- ‘’I believe customer feedback is the coiled spring that catapults your company. It will continually adjust your trajectory while keeping you on target’’ – Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn
- ‘’Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning’’ – Bill gates
- “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” – Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot
- ‘’If we don’t know what’s right, we can’t do more of it. If we don’t know what’s wrong, we can’t do less of it. Without customer feedback, we are destined to fail’’ – Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot
Why feedback is so important?
There are 5 main reasons why you would want to collect feedback.
- Understand your customers
- Improve your products
- Engage your customers
- Get testimonials, reviews, referrals
- Benchmark and get better
The end goal is to create a feedback loop. Improving, testing, and asking for feedback again. Business owners are often tasked with managing countless customer requests. They should also be keenly aware that they need not allow their business plans to be driven solely by these requests — or at least not by requests which they haven’t done their due diligence on. So, if you are a business owner wondering how to deal with the constant stream of customer requests and feedback, this one is for you.
What is the role of customer feedback in formulating your business strategies and how do you transform qualitative customer requests into actionable data to inform business decisions? How do you know which requests to act on, which ones are high-priority and which ones to simply ignore?
- For strategic direction, there’s no substitute for hearing directly from customers. You need a data-driven product roadmap, not one driven primarily by gut instinct. Perhaps the most important type of data you can gather and analyze is what your customers are telling you directly. Customer requests and feedback, whether you like what you’re hearing or not, are sources of invaluable business intelligence and customer feedback is a necessary ingredient for crafting a balanced business strategy.
- You have to learn how to read into customer requests to identify the strategic truths behind them. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon learned from his customer survey that customers were interested in buying all sorts of things online. In the hands of a lesser-skilled entrepreneur, the survey results might have seemed confusing and inconclusive. Should we get into electronics yet? Phone accessories? Consumer goods? Business owners, however, need to learn how to filter out signal from noise within the never-ending stream of customer requests and demands. Then they need to figure out how to think both critically and creatively to discover the most important product insights in the signals. These are some of the most valuable skills you can develop as a business owner.
[READ MORE: How to build up your investment knowledge)
Qualitative customer feedback is not objective
So yes, you must listen to your customers’ requests, encourage their feedback, and regularly review and analyze what they’re telling you. But it’s equally important that you apply filters to this data. You need to see beyond the surface-level comments and requests from your customers to uncover the ‘Why’ behind those requests. Product managers often use a matrix, or scoring framework for weighing which features to implement, based on the company goals, customer value, and development effort. You can employ a prioritization framework, but you can also use a spreadsheet to accomplish a similar prioritization exercise.
Test your feedback form
Before your survey goes live, make sure to proofread it to ensure that it is free of errors. Nothing looks more unprofessional than misspellings and wrong grammar, not only in your customer survey but in everything that you decide to publish. So, take time to review everything before you put it out on the internet for lots of eyes to see. Make sure to test on several devices.
Ways to identify actionable customer request
- Ask yourself if this request represents an opportunity to bring in new customers. Sometimes, a feature request represents a logical extension to your existing product, but not enough of an improvement to the overall offering to entice new customers to buy. You, of course, need to factor in the value of continually improving on your existing product as a strategy to maintain relationships with your existing customers. But at the same time, you need to remember that you are operating with finite resources. Therefore, you need to balance this retention strategy with an acquisition strategy as well.
- Ask yourself if acting on this request will serve your core persona or if it’s spinning out to a new persona (possibly the wrong one). You also need to do your due diligence before putting this new functionality on the product roadmap. You need to filter customer requests from these tangential personas. And you need to vet them carefully to make sure you’re not wasting time and money.
- Ask yourself if acting on this customer request will yield new functionality that people will actually pay for.
Finally, run customer requests through a filter that asks, “Is this something people would be willing to pay for?” Often, customers ask for functionalities, enhancements, or entirely new products that they sincerely believe they would use — even love. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they would pay for these products.
As a final piece of advice, one would argue that you should never act on a customer request—no matter how logical or even inspired that request seems—without first doing your due diligence. Customer feedback can be helpful. Your intuition can be helpful, as well. But you need to support it all with strategic, thoughtful research. In a nutshell, customer feedback is more important than ever. Stop hoping that your customers will give you their feedback. Be proactive, create a customer-feedback friendly company. More positive customer experience leads to a better reputation and ultimately, an increase in profits.
