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Topic(s): Metrics & Methodology Customer Engagement

Caution: Feedback Iceberg Ahead!

We thought it was high time to write about one of the most famous love stories of our time. It features a pair of star-crossed lovers and an iceberg. No we're not talking about Titanic. We're talking about you, your customer and the iceberg of customer feedback!

What you'll get out of this awesome blogpost?

  • Two common (and harmful) pitfalls organisations encounter when listening to their customers
  • How you can optimise your CX by pinpointing issues and priorities based on customer feedback

Pitfall #1: Reactive, not proactive

At Hello Customer we believe in collecting customer feedback proactively. An easy metaphor to explain why is the iceberg of customer feedback. It's actually quite simple. If you watched Titanic closely you'll know that the visible part of an iceberg is the top. Only a small part of it rises above the surface.

So think of your customer base as an iceberg. The vast majority are under the water and silent. The people that reach out to you are unsatisfied. The are above the water and visible. They had a problem with their delivery, they received bad advice, they were treated badly when they contacted customer service... In short: they had a bad customer experience.


hello customer blog iceberg


Now, this is where it gets tricky. Studies show that for every unsatisfied customer, about 10 other people hear about that bad experience with your brand too. Imagine the damage this could do to your business. The solution? You ask for feedback proactively. This means that as a company you've determined what the most important touchpoints in the customer journey are. You've decided that you want to know how their experience was, instead of waiting until they have something to say about it themselves. If you're already there: good job! If you're still on your way: no worries, Hello Customer is here to help ;-).

Pitfall #2: The false majority

Let's say you're already satisfied with the feedback you're getting from the tip of your iceberg (impossible!). You're getting complaints and bad feedback. You panic: "well if all these people are complaining about Issue X it must be true! It must be a giant problem that requires a lot of time and resources!"

STOP, hold your horses! Of course it's necessary to address customer issues and to investigate whether it's a serious problem or not. But don't forget you're only listening to a small part of your customer base. This creates a distorted view of what your priorities should be, leading you to invest a lot of resources to solve an issue that wasn't even an important action point to begin with. And in the long run, that's just money down the drain.


hello customer blog feedback iceberg


However, if you decide to listen proactively you'll receive a lot more feedback. The problem that tiny part of your customers addressed? Well, the other 80% of your customers might not even find it an issue at all.

On top of that (haha, see what we did there?), the majority of that feedback will be positive. This is not something we've come up with ourselves. Our own customers tell us that they don't just like the fact they now get tons more feedback. They are happy to hear their customers are happy. It engages them to do their best every single day because they know their work matters.

Bear in mind, you'll still receive negative feedback when you listen to the bottom of the iceberg too. But this is actually  a good thing. Because that fraction of the largest part of your iceberg (which in perspective still amounts to a fairly big number of customers) is a group of unsatisfied customers who you'd never find out about, a silent minority. This silent minority is a high risk group. They could churn and you wouldn't know they did, and more importantly: you don't know why

How can Hello Customer help you pull the iceberg out of the water?

We have a great e-book on how to ask feedback with the right metrics and more importantly: how to efficiently use and translate that feedback into impact.

Plus, our response rates are really good! At least 20% of customers who received a survey will answer by giving a score. And of the people who gave a score 60% gives open text feedback as well. AKA - you'll get a giant treasure of customer information brought to you in an extremely user-friendly, accurate and AI-driven platform. I could keep going on about this, but you probably get the gist.

So if you want to know how Hello Customer could help your business, just reach out and we'll get back to you!