Survey: More than half of customers will defect unless their feedback is recognized

Companies tend to think of their apps as marketing or e-commerce channels. Apps can also be the source of valuable customer feedback; however, most companies are failing to utilize them for customer insights.

Those companies that do seek user feedback through smartphones typically don’t implement or respond to the feedback they receive. These findings come from a new study from Apptentive and SurveyMonkey. Based on more than 1,200 consumer responses from the SurveyMonkey Audience panel, the instrument was fielded in December 2015.

Apptentive says about one percent of customers provide unsolicited feedback. However, 93 percent of survey respondents said they would provide feedback if asked. Apptentive focuses on in-app customer feedback, and the report contains some best practices for seeking and obtaining feedback via apps. Yet the lessons of the survey are broadly applicable to all customer feedback.

The survey argues that feedback is a key tool for customer loyalty and that ignoring feedback will almost certainly damage customer retention. It found that those who leave feedback expect some sort of response. Fifty-five percent of respondents said that if their feedback is ignored, they would be less likely to remain a customer. The majority of respondents (67 percent) said that they never receive responses to their feedback.

The primary reason consumers provide feedback is to be helpful, rather than for incentives. According to the survey, “the top two reasons cited were to help other customers, and to help the companies improve their service in order to grow their business.” And nearly all respondents (99 percent) told researchers that they would be willing to provide feedback if the company actually listened and made changes accordingly.

The chart above reflects the ways customers want their feedback to be acknowledged by enterprises. It may not always be possible to implement the requested changes. But by acknowledging and responding to customer feedback, companies can generate considerable goodwill and loyalty.


About The Author

Greg Sterling
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.