Driving growth with digital customer feedback: 4 insights from CX leaders

4 tips from the SurveyMonkey CX Leader Roundtable Community

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Christine Rimer

April 2, 2021

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Customer experience is a never-ending journey to gather feedback across the customer’s journey, align the cross-functional resources to take action on what matters most, and measure the business impact of those improvements. With the increased prioritization and importance of their customers’ digital experience, CX leaders' responsibilities are expanding and they are hungry for benchmark data, practical advice, and best practices.  

At last week’s SurveyMonkey CX Leader Community Roundtable, we discussed CX in the digital channel, diving deeper into how best to leverage customer feedback to drive growth. To fuel our discussion, we surveyed the group of 130 senior CX leaders to understand how they gather customer feedback across their digital product, support, and marketing experience to reduce friction, optimize content, and increase key task completion. My friend Chris Seidell, VP of Product Growth at SurveyMonkey, joined as my co-host to share the practical lessons he has learned to leverage customer feedback to drive growth. Here, I’ll recap the top takeaways and best practices we discussed. 

By the numbers: Gathering customer feedback in the digital channel is a priority

Of the CX leaders who participate in our roundtable, 68% say they manage a holistic CX program with influence over their functional peers in support, success, product and marketing who are responsible for the digital experience. Customer feedback in the digital channel is increasingly common, with 46% gathering feedback on their marketing site and over 60% on their product and support sites. When it comes to analysis, 50% of CX leaders join digital customer feedback with customer data for more actionable insights and another 38% have plans to do so soon.  

And while 60% of CX leaders say their organizations are gathering customer feedback in their digital channel to drive growth, most CX leaders still feel they could benefit from best practices for delivering impact from their digital customer feedback program. 

Tip #1: Start with the end in mind

Many CX leaders start with customer feedback, then push their organization to take action—attempting to measure the business impact as the final step.  Chris instead starts by signing up for a specific incremental growth target tied to improving the digital experience. To drive growth, the team needs to either acquire or retain more customers—and like most SaaS organizations, reducing churn is the biggest growth opportunity.

Tip #2: Target your efforts based on data

With a goal to improve retention, Chris and team looked at the in-product tasks to identify which behavior was the best leading indicator for retention.  Once that task was identified, the team narrowed their focus on reducing friction to completing that task so that the nebulous goal of “improving CX” becomes much more targeted and measurable with “increase this task completion rate.”

Tip #3: Assemble the right team

SurveyMonkey’s product growth team is small and nimble with respected product, design, and engineering talent to run experiments to A/B test incremental changes that drive a particular behavior. The team depends on support from leadership and peers because by starting with the outcome, they will identify opportunities to run tests throughout the product’s digital experience in code bases that they don’t own. 

Tip #4: Run experiments with feedback

At SurveyMonkey, the team develops hypotheses to reduce friction in the task that is most closely aligned to retention. They run these experiments with real-time customer feedback targeted to the specific steps or tasks the team is testing, giving them the understanding of the “why behind the what.”  For example, the team learned that many customers were confused when trying to upload images when they are creating a survey. By rolling out improvements to that step through A/B testing and gathering customer feedback, the team has increased SurveyMonkey’s retention rate.  

A product-led growth approach married with digital customer feedback using GetFeedback Digital generated millions of dollars of incremental growth for one of SurveyMonkey’s products. The methodology breaks down the lofty goal of improving the customers experience into smaller incremental steps targeted to improve the parts of the customer journey that most align to the business outcome of retaining customers. Resources to act on feedback are allocated because if the digital product growth team is data-driven, focused, and given the time to target, test, learn, and repeat, the financial outcomes will follow. 

For CX leaders struggling to align their efforts to business outcomes, an experimental approach with customer feedback is the key to driving impact in the digital channel. 

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