Mat Wylie on the Power of Customer Feedback

We were recently joined on our podcast by Mat Wylie, CEO and founder of Customer Radar, a customer feedback and reputation management platform. He spoke with us about how to dig into customer knowledge, both for the internal and external customer groups, addressing questions such as “Do we know who the customer really is?” and “Are we actually paying attention to what they need?” 


Mat started out by sharing a bit more about Customer Radar is and how it has evolved over the years, plus a bit more about his own background in marketing communications and advertising. During his time in this field, he said he continually saw the same challenges: “they were really struggling to know what was going on in real time from their customers perspective.” Several years ago the technology didn’t really exist to gauge this accurately, so Customer Radar was born – initially using mobile text messaging for customers to provide instant feedback. Now, several generations later, the platform has evolved based on direct user feedback, now offering dashboards and more.

We asked him how customer feedback combined with survey data can help increase customer understanding. He sees feedback as “being immediate and enabling quick fast and light insights” versus the way surveys generally function. Engaging with the customer through immediate feedback forms a kind of relationship with them, with quality of insights rising, and can even improve responses if we go back to them with follow-up surveys for more information. While both feedback and surveys can contribute to understanding the customer journey and uncovering insights, having the right conversation at the right time is important in forming understanding. 

Mat gave some real-world examples to bring the power of customer feedback to life, and how looking at real-time data can help companies address customer concerns immediately and granularly. If you can identify the one thing that made a customer unhappy, such as a rude service manager for example, you can fix it quickly to improve the experience. On the flip side, positive customer feedback can be used to encourage teams and show them how well they are doing. 

He says “One of the challenges we have as researchers is that there is a whole lot  of stuff we want to know, so we want ask all these questions. But actually is it appropriate to ask those things? How would you strike that balance?” He says a feedback-first approach can help as it is easy and fast and doesn’t overwhelm the customer by asking them to fill out a lengthy survey. It shows the customer that you are interested in their opinion and can actually “warm them up” for further inquiry. 

Mat also touches on the importance of thinking about who is going to use the data you are collecting. “There’s an enormous amount of effort involved to design these amazing surveys, look for these incredible insights and disseminate the information so it's available in real time, but that data is being used anywhere near the way that it should. I think it's really important to make sure that we are understanding who this data is for and what we expect them to do with it.” We need to start with the customer journey in mind. 

We closed out the interview with a discussion around data quality and some examples of what happens when brands get it right surrounding customer experience and feedback. Mat says that Customer Radar’s process eliminates some of the problems with engagement and experience by eliminating profiling questions and keeping the ask for feedback short. Listen in to hear some examples about award-winning companies that have used this process to drive significant positive change in their businesses. 

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