What is it that propels a startup from being just an idea to a sustainable success? Is it an original idea? An exceptional team? A focus on Innovation? Or a visionary leader?

Here at Cove we feel it is customer feedback. Encouraging, listening, and acting upon customer feedback is the most powerful tool that you can leverage in order to develop a great product or service your customers will love.

Online brands are lucky in that they can monitor consumer behaviour in real-time with tools like Mixpanel, Google Analytics, and Hotjar. And although feedback through quantitative observation is great to identify what your customers are doing, unless you ask for qualitative feedback, it is difficult to understand why they are behaving that way.

Let’s take a look at how we gather qualitative feedback here at Cove through three separate parts of the customer journey…

Post purchase

When we launched in 2018 we did things old-school and picked up the phone. Every customer which switched to our then-unknown brand was exciting, and calling them to thank them provided a great opportunity to sense their satisfaction and share our excitement with them.

There was no upsell, and we found reaching out strengthened the customer relationship and made our new customers feel valued. It also gave us a deep understanding of why people were leaving some of New Zealand’s biggest brands to trust the new kid on the block.

Both the product and brand feedback you receive from new customers will assist in fine-tuning your marketing messages, and you’ll quickly hone in on what made people attracted to your proposition. Such feedback is immensely valuable in steering messaging across your website, marketing material, and customer communications to attract more like-minded people.

Cart abandonment

Studies continually show that the majority of online shopping carts are abandoned without a purchase being made. The reasons for abandonment range from users simply shopping around, to unexpected shipping costs, to concerns about payment security.

Since there is such a high rate of abandonment, it’s a good idea to have captured the customers email address by the time they get to the checkout screen. We send all cart abandoners a simple double-pronged question: “What initially attracted you to Cove, and what we could have done better to earn you as a customer?”

The one-line responses we receive give us a thorough understanding of what put a potential customer off switching to Cove, despite their initial attraction. These objections are then categorised, reviewed, and prioritised in an effort to ensure we are removing these barriers for future visitors to our website.


Before Cove was launched we asked a number of Kiwis to tell us what matters most to them when it comes to insurance, and it was often “to provide an exceptional claims experience”. For us to strive towards this a Net Promoter Score is recorded from the questions “How likely are you to recommend Cove to friends and family following your recent claims experience?”, followed by an opportunity to provide unstructured comments or feedback. Simple tools such as SurveyMonkey, or Kiwi startup AskNicely, can help you in recording and understanding your company’s NPS score.

Although a focus on claims only applies to insurers, you can identify the key moments in your customer journey which could make or break the experience customers have with your business. Whether it be digital tools, email, or a phone call, find the right tool to get a deeper understanding of why your customers (or potential customers) are behaving that way, to help set your business up for customer-led growth.

This article was originally published in the Jan/Feb 2020 issue of M2 Magazine.