Traditional email marketing tools can be cumbersome and overwhelming – especially for small businesses that just want an efficient way to send communication. Simplicity is what sets Benchmark Email apart, and we’re always looking for ways to provide a better, cleaner user experience.
In that spirit, we’re harnessing the power of AI not only to enhance our feature offering but to ensure we’re driving innovation in our product and building a better experience for our users.
Enter Outset.ai, the AI-moderated research platform. More intelligent than the stale survey tools of the past, Outset.ai has given us a better way to listen to our customers.
We’ll tell you about our experiences with customer feedback and why we think Outset.ai is an essential tool for closing the customer feedback loop.
What sets Benchmark Email apart in a crowded email marketing space? At Benchmark Email, we want to provide easy-to-use marketing software that anyone can use to grow their business. Our product helps users craft engaging, eye-catching newsletters and emails and grow their email list with tools like website forms and landing pages.
We’re focused on building tools that help users of any email marketing experience achieve results, for example:
- When we realized our users could use help crafting email copy, we developed Smart Content, an AI-generated content creator powered by OpenAI.
- Deliverability is a common concern for anyone who sends emails, so we developed Smart Sending – machine learning that helps improve deliverability automatically.
When building new and innovative solutions, we know shooting in the dark never gets the best results. Harnessing customer feedback is critical to our process.
The Importance of Customer Feedback
As a software product, we have many data sources that inform us about our users, their activities, and their experiences. However, while gathering data is important, it doesn’t always tell the whole story.
There are always questions that arise when performing data analysis, which is why connecting with customers is key; it helps answer those questions and avoid any confusion over results.
Speaking with customers directly helps us to:
- Uncover the outcomes our customers truly want. Adding more features doesn’t provide value unless we understand the problems our customers are trying to solve.
- Identify opportunities for improvement in our product to overcome usability challenges or enhance existing features.
- Measure customer satisfaction to understand who our promoters and detractors are so that we can continue to wow our promoters.
- Foster customer trust and loyalty. When our customers are heard and we implement solutions to their problems, we not only improve the customer experience but also create raving fans of our product.
Tools for Obtaining Customer Feedback
Getting feedback from customers can be a challenge, but if you meet them where they are and offer an incentive, you can have success. Feedback loops can take many forms, like:
Forms are the perfect way to capture customer feedback on the fly. From “contact us” forms to user feedback widgets throughout our platform, our customers can provide feedback on their experience at any time.
Where static forms fall short is the lack of two-way communication. It can be tough to follow up on feedback. This type of feedback also tends to apply to a specific functionality or specific issue rather than the overall goals and expectations of the user.
Customer surveys can take various forms, including online surveys, questionnaires, or even email-based surveys. They typically consist of a series of questions, ranging from multiple-choice and rating scale questions to open-ended inquiries, allowing customers to provide their feedback in a structured or free-form manner.
Surveys are an amazing tool for receiving aggregate data that paints a better picture of our customer base. Surveys have helped us achieve everything from gauging customer satisfaction to learning the most common tools and the greatest objectives of our users.
However, surveys, like forms, do not facilitate follow-up questions. The valuable feedback we receive will often uncover more questions than answers, which makes obtaining a clear picture of actionable solutions difficult.
Live in-person interviews over the phone or over Zoom are invaluable. Unlike form and survey responses, our team is able to follow up with questions to unlock meaningful insight.
Of course, the drawback to live interviews is that fewer customers are willing to part with valuable time in their day to commit 45 minutes or an hour to speak with someone. In addition, prospecting for customer interviews, coordinating meeting times, note taking, recordings, and transcriptions are all time-consuming activities.
While this can be the most valuable type of customer feedback, it can be difficult to find customers and ensure they actually attend the meeting. Also, when sharing information with other stakeholders in the company, there’s always room for error when it comes to interpreting meeting notes or transcriptions.
Outset.ai is really the best of both worlds when it comes to static feedback and live interviews. This AI-powered interview tool digs deeper than a regular survey without requiring all of the coordination and hours that can go into a live customer interview.
In general, Outset.ai provides the detailed insight that you typically get by interviewing a customer in person or via Zoom, but it’s able to do it in an automated way. This means that we can learn the detailed needs of tons of customers at a time, instead of only a handful were we to access feedback manually and in person.
Also, Outset.ai analyzes interview transcripts and provides us with summaries and reports so we can easily digest and understand the findings. With Outset.ai, we have the ability to get deep, qualitative data at the speed and scale of a survey.
We also love how easy and seamless the process is. All we have to do is upload an interview template (or create one in the platform) and then share the link with participating interviewees. Outset.ai gathers the findings and provides us with an analysis. This analysis allows us to quickly make changes or updates to our software based on consumer insights.
With the ability to conduct extensive interviews without intruding too much on our customers, we’re finding new ways to fulfill our value promise to our customers. The result is a product that stays true to our mission of helping businesses grow – no special expertise is needed.
Inspired to try a new way of getting customer feedback and drive innovation at your company? Give Outset.ai a try.
Are you ready for a smarter way to engage with your customers?
Benchmark helps you do email marketing the practical way. Create an ongoing relationship with your subscribers that leads to increased sales and happier customers.