This is a guest post by Deirdre O’Donoghue is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2

We all want happy customers.

But how can you improve your customer experience?

The answer is user feedback. Gathering user feedback gives you a sneak peek into the brain of your consumer. If you ask the right questions you can figure out what product improvements need to be prioritized and how you can further optimize the usability of your product.

Successful companies like Uber, Apple, Nordstrom, and Starbucks are already collecting user feedback, so it’s time you start.

3 reasons to gather user feedback

Competition is fierce and if your company isn’t providing a valuable product while keeping customers satisfied, then you might be in trouble. It’s difficult to guess what’s going on in the mind of the consumer, and unless you have a crystal ball, user feedback is the best way to take the guessing game out of it.

Empowers the customer

People want to be heard and feel like they’re doing something impactful. It’s only natural to want to complain after having a bad experience. If there’s no way for the customer to share their experiences they may resolve to a potentially damaging social media post.

Gathering user feedback also creates satisfaction and trust among customers, because seeing an improvement in your product after a complaint will establish more trust in your company.

There’s nothing better than feeling like your message is received. Creating this two-way channel helps companies determine what they’re doing right, and what might need some fine-tuning.

Informs improvement decisions

Companies should be obsessed with their customers, because customers are the people who make a business successful.

User feedback can be used to better train employees, and to build and improve upon products. If a large number of people are complaining about a certain aspect of your product, that’s a pretty good indicator that you should make a change sooner than later.

Customer Feedback Comic

Courtesy of eGrowth Partners

When you’re working for a company it’s easy to “drink the Kool-aid” and assume there’s nothing wrong with your product or service. It can be hard to take a step back and view things from a wider perspective. User reviews do this work for you.

Gains crucial insights

User feedback in the form of customer reviews and NPS surveys saves money and time, and who doesn’t want that?

User feedback saves money by maintaining customer retention, which can really add up if you’re managing customer retention without consumer insights. It also saves time by removing the need to sit in a boardroom and brainstorm what the customer might be thinking.

Lastly, these insights help you to avoid a PR crisis, because user feedback is used to predict future behavior.

How to collect user feedback

There are many ways to collect user feedback. You can collect it on a website with small widgets, your chatbots can collect user feedback, or you can send out an email asking for user feedback. Overall, 84% of communications with customers is visual, so your website design is important to gather feedback.

Using enterprise feedback management software for larger organizations and survey software for SMBs is always a good idea because it allows you to solicit and manage the feedback and data in one place. This allows for easy accessibility for people across the team so that everyone can integrate the user feedback into their specific department.

What to do with the feedback

User feedback should ultimately improve the customer experience. Leveraging your feedback in social media posts and social proof can be effective — and increase customer loyalty. There are some companies that created social media with just their customers in mind.

Companies like Adobe and Buffer are known for their social customer care.

Shoot for the (five) stars

There are only pros to integrating user feedback into your business strategy. Start today so you can save money, gain insights, and ultimately make your customers happy.

Free Customer Satisfaction Survey Template

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Author Bio: Deirdre O’Donoghue is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2. She brings her passion for research and creativity to her writing. In her free time, you can find Deirdre fostering puppies or exploring the Chicago foodie scene. Want to see more of her latest work? Follow her on Twitter @Deirdreodonowho.