Expand Customer Listening with Your Customer’s Unaided Feedback

Sources for Expanding Your Customer Listening

Unaided feedback provides real-time trending on customer issues as they are occurring. Unaided feedback is the constant flow of comments, insights and issues your customers and partners volunteer to you.

Unaided feedback also includes looking inside your data to understand customer behaviors across the stages of their experience, to identify trends, opportunities and customer at-risk experiences.

Customer Listening Interaction Points

Through every interaction point, your customers are likely giving your feedback. But because customer’s unaided feedback is collected independently throughout the organization, often with inconsistent categorization, most companies haven’t harnessed the power of this information in telling the story of the customers’ experience.

What I see when we start this work is that companies who do capture unaided customer feedback have a hard time creating an impact with it because it does not roll-up. The call center has one categorization they track and report. Marketing has their own. Sales their own feedback. Social media is often reportedly separately with yet another categorization. Each comes as an independent report, and none of it is stitched together.

I call the opportunities for capturing unaided feedback ‘listening pipes.’ You likely have many opportunities, with varying volumes and levels of complexity in gathering feedback from customers.  You need to determine your highest volume listening pipes that will enable trending of real-time feedback.

Some sources for expanding your customer listening through these pipes are:

  • Customer behavior data showing responses to experiences, products, services.
  • Feedback customers provide during call center calls.
  • Social media on your customer boards and external sites.
  • Customer feedback during a warranty or claim experience.
  • Customer feedback given to partners.
  • Customer feedback provided on your voluntary feedback button on your website.
  • Feedback provided during a return experience.

The power of unaided feedback will be dependent on leaders agreeing on establishing a common categorization of issues across the enterprise. This is important to move anecdotal customer feedback from letters read at meetings to a volume of common issues that cannot be ignored. The key is to pick 2-3 listening pipes with the most tonnage or volume so that there are real trends with high enough volumes to be taken seriously.


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