Feedback management is essential for establishing a great work culture within your team and making the most of client input. However, collecting feedback is only one part of the entire process.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the client and customer feedback management process, including strategies, processes, tools, and best practices you can use to request, collect, and analyze feedback.
What is feedback management?
Feedback management is the process of requesting, collecting, analyzing, discussing, and implementing feedback from colleagues, clients, and customers to improve your deliverables, products, or services. Customer feedback management is one of the most effective ways businesses can learn more about the customer experience and expectations, to improve customer satisfaction and reduce customer churn.
What is a feedback strategy?
A feedback strategy simply defines the processes and actions you need to take, gather, manage, evaluate, and implement the collected feedback from customers and clients. This strategy is designed to provide a clear idea of what clients and customers expect from your brand, without assumptions.
Types of feedback management
At its core, feedback management is about sourcing responsive data from your customers or clients, to guide business decisions and improve the product or service. However, depending on the type of service or product your business offers, your business could cater to either clients or customers, and although they have a common end goal, there are slight differences in how the feedback management process is coordinated.
Below, we will explain how customer feedback management differs from client feedback management and the cases in which they apply.
Client feedback typically refers to input from a client on a particular piece of work. The information provided by the client will help you understand if the produced content meets their expectations and what needs to be changed. Client feedback typically comes from a single person or just the team involved on the client’s side in a project or piece of work.
This type of feedback process is commonly used by marketing agencies and creative professionals, such as video producers, photographers, and designers, to get clear feedback from their clients. These professionals often get client feedback via meetings, feedback management tools, communication tools, etc. This article will mainly focus on this type of feedback management.
The customer feedback loop can be less focused, as it provides information about a customer’s general experience with a brand. But it can also be about the customer’s experience with a specific feature of a product or service.
Customer feedback mostly has multiple correspondents, since often, the results get more accurate, the more customers give feedback. Therefore, surveys are open to anyone or a specific user group of your services or products. The customer feedback process is common to retailers, and e-commerce merchants. Some of the methods used to collect customer feedback are surveys, emails, and communication software.
Why is feedback management important?
Your audience’s opinions about their experience with your brand are helpful information that you can use to adjust your business, to better fit their needs. If you’re not handling client and customer feedback with a feedback management system, you’re left with assumptions. When those assumptions aren’t aligned with your client’s needs, you stand the risk of customer churn, delivering a poor product, reduced customer satisfaction, or, worse, losing the clients.
That said, here are a few points that make client and customer feedback management important to your business.
- Feedback management is essential for businesses that want to define and create products/offer services that withstand the test of time. By listening to your clients and taking action based on the data you collect, businesses can effectively deliver better end results and keep customers happy.
- Feedback management also helps with client retention, as your clients are more likely to collaborate with you long-term when they know their opinions are valued and respected. Statistics show that 78% of customers are willing to work with an agency after a bad experience if their issue is resolved.
- Additionally, feedback is essential in improving the customer experience and reducing customer churn. When adequately managing customer feedback, you can easily ask your customers to tell you what they really think about your products and get valuable customer data. Honest feedback can then be used to make direct improvements to features or to deliver services and quality customer experience; ultimately reducing customer churn.
Feedback management channels
Having one or multiple channels, through which you can gather valuable insights and efficiently manage your feedback flow, can help prevent miscommunication between your team and the clients. Therefore, we’ll take a closer look at the most common client and customer feedback management channels and how you can use them.
Email is quite popular in client and customer feedback management because it is a universal communication method. This channel allows you to contact clients and loyal customers directly. It’s a more personal approach, allowing you to engage privately with the person.
- Allows for direct and private communication.
- Can be used for both client and customer feedback management.
- An easy and quick way to share surveys with a huge number of customers.
- Can be time-consuming to organize, track, and consolidate all incoming responses.
- Customers may prefer giving anonymous feedback (through a survey), instead of answering emails.
Meetings can be a great avenue for clients to provide feedback. They can be in-person meetings or online video conferences, using software like Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet.
Meetings give you direct access to the clients and offer the added advantage of getting a first-hand experience of opinions and reactions, which can be later analyzed to provide a deeper understanding of clients’ needs and motivations.
- Allows you to build rapport with the client, for better quality feedback.
- Can be recorded and stored for future reference.
- You get live reactions and unfiltered feedback.
- Clearer communication and fewer misunderstandings, compared to email feedback.
- Can be difficult to set up, as you need to find a suitable time slot.
- Can be very time-consuming.
- Doesn’t work for general customer feedback management.
Feedback management tools
Feedback management tools enable businesses to simplify and automate the client feedback process, by providing one central platform where you can request, collect, track and manage feedback on files. Additionally, these platforms have a project dashboard that helps you keep track of all incoming feedback.
- Collect and manage all feedback in one place.
- Easy and fast for clients and reviewers to leave feedback.
- Feedback is very clear and precise.
- Increases transparency for everyone involved.
- Streamlines collaboration and communication.
- Good feedback management tools are not free.
Communication tools can be used for both client and customer feedback management. However, they are more common in customer feedback management, as they are designed to enable you to communicate with a large audience at once, in a more interactive manner, and get valuable customer insight. Examples of these communication software platforms include Chatbots, LiveChat via Intercom, and Zendesk.
- Can be integrated into your website and software.
- Can be used to communicate with a large customer base.
- Gives users the feeling of personal communication.
- Most communication tools are not available for free.
