We all know that collecting feedback from customers and employees is a great practice that can benefit the product and the company. However, it’s easier said than done, especially if you’ve never collected feedback before.
One of the major decisions you need to make at the beginning is which type of feedback to collect - qualitative or quantitative feedback. Today, we’ll show you all you need to know about both types. More importantly, we’ll show you why it’s not a choice - you should collect both.
What is qualitative feedback?
Qualitative feedback is the descriptive feedback you get from your customers about some aspect of your product. These are their subjective opinions and feelings about some aspects of your offer, such as customer interviews where they detail why you need a different customer support process.
Qualitative feedback has two key characteristics. It gives detailed insights into customer pain points and using qualitative methods, you can get to the nuances of customers’ attitudes. This makes it more difficult to collect, as you usually have to sit down and conduct an interview, for example.
The second key characteristic is that qualitative feedback is hard to measure, i.e. quantify. Hence the other type of feedback. In other words, if someone tells you that your customer support process needs improvement, you don’t have a number to put on their satisfaction or the urgency to resolve this issue.
How to get qualitative data from feedback?
Gathering qualitative data is not difficult and there are plenty of ways to go about it. However, you may be wondering what to do first if you’re just getting started. Here are a few practical ideas.
By asking customers to submit ideas, feedback, and requests
You should have a dedicated section on your website where you can ask customers to leave their feedback. Whether it’s a complaint, a feature request, a bug report, or something else, you need a dedicated place for it - like a feedback board that you can use in FeedBear.
However, that’s just one piece of the puzzle. You need to be proactive and continuously ask customers to submit their thoughts and feelings about your product, be it through email, in-app messages, or product copy.
By exploring why customers don’t buy from you
Your sales team is a gold mine of feedback. They can tell you how you stack up against the competition but perhaps most importantly, they can tell you why customers decide to purchase something else.
As your prospects drop out of the funnel, make sure to ask them about the reason they decided to go for a competitor - or just not purchase a product like yours. This feedback can be revolutionary for your business.
By discovering where users get stuck
Many times, churn happens because your users get tired of running into the same problems all the time. A simple UX glitch in your app or website could be causing huge damage to your revenue and you might not know it.
In this case, it’s best to rely on unsolicited feedback. Session recording and heatmap tools like Hotjar allow you to track customer behavior as they’re on the website. With these tools, you can easily find points for improvement as you’ll know where users get stuck.
By exploring what users think about the product
One of the easiest ways to capture qualitative feedback is to simply ask customers how they feel about your product or service, ideally as they’re in the product or using the service. Simply asking how they feel about a certain page or feature can unearth great insights, as their memory is fresh and their feedback reflects their thoughts accurately.
How to Analyze Qualitative Feedback?
The major downside to qualitative feedback is the analysis. As you have a bunch of opinions and thoughts in different formats, you need to sit down and categorize them all. For example, analyzing a customer interview requires listening to it, making notes, and then extracting the major takeaways. To get quantitative data, you’d then have to assign value to each customer idea.
No matter the method you use to collect qualitative feedback, analysis is going to take considerable time and effort.
Adding a quantitative element with upvotes
One way to make your job easier is to allow your customers to vote. For example, one customer leaves a piece of qualitative feedback, e.g. a review on your latest product. You can then allow other customers to add votes to this review and in that way, get quantitive insights from qualitative feedback. It saves a bit of time and it’s easier to get to raw data and make better decisions.
Friendly reminder: you can do this in FeedBear, as your customers can vote on entries in your feedback board. FeedBear is the ideal way to blend both qualitative and quantitative feedback methods as it can provide you with measurable as well as descriptive insights at once.
Benefits of qualitative feedback
While it is more difficult to collect and analyze qualitative feedback, there are plenty of benefits to it as well.
- It can reveal detailed insights
- It allows customers to be more honest
If you have time and more importantly, if you need honest, detailed feedback, qualitative is the way to go.
What is Quantitative Feedback?
Quantitative feedback is measurable, numerical feedback. Rather than focusing on discovering a story or studying customers’ emotions and desires, it aims to get hard data expressed in numbers. While a customer interview is an ideal example of gathering qualitative feedback, an NPS survey on your website with scores from 0 to 10 is the perfect example of collecting quantitive feedback.
Businesses use quantitative feedback when they want to make important decisions based on data. The biggest advantage of this type of feedback is that you can get results rather quickly, especially if you’re using feedback software.
How to get quantitative data from feedback?
Ideally, you want to use a feedback collection method that allows quick, numerical results. This includes those such as:
- NPS surveys
- CSAT surveys
- CES surveys
- And others.
All of these survey types allow you to quickly ask your customers about their opinions and rate your product (or a part of it) on a certain scale.
How to Analyze Quantitative Feedback?
Using your favorite feedback software, you immediately get your NPS or CSAT score as new results come on. There’s no need to do any complicated calculations, write down anything, put it in a chart, or do anything similar.
As you collect quantitative feedback time and time again, you get a basis for comparison. Moreover, some numbers are readily available online so you can easily compare your NPS score against your industry standard.
Benefits of Quantitative Feedback
There are two major benefits of quantitative feedback:
- It’s based on numerical data and you can use it to make decisions quickly
- It’s easier to collect and analyze when you use feedback software
It fills all the gaps that qualitative feedback has and allows you to get important data quickly and easily. On the flip side, you cannot use quantitative feedback methods to dig deep into customers’ thoughts and opinions.
Questions to ask to get Qualitative and Quantitative Feedback
So you’re ready to collect some feedback from your customers. When it comes to qualitative feedback, here are some good questions to get you started:
- If you could add one feature to make our product better, what would that feature be?
- What made you choose our product when comparing us against our competitors?
- What is your favorite aspect of using our product and why?
- How would you describe your experience with our customer service?
In essence, everything that starts with “why”, “how”, “what” and similar is a good starting point.
When it comes to quantitative feedback, some types of it have fairly standard formats. For example, an NPS survey always starts with:
“On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product to friends and family?”
Other survey types such as CES and CSAT allow a bit more flexibility. You can also ask your customers rated questions, such as:
“How often do you use our Facebook integration? - daily - once a week - once a month - never”
In short, qualitative feedback gives you all the freedom in the world when it comes to forming your questions. With quantitative feedback, you adjust the questions based on the format you’re using.
Qualitative Vs Quantitative Feedback: Which Is Best?
You may be wondering which type of feedback is better, but it’s not a good question. Choosing between qualitative and quantitative feedback is like asking whether a car or an airplane is a better mode of transportation. Both are great choices, but you wouldn’t choose a car to go to another continent, just as you wouldn’t take an airplane to the next town.
To get to your destination, you’d want to use both at the right time. The same is with qualitative and quantitative feedback - they go hand in hand and you want to use each for a specific purpose.
In other words, qualitative feedback is best for detailed insights when you want to dig deep into customers’ thoughts. Quantitative feedback is excellent when you want to quickly test your audience’s feelings around a specific question and make data-driven decisions.
To sum up, it’s not a question of whether qualitative or quantitative feedback is better. You want to use both depending on the situation and the results you want to achieve.
By now, you should be familiar with the fact that the best results come from using qualitative and quantitative feedback at the same time. Both have their pros and cons but when used combined, they provide all the data and insights you need to make educated decisions about your product.
Ready to start using a tool that can collect qualitative AND quantitative feedback and manage your product with ease? Sign up for a free trial of FeedBear today!