Easily Collect all the Right Feedback

Hi Readers!

It’s been one of those weeks. We’ve had three Mondays this week, and it’s only Thursday. I celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary this past weekend; wild how time flies.

I don’t share a ton about my personal life here, but my wife and I met while I was traveling abroad, and we got married at my favorite winery in Israel. Truly a fairytale wedding for a CX guy. 😏

My wife is the Yin to my Yang. She is a biology and international relations major starting year 2 of Medical School. I’m a world-traveling CX guy without a formal high-school education or college degree.

Like I said, Yin to my Yang.

We celebrated our fifth in small-town Lititz, PA, at this super-cute hotel in a building that was once the Wilbur Chocolate Company factory. The Wilbur Lititz is a Hilton gem that I love.

They’ve got free chocolate, Molton Brown amenities, and lovely staff. I mean, look at this—what is there not to love?

While this week started hectic, the second half of the week will undoubtedly be fun.

I am celebrating my birthday this Friday, August 12th, with a little happy hour get-together with some friends and industry folks in NY and dinner at my favorite spot in Philly, Laser Wolf.

This year has been wild, and I appreciate you all being here!

This week, I’ll chat about collecting cohesive customer feedback and getting it to the right place. Feedback is a potent mechanism. It lets you know where customers are happy, confused, sad, or outright angry.

Many of us are decent at collecting customer feedback but have no idea what to look for. Others collect all the right feedback but have trouble synthesizing it and getting it to the right place.

I’ll be splitting it into three parts:

This newsletter is brought to you by my friends at Lang, an AI tool that helps automate tagging and repetitive actions in real-time for every support conversation.

Lang is used by brands like Freshly, Rue Gilt Groupe, Pair Eyewear, and many more. More on Lang in a bit!

1. Collecting feedback

When I started in CX, the goal was straightforward: clean up the Gmail inbox as quickly as possible, so folks don’t scream at you.

Needless to say, CX as an industry has come a very long way, in more ways than one.

“Customer Service” was reactive.

As I love to say, it was a fire extinguisher tasked with keeping angry customers at bay.

Outsourced, and paid far too little.

I remember replying to the same issues repeatedly, using my notes app to keep track of recurring incidents, and presenting them to the team. Notwithstanding my efforts, however, CX was overlooked when profit was part of the conversation, and the long-term vision of LTV was not as much of a discussion in 2016 as it is today.

CX, on the other hand, is much more proactive. The best CX teams monitor each part of the customer journey to ensure the company meets expectations at the minimum, and beats them in the best of cases.

Great CX:

  • Creates brand promoters

  • Accelerates organic growth and lowers CAC

  • Increases retention/LTV

In an ideal scenario, the Customer Experience team should be the voice of the customer in all customer conversations.

The CX team should be able to answer all these questions seamlessly:

  • Marketing: Is this a good strategy for this new activation?

  • Ops: How do customers feel about the current shipping time?

  • Product: How are folks reacting to our newly revised flavor/product?

Customers are the most critical part of the organization. If data is the new “oil,” CX teams own one of the most significant crude oil wells of the organization, and when refined well, it is exported to the rest of the organization.

In other words, customers never had a problem talking, but organizations have always struggled with listening. Of course, you can see this in some industries to this day: Customers take to Twitter to scream at airlines because they might die before hearing back if they reach out via the standard channels.

Instead of just putting out fires, excellent CX teams focus on actively listening, engaging, understanding, and resolving. Then, they aggregate the data so they can learn how to ensure this does not happen again— proactively.

I often discuss the importance of NPS + follow-up questions, CES surveys, etc. But in this newsie, we’ll solely talk about ticket customer feedback.

As an example, if 25% of your ticket volume revolves around delays, it’s entirely possible your shipping is too slow, but it’s also very likely the expectation you set was impossible to meet.

2. Simplifying and aggregating feedback

You get all this feedback, but how do you get to aggregate the feedback to get to learning quickly?

As more channels pop up, how do brands aggregate and understand what customers are talking about to improve retention and loyalty?

With Gorgias, tagging is your best friend. It’s vital to start tagging the issues that come up often so you can get insights.

