What a Successful Customer Feedback Loop Looks Like at 3 NYC Companies

by Taylor Karg
December 15, 2020
customer feedback loop
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Customer feedback is important to the success of any business. But just how important? 

According to Hubspot, the cost of acquiring a new customer has increased by 50 percent in the last five years. This statistic further emphasizes how important it is for companies to do everything they can to retain existing customers, including implementing an effective customer feedback strategy in order to ensure they are continuously satisfied with the product or service. 

Recently, Built In NYC caught up with Ali Magno, a client success manager at e-commerce software company Yotpo, Madison Zinsenheim, director of partner success at advertising technology company OpenWeb, and Ismail Pathan, manager of customer success at real estate company Reonomy, to learn how each of their company’s implements a comprehensive customer feedback strategy that allows them to better serve and retain their customers. 

 

Ali Magno
Client Success Manager

Yotpo is an e-commerce software company that helps brands accelerate direct-to-consumer growth. At Yotpo, customer feedback is shared with not only managers and directors but also with the product and R&D teams. Client Success Manager Ali Magno said that this allows for the entire company to cohesively work together to understand what their customers are truly looking for.  

 

What are your company’s main methods for collecting customer feedback?

Our customers’ feedback strongly influences processes and product development. We’re always trying to break down the customer journey of our clients and ask them to provide feedback at the end of each phase. We regularly roll out new features and enhancements influenced by customers’ needs and the business goals they’re trying to achieve while also identifying gaps and areas for improvements.

Yotpo collects feedback from customers in a number of ways. As a CSM, I’m able to gather feedback throughout regular calls with customers and we’re always proactively asking for feature feedback and requests.

Our product team is regularly on calls, and they hear first-hand how customers are leveraging Yotpo and what other features they’re looking to see from us to drive business growth. Surveys — like net promoter score (NPS) and onboarding and renewal surveys — are often sent out via email based on predefined triggers and through the Yotpo platform itself. These surveys gather additional feedback from customers who may not feel comfortable sharing their thoughts directly. Our customers play a core role in product betas, giving them opportunities to give direct feedback and change the course of a new feature.

 

Typically, how does your company act on customer feedback?

Once we gather feedback from customers, we perform an analysis and try to understand which departments this feedback is intended for — product, service, support, etc. We then try to bring to the discussion all of the relevant internal partners.

When we collect customer feedback, it’s shared not only with managers, directors and the executive level but also directly with our product team and R&D. This allows us to cohesively work together as an organization to analyze the feedback from the perspectives of each department and identify trends to understand what our customers are truly looking for. It also allows us to understand where the majority of our customers’ pain points lie and prioritize feature improvements and innovation accordingly.  

As a CSM, this is one of my favorite parts of working at Yotpo. I’m able to directly collaborate with various departments in an open forum and get exposure to members of the organization that I might not otherwise work with. I also love knowing that my voice is heard at pivotal decision-making moments and I have a direct impact on the company’s long-term vision and the product roadmap.
 

I also love knowing that my voice is heard at pivotal decision-making moments and I have a direct impact on the company’s long-term vision and the product roadmap.”


How has customer feedback recently promoted a change in your company’s product or services?

We recently rolled out a new feature and immediately received feedback from customers on the overall user experience of this feature. Since this information was shared directly with CSMs from customers, the CSM team was able to compile and share all of the customer feedback directly with our product team. Given the overall feedback, our team was able to determine this feature was impacting our customers and, as a result, worked with the product team to implement a resolution within two weeks. 

This was a very rewarding and fun experience, as it was a direct testament to how Yotpo takes our customers’ feedback and quickly acts on it. I was able to work first-hand with the product team to resolve an issue and witness the customer feedback loop in action. To personally be able to deliver this great news to my customer and let them know that their voice was heard was an amazing feeling!

 

Madison Zinsenheim
Director of Partner Success

OpenWeb empowers publishers and advertisers to obtain quality online conversions. Director of Partner Success Madison Zinsenheim said that OpenWeb collects customer feedback via an inbound support ticketing system, a quarterly NPS survey and regular check-ins with partners.

 

What are your company’s main methods for collecting customer feedback?

At OpenWeb, we have several channels for collecting partner feedback, as it’s one of the main ways we stay informed on our current performance, strengths, areas of improvement and new ideas to exceed our partner’s business goals. 

Beyond the inbound support ticketing system, we rely on our quarterly NPS survey to compile answers for specific questions related to product performance, moderation, account management, monetization and overall partner satisfaction. Additionally, we ensure our team has a regular cadence where they’re checking in with partners as well as connecting them to our product team to review any open betas they’re participating in including roadmap reviews. A dream of ours is to start a partner advisory board where we can connect industry leaders to converse and bring ideas to the table so that we can iterate on our current products or add new items to our roadmap.
 

