What is the right customer feedback software for your business?

Customers are what holds your business together. They can make it grow, shine, falter or fail. They hold all of the answers to questions about your products, services, marketing, customer service, communications and more. 70% of a customer's journey is based on how they feel they are being treated (McKinsey), so opening up the lines of communication and making your customers feel heard, seen and part of your brand's development is as important as delivering great products, services and experiences.

Customer feedback: if it isn't already top of your business priorities for this year and beyond, now's the time to make sure that it is. Think of your own personal interactions with the brands you love versus the ones that leave you frustrated or disappointed. What sets them apart? Are you part of the 49% of customers who feel more valued when a company reaches out for feedback?

When thinking about using a customer feedback tool or piece of software, it’s important to think about what you need it for, and how it’ll work for you and your business. Below, we look at some of the available options.

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What is a customer feedback tool?

There are a variety of customer feedback tools and software on the market, all of which are designed to make it easier for you to connect with your customers, collect their feedback, analyse their comments, and devise actionable strategies based on the insight you gather. Some of these target customers specifically, whilst others give you the chance to get an anonymous website visitor's opinion. Some are basic and some are extremely sophisticated, ranging from interaction data from your website through to in-depth customer feedback and additional products associated with customer review data.

We'll cover a few of the most popular customer feedback tools and types of software below, and will guide you through their different features and use cases so that you can go forward feeling confident about collecting your customers' feedback.

Customer review software

Customer review software works in numerous ways. It can proactively reach out to your customers, enabling you to engage them with questions about your business or products before they reactively leave a review. It can also provide a space for reactive reviews, which usually come about as a reaction to a very bad or very good experience. The onus here is on the customer to feel moved to the point of sharing their feedback. Proactive customer survey software pre-empts this, showing your customers that you are actively invested in hearing their feedback.

Using customer feedback software shows that your company values its customers' experiences and as a business, you are encouraging your customers to communicate and are ready to listen to what they have to say.

Feefo

Feefo is a UK based, close-ended platform established in 2010. Close-ended platforms are for genuine customers who can only leave reviews once they have purchased or used a service from your business. This ensures that only genuine feedback is collected, preventing the spread of fake reviews which in recent years has really grown. Closed-end customer feedback tools also help to encourage uptake, as they're usually sent right after a product or service is purchased/used. This helps to capture customer insights right in the moment of happiness (or frustration).

Feefo isn't just customer feedback software - it's also a combination of analytical solutions, reports, sentiment analysis functionality, customer insights and more feedback tools that allow your company to track a variety of different metrics. They all work together so that you can easily identify the strong and weak areas of your product lines or service. Feefo offers integrations with popular e-commerce solutions - such as Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce - and out of the box integration solutions, working with some big clients such as Expedia, Kia, Iceland, TUI and Purple Bricks.

Feefo also hosts a yearly Trusted Service Award where companies can show off their dedication to good customer service and win trusted service budges.

Feefo offers competitive rates for its enterprise clients, plus SMB solutions starting from £149/month

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Trustpilot

Trustpilot is a Danish, open-ended platform that allows reviewers to leave reviews without prior proof of purchase. Open-ended customer feedback software tends to give a polarised view of companies because it's usually only people who are either very happy or very unhappy who are actively seeking to leave a review.

If a company's profile on Trustpilot is left unmanaged by the business, reviews can accumulate with no responses or resolutions. This often contributes to notoriously low ratings for businesses, especially in comparison to their reviews on other platforms elsewhere online. However, any business can claim their Trustpilot review page and manage the account for free with some limited features. Some of the more advanced features include review tagging, insights, and dashboard analytics.

Open-ended platforms have been a target for some criticism from the media over the past few years, as it becomes tricky to safeguard against fake positive or fake negative reviews that can easily enter these platforms. This can further skew company ratings, painting a misleading picture for a business who are not actively managing their review page on such platforms.

Trustpilot remains one of the best-recognised review platforms in the world and one of the biggest market capitalisation brand on the customer feedback tools providers’ market.

If your free account feels too limited, Trustpilot offers further paid solutions that start from £199/month.

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Yotpo

New York based Yotpo started in 2011 as a customer reviews solution in the Shopify app store. Fast forward 10 years and it has been growing quickly as a closed-end review platform, providing a suite of solutions and offering integrations with companies like Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Magento and BigCommerce. Solution highlights include its social media integrations - including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - and its loyalty and referrals scheme. Customer loyalty programmes are growing in popularity, with 77% of consumers participating in a retail loyalty program (Adobe). Yotpo makes designing and implementing reward-based programs easy and effective.

