When we talk about customers, we’re referring to the very people we rely on for the success and growth of our business. It’s essential that we understand their thoughts, feelings and perceptions towards our products and services, as well as our brand and corporate image. However, while these insights can often help shape the product or company strategy, there are certain processes, phases or outputs of the business that warrant professional feedback.
It’s therefore vital that you understand the difference between the two and why, while it’s possible for customer and professional feedback to coexist, the latter will always trump the former. The key question you need to ask yourself to grasp this notion is:
Do I give the customer what they’re asking for, or do I give them something that’s an innovative need?
Read on if you’re keen to delve a little deeper into this.
Firstly, what’s the difference?
Before we can better outline why and how professional feedback outweighs customer feedback, it’s important that we distinguish between the two.
Customer feedback refers to the information gathered during or after your customers have experienced a product or service. This information usually involves reviews, satisfaction surveys, NPS surveys or even observation. With these insights, you gain a deeper understanding of how, when, where and why your customers use your products or services, and what their thoughts, feelings and perceptions are of the experience. From this, you’re able to identify relevant trends or pain points from the customer and make better business decisions regarding the specific product or service going forward.
Professional feedback differs from this in that it takes place before the release or launch of the product or service to the market. It involves a market-researched deep dive into an upcoming product, service or campaign that includes professional insights from various industry experts. This information is backed by experience and research and is generally more objective than customer feedback. You’re then able to take this information and adapt the product, service or campaign appropriately before it goes to market—ensuring that it’s hitting the mark you want it to hit!
3 reasons why professional feedback is better!
Besides being research and fact-based, professional feedback also comes with a whole heap of advantages for your product, service or campaign—and ultimately your business. Here are our top 3:
1. Time saving
Because you’re getting information and feedback from industry experts before launch, you can better adapt the product, service or campaign and ensure that no further revisions are needed. Changing something post-launch due to an oversight is often a drawn-out process and can sometimes lead to a complete rework—which seriously eats into the company’s progression plan.
2. Cost saving
Leading on from the previous point, ensuring that the product, service or campaign hits the mark the first time you take it to market also saves you money. Reworking an idea so that it better fits the market’s need not only takes time that you didn’t plan for, but it also involves a huge amount of cash—think agency, development, production and labour costs. Professional feedback helps you avoid this by ensuring you get it right the first time.
3. Reputation saving
Instead of launching your brand-new product, service or campaign in the hope that your customers like it and find it useful, wouldn’t you rather be sure that it fills their needs? By employing professional feedback, you avoid the off-chance that your company’s new idea potentially damages its reputation by falling flat in the market. It’s difficult to come back from a bad launch because first impressions of a product or service generally do last—and opinions are hard to change.
To round things off and to help guide you in your attempt to answer the key question, we offer you this nugget of wisdom from the founder of Ford Motor Company and an industrial revolution extraordinaire:
“If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have asked for faster horses.” – Henry Ford