Fintech & e-commerce Sales & Marketing

5 Ways To Grow Your Business Through Feedback-Driven Decisions

Illustration of startup workers.

By Ivan Saprov

As entrepreneurs, we depend on the feedback of our customers. If they like our product or service, and it effectively meets their needs, we will succeed. Otherwise, our company will falter.

Therefore, we must learn to objectively receive feedback. While it can be easy to pump ourselves up after receiving a stellar review or to deflate ourselves after a negative experience, focusing too much on either side of the spectrum is not ideal.

Here are five ways in which feedback-driven decisions can help us grow our businesses.

No. 1: Overcoming survival bias

Ivan Saprov, founder and CEO of Voyagu
Ivan Saprov, founder and CEO of Voyagu

A common mistake entrepreneurs and team leaders make is concentrating on feedback from existing customers. Yet, it’s equally important to engage with prospects who didn’t make a purchase. Why did that happen?

Sure, focusing on those who already buy your product or service helps with customer retention. But understanding what stops people from buying can give you invaluable insights to improve your product or service lineup.

No. 2: Choose the right segment

Particularly if your company operates online, and you’re still working on finding the right product-market fit, it is worthwhile to use feedback to create customer segments and study those segments separately.

This gives you a more holistic view of your offerings and highlights potential improvements or adaptations you can make to increase your competitiveness in your chosen segment — which should be the one that generates most of your revenue.

No. 3: Understanding churn

Every business owner I know would love for their customers to come back and make consistent purchases. However, many fail to explore the reasons behind their clients’ decisions and instead attribute them to largely unproven assumptions.

If you don’t know why customers stay or why they leave, your retention tactics are disconnected from reality. Leveraging feedback to understand this can help you build better relationships so your customers stay with you for life — and increase your customer lifetime value.

No. 4: Communicate with the front lines

Your frontline sales staff is a pool of knowledge. Because they connect with customers on a daily basis, actively gathering their feedback can flag challenges when delivering services and help you develop better strategies to keep existing customers and acquire new ones.

This is especially important whenever a problem arises, so make sure you get input from your front lines before taking action.

No. 5: Seek out negative feedback

While it’s natural to focus on direct communication from dissatisfied customers or reviewers, I suggest adopting a proactive approach by actively scouting personal social media accounts, relevant channels, groups, communities and even open chats, as many people won’t post their opinion directly.

By broadening the scope of feedback collection, you increase the chances of uncovering diverse perspectives and identifying areas for enhancement that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Use feedback effectively

When working with customer feedback, I strongly suggest using a framework like Jobs to Be Done. With this approach, what matters is not so much what the customer is buying, but the need they are getting met through your product or service, and whether that is functional, social or emotional. This helps you understand complaints in a different light.

Remember that your end goal is to create as much value as possible for a specific customer segment so you win them for life. By following the steps above and using feedback in your favor, you can increase your odds of doing so.

Ivan Saprov is a bootstrapped entrepreneur, the founder and CEO of Voyagu, a U.S.-based travel tech startup that connects travel advisers with travelers. Voyagu has $20 million in yearly revenue just two years since its launch. Saprov embarked on his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 13 and launched his first travel startup at 22.


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