will be automatically sent out when a certain event is triggered. You can draft a customized reply containing a relevant discount or referral link to be sent to your Promoters. Or, you could send automated conversation starters to customers who leave no text feedback.
You can do the same thing with Zapier. Basically, you could configure integrations with services like Customer.io, Drift, and Intercom to send your clients automated personalized messages whenever you receive new feedback.
With the replies being taken care of, your customer success team can spend more time and energy on more pressing matters like addressing customer concerns or working on personalized rewards and upgrades.
2. Approach customers before they churn
Customer churn should never be taken lightly. In the US alone, businesses lose a total of $136.8 billion each year because customers switch brands. So, managing churn is paramount. A good way to do that is to look into the customer feedback in order to spot the main problems your customers deal with. You should also keep an eye on inactive accounts and those that are past due.
Not all customer issues are the same – some can be very unique in their own way. Hence, using general automated replies to close the feedback loop can be quite tricky. However, workflow scenarios would give you a hand allowing you to automatically start conversations with upset customers whenever they leave negative feedback and take immediate action to address their issues.
Even lost customers are an opportunity to learn something if the survey platform you’re using offers proper workflow automation. All you need to do is schedule exit surveys that are automatically triggered when a customer cancels their subscription or do not upgrade from a free trial. Such surveys can help you find out why your clients churn, and what you can do to solve the problems that contribute to that.
Surveying departing customers can also unlock valuable insights about your product or business as a whole, that, if taken into account, can drive impressive improvements and, as a result, encourage growth. NPS surveys are short and simple allowing customers to speak their mind without significant time commitment, and time is something a leaving client would not want to waste. Moreover, the open-ended question invites for honest customer feedback instead of bombarding them with multiple questions framing their answers.
3. Channel positive feedback
Positive reviews can do wonders for B2B sellers since around 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to make a purchase after they read a positive, trusted review. Also, if your business has great reviews, people might be willing to spend 31% more money on it.
The good news is that a powerful Customer Experience Management platform can make it very simple to gather positive feedback. You’ll know who your Promoters are, and what they love about your brand. All that’s left is convincing them to turn that feedback into positive reviews everyone can see. The best way to do that is to request the review on the survey thank you page, or in an automated reply to your Promoters.
Basically, you should have personalized messages that are triggered whenever a client leaves positive feedback. The message should be friendly and encourage the customer in question to leave reviews on relevant websites (Capterra, G2 Crowd, Google, Yelp, etc.). Ideally, you should include special discounts and other offers to motivate your Promoters. Also, make sure you leave in your message direct links to the websites where you want the reviews to show up – it makes things easier for your customers.
If you find out that some of your Promoters are social media influencers, make sure to ask them to write a post or make a video about your product too. Of course, you should offer them something in exchange.
Integrations with WordPress can also help you export positive reviews, while integration with Trustpilot would make it easy for you to send automatic review invitations.
Don’t forget, customers prefer doing business with the ones they trust, so miss no opportunity to have your Promoters make you visible.
4. Streamline task management
Team collaboration platforms help boost productivity, and is a great way to make sure that every department knows what tasks they’re supposed to handle. However, creating the tasks, organizing them, and assigning the right people still takes time and effort – especially when it comes to customer feedback.
Fortunately, with proper automation in place, your team won’t need to spend hours planning, setting up tasks and following up on them. If you integrate your Customer Experience Management platform with your task management tool, like Trello or Asana, you can save tons of time thanks to workflows. For example, you can have the platform automatically create a task, subtasks, and assign the relevant team members to them.
Such a workflow can be extremely valuable. Let’s say you’ve got a dedicated team member who’s responsible for reaching out to Detractors who don’t leave feedback, or Passives who give a low rating (7 instead of 8). If you use automation, relevant tasks can be automatically created and updated, saving the said team member time and effort, allowing them to focus more on engaging with customers.
There are cases when an immediate solution to the encountered issue is not possible, but you took note and have included it in your product roadmap. To make your customer opinion count, you can set a reminder in your task management software for you to come back to this pain point after a specific period of time (the estimated implementation period) and update the customer accordingly.
5. Analyze text feedback and customer sentiment
Customer feedback can be extremely useful, but it can get problematic if you receive it at large scale, as it is very time-consuming and difficult to turn large amounts of text feedback into actionable data.
After all, you can’t really have a dedicated team manually sift through all the feedback to find the main likes and dislikes (you could, but it’d be a huge time and money sink), and you can’t afford to reduce meaningful feedback to basic ideas that don’t tell you anything about what your customers want.
That’s where a specialized service like MonkeyLearn or Thematic comes into play. Basically, it’s an automated text analysis solution that can easily obtain valuable insights from tons of customer feedback. Those platforms can help you group responses into general theme-buckets, so that you can easily find out the common customer pain points. Also, it can highlight customer sentiment towards your offering, helping you track customers at risk to churn.
