Customer feedback is extremely valuable to any organization, and customer surveys are the most effective way to get it. A well-designed survey gives customers a clear channel to communicate their wants, needs, and expectations.
But if you want to get the most out of that feedback, it needs to be highly accessible to the people impacting your customer experience every day: your team. Housing customer feedback in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is the easiest way to centralize and leverage survey data.
Suddenly, the entire company can view, manage, and report on customer health. Employees can supplement existing dashboards and customer records, measure long-term customer trends, and make data-driven decisions that improve customer relationships.
Once customer feedback is in your CRM, the Voice of the Customer becomes foundational to processes and operations, which helps you bring more customers in the door.
Below we’ll examine the value of housing feedback in Salesforce. Then we’ll dig into a few specific examples of what companies do with the data once it’s there.
Customer Feedback in Salesforce
Supplement your standard customer records
Customer records are the source of truth for customer relationships. They chart the essential customer data that helps you monitor customer health, forecast churn, and ultimately maintain a healthy, happy customer base.
But contact info and case history don’t tell the full story. They often exclude the subjective information that matters most to the customer herself, like contact preferences, support satisfaction, and overall brand loyalty.
When you supplement standard customer records with rich customer feedback, you develop a 360-degree view of the customer. These comprehensive customer records help action-oriented teams increase customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and improve the customer experience overall.
Customer feedback adds additional depth to Salesforce records
- Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction (CSAT) can reflect satisfaction with any experience, from a recent support interaction to a product or service. CSAT is typically a measure of the customer’s near-term satisfaction with your organization—not a representation of overall customer health.
- Product feedback: What do customers like about your product? What puts them off? Product feedback surveys capture customer preferences and concerns in a lower-calorie manner than support outreach.
- Net Promoter Score: Net Promoter Score (NPS) reflects long-term satisfaction and customer loyalty. When measured across different segments of customers, NPS predicts growth and churn reliably too. The NPS question captures customer sentiment by asking how likely a customer is to recommend your organization.
- Prospect qualification data: Customer feedback shouldn’t just come from current customers, especially if the primary goal is to drive business by improving customer experience. Prospects have the freshest perspective you can get. They’re evaluating your company—and likely your competitors. Sales reps typically ask some standard qualification questions over phone or email prior to a sales call or demo. Prospect surveys can reduce manual work, formalize the qualification process, and better leverage prospect data by mapping it directly to Salesforce.
- Closed-won/closed-lost feedback: Learning why you won or lost a deal is key to sales success, but it’s tough to collect accurate data. Prospects are rarely transparent with a sales reps, especially when they’re rejecting a proposal. And despite their best efforts to stay objective, sales reps can’t remain totally unbiased when their reporting reflects their performance. Closed-won and closed-lost surveys help systematize this process, documenting clear reasons for wins and losses. With this data in Salesforce, you can then map customer feedback to win percentages. It also provides you with a list of people to reach back out to if prices drop or features are added.
- Reason for churn: Unhappy customers are ripe with info that can help you refine customer onboarding, resources, and support. Customer exit surveys—or “attrition surveys”—document customer sentiment on their way out, including their top reason for leaving. This info is critical for customer success and customer service teams, but it can also inform marketing, sales, and product. For instance, if “feature gap” is a top reason for churn, the product team should know. That knowledge can spur new initiatives that ultimately boost customer retention.
With this information in Salesforce, individual departments and top-level management get an accurate picture of each customer: who they are, what they need, and how the entire company can help them succeed.
Better understand the customer lifecycle
Collecting customer feedback consistently helps you keep a finger on the pulse of your entire customer base. And with customer feedback in Salesforce, you can segment that feedback by each stage of the customer lifecycle.
This context helps you identify when problems typically arise, or how long it takes customers to master your products and services. A new customer will have very different feedback than a veteran, but companies often can’t effectively differentiate between the two. Even if you ask standard profiling questions in your survey, like How long have you been a customer?, turning that data into actionable insight will require a data deep-dive.
Since Salesforce already contains all that data, it’s far more sustainable to leverage the power of your CRM when collecting customer feedback. Instead of asking basic customer questions, let the technology do the heavy lifting. Merge fields automatically communicate info between GetFeedback and Salesforce, like the Account ID, Case ID, or recipient first name.
Once you map survey data to Salesforce, your team can run reports and create dashboards that illuminate customer feedback in the context of your dynamic customer data. Viewing feedback by customer segment—like industry, company size, or month of sign-up—allows you to report on the trends you see month over month or year over year. This can help you quickly identify issues or project future growth.