In August 2020, Yotpo announced that it had has raised a further $75M to continue growing its suite of products, as well as acquiring more customers and building out more integration partnerships. They're working with some great, big-name clients such as Patagonia, Gymshark and Everlast.

You can join Yopto for free, but only with a limited account and features. Pricing for their paid solutions is available on request.

Reviews.io

Reviews.io started in the UK in 2010 as a close-ended platform and it has been an active player in the customer feedback tools market ever since. Much of its brand activity is led by its passionate CEO Callum McKeefery, who has an active voice on LinkedIn. Reviews.io's company mission takes pride of place on its website:

“We were tired of seeing review platforms charging extortionate amounts for limited review features, tying businesses into long-term contracts, and quite frankly ignoring those businesses’ needs.”

It's a bold statement from an even bolder company, whose progressive attitude and direct approach have secured a strong and loyal customer base. Solutions include an extensive suite of integrations and review syndication, which helps companies to ensure that their reviews and ratings are present on their different retail channels. Big clients include Carphone Warehouse, SportsDirect.com and Jules B.

Reviews.io prices start from £89/month.

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Bazaarvoice

Bazaarvoice is a Texas-based customer feedback company that was launched in 2005. It's another big player in the reviews market, and is one of the oldest companies on our list. After going public on the NASDAQ in 2012, the company was taken private in 2018 after being purchased by Marlin Equity Partners.

The company has made a variety of acquisitions during its lifetime so far, with the most recent including natural language processing platform AddStructure (2018) and product discovery and reviews platform Influenster (2019), which boasts nearly six million community members worldwide. Bazaarvoice also acquired the social commerce platform Curalate in 2020.

Bazaarvoice is a close-ended platform that offers an extensive product list with a strong focus on social media and influencer reviews. Some of its key solutions include scalable product sampling and Influenster community reviews, which gives clients access to the thousands of organic reviews that appear on Influenster every month.

RIMMEL, River Island, Argos and Clarins are just some of the brands working with Bazaarvoice. Pricing is only available on request.

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Voice of the customer (VOC) software

Open-ended and close-ended review platforms are often seen as the go-to tools in the customer feedback software marketplace, but they aren't the only ones available. To get a well-rounded view of your customers and their experiences with your brand, it's best to use surveys and reviews in conjunction with other types of software.

The 'voice of the customer' (VOC) is a type of customer feedback that focusses on your customers' needs, expectations, understandings, and product improvement. It uses market research to gain in-depth insights from your customers, to translate them into actionable strategies for your business. VOC tools range from on-page surveys, emails, in-app surveys, root cause analysis, and emotion analysis to really get to grips with what is driving or frustrating your customers, and what can be done to improve.

Mopinion

Founded in Rotterdam in 2013, Mopinion started out with a mission to use the power of the internet to improve the digital experience of its clients. It aimed to be simple to use and aesthetically pleasing. Skip to 2021 and it's one of the fastest-growing digital customer experience companies out there. Mopinion offers services for websites, apps and email, helping to deliver context on why customers behave as they do online and using this insight to boost conversions and engagements.

With native text analysis technology, an impressive suite of integrations, and super-smart technology running behind the scenes, Mopinion boasts an all-in-one solution for collecting and acting on customer feedback. Clients include TUI, TSB, Paypal and Nielsen.

Prices start from €199 a month, with enterprise plans available on request.

Clarabridge

Clarabridge was founded in 2006, making it one of the more established VOC customer feedback tools. Its mission is simply to 'help businesses win the hearts of their customers'. Very much focused on gaining actionable insights for its clients, Clarabridge offers a collection of products designed to collect feedback across the customer journey.

Clarabridge's analytics platform allows for emotion and intent analysis, powered by smart AI technology. It also offers a proven implementation framework and commitment to its clients' long term business strategies and success.

Adobe, Lloyds Banking Group, Sky and Expedia are all well-known clients. Pricing isn't readily available on Clarabridge's website, but visitors are encouraged to schedule a free demo for a personalised discussion.

Birdeye

Founded in 2012, Birdeye is a VOC platform that focuses on using customer feedback to drive acquisition. Its products are split out by objectives: be found, be chosen, and be the best. They can also be filtered down by industry, including legal, retail and insurance.

Product highlights include video call initiation to make experiences more engaging and memorable for customers, advanced customer insights using natural language processing software, and competitor analysis through customer feedback for industry benchmarking.

