6 Tips on Getting Customer Feedback and Making It Actionable While qll entrepreneurs know that customer insights are invaluable to product design and continued improvement, acquiring and organizing useful feedback is easier said than done.

By David Chait

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

All entrepreneurs know that customer insights are invaluable to product design and continued improvement. However, acquiring and organizing useful feedback is easier said than done and developing a strategy can be a daunting task. But it needs to be done.

Based on my experiences at a group-travel planner Travefy, here are six tips to gain user feedback and uncover actionable insights.

Related: The Value of Giving Testimonials and Reviews

1. Ask for it!

It is essential to receive a ton of responses from users, since a small sample can be skewed by the noise of random requests, complaints and issues.

As simple as it sounds, the best way to acquire enough user feedback is simply to ask for it. At Travefy we solicit comments in a variety of ways including automated "personal" emails to all trip organizers during the planning process as well as a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey to all trip participants.

Be sure to utilize some of the great tools on the market to help you manage feedback, such as Zendesk for emails and Delighted for customer surveys.

2. Reduce barriers.

Another way to improve both the quantity and overall quality of user comments is to reduce barriers by soliciting feedback in the moment.

Be it automated emails, in-app chat tools (like Olark or SnapEngage) or simple comment buttons, getting insights at the moment a user hits a bug or friction point has enormous benefits. From a user's perspective, they feel heard, which can turn a negative situation into a positive one. And for you, real-time feedback is often more complete and can help you better understand reproduction steps, emotions and more.

3. Always ask WHY?

No matter what your product is or company does, the bulk of user comments tend to be feature requests or product enhancements, not just bugs. As such, understanding general motivations or "why" someone wants this feature is essential in identifying the actual problem you need to solve.

If you're just reactive to the simple feature requests themselves, you can find yourself on a wild goose chase.

Related: 6 Strategies for Getting Really Great Customer Service

4. Be analytical and identify trends.

Although most feedback tends to be qualitative in nature via emails or comments, a great way to better analyze these user thoughts is to somehow quantify it. A simple way to do so is to simply tag all feedback by categories or request types.

This allows you to pull yourself away from the emotions of feedback to identify actual data trends and build an action plan based on the frequency of topics. To be perfectly honest at Travefy we're at times shocked by how frequently our perceived "top issues" are not even close to the actual most frequently mentioned topics.

5. Segment customers.

When analyzing user feedback segmenting customers can be vital. There are many helpful ways to segment customers in order to prioritize suggestions, many of which depend on your goals and business.

One simple way we typically segment comments are by "free" and "paying" users. While free user requests and insights are valuable, these users generally want more free features and it is often unclear whether those features would in fact move them to the "paid" bucket. Conversely, feedback from paying users can increase paid engagement, enjoyment and even open new revenue streams.

At different times, we prioritize requests from each group depending on our specific growth vs. revenue goals at that moment.

6. Think about impact.

No matter what business you run or how successful you are, time and resources are scarce and a valuable commodity.

As a result, think strategically about all feedback and when creating an action plan ask yourself, what enhancements will have the highest impact or reach the most users?

Related: Bringing a 'Customer-Centric' Focus to Life at Your Company

David Chait

Entrepreneur and Problem Solver; Founder & CEO, Travefy.com

David Donner Chait is the co-founder and CEO of group travel tool Travefy. He previously served as senior policy advisor at the SBA and worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

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