At present, sentiment analysis is a topic of great interest, being an efficient way to interpret and convert attitude into actionable insights. The variety of sentiment analysis systems differ by their focus, the main ones looking into polarity (positive, negative, neutral), emotions (happy, sad, angry, frustrated) or intentions (interested or not).
If your CX platform allows it, you can integrate it with MonkeyLearn directly or through Zapier. You can configure a workflow automation where responses are analyzed, customer sentiment is extracted, and all the data is tagged in a dashboard.
For example, you could set up tags like “Onboarding,” “Product Features,” and “Customer Support” to see which business areas need more attention.
6. Share feedback between teams
Microsoft Teams, Slack and their open-source alternative Mattermost are online messaging platforms that work well for customer success since they can be integrated with help desk solutions, live chat platforms, and phone support tools. You can even create dedicated channels for customers where they can talk to your team.
But did you know you can also integrate these platforms with your CX platform? Whether you do it directly or through Zapier, you’ll be able to keep your team constantly up-to-date with your customer ratings and feedback. You can set up triggers that automatically notify you through Slack for example when:
- A new customer rating is given;
- A customer chooses to unsubscribe from your surveys;
- Your customer satisfaction score goes up or down;
- Someone opened your survey but didn’t give any rating after a specific period of time.
You can choose to send automatic messages to a specific channel when any of the above happen, so that your team is immediately notified about any changes and are always on track with all your customer data and behavior. Also, you can set automatic reminders and channel topics. Apart from immediate notifications, you can opt for daily and weekly digests about your customer ratings and feedback.
7. Import feedback into product management software
Platforms similar to ProductBoard are very helpful, doing wonders in your product development process. These product management tools make it easy for you and your product team to see what fixes or features customers want to see.
Besides that, it saves time by letting you quickly prioritize tasks and share your roadmap across all departments. Also, such product management software can help you get valuable user feedback by letting customers vote on proposed ideas or submit their own suggestions.
One efficient way you can use automation to save even more time with ProductBoard, for example, is to integrate your NPS platform with an online communication platform like Slack to import feedback. Then, you can set up an action in Slack to automatically import all the feedback data you need into ProductBoard.
Alternatively, if the NPS platform allows it, you can integrate it directly with ProductBoard or use Zapier to do it. Thus, you can set notes to be automatically created in ProductBoard whenever a new customer rating or response is received, or whenever a respondent is opting out.
By doing any of the above, you’ll make sure your product team no longer has to dig through the customer feedback, allowing them to focus on addressing said feedback by adding new features, testing them, and fixing issues instead.
8. Import insights and analyze data in business analytics platforms
Metrics are merely a bunch of scarce data if not neatly organized and kept track of on a daily basis. But how do we get to make sense out of them if there are so many data sources to look into?
Using a data warehouse would bring in major benefits in this respect, and mainly, ensure easy access to valuable info by having it stored in one place, and thus allowing for more accurate business decisions.
Since you can integrate your Customer Experience Management software with many data warehousing platforms (Airtable, Firebase, MySQL, MongoDB, etc.), you can make it easier for your executive team to find ways to improve the customer experience.
What kind of insights can you sync with your data warehouse? Well, data like:
- Customers who opened surveys but didn’t score them;
- Specific Detractor scores (0, 1, or 2);
- Passives and Detractors who don’t leave any text feedback;
- Customers who manually unsubscribed from your surveys;
- Feedback you received after releasing new features.
You can sync even more data after running a recurring survey campaign like whether the score went up or down, or if a customer has changed their initial rating. Best of all – records can be automatically created and updated according to the existing feedback data that is synced, saving you tons of time and effort.
Companies have access to plenty of performance data, however, it is still inaccessible to most of the team since it’s stored in so many places and thus seen in pieces.
In case you use Databox, or its alternatives, you’ll have a very easy time keeping track of all the necessary KPIs and sharing results across the team as they happen. It’s a business analytics dashboard that pulls all your data into one place, helping your team shift their focus from calculating spreadsheets and drafting reports to quickly spotting and acting on valuable insights. With real-time access to performance, it is very easy to visualize where you are on your goals, to identify trends and make the necessary adjustments on the fly, and take data-driven decisions in the long run.
If you integrate the software with your CX service, you can easily push custom data to Databox every time you receive a customer rating, new feedback or whenever a customer opts-out. Also, you can trigger an automatic increase for a specific metric’s counter whenever new feedback is received. By leveraging such data boards the team will be in control with the company’s performance, being able to use the available information to further prioritize their tasks as required.
The Bottom Line
Automation is the key to achieving business success. It saves time, money, offers better insights, and reduces the risk of human error. Also, automation has allowed our customers to sync millions of data points between their success, support, sales, and marketing systems.
If you’re looking for a versatile Customer Experience Management platform that supports multiple integration and automation scenarios, give Retently a try. Retently includes a variety of integrations which allows customers to build automated workflows, helping customer success teams evolve from being reactive to predictive.
Oh, and if you’ve got any other customer feedback automation playbooks in mind which we haven’t discussed here, feel free to let us know in the comments below.