Table of Contents

Institutionalize user input to amplify the business output. Integrate customer feedback survey and recommendations into strategy, scrums, and workflows seamlessly… with Xoxoday universe of bespoke incentives. When asked by a journo whether he was worried about his formidable rival Evander Holyfield’s game plan before their upcoming fight, former boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson famously replied, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

In the world of product design, marketing strategy, and sales KPIs, customer feedback and consumer review is the punch. No matter how comprehensive your strategy or fool-proof your product looks, the litmus test arrives when, at some point in your campaign, you run into this ‘Plan’. No, you can’t avoid or ignore it. You shouldn’t. What the best teams do, therefore, is to ensure that the punch is a gentle and sweet one. Instead of allowing it to knock them out cold.

It takes two to tango

In the world of business, one of those two had better be your customer, or else you run the risk of being hopelessly out of step with your markets. Getting Feedback from customers - more than anything else (and this includes strategy and data) - is what ultimately turns a product or service USEABLE. Whether you are in marketing or product design, it’s your secret sauce to a truly standout brand experience.

Feedback Adds the 'Market' to your Marketing

Browsing a positive online user review by fellow buyers can brew positive confidence in a potential consumer’s mind about the brand, and also tick all the right boxes that research deems important when it comes to the in-store experience. As per HubSpot’s State of Marketing report, customer satisfaction- which is one of the prime drivers of word-of-mouth buzz and referrals - is widely acknowledged amongst marketers as the #1 most common source of new leads. This has escalated the need for an increase in the customer satisfaction survey response rate. Martech publisher Search Engine Land finds in their study that 88% of customers put as much weight on online reviews as they would on personal recommendations. According to a BrightLocal survey, nearly 90% of consumers admitted to actively reading reviews for local businesses.

Digital marketing and Search leader MOZ shares that user review signals such as diversity, velocity, and quantity feature as 3rd the most important factor for Google when ranking local businesses. Finally, in yet another survey, 94% of online shoppers expressed that a negative review is likely to make them give the product or store a complete miss.

Reviews Add the 'Pro' to your Product

The scenario in the product lab isn’t very different. When you make you're buying a part of your R&D team or Focus Group, so to speak, you greatly multiply the chances of a positive outcome. According to the Harvard Business Review, ‘customer-ideated products’ perform 20% better than their counterparts, on average. Business literature is littered with case studies and success stories of epic product breakthroughs that happened only because decision leaders had kept their ears peeled to what the market was whispering and never neglected the importance of customer reviews.

The Benefits of User-Generated Review are Universal and Official

Forbes recommends companies ‘to take proactive steps to stimulate the creation of UGC (user-generated content)’ (Olenski 2017), while advertising journal Adweek has argued that ‘Not only is UGC much cheaper to implement, but it is also much more effective’. (Merckel 2017).

Taking your consumer into confidence drives big and well-documented benefits for your brand. For starters, getting feedback from customers and users can engineer a ‘clear and present difference in sales and revenue. A YELP study registered a jump of nearly 10% with just a minor tweak in market perception - such as a one-star improvement. A similar survey on exercise at REEVO, on the other hand, found positive online sentiment can push up sales by as much as 18%.

The benefits of customer feedback surveys go well beyond jingling cash registers, of course. It can mean a shot of good health for your ORM (Online Reputation Management), helping your brand be perceived as more authentic, empathetic, and real. The picture at the other end of the spectrum isn’t a pretty one, research reveals that more than three negative articles in Search results can result in a loss of nearly 60% of potential customers.

Positive assessments and evaluations from buyers can also warm you up to your fans and communities, adding muscle to customer loyalty programs. Happy users can also take your digital marketing and SEO programs to the next level by cranking up critical parameters such as page authority and search rankings. That’s not all. Positive commentaries from brand evangelists are proven and powerful gambits to generate valuable ‘brand stickiness’, bringing back customers which – considering it costs almost 7X more to acquire a new customer as compared to retaining one - should count as a rather ‘good deal’.

