Gathering Customer Feedback that Actually Matters with Janelle Estes of UserTesting

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“Customers can’t tell you what they need, but they can certainly tell you what their challenges are. It’s up to you as a company to understand how do I connect myself with that challenge?”

Key Insights

Adjusting for changing customer expectations

Customer expectations have changed rapidly over the last several years. In fact, 72% of marketers say meeting customer expectations is more difficult than it was a year ago. But while it may be more difficult to predict how customer expectations are changing — and we can all agree that most historical trends are now useless — Janelle shares what tools brands do have at their disposal today that can allow them to get a pulse on their customers in real time.

“How do I connect my messaging, my brand, my offering with the problem and potential solution that we can provide?”

What metrics really matter when analyzing customer satisfaction?

Marketers often get too caught up in meeting internal business KPIs, that they lose sight of what metrics/measurements are most important in understanding customer satisfaction. NPS is an imperfect, but important measure that we can use to stay in touch with customers.

“The power behind NPS is when you do notice your score in a place you don’t like, or you do notice that your competitors are outpacing you, that’s where you start to engage with customers on that human level, right? Understanding what’s going on, why is this happening? And most importantly, what’s the action that we need to take to make a shift.”

The RIGHT ways to gather feedback from your customers 

  1. Actually watch your customer engage with your product. So many companies skip this step, but it’s a vital human-to-human connector to really understand what is most important to your customers. 
  2. Ask the right questions. Avoid “Yes” or “No” questions. Don’t over-prompt. Leave questions broad and open-ended.
  3. Don’t rely only on data tracking to understand how your customer is engaging with your product.

“[If] we’re only getting data from people who have agreed to be tracked. What are we missing? You’re not getting the whole picture because there’s this whole big chunk of people that have decided not to let you do that. And so you know very little about them and behavior. That’s why this [actually engaging with your customer] is so important because it gives you that fuller perspective.”

How to effectively incorporate customer feedback into your UX 

“There is no shortage of issues with every experience. No design and no experience will ever be perfect. But when you are collecting this feedback, how do you then make your suggestions back to the teams in a way where you can tie that to some sort of impact?”

About the Guest:

Janelle Estes is a results-oriented executive defining customer-centric best practices. Janelle has nearly 20 years of experience as a CX leader, strategist, and practitioner with the ability to positively impact key business strategies and metrics.

In her role at UserTesting, she’s a valued partner for setting strategic priorities, identifying unmet customer needs, visioning strategic product and service offerings, and sponsoring critical customer accounts to meet strategic and financial objectives.

Janelle also co-authored the recent book, User Tested.

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Episode 312