How To Get Customer Feedback Without Asking the Customer

Knowing your customers starts when you get customer feedback. Asking them in a direct way with surveys and questionnaires is one way to go about it. But, it’s not the only way. 

The direct approach is crucial. Yet, to gain a comprehensive understanding we need more. Besides, using the direct way too many times can make the customers weary of it. There has to be another way to get customer feedback. 


“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” Steve Jobs


When it comes to understanding customers, we can trust Steve Jobs to know how it’s done. He could not have been more right about the importance of knowing your customers. And so, today we will see how to collect customer feedback without actually asking the customers.

Why Do We Need Indirect Ways to Collect Customer Feedback?

Customer feedback is all about finding out what the customers want. This helps us create a product or service that provides value to them. The purpose of customer feedback was easy to understand. But the real struggle starts after that.

Additional insights

When we ask questions, we get answers only to those questions. However, there is a lot of data at our disposal that goes untapped with the direct methods. With the direct approach, they tell us what we want to hear from them. The indirect approach gives us a deeper understanding of our customers.


We need genuine feedback. If a user is not in a good mood or is irritated, we receive biased feedback. And this biased feedback is not of much use when it comes to taking action.

Because we might end up making changes or tweaks that were unnecessary. Whereas, the real problems might remain unknown.

Low response rate

The good thing is most businesses know that feedback is important. The bad news is, this means all of them send out surveys and questionnaires.

And that means, our customers are bombarded with typical customer feedback questions. People are tired of these questions. That’s why they may not want to answer questions. Moreover, they might ignore long and time-consuming surveys.

This leaves us no choice but to find out a way to collect customer feedback without directly asking the customers.

Collecting Customer Feedback Without Asking Customers

Now that we know why we need indirect ways to collect customer feedback, let us see what they are.

Social Media Listening

Social Media Listening

In the online world, people are the most talkative on social media. They express their opinions, their thoughts, and more right here. Now, there are a couple of uses for social medial listening.

First, we can track what customers say about your brand on social media. You can understand their preferences, pain points, and experiences here. This will help you tweak your product as per their requirements.

Further, you can also use social media to gauge trends. This can help you make your brand relevant to the current space. Moreover, you can also find out what people are talking about your competitors. It would become a crucial aspect of competitor analysis.

There are social media listening tools that can help you analyze trends. They are also helpful in gauging customer sentiments. This way, you can collect customer feedback without bothering them with surveys.

Use online customer reviews

The authenticity of feedback is crucial for it to become useful for the brand. Therefore, we need candid and unsolicited feedback. And so, platforms like Google, Yelp, Amazon, etc. are good places to collect such customer feedback.

People express opinions here because they want to, not because we presented a questionnaire. And this candid feedback is crucial in understanding what customers actually feel about you.

Businesses can gain insights into features, customer service quality, and overall satisfaction levels. Now, the feedback can be positive or negative. And, both of them are equally important.

Positive feedback:

Positive feedback tells you what is working for your business. It helps you understand which areas you can enhance. Moreover, it is also helpful for potential customers in decision-making. It increases their trust in the business.

Negative feedback:

Negative feedback on public platforms like Google and Amazon is very important. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t want negative reviews at all. But since we cannot have that, we do the next best thing. We handle it well.

There are two things we need to look after. First, we want to try and retain the customer dissatisfied with us. Next, we want it to not drive new customers away. And the solution for both of them is the same.

Responding to the negative feedback is crucial. Instead of letting it just sit there, we acknowledge it. We should make our customers feel heard. We should let them know that you value their opinion.

That’s the first part. The next part is we follow up with them. Once we’ve worked on their issues, we let them know. It helps you build customer loyalty.

Furthermore, it assures new customers that they won’t face the same issue. And if they do face any problems, they know you will solve them.

Analyze customer support interactions

Customer support interactions help you get unfiltered feedback. Chat logs, emails, and call recordings of customers give invaluable insights.

Often, customers contact a business by themselves when they have an issue. And that’s why when you want to find areas for improvement, you can check here.

These conversations help you find out issues. Moreover, you can find out recurring issues common complaints, and more. This helps you create a customer-centric product.

Furthermore, you do not have to go through these interactions manually. Now there are sentiment analysis tools and NLPs that you can use. They help you with emotions and identify patterns expressed by customers.

Now you know what is bothering your customers without having to ask them.