Brands like Freshly, Pair Eyewear, Ramp etc. use Lang on top of their ticketing platform (i.e. Zendesk, Gorgias, Intercom, Kustomer) to automatically categorize support interactions and automate manual agent tasks like routing, triage, and prioritization, cutting average time to ticket resolution and reducing the load on your agents to increase their capacity.

Instead of creating a zillion tags, you can give marketing and product teams the data to create their reports to look at on their own terms without even talking to your CX team.

For example, Freshly changed providers for shipping liners after they found out that it did not work. The ops team could quickly track that by following customer insights without even talking to the CX team.

Fintech company Ramp uses Lang when launching new features. They launch in alpha, then beta, while their Product ops team sets tags to get feedback in real-time, with no dependence on CX to manually pull any data on their behalf.

You can use Lang to track issues trending over time, build out tags in a sandbox with custom dashboards, and, more broadly, to get familiar with what customers are feeling and talking about. Check out Lang here.

3. Easily share it with those that matter

Once you have started collecting customer feedback and data, you can either use Lang to give your team the access to pull their data together on their own, or you can present the information to them, adding some qualitative and quantitative data to your weekly CX report.

Here is the skeleton of the report I share weekly at Jones.

Most importantly, it’s worth getting insights from your team regarding what data they want to gather. For our product team, staying on top of QA issues is the top priority. Ops is more focused on delays, and Marketing is looking to gauge customer sentiment on activations and find the perks and benefits of our products that resonate most with customers to repurpose those for ads.

All feedback is worthwhile, but not all feedback is worth reporting to the entire organization. I’ll tell ya this from some personal experience: nobody is reading your 27-page slide deck.

FWIW, I doubt most of JRB sees my 12-page CX deck, but I do that more for my CX team and myself. If they look at the singular page relevant to their department, that’s a win—we’ve enabled them to take actions informed by our customers’ cares, concerns, and frustrations!

For today’s CX Chronicles, we’re taking a little ride off the beaten path and featuring one of my fav retention marketers in the CPG space.

Troy Petrunoff is the Retention Marketing Manager at Everyman Jack, a guys grooming brand company based out of California. Troy is one of the more well-known Retention Marketing folks in the DTC world and is a thoughtful and intentional marketer—something we love here!

So glad to have you here today, Troy!

1. What is your Retention Philosophy?

Retention becomes a lot easier when you prioritize asking yourself: "What would the customer want? What would impress them?"

These questions can and should be applied to everything:

  • Action: Customer places order.

  • What would the customer want? Confirmation that their order went through, with a branded email so that they trust it wasn't a scam site. Accurate shipping notifications and frequent—but not too frequent—updates on their order status. A clear place to turn to if there is an issue with the order. Communication from a real person when reaching out for support.

  • What would impress them? A personalized email with helpful resources on how to use X product. A handwritten thank you note in their box. A simple way to get a reminder text (and promo code) when it's time to re-order. The ability to text with the brand and interact. A short survey where they can cast their vote for a new scent/flavor, etc.—and personalized follow-up based on their answer.

Applying these questions as you build out your retention flows and experiences ensures what you're building isn't just an out-of-the-box retention flow, but rather one that is designed around your product and your customers’ ideal experience.

2. Your favorite Everyman Jack CX/Retention story?

Great timing. Just last week I was going through our recent reviews and noticed a really long one that caught my eye. This customer essentially wrote an essay about why they're an Every Man Jack fan and repeat purchaser and it was DETAILED, and really showed how strong products coupled with great customer experience and perfectly timed re-purchase reminders really leads to a great experience.

This customer called out a few things, including "a great group representing EMJ with the best customer service," "rapid delivery and tracking updates as well as the excellent packaging," and their appreciation of our Pride Body Wash Sets that help support the Rainbow Railroad charity, and a sticker pack we throw in to occasional orders.

It was a great read on a Monday morning, and really helped validate what we're pushing for.

It was a great read on a Monday morning, and really helped validate what we're pushing for.

That's all for this week, folks!Thanks again for taking time out of your busy day to ready my CX and Retention musings. 💛Question for you: if you made it until here, what would you love to see me cover in the future?Sending positivity and vibes your way,Eli