Making sure there are strong, user-friendly customer feedback channels in place can help brands create loyal customers, attract new leads, and solve organizational problems.

Simply receiving customer feedback means nothing if you don’t analyze and act on the customer insights you receive. Empowering customers to speak up is a great first step, but really listening to what's being said and making positive changes based on customer feedback is what sets the most successful companies apart from the rest.

Enter the art of the well-oiled customer feedback loop.

What exactly is a customer feedback loop?

89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service, but 67% of churn is avoidable if a customer’s problem is addressed and solved in a timely manner.

Proactive review collection and consolidation allows brands to receive and organize a steady stream of insightful feedback about their product and service.

A customer feedback loop allows you to dissect and address these concerns head-on, making the changes necessary to salvage existing customer relationships and build stronger one’s in the future.

While there is not textbook definition for the exact steps of a successful feedback loop and it make take some finessing and personalization for your brand to get a system in place that works for you, and in the end, essentially, it all boils down to these things:

1. Listen

Create a clear-cut and simple platform for your users to share their feedback with you. This could be through customer surveys, social listening, or through a dedicated review collection service, like those offered to ConsumerAffairs for Brands.

2. Learn

Whatever your method, getting your hands — or, er, eyes — on as much raw customer feedback as possible is going to go a long way in helping you analyze your greatest wins as well as your greatest opportunities for growth.

Look for common threads in the feedback.

Are most issues tied back to the same area of the customer experience (like shipping time, or maybe a product functionality issue)? If so, you can identify this as an area that calls for some deeper organizational improvement. If your customer responses are more varied, reaching out privately on an individual basis to get more information from each customer will help you get to the heart of the problem.

3. Act

Once you’ve heard from your customers, and have analyzed what areas of your product or service may need a little TLC, the crucial final step is to act on the information you’ve uncovered. Make those changes, and let your customers know they were heard.

Take ConsumerAffairs accredited brand Easy Rest Sleep Systems, who through the review collection (and the geographic insights tool offered on the ConsumerAffairs for Brands app) discovered a breakdown with a delivery team was causing customer dissatisfaction. They were able to use the reviews as a learning tool and set the department up for greater success.

Using reviews as a data source for important organizational decisions can be a huge asset, and remains a largely overlooked one for many brands. Sitting down and fine-tuning that customer feedback loop can put you on a great track for greater (and trackable!) success for years to come.