This complete picture then helps you better understand customers’ unique concerns and obstacles each step of the way.
Example survey questions for each stage of the customer lifecycle:
- After they initially reach out and before they purchase:
- Is the trial valuable?
- Is it too short?
- Should it include additional features?
- What do you think of our pricing?
- After a purchase:
- Why did you choose this product or plan?
- How would you rate the sales/purchase process?
- What did we do well? / What can we improve?
- Approaching renewal:
- How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague? (the NPS question)
- What do you like best about our product or service?
- What can we improve?
- When a customer opts out of your product or service:
- Why did you decide to unsubscribe?
- How can we win you back?
- What could we have improved to retain your business?
- Any other comments/questions?
You’ll be able to report key customer findings, like top reasons for unsubscribes, product and plan preferences, and service needs. Additionally, as you make changes to features and services, you can share that progress with customers who requested updates in the past, incentivizing them to re-engage.
Quickly correct poor experiences
Pushing customer feedback directly to Salesforce ultimately drives proactive support. When a customer has a bad experience, Salesforce workflows and alerts automatically kick off the process to rectify it. The appropriate team members are notified automatically, along with any management or technical team members that may be need to be looped in.
Having a laser focus on correcting poor customer experiences is one of the most important things a company can do.
Consider these customer experience statistics
- 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service. (Zendesk)
- Following a negative customer interaction, 58% of Americans say they’d never use that company again. (New Voice Media)
- 45% of customers share negative experiences on social media. (Zendesk)
From both a damage control and customer retention perspective, focusing on keeping customers happy is the key to success. Having customer feedback data in Salesforce helps develop automated follow-up processes, sounding the alarm before things go permanently sour.
However, responding to unhappy customers is only part of the actual solution. True customer success relies on proactive support and continuous temperature checks.
According to Kolsky, 91% of unhappy customers simply leave without voicing their concerns. Rather than letting this group suffer in silence and eventually churn, make proactive communication a hallmark of your service with quick emails and surveys that facilitate customer engagement.
Identify customer trends
Housing customer feedback in Salesforce allows management to track, measure, and identify trends in customer satisfaction, attrition, and overall customer experience. This pins down relationships between customer health and other key factors, like close rate, pipeline, and case volume.
Teams can also chart customer satisfaction and loyalty trends before and after big changes are made. For example, if CSAT takes a hit right after a pricing or service adjustment, that’s a telltale sign that these changes have had a negative impact on the customer base.
Leaders can compare this month’s forecast or next month’s pipeline to past growth indicators, like overall Net Promoter Score, to predict growth as well. Tracking NPS in Salesforce is particularly valuable, because it helps establish the relationship between loyalty and revenue.
It’s also easy for the entire organization to see the most common reasons for customer churn, which features are in high demand, and how all of this is affecting pipeline.
Create a culture of action
With an additional layer of data in Salesforce, you have a whole new set of information to take action on. GetFeedback pushes customer feedback into Salesforce in near real time. You can create workflows that trigger immediate actions based on specific results, good or bad.
Consider all those times you’ve been blind to customer sentiment. What you would do if you had the answers? The 360-degree view you develop with feedback in you CRM helps get you there. You can ask those questions, push the results to Salesforce, and create processes that solve the problems hindering your customer relationships.
With customer feedback in Salesforce, you can…
- Have a poor CSAT rating trigger an email alert to the record owner, letting them know their customer is unhappy. This same workflow can create a follow-up task for the owner or a new support case, so someone is sure to follow up.
- Ask customers for product feedback, and later reference those requests when you’re developing a roadmap or rolling out new releases.
- When a customer gives you a positive NPS, automatically redirect them to a review site to share feedback publicly. Or try alerting the customer success team, so they can follow up for an in-depth customer story.
- Measure the pipeline influence of your surveys by adding respondents to campaigns.
- Compare segments. Do opportunities that fill out the pre-sales survey close at a better rate than those who don’t.
The idea is to automate processes that generate customer feedback and produce real action. This data is valuable on so many fronts—but if it isn’t integrated with your CRM, it can easily go to waste.
Sharing feedback organization-wide reinforces the fact that every team has an impact on customer experience. When they’re clued in on what customers are saying, they can make better decisions, personalize customer interactions, and focus on initiatives that improve customer experience.
Building a database of customer feedback is one of the best possible ways to keep sight on your primary goal: making customers happy.
Want to learn more about our Salesforce integration? Explore GetFeedback for Salesforce or click below to speak to an expert.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2016. It’s been updated for accuracy and freshness.