- Might be less suitable for client feedback management.
Project management tools
Project management tools help you plan, organize, and manage tasks and people within projects. These software options are more useful for managing the implementation of feedback than collecting it. Therefore, changes that need to be made are added as tasks to a project board and get assigned to the right people to work on them.
- Provides a centralized location for managing the implementation of feedback on certain projects.
- Not suitable for collecting customer feedback.
- Most project management software is not available for free.
A survey is the best channel for collecting detailed and honest customer feedback from a large audience. Another benefit is that the answers can be given anonymously. Survey tools can also be used to gather feedback about the customer journey and get client feedback about the general experience of working with your team. However, it’s not suitable to get feedback on a specific deliverable.
- Best for a quantitative feedback management strategy.
- Can be used to source customer feedback from a large audience.
- Can be shared via several channels, including email, social media, and the web.
- Not suitable for feedback on a piece of work.
Feedback management process: How to manage client feedback
Now that you have a better understanding of what feedback management is, let’s look at exactly how you can practically get and manage these actionable insights. Here’s a step-by-step guide to managing client feedback.
1. Share files with clients and ask for feedback.
The first step is requesting feedback from your client. This can be done using a client feedback form or client feedback software. It typically involves sharing the file(s) of interest with the client and asking them to share their opinion and input on the selected channel. In some cases, you might need to follow up, to remind the client to leave their feedback, just in case they missed the first request.
2. Collect feedback
The second step in the client feedback management process is collecting actionable feedback. Now it’s the client’s turn to go ahead and share their feedback on the work. This client data is usually presented as suggestions and comments on how to improve the work to their satisfaction. If you use feedback software, you will already have all comments in the same file. If you use any other channel, you might need to consolidate all the feedback from multiple emails or chat messages.
3. Discuss feedback
Next up, discussing feedback. Here, you start with a comprehensive view of the feedback, to make sure you understand the change request correctly. If you’re not sure about a comment, take the time to figure things out with your client. Only if you really understand what the client means and wants, will you be able to make the right changes.
4. Act on the feedback
Now it’s time to implement the received feedback and make changes to your work. This means you need to create (if it’s not done automatically by your feedback tool) a list with all the change requests. Then, open the document, design, or video editor and revise the content accordingly.
5. Follow up: more feedback or final approval.
After you have completed the changes, you will share the new version of the file again with your client. It’s very likely that you might need several review rounds until your client is completely happy and satisfied. However, keeping your clients in the loop and sharing every new version will ensure more effective collaboration and help you get your approval on the final asset faster.
Feedback management best practices
As rewarding as effective client and customer feedback management can be, the process itself can be quite challenging, if not properly managed. So, here are some tips and best practices, to make client and customer feedback management a smooth, sustainable, and simple system.
Centralize your feedback
Feedback management might not be the easiest thing and it can be quite tedious if the data is scattered across various communication channels. Use one central platform with the best tools to collect and manage feedback from clients or customers. This ensures nothing slips through, helps you to keep an overview, and makes it easier to analyze important features and act on the feedback.
Be clear about the feedback you want
Before you start collecting feedback, you need to be clear about what kind of feedback you want and from which audience. When gathering customer feedback, ensure that your questions are as detailed and clear as possible. The same goes for collecting client feedback. Whenever something is unclear, ask them to clarify their change request, to ensure there is no miscommunication.
Create a clear process
Your team can save valuable time and effort, by having a clear process for client and customer feedback management in place. More importantly, all stakeholders that are somehow involved have to be on board. This way, you have a transparent customer feedback loop and scalable process. A clear process also avoids confusion and misunderstandings, as everybody knows what needs to be done and when.
Get feedback with context
Ensure all client and customer feedback has a clear context, to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretation. You can do this by allowing your clients to add comments and annotations directly on the shared files. For customer surveys, you can use images, gifs, or short videos, to make it visually clear which part or feature of your product the question refers to.
Tools for effective feedback management
A feedback management tool is one of the most efficient ways of receiving and managing client feedback. Now we will have a closer look at our favorite tool and tell you where you can find the full software overview.
Filestage enables teams of all sizes to share, discuss, and approve all their files, all in one place – including videos, images, designs, documents, websites, interactive content, and audio files. It is great for enterprise feedback management.
With Filestage, you don’t need to chase people over email and manage approvals in presentations or a spreadsheet. The feedback management platform comes with a range of useful features, designed to make the review and approval process easy and stress-free for clients and businesses.
- In-context annotations and comments allow reviewers to give precise feedback and avoid misunderstandings.
- Automated due date reminders to ensure you meet your deadlines.
- Integrations with a range of creative software and other project management platforms.
- Add an unlimited number of free reviewers to your projects.
- Structure your files in projects and folders, to stay organized.
- Automated versioning of files, so you always get feedback on the latest version.
- See the status of all your files at a glance and know which ones are ready for action.
More client feedback software
If you’re looking to explore more options, we’ve gathered a list of the best client feedback software and design feedback tools in the market, to help you choose the most suitable feedback management system for your business.
An efficient client and customer feedback management system can be the difference between setting your business up for success with a happy and loyal customer base and losing clients to other businesses.
This is why it’s critical to use a feedback management tool to set up a consistent feedback process. Remember to keep it centralized and organized, while keeping your clients in the loop and optimizing your products, services, and experience, to improve customer satisfaction.
Muriel loves to create any kind of content and is a big fan of graphics that are visually catching and provide value to the reader.