When we receive feedback around the functionality or a design aspect of our platform, we take it to heart and work tirelessly to deploy a new version quickly.”


Typically, how does your company act on customer feedback?

We want to be the best advocates for our users and partners, and as a startup, we’re constantly battling limited resources. Once we collect feedback from our partners, each request moves into an evaluation phase by our product and R&D teams to determine the estimated effort behind each request and impact across our network. We assess the urgency of each request, revenue impact, amount of resources needed and the probability of adoption among partners (to name a few details considered when assigning priority). It’s definitely a never-ending cycle of wanting to do it all. Fixing bugs, while also developing new features and products, all ultimately come into play when we’re trying to reach some sort of decision.

 

How has customer feedback recently promoted a change in your company’s product or services?

Because we are a small company, we have the ability to really go above and beyond for our partners and pivot quickly to meet their strategic needs. Several months ago, a prospective customer came to us asking for demo pages of our live blog and conversation because they were interested in hosting an AMA (ask me anything) event. They eventually landed on using our AMA product, which didn’t yet exist. Several members of our New York team and product team in Israel were against selling a product we didn’t technically support but knew it was possible to create. We used our resources to develop a new product for their site and the experience was seamless. 

Due to the success of that launch, we are already discussing ways to improve this feature for future use cases. Most importantly, the partner was thrilled and now has a longstanding contract with us. 

Additionally, when users post a critique (and/or praise) of our platform, we share those details internally. We strive for our product to be both accessible and attractive for the masses, so when we receive feedback around the functionality or a design aspect of our platform, we take it to heart and work tirelessly to deploy a new version quickly.

 

Ismail Pathan
Manager, Customer Success

Reonomy leverages big data, partnerships and machine learning to connect individuals and businesses to commercial real estate properties. Manager of Customer Success Ismail Pathan said that they collect customer feedback using Google Forms and then the customer, product and UX teams meet monthly to discuss each problem in depth and curate a solution. 

 

What are your company’s main methods for collecting customer feedback?

When you work at a company that ingests millions of data points and operates in an agile environment, customer feedback is key. While my team is in the product daily, our customers are the true experts and are the best to look to for areas of improvement, new feature requests, and ways that we can provide more value in their day-to-day operations. 

Something that I love about working in customer success is that we are truly on the front lines in terms of understanding our customers’ wins as well as pain points. Reonomy is a unique place in that our product and customer success teams work collaboratively to gain insight from our customers and then use that feedback to inform our product roadmap and top priorities. 
 

We action our customer feedback by logging it into our product feedback form and prioritize discussing it in our monthly product meeting.”


We collect feedback in a few different ways: our team spends almost all of the time talking to customers and helping them find value in our product so we’ve developed a real-time way to be able to collect customer feedback via a Google Form, that gets funneled directly to our product and engineering teams. After years of using Slack as the main method to report feedback, we realized we needed a more streamlined way to structure and share feedback that was more efficient. 

 

Typically, how does your company act on customer feedback?

On a monthly basis, our customer experience team meets jointly with our product and UX teams in what we call our product and data CX (customer experience) feedback meeting. In this meeting, we run through every product feedback submission. One of our senior PMs will bucket, highlight and comment on these pieces of feedback, creating Jira tickets and adding requests to the backlog when appropriate. After we run through what our customers are looking for, we do the same for data quality issues, taking a macro lens at the general themes actioning specific items to be investigated by our data analysts.

When the time comes to getting something ticketed into a sprint, our PMs set up calls with customers to further understand use cases and their feedback to ensure every potential gap is flagged prior to work getting started in the next sprint.

 

How has customer feedback recently promoted a change in your company’s product or services?

At the core of our product, our customers can utilize dozens of filters to sift through 50-plus million properties nationwide. As they trim down their search for properties that interest them, workflow tools to stay organized are a must — which is why we offer customers the ability to add a label to a subset of properties.

Over the last few months, we heard a number of users ask for the ability to exclude properties from their search using labels. We actioned this feedback by logging it in the product feedback form mentioned above and prioritized discussing it in our monthly product meeting. One of our PMs identified another section of work that was being done that we could squeeze the request into. My team set up a few calls for the product manager and a UX designer to fully understand the scope. After putting together some mocks, it was then ticketed and added to our engineering team’s next sprint. A few weeks later, the feature was out and it felt great to get back to the customer and inform them that they could now exclude properties as they wanted!

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