BREAKING: Fire guts fuel tanker, vehicles at Anthony, Lagos
The tanker conveying PMS lost control while in motion and subsequently fell sideways.
There is a fire outbreak, which has gutted a fuel tanker, at Anthony inward Gbagada, Lagos State.
This was disclosed by the Federal Fire Service via its Twitter handle on Friday evening. The incident, which occurred around 10 pm, has razed at least two vehicles.
First responders and other Emergency agencies are already at the scene of explosion in Anthony, Lagos State, Nigeria. Please avoid the area, take alternative routes.
— Federal Fire Service (@Fedfireng) September 18, 2020
The agency urged road users to avoid the area and take alternative routes.
Also, the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Agency, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed the incident.
He said, “The Agency responded to distress calls and upon arrival at the scene of incident, it was discovered that a tanker with unknown registration number conveying PMS lost control while in motion and subsequently fell sideways.
“This led to an explosion in which two unidentified vehicles were burnt.”
A joint team of responders led by the Federal Fire Service, LASEMA, LASG fire service, LRU fire unit, Nigeria Police and LASTMA are working together to curb the inferno from escalating further.
Details soon …
Nigeria among countries to be worst hit by food crisis globally
Nigeria, others were listed as countries with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.
Nigeria has emerged as one of the countries to be most hit by food crisis across the globe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic which had worsened the already bad situation.
This disclosure is contained in a report by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The report from the FAO also shows that the Democratic Republic of Congo is emerging as the country with the world’s largest food crisis in terms of absolute numbers, with Burkina Faso listed as the country with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.
The food crisis is made worse in Nigeria by the longstanding religious and ethnic conflicts and even organized crimes by some bandits, which has greatly affected farmers working on their farmlands.
In addition to these, the farmers were already contending with the issue of flooding or drought, which has negatively been impacting on the agricultural sector in a period the country is desperate and very desirous of economic diversification. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a surge in food prices as can be seen in the reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in a country that imports over 10% of its food supply.
With a population of over 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, which is regarded as the world’s most food-insecure continent. This is made worse as importers of food items struggle to gain access to dollars for their imports due to scarcity of foreign exchange which is triggered by the crash of oil prices and low foreign inflow.
This is expected to be exacerbated by the recent order by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Central Bank of Nigeria, to stop the allocation of foreign exchange to importers of food items.
The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, warned in April, “We are heading toward famine and starvation.”
The FAO report which states that Congo has about 21.8 million people that are acutely food insecure, also points out that Burkina Faso has witnessed an almost 300% uptick in the overall number of people experiencing acute hunger since the start of 2020.
FG apologizes, says Self-Certification directive is not for everyone
The Federal Government has made clarifications concerning earlier announced Self-Certification Forms.
The Nigerian government has backtracked on its earlier issued guidelines on the new banking Self-Certification Forms, saying the notice does not apply to everyone.
On Thursday, the Nigerian government ordered all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms, to complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.
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It stated, “This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.) are required to obtain, complete, and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions. Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions are required to complete & submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures, in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.”
However, on Friday morning, after receiving expected backlash on social media, FG attempted a clarification stating, “We apologize for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons,” and that, “the FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”
We apologize for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the @firsNigeria Notice does not apply to everybody. FIRS will issue appropriate clarification shortly pic.twitter.com/KBiPh0lCwJ
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) September 18, 2020
The FIRS earlier today made a statement, that the guidelines are only for non-residents, and people paying tax in more than one country.
and other persons who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or Country. Financial Institutions are expected to administer the Self Certification form on such account holders when information at its disposal indicates that the Account holder is a person
— FIRS Nigeria (@firsNigeria) September 18, 2020
“The Self Certification Form is basically to be administered on Reportable persons, holding accounts in Financial institutions, that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS. Reportable persons are often non-residents and other persons, who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or Country.”
“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction, is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during account opening processes, for the KYC and AML purpose.” the statement read.