Top 5 Customer Feedback Mistakes to Avoid & Tips on How to Avoid

Top 5 Customer Feedback Mistakes To Avoid

Top 5 Customer Feedback Mistakes To Avoid & How

Capturing customer feedback is critical to the success of any business. And while most companies attempt to do it correctly, did you know that there are some huge mistakes that most companies still make while collecting feedback from their customers? We have put together a list of the top 5 customer feedback mistakes below. Our recommendation… if your company is guilty of any of these, then its time to make some quick changes!

1. Asking for feedback at the wrong times. 

You should be allowing your engaged customers to give feedback at every interaction they have with your business. Not a month later, a week later or even a day later because at that point, it’s likely too late. And if they do provide feedback its likely they had a very good or very bad experience. When you make feedback readily available to give, easily and quickly, then you have hit the gold mine. Then you will have a clear understanding of how your customers feel about your business.

2. Not having an action plan in place for the feedback received. 

Collecting feedback is pointless if you’re not going to do anything with it. And customers will eventually figure that out and stop sharing their experiences. Before you kick off your customer feedback initiative, make sure you have a plan in place for how the feedback will be reviewed, addressed with the customer if needed, acted upon and most importantly, communicated back to customers on what specific improvements have been made. Otherwise, it’s just taking up valuable time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere.

3. Only focusing on the negative. 

Sure, we all do this. It’s normal to home in on the negative ratings and comments when it comes to customer feedback. But if that’s all you’re focusing on then you are not understanding the true picture of your customers’ experiences. Make sure to review all the positive feedback so you have a well-rounded view of what people are saying about your company. This is also a great way to identify what you should continue doing.

4. Not responding to feedback promptly (or not responding at all). 

Customers expect companies to quickly address their concerns and inquiries. If companies don’t, the reality is that your customer will take their business elsewhere. As mentioned previously, ensure that your feedback program has a process in place for responding to customer feedback in a timely manner. SurveyStance has an awesome feature where you can auto-create tasks if a customer says that they would like to be contacted. The task can be sent someone responsible to review the customers survey responses and then reach out to them to discuss and remedy the issue. The feature also includes deadline reminders, a place to input notes and task statuses to ensure no customer reach out slips through the cracks.

5. Ignoring constructive criticism. 

It’s easy to brush off criticism as being not important or helpful, but that’s a huge… HUGE mistake. Constructive criticism is an opportunity. It can be incredibly valuable in helping your business improve its products, services, and policies. These opportunities are like gold and should be used to make your company better!

Customer feedback can be a game changer for your business—but only if it’s done right! Avoid making these 5 common mistakes so that you can get the most out of your customer feedback program.

If done correctly, customer feedback can seriously change the game for your company. To make the most of your customer feedback program, avoid the following 5 (common) mistakes.

You can use a variety of techniques to enhance customer feedback and obtain more frank and perceptive comments from your clients. Emoji rating kiosk surveys and other popular tactics are used to determine a customer’s mood at any given moment. Email signatures with one-click emoji surveys are very effective digitally.

Successful practices to boost customer feedback is to promote your initiative. Start top down with leadership encouraging all employees to ask customers to share their feedback. Businesses can also offer incentives for participation, such as coupons or discounts on future purchases. And if you really want your customers to partake, you might consider getting creative with your questions or requests for feedback – try using custom value inputs where you write their answers (ie Amazing, Meh, Not so great) in a fun and engaging way.

Whichever method you choose, remember that it’s all about finding the right balance between being effective and engaging, so that you can truly harness the power of customer feedback.

What is one of the most impactful mistakes you’ve personally made around customer feedback? Can you describe the steps you took to address it so others can learn from you?  Here is what 8 thought leaders have to say.

  • Outsourcing Feedback: A Lesson in Flexibility
  • Emotional Responses: A Barrier to Understanding
  • Balancing Automation and Human Interaction in Feedback
  • Survey Design: Countering Bias with Forced-Rating
  • Customer Clarification: A Procedure for Better Understanding
  • The Gap Between Words and Actions: A Feedback Dilemma
  • Discerning Value: The Art of Feedback Evaluation
  • Emotional Detachment: Learning from Critical Feedback

Outsourcing Feedback: A Lesson in Flexibility

Early in my career in product development, my team and I put our customer feedback processes in the hands of an external agency. We wanted to focus on product delivery, and feedback management seemed to be in the hands of experts. We realized it was a huge mistake, as the inflexibility and loss of knowledge were immense. We created easy-to-implement feedback channels with survey tools that were in our own hands. Taking the time to create and analyze our questions paid dividends in several ways. Most notably, increased flexibility in survey design and faster implementation of product improvements.

