My company responds to nearly every Instagram comment posted on our feed. If that sounds aggressive, it's truly anything but.

In fact, it's this constant interaction-- plus the various open lines of communication with our customer-- led by our customer team that help fuel and inform business and product decisions on all levels.

Having a direct-to-consumer business, I have the advantage of having a direct line with our customer; to know what she wants when she wants it. So I've put her to work, listening intently and engaging with her. And thankfully, because my company is a young start-up, my team can be nimble and adjust based on what she is saying

Through the process, I've learned a tremendous amount about our business from the customer team and their thoughtful interaction with our customers. A robust feedback loop is created through the feedback I receive via social channels and the chat function on the website. I use this feedback loop to inform larger business decisions and have found it eye opening, educational and above all, successful in best serving our customer.

Here's how I do it:

Straight From the Source

Being a digitally born brand, my team collects 6 million rows of data daily of how our customer is interacting with us across our website, email and even paid advertising. Our Liaisons (customer service team) are in constant communication with our customers across channels including, phone, email, chat (Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and web chat on our site) and in-person, culling information that we digest and analyze to inform all areas of the business.

Applying the Findings

I started a #shesays channel on our internal Slack feed where everyone can share customer feedback gathered from across all channels (liaisons, social, email responses, customer surveys). A great example of this practice being incredibly helpful is when one customer suggested that we offer returns past 30 days. As a company, we were able to have instant access to the information and discuss and address the request.

The insight gathered also affects how I develop our product assortment. Customers tell us about a style they are loving, but may suggest a lower heel or different color and I can pivot and produce it. 

I advise friends and other founders to be more transparent with their findings. Customers want a dialogue with their brand and they appreciate when a brand listens. 

Sharing Values

How our product is shown has also become a popular topic in our customer feedback channels. 

Recently, I heard back that customers wanted to see how the shoes looked on real people versus models, so I asked one of my employees to quickly jump into the studio for product shots. The team posted the photo on Instagram and it was one of the most liked/engaged posts on our feed. She is now photographed regularly in addition to our models.

From product to presentation, there are countless benefits for both my company and customer when I am in direct and constant communication with her, but the most important aspect is that she feels her feedback is heard and she is a part of my brand and community.