Not least, prioritizing and understanding the importance of customer feedback in your product or marketing cycle can help you understand your customer’s complex psyche a little better, by turning you privy to all that’s ticking under their bonnet. Which can lead to significantly smarter decisions in the boardroom, especially when it comes to the tricky matter of forecasting consumer behaviour for the next quarter, and charting roads that don’t exist yet.

Make Customer Feedback the Hero of Your Script

There are two ways to capture feedback: Outsource it to Survey or Market Research specialists, or do it in-house.

Mining the Customer's Mind via a Market Research Partner

For many companies and teams, market research firms are the go-to solution when it comes to getting a sense of the market sentiment. And that’s a perfectly legit strategy. However, despite the centrality of their role in modern business, not all market research organizations may be ready for you. Here’s what you should keep in mind before settling for the right partner.

Are they caught in the Past?

The market research space has been slow to evolve with the times, and a chunk of the industry is still caught up with atrophied methods and obsolete practices. This, coupled with low innovation and tech adoption, means that by the time a project throws up results, the world has already moved on to the next trend. From new technologies like AI and automation to standardization to rebooted business models, the overdue overhaul will need to happen inside-out and ground-up. Time-to-deliverable and recency of results aren’t the only casualties here – so are critical parameters like the width of sampling reach (are we leaving anyone out?), quality of targeting (are we touching the right demographics?), and depth of insight (are we pressing the right buttons and asking the right questions?)

We need less Data, more Information

The customer feedback survey industry today is also guilty of over-reliance on data. An explosion of data streams and vendor championed tech-stacks has been steadily ‘de-humanizing’ the discipline, glorifying quantity at the expense of relevance and undermining the need for expertise in curation and analysis. This - coupled with silo-find expertise which can lead to a lack a holistic understanding of either the big business purpose (and how it maps with specific survey tasks) or the nuances of consumer behaviour or both - has meant that survey results can often be heavy on bells & whistles like quantity and presentation but light on what matters, like perception, penetration, and insight.

The Dunning Kruger Effect

We are also witnessing an unmistakable rise in the ‘Dunning Kruger’ Effect. A term from psychology roughly translating to the maxim ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing’, the phenomenon refers to a cognitive bias whereby individuals with limited knowledge or expertise in a domain may feel compelled (by social or hierarchy protocols) to greatly overestimate their ability and grip over the space.

At decision-making levels in business, the Dunning Kruger Effect can lead to the side-lining of objective facts and opinions of subject matter experts in favour of coterie leaders and stakeholders. The net result is a predominance of subjective views and a dumbing-down of the real picture, not the best recipe if you are trying to clue into what your customers and markets are thinking.

Conducting your Customer Feedback Survey – Offline or Online

It makes sense to build in-house capabilities in the survey since feedback is a common and frequent part of most workflows today. And while it may sound simple at first, do keep in mind that it’s a specialist’s job. There are a million things that have to click, to get it just right. From designing an intuitive feedback architecture that integrates with both buyer journey and user experience (and doesn’t feel jarring to the user), to ensuring a demographic cross-section that’s fair and inclusive, to ensuring your customer feedback survey is present on all the channels and platforms your customers are on, to ensure there is no cognitive.

bias or regional tilt, to customizing the research or survey methodology to fit the brief, to finding an experienced leader who understands the purpose of the exercise in-depth and can orchestrate the show flawlessly, to handling tricky moments (such as introverted personalities) with sensitivity and tact, particularly in the case of offline Focus Groups, to devising the right set of questions, to choosing the right gadgets and technologies, to scaling the exercise across regions and geographies… yes, there’s plenty to be sorted. Calling for levels of time, synchronization, and energy, not every organization can afford or spare. And even if they could, there’s always the matter of Show Rate. Huh? What’s that?

Feedback is all About Show-Rate

Show Rate (sometimes synonymously used with response-rate, though the two may not always be the same) is the percentage of attendance of participants or respondents in a survey, research program, or Focus Group. In fact, according to Survey Monkey, this is one of the biggest roadblocks for organizations when it comes to implementing survey and feedback strategies. Outsourced or In-House, this is the part that can make or break ‘The Plan’. After all, you don’t want the people whom you have painstakingly hand-picked for the job to ghost you come to D-Day (or, for that matter, land up at the party half-heartedly), do you?

