Be Proactive: Leverage Customer Feedback Systems

by: | November 12, 2012

If you run an online business, do you know if your customers are satisfied with your service and site? How would you know if someone had an issue? Businesses that use a customer feedback and support system hear from their customers and can diagnose support issues. When you cater to your customers’ needs and solve their problems, you will inevitably end up with happier customers and nurture brand ambassadors.

What are Customer Feedback Systems?

Customer feedback systems (CFS) engage customer communication, so businesses can understand customers’ needs and solve support issues. Most of them have the same basic functionalities.

They offer their services with widgets like feedback tabs that bring up a simple feedback form and forum-style, community-powered support systems. They’ll also often offer integration with iPhone apps and third-party services like Google Apps, SalesForce, and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Why Should You Use It?

There are two main reasons why you should integrate a CFS into your website: product improvement and customer support.

Product Improvement

Your customers are using your products or service, so they’re a great resource for finding out how you can make your product or service better. When you respond to your users’ needs and improve your products or services for them, you create raving fans and brand ambassadors, the most likely people to offer word-of-mouth marketing. A CFS lets you ask your customers directly what you could be doing to improve your product for them.

Customer Support

Typically your most vocal customers are either your most satisfied or least satisfied customers. These customers will take to the streets (review sites and social media, in Internet terms) to vent their frustrations more often than declaring their happiness.

If you can give them a place where they can communicate directly with you, and you can solve their issues, you have a chance of changing their views of your business. If you can change their views, you can potentially keep a bad review from showing up online. More importantly, you might stop that customer from going to your competitor, which is significantly cheaper than finding new customers.

The Best Customer Feedback Systems

Like any other kind of product or service, there is a huge range of choices available. I’ve outlined some of the best ones I could find below.


Used by Groupon, Adobe, and Xerox, Zendesk has one of the most fully-featured and versatile systems available. They’re very affordable for small businesses and scalable for large businesses and enterprise customers.

Get Satisfaction

Get Satisfaction is a trusted system for many large companies and small companies alike. Their software is versatile and easy to use. Spotify, Microsoft, and use Get Satisfaction to improve their customer retention.


Used by companies like Seesmic and Posterous, UserVoice has a simple, feature-rich interface and simple pricing. They also have a customer timeline showing you which services they recommend at different stages in a business’s lifecycle.

WP Customer Reviews

If you’re looking for a completely free plugin for your WordPress website, this could be a good option. I’ve never used this plugin, so I can’t recommend it completely, but it could be a good option for a business that’s just starting out.

Do you have experience with any of using a CFS? Has it helped your business? Let us know in the comments!

Posted in: B2C, Campaign Development, E-Commerce, Engage!, Professional Services, Social Networks, Usability

About the Writer:

Born in England and raised in the U.S., Charles Forster is the marketing director and partner at Vine & Grain, a company that creates management technologies for bars and restaurants. Prior to that position, he ran a graphic design company, Call Me Chaz, in Philadelphia, PA and Orlando, FL. He focused on branding, websites, print, video and marketing for small business clients up and down the east coast. He's a self-prescribed car nut and foodie. He's also the curator for This Is Visceral, a site devoted to poster art.

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