Customer feedback can illuminate areas you need to improve 

Ms Ruth Ndawula

What you need to know:

  • Customer feedback acts as a guiding light, illuminating areas where companies can improve their products, services, and overall customer experience

In today's highly competitive business landscape, delivering exceptional customer experience is a crucial differentiator for companies across industries. One of the most valuable resources that can drive this differentiation is customer feedback. 

Understanding the power of customer feedback

Customer feedback acts as a guiding light, illuminating areas where companies can improve their products, services, and overall customer experience. It provides valuable insights into customer preferences, pain points, and expectations. 

Through actively seeking and listening to feedback, companies can gain a competitive edge by consistently meeting customer needs and surpassing their expectations. 

According to a report by Smith Market Research (2022), customer feedback has a significant impact on enhancing company performance and success. 

The study conducted surveys and interviews with a diverse range of businesses across various industries to evaluate the influence of customer feedback on organisational growth.

The report found that customer feedback provides valuable insights into customer preferences, needs, and expectations. The report indicated that 85 percent of the surveyed companies considered customer feedback as a primary source of information for understanding customer requirements. 

Through analysing feedback received using channels such as surveys, reviews, and social media, companies gain a deeper understanding of their target audience. 

This knowledge enables businesses to make informed decisions when developing new products or refining existing ones, aligning their offerings with customer expectations and increasing customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, customer feedback serves as an early warning system for identifying potential issues and areas of improvement. 

The report highlighted that 75 percent of the participating companies reported using customer feedback to identify product or service flaws. 

Through actively monitoring and analysing customer feedback, companies can identify recurring themes, common complaints, and areas where their offerings may fall short. 

Armed with this information, organisations can implement timely adjustments, address pain points, and proactively resolve customer issues, thereby enhancing product quality and customer experience.

How to collect customer feedback

There are various methods that can be used to collect customer feedback, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, online reviews, social media monitoring, and feedback forms. 

Customer feedback methods selected should align with the company objectives and target audience. 

Customer feedback is a catalyst for innovation. For instance, UAP Old Mutual uses AJUA, a text message-based feedback system, to obtain real-time feedback on insurance products and services, which helps the company deliver a superior customer experience. 

Recently the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda (IRA) recognised the AJUA platform and awarded UAP Old Mutual for having this innovative solution. 

The AJUA platform helps the company to analyse feedback as a means of identifying areas of improvement, refine offerings, and product development tailored to meet specific customer needs. 

This iterative process has provided UAP Old Mutual with feedback that has been channeled into innovations designed to help customers communicate effectively with the company, seamlessly access information, and conveniently make transactions.

Companies, as we shall see below, can leverage on feedback to provide better customer experiences.

Governing public sentiment

Sentiment is the feeling and emotion that customers have about the company as a whole, products and services, personnel, and the interactions customers have with the company. 

Customer sentiment is more than just a list of keywords; it is a complex set of perspectives reflected in the tone of customer’s posts on social media, their online reviews, voice on phone calls, words used during chat sessions or any other interaction that brings them in contact with the company. 

Gathering and measuring customer sentiment helps companies pinpoint their customer pain points,   which then helps them design better experiences. 

Even more pertinently, it gives companies the power to control and govern public sentiment, which is key for brand equity, customer retention and loyalty. 

Personalising customer experiences

Customer feedback serves as a valuable tool for understanding individual preferences and tailoring experiences, accordingly. 

Whether it is through personalised communication, customised insurance plans, or streamlined claim processes, companies are able to successfully foster stronger customer relationships by implementing feedback-driven personalisation strategies.

In an era where customer expectations are rapidly evolving, companies must adapt and prioritise customer feedback to deliver exceptional experiences. 

Ruth Ndawula is the UAP Old Mutual customer experience manager