To ensure a high Show Rate, you have to make participants genuinely WANT to be involved. Not just to show up, as it were, but give it their best – registering attendance both in ‘letter and spirit’. How to get customer reviews? How do you crack this conundrum? The answer, as in most instances of life, is an irresistible MOTIVE. In the words of Godfather Don Corleone, “An offer they can’t refuse”. In business parlance, that’s an incentive. According to findings at Stanford, the right incentive – which isn’t always monetary by the way, and can equally arise from the perceived end-impact of the survey and a desire to play a role in change - can not only hike the likelihood of participation in your feedback polls and tablet surveys. They can ensure that your panellists are truly engaged in the experience, stick around till the very end, and remember the experience fondly enough to participate spontaneously the next time you buzz them.

How to Increase Survey Participation?


How to increase survey participation and how to get customer reviews? These are the questions that keep pestering us whenever we think of a survey. The answer for this is survey incentives. They can help in increasing customer satisfaction survey response rates because it's a known fact that people respond to incentives.

Eliminate NO-SHOWS from your Surveyor Poll SHOW-RATE through the power of personalized, commensurate, and instant incentives with Xoxoday PLUM, the gold standard in rewards and experience automation. When it comes to incentivizing your users and buyers to share feedback and opinions consistently and spontaneously, PLUM ticks each of the Big 5 zones…

  • Desirability: Trending and desirable incentives that feature on top of your users’ and survey participants’ Wish-Lists.
  • Customization: Match the incentive to the spirit of the occasion and the personality of the receiver.
  • Speed: Cut out delays and confirm user participation in polls and surveys instantly - by sharing incentives on the spot. You can also schedule Pre-Paid incentives which, as per studies, are the most effective in increasing response rates (promised incentives, by contrast, have been found to not affect response rates).
  • Convenience: Xoxoday PLUM can be easily integrated with your organizational tech processes as well as your Feedback infrastructure, and deployed from Day One over a Plug-and-Play format.
  • Choice: Give your survey or poll respondents the freedom to choose from PLUM’s never-ending global catalog of perks, discounts, vouchers, branded currencies, merchandize, benefits, gifts, and experiences covering every possible niche and interest area such as e-commerce, utilities, recharges, groceries, books, gadgets, wellness, learning, fashion & wearables, entertainment, dining, travel, cash / prepaid cards and much more – all of which are redeemable in any country.

There's more to Plum

Apart from breezy customizability and deep personalization, PLUM’s omnichannel nature makes it compatible with any delivery medium your systems are comfortable with, such as On-Screen, SMS, Email, WhatsApp, QR Codes, Notifications, and several others. Finally, PLUM’s data-rich reports and analytics bring you never-before visibility and insights into every aspect of your survey eco-system so that you can keep optimizing and improving it.

Let your Customer Lead your Journey with Xoxoday Plum

When DHL invented the Parcelcopter - a delivery drone that automates loading and unloading cycles – taking their users’ advice seriously, their CSAT (customer satisfaction) score skyrocketed past 80% while On-Time performance metrics touched a dizzying 97% globally. Phonetic, on its part, upended the limitations of tradition with their novel thermoelectric semiconductor which, much like several of their other product innovations, as a result of proactively picking the buyer’s brain via strategic and consistent feedback. To mine consumer insights, LEGO has created a dedicated space on their website where fans can submit their product ideas and write descriptions. When an idea receives over 10,000 votes, designers, and marketers at LEGO’s Review Board roll up their sleeves and get to work - implementing processes to bring the concept to life.

Experience the Magic of User-Generated Growth with Xoxoday

Yes. Whether you’re a startup, in the mid-growth phase, or a Fortune 500 firm, it’s time to let your users lead your next big idea. Incorporate, accelerate, and automate their valuable opinions… with Xoxoday PLUM.

Manoj Agarwal

Manoj Agarwal

Manoj Agarwal is the Co-Founder and CPO at Xoxoday. He is an MBA from IIM Kozhikode comes with 14 years of experience in building companies, technology, product, marketing, & business excellence.