If your business is competing on customer experience, chances are you’re collecting customer feedback. But how well is that feedback really serving your organisation and your customers?

Feedback is hugely valuable – if you know what’s delighting your customers, you can double-down on it to maximise the value. If you know what’s broken, you can get to fixing it quickly.

And if customers see your brand as one that takes their feedback seriously, they’ll feel more positive about doing business with you. It’s a win all around – if it’s done right.

But for many businesses, the feedback management process lacks insight and intelligence. Maybe requests for feedback are sent inconsistently. Maybe customers’ comments don’t always make it to the relevant teams. Maybe the response – especially to negative feedback – is too generic.

Whatever the case, there’s a good chance your feedback management process could use an upgrade – specifically, to a more insight-driven and personalized approach.


Why a personalized approach matters

When it comes to the customer experience, most CX leaders know that personalization matters. And this is especially true of the feedback journey. 

Feedback is usually requested after a customer makes a purchase or deals with a service rep. At that point, their relationship with your brand feels closer, more real – they expect to be treated like a recognised and valued customer, someone whose purchase matters to your business.

Even after a good experience, an impersonal feedback journey can break the illusion of a one-to-one relationship. And after a negative experience, it only reinforces the customer’s sense that the brand doesn’t know or care for them.

In contrast, a personalised response tells customers that their feedback is heard – not chucked in the overflowing suggestion box, but acknowledged and valued.

This is especially important in the case of negative feedback, where the right response can save the relationship. According to one survey, 67% of customer churn could be prevented if a business solved the customer’s issue the first time.

So how do you take your generic or disjointed experience and turn it into a personalized journey that strengthens the customer relationship?


Automating a better experience

Most customer feedback journeys are automated, but they tend to lack sophistication. Instead of personalization and relevance, customers get experiences that are awkward and robotic…

…feedback requests that arrive the moment an item is delivered, before they’ve even had time to get it out of the box…

…the same response after every comment they leave, positive or negative…

But with the right approach and the right tools, you can automate a seamless and highly personalized experience for every customer. Here’s what you need to do…

Ask at the right time. 
Trigger feedback query after a customer has been in-store, received a service, or shortly (but not immediately) after products have been delivered. Beware of asking too often – you’ll risk your requests becoming “white noise”. With some simple rules in your journey building tool, you can control the timing and frequency with which feedback is requested.

Make use of artificial intelligence.
Sentiment analysis is essential for managing feedback well – even a message that acknowledges that a customer had a good (or bad) experience will help them feel heard. And knowing whether the comment is positive or negative is key to building more advanced personalization into the rest of the journey. 

Apply customer insight in-the-moment.
With the right customer data in the background, you can look for important factors in the customer’s relationship with your brand – for example, if they’re high-value or a first-time buyer.

This information, combined with sentiment analysis, should shape the response they receive. So a high-value customer with a negative experience may get a personal call-back or a special offer; a new customer with a positive response may get a “Thanks for joining us!” message and a prompt to join the loyalty program.

Put a follow-up process in place.
Natural language processing and sentiment analysis can be used to work out what feedback needs attention and from whom. With the right tools, you can automatically send feedback that meets certain criteria to the right team to be dealt with appropriately.


What does a personalized feedback journey look like?

Let’s take a moment to consider what a personalized feedback journey could look like if a business followed those four tips. What might the experience look like for a valuable customer who’s just had a poor experience?

Let’s say John is a regular customer of a quick-service restaurant, who spends a fair amount with them every month. He’s just placed a takeaway order and scanned his loyalty app at the till. 

But the store is busy and understaffed – the cashier didn’t hear his request for extra sauce and when he gets home, he notices that one of the items in his bag isn’t what he ordered and another is missing. 

About an hour after his order was placed, John gets a text message from the restaurant, asking for feedback on his experience. John sends a reply, expressing his disappointment at the poor service and incorrect order. 

Immediately, he receives a reply apologising for the issues and letting him know that his comments will be passed on to the location in question. He also receives an offer for a free side with his next order. 

On John’s next visit, his free side is applied to his order automatically when he scans his loyalty app. The cashier notes that there was an issue with his last visit, apologises again and checks the contents of the order with John before he leaves the store.

As a customer, receiving that kind of personalized attention can turn the whole experience around. Not only does John feel that the restaurant values his business, he sees that his feedback is being taken seriously. 

Take a look at how we could build a journey like this in Horizon CXFlow…


For John, it feels like a brand relationship the way it should be. For the business, it required some simple updates to their more generic feedback workflow.

With some simple rules, AI-powered customer insight, real-time decisionmaking and a built-in follow-up process, the restaurant was able to turn John’s negative experience into a positive one.


Intelligent automation with Horizon CXFlow

To create a personalized customer experience – of any kind – there are a lot of moving pieces to coordinate. You need real-time decision-making, up-to-date customer insight and synchronisation between channels. 

So we’ve designed our latest product, Horizon CXFlow, to house all of those elements in one platform.

With its drag-and-drop workflow builder, baked-in customer insight and intelligent decisioning, CXFlow makes it easy to deliver a personalized experience – whether you’re asking for feedback or re-engaging a lapsed customer. 

Find out more about CXFlow here.