Expedia Fmr. Product Lead On Managing Customer Feedback Loops
Customer Feedback: Understanding Psychology
No matter what your role is in a company, you either elicit or provide feedback. However, I think a lot of people see customer feedback loops as a door that they’re afraid to check out. When I was a child, I was extremely afraid of the dark and thought there were monsters just lying everywhere. I was afraid to open the door and see what was there before I went to bed at night. So, I think a lot of people approach feedback like that.
You’ve been giving and getting feedback throughout your lives. But I want to shine a light on what’s in the closet. I want to examine the what, the why, and the how concerning feedback. Feedback is a word that’s only been around since post-World War 2, but the concept has been around for ages.
Now, I want you to feel what it feels like when somebody says – “can I give you feedback?” Some of us get that guttural reaction. You want to know who is giving you feedback, on what and how are they giving feedback. Especially if you don’t have context, you can kind of feel your gut clench up.
Psychology Behind Feedback
There’s actually some psychology that’s employed here with the types of feedback. In fact, our brain reacts to negative and positive stimuli in different ways. So, if you give somebody positive feedback, you actually open them up to hear more negative feedback. It’s interesting. A lot of people say don’t pay attention to positive feedback. However, they should listen to it because they’d know what’s working.
The negative feedback actually stimulates another part of you which is more the flight or fight response. You can also feel some reticence, some hesitance, and you might actually feel attacked. So, both of these bring up some emotions that are positive and negative. Therefore, in order to know how to interact with customers and recognize and provide good feedback, we need to know what good feedback looks like.
In order to provide good feedback, I like to provide three strengths concerning the person’s action. Then, I follow with one opportunity to point out something the person could improve on or fix.
That’s a much more succinct way versus just positive, negative or no feedback because that’s more actionable.
Various Types of Feedback
Here are the different types of feedback in the world:
In user-facing or customer-facing feedback, you want to look at actionable or vanity feedback respectively. Vanity feedback is nice as it gets you to ask why certain trends suddenly spiked. However, it’s much more interesting to get actionable feedback. This way you can find out the cost of products and CAC. In general, when you engage your users you need to think about how you’re asking the question and how you’re listening to the answer.