User behavior analytics

User behavior analytics

Analyzing user behavior provides crucial indirect feedback. Obtaining and examining this data is necessary even when you ask for feedback directly. Because even your customers may not be able to give you these insights.

The data that we examine while analyzing user behavior is:

Click-through rates,
Time spent on different pages and platforms,
Abandoned carts,
Incomplete user journeys, etc.

Trying to understand the above metrics helps you understand where many of your customers are facing challenges.

This will help you optimize the performance of your website, app, etc. And an optimized customer experience goes a long way when you want to build customer loyalty. When people have a seamless experience with you, they have lesser reasons to look for alternatives.

Heatmaps and user-session recordings

These are virtual representations of customer interactions. You can understand how customers are navigating, scrolling, and where they are dropping off. Here also, the aim is to optimize the customer experience.

Data from heatmaps and session recordings tells us how users are interacting with your UI. Complicated interfaces can lead to users abandoning your product. If they find it difficult to navigate your website or app, they wouldn’t have a sleek experience.

So, analyzing this data is helpful for creating an intuitive and smooth experience. Moreover, it also enhances customer engagement.

A/B Testing

This is another effective way to collect user feedback without asking the customers. In A/B testing, we show people variations of a page. That means we can make changes in the way we offer our products or services.

Here are the things you can experiment with while A/B testing:

Design and layout
Social proof

These are not the only things you can tweak with A/B testing. But, you can try different variations in the above aspects and see which ones your customers prefer.

This way you can give your customers the experience that caters to their needs. And that too without directly probing their opinions. You can keep making iterative improvements this way, to keep enhancing customer satisfaction.

Interviewing top customers

Interviewing top customers

It is crucial for any business to build customer loyalty. And an important part of that is fostering long-lasting relationships. You can add a touch of personalization by interacting with your clients face-to-face.

Let your customers know how important they are to you. You can list out your oldest customers or customers that have done the most business with you.

Once the list is ready, you can ask them whether they would like to be interviewed as a valued member. You can also have special incentives like offers or other rewards for being a loyal customer for appreciation.

And there in the interview, you can ask them questions to know them more. Here you can ask them about their experience with the product and more.

This will help you foster long-lasting relationships and also collect customer feedback in the process.

Arrange focus groups

Focus groups are an effective way to understand your target audience better. You can get a group of your customers together virtually or in person. Their discussions can provide additional insights into your customers.

You can understand the pain points and challenges they face, not just with your product, but in general. It can give you ideas for additional features. Or how you could make the product or service more suitable to fit their daily needs.

The focus groups are different from the direct customer feedback regimes we conduct. Here, we do not give our customers specific close-ended questions to answer.

Here we provide them a platform to voice their concerns and interact with more people. It also builds customer loyalty. When they see businesses make extra effort, their faith in the business increases.

Call them

Calling your customers is an old trick in the book, but it is still effective. Recordings from these calls help you get non-verbal cues.

Customers get plenty of emails and messages from businesses every day. And they usually ignore it. However, a call once in a while makes an impression.

Now, this does not mean that we pester them with phone calls every day. That would be annoying and counter-productive.

But a call once in a while to know how they are doing will keep you on their minds. Moreover, it will also help you find out how to improve customer service. You can use these recordings to train your customer support system to provide better service.

In conclusion

Asking customers for feedback is good, no doubt. But, to build customer loyalty and gain a comprehensive understanding, we need more. And that ‘more’ comes when we collect customer feedback by understanding what customers tell us without telling us directly. All the above methods help us understand our customers in depth. This in turn helps us create a product that is suited to our customers.


There are many ways to collect customer feedback. You can get feedback quickly through real-time engagement on social media platforms or by using pop-up surveys on your website or app.

You can gather customer feedback through various methods like surveys, social media interactions, customer support interactions, online reviews, and user behavior analytics on your website or app.

You can try to convince your customers to give feedback by emphasizing the value of their opinions in improving products/services. You can also offer incentives like discounts or rewards. Furthermore, you can ensure a simple and convenient feedback process.

You can motivate your customers with personalized rewards, and exceptional customer service. You can also provide a touch of personalization in your services to resonate with your customers.

There are various tools like Feedspace, SurveyMonkey, etc., that can help you get feedback from customers. With Feedspace, you can collect customer feedback in various ways. You can collect text, video, and audio responses from your customers. Moreover, it helps you gain a deeper understanding of your customers’ requirements.

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