Leander Haidacher, Product Consultant and Coach,

Emotional Responses: A Barrier to Understanding

When providing a service with all dedication, especially if you are the person responsible for the relationship with the customer, it’s natural to develop some level of affection and/or feel personally hit by criticism. This can lead to emotional responses and feelings of being personally attacked. I recall an instance when the director of an institution, one of the largest for which I was responsible, criticized the engagement plan. She claimed she was unaware of the actions that had been carried out for a year or that nothing in the plan had been applied. I required support from other team members to understand that the criticism was not directed at me personally. After stepping back and becoming less emotional, I realized that there was a miscommunication within her institution. The person she had delegated to monitor the actions did not pass on the information to her. From this situation, I’ve learned not to take criticism personally and not to respond or react immediately.

Fernanda Da Cal, Renewal Manager and Customer Experience Manager, Elsevier

Balancing Automation and Human Interaction in Feedback

A grave mistake around customer feedback was assuming that technology could replace the human touch. At one point, I relied heavily on automated surveys and chatbots to collect and respond to feedback, neglecting the personal connection with our customers and the importance of the human element. Once I realized this, I rectified it by balancing both tech-driven feedback systems with human interaction. We maintained automated surveys for efficiency but also started engaging in one-on-one conversations, addressing concerns personally and adopting a more hands-on approach. This change allowed us to build stronger relationships and trust with our customers, proving that technology should complement, not replace, human interaction in customer feedback management.

Harry Morton, Founder, Lower Street

Survey Design: Countering Bias with Forced-Rating

One of the most impactful mistakes I made around customer feedback was not paying enough attention to survey design, which led to skewed and unreliable results. I learned that a poorly designed survey can yield useless or inaccurate insights because of cognitive biases like central tendency bias, where people just pick the neutral score. I took several steps to improve our feedback collection process. Firstly, I invested more time in crafting well-designed survey questions that were clear, concise, and unbiased. Additionally, I implemented forced-rating surveys (no neutral responses) to counteract the central tendency bias. These changes significantly improved the quality of our feedback and allowed us to make data-driven decisions to enhance our products and services. It’s a lesson I’ve carried forward to ensure we continue gathering valuable insights from our customers.

Neil Hodgson-Coyle, COO, TechNews180

Customer Clarification: A Procedure for Better Understanding

When it came to consumer feedback, one big mistake I made was thinking I knew what the customer needed without asking for more information. I misconstrued their input and made adjustments that fell short of their expectations. I put in place a procedure for customer clarification to deal with this. Before making improvements, we contacted customers to get clarification on any unclear or ambiguous feedback. This enhanced our comprehension and demonstrated to clients how much we appreciated their feedback. It changed the way we used feedback and improved our capacity to apply customer insights to achieve significant improvements.

Matt Magnante, Head of Marketing, Fitness Volt

The Gap Between Words and Actions: A Feedback Dilemma

There’s often a gap between what people say and what they do, especially in customer feedback. Responses can be influenced by your recent interactions with them and their latest experiences with your company. Such biases might lead to feedback that doesn’t accurately predict their future actions. Unfortunately, this is a mistake I’ve made when developing new products to serve my existing customers. Because I did not receive authentic feedback apart from our existing relationship, it prevented my products from doing well in the marketplace.

Jason Vaught, Director of Content, SmashBrand

Discerning Value: The Art of Feedback Evaluation

One of the most impactful mistakes I made in the past, when it comes to customer feedback (which I know a lot of businesses used to make), is taking the “the customer is always right” approach. The reality is that, while the customer can provide you with great insight into your company and their experience, at the end of the day, it is just their individual opinion, and not all the feedback provided is actually going to be valuable to your business. 

The skill comes in identifying the feedback that truly is valuable to your business and has been provided as a way to help you improve, as opposed to simply a complaint about something (not that complaints aren’t ever helpful). Once you can identify these, you can seize the opportunity to improve your business in the best ways possible.

Lauren Carlstrom, COO, Oxygen Plus

Emotional Detachment: Learning from Critical Feedback

Getting too emotional or offended, rather than taking the time to learn the lesson, is a common mistake. I now tell anyone who works as a contractor for our organization to look at any critical feedback as a learning opportunity. Of course, it might cause some offense at first, but step back and come back to the feedback after the anger has settled. When you’re in a space where you can look at it objectively, then you are able to see so much more. For example, you’re also able to let things go and find the lesson more easily.

John Mooney, President, IML

A little about us here at SurveyStance…

We make it quick and simple for your customers to give you feedback. Our fun and friendly smiley emoji surveys make it easy for companies to get the insights they need, without putting their customers through a, what feels like a never ending – boring survey questionnaire.

Not only are our surveys quick and easy to complete, but they’re also super fun! So, if you’re looking for a creative and engaging way to collect customer feedback, then Emoji Surveys is the perfect solution for you.


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