Join Birdeye and you'll be joining clients both SMB and enterprise clients. Pricing is set at different tiers, which can be accessed using Birdeye's pricing generator tool.

 

Qualtrics

Qualtrics is one of the biggest players in the VOC and customer feedback markets. It's been around since 2002 and now boasts offices in lots of locations, all over the world. Qualtrics uses smart technology to improve experiences - customer experiences, employee experiences, design experiences, brand experiences, and product experiences.

When it comes to improving customer experience, its focus is on 'turning customers into fans'. It offers scalable business value realisation software and links to 27 channels and 128 data sources for real-time customer listening. It also provides trend, pattern and loyalty insights using a predictive intelligence engine.

Clients include Adidas, Morrisons, the NHS and Spotify. Similar to Clarabridge, pricing isn't readily available to view on the website but demo requests are encouraged for more information.

Website behaviour analysis tools

Another great source of customer feedback data is your website or app. Analysing the behaviour of your website visitors can help you to identify pain points or drop-off points across your online customer journey. Is there a certain point at which seemingly engaged web visitors exit the website? Is there a call-to-action or section of the website that visitors are missing entirely? Website behaviour software can help you to identify these issues.

Website behaviour analysis tools usually include heatmaps, click maps, scroll maps and anonymised visitor recordings for your website. You can also analyse form interactions and use the software to deploy on-page surveys to your visitors. Once you have your analysis and observations to hand, this data can be used to test solutions to the problems you've identified.

Hotjar

Founded in 2014, Hotjar now serves over 555,000 clients in over 180 countries. Its mission is to help businesses understand how their users are really experiencing their websites, providing easy-to-consume data and insights. Hotjar offers out of the box compatibility for most platforms including WordPress, Squarespace and Shopify.

Hotjar's heatmaps uncover insights around visitor motivation and desire by analysing clicks, movement and scrolling across multiple devices. It also allows clients to launch on-page surveys, designed to better understand why users behave the way that they do online.

Its client list is impressive, including Air Canada, Adobe, Oberlo and Decathlon. Free accounts are available but come with limited features. Pricing for full accounts is structured around business size (personal, business and agency), starting from €39 per month.

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Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg launched in 2015, offering many similar features to Hotjar. Here to 'make your website better, instantly', Crazy Egg goes one step beyond by offering the functionality to launch A/B tests based on behaviour observations. This bridges the gap between collecting customer insights and actioning on them.

Crazy Egg also provides an easy-to-use website editor, so that test changes can be made to elements without the help of a developer.

Working with over 300,000 websites worldwide, Crazy Egg offers a 30 day free trial (with anytime cancellation). Basic monthly pricing starts from $24 per month, with custom enterprise plans available on request.

Mouseflow

Mouseflow is the oldest of our three featured behaviour analysis tools, having being launch in 2010. It provides easy to use features such as heatmaps, session replays, and form analysis. Conversion funnels let you easily visualise your visitors' movements between pages, highlighting drop off points in your key customer journeys (including sign up or checkout processes). It also lets you create targeted on-page surveys that are designed to collect customer feedback right in their moment of need, frustration or confusion.

Servicing over 165,000 clients globally, Mouseflow's big-name customers include Vodafone, Unicef, Virgin, and Samsung. A lifetime free but limited account is available, and paid plans start from €24 per month with enterprise plans available on request.

Summary

If you're not already reaching out to your customers for feedback, you should prepare to get started. It's a safe bet that your competitors are at the very least in the early phases of improving their business through collecting and analysing customer feedback. You do not want to get left behind, and you do not want to start losing your customers to your rivals who are making them feel listened to, valued and part of their commitment to continuous improvement.

You can get started with one or all of our suggestions. Maybe you will focus on close-ended customer satisfaction surveys to begin with, moving to online behaviour analysis for phase 2. Alternatively, maybe all-encompassing voice of the customer software is where you want to begin, to collect as much detailed feedback from your customers as possible. There is no right or wrong starting point; there just needs to be a starting point.

It costs 5-25x times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Avoid these costs and retain your current customer base by investing in their opinions, experiences and insights. They are the people who are closest to your products and services, choosing your brand to take their hard-earned money and taking what you offer into their lives. Opening up your business to their criticism, frustrations and disappointments might feel daunting, but it is the only way to build a better customer experience overall and close the negative feedback loop. Your existing customers will thank you for it and in turn, stay loyal to your products and services.

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