10 things to consider when collecting customer feedback
You’ve decided that you need to begin collecting customer feedback. Or, you already are but need to improve how you do it. Learning what your customers think about your business and how to take action on it can be overwhelming. There are multiple ways you can collect and process customer feedback, from survey tools, to interview views, to online review sites. Our Customer Feedback Software is also designed to help you streamline this process.
However you decide to collect this info, there are some things to consider to make everything run smoothly. It’ll also help you get what you need, in a way that is useful and help you apply it to improve your business.
Why is collecting customer feedback important?
Customer feedback contains a wealth of knowledge about your business, processes, and the actual product or service. There are some key reasons to collect this feedback: you can learn ways to improve, it allows customers to be involved which increases loyalty and it can help in getting new customers.
When asking customers what they think about your business, you’re likely to instantly find out lots of little improvements you could make. Different ways to process payments, new color options, alternative ways to reach out for service. Talking to your customers allows you to find out how your product or service is working in the real world.
Asking for feedback is definitely valuable for your business, but it also makes your customers feel valued, which increases loyalty. Them staying with your business longer reduces the number of new customers you need to find (and the costs associated with that). You might also learn of issues that are putting off potential customers that can be easily fixed.
So let’s get started. Here are 10 things to consider when collecting customer feedback.
1. Have a user-friendly website
What you’re selling might be great, beyond your customers’ expectations in so many ways. But, if they struggle to purchase it because your website is slow to load, confusing to navigate or doesn’t have the information they need, they may rate you lower when providing customer feedback.
Instead, understanding how your customers are moving around your website and making this process as pain-free as possible can improve your feedback scores. You can use tools like heat mapping and analytics to see which parts of the pages and whole site people are visiting, hovering on and exiting from.
Site speed is also a key part of usability. If your site is slow to load, you may not even have the chance to turn browsers into customers. 70% of respondents in one study said that sluggish sites have a direct impact on their willingness to part with their cash.
2. Provide personalized customer service
In times of automation, online shopping and digitization of everything, there is one thing that customers really appreciate. And that’s personalized service. 71% of consumers have stopped shopping with a business due to a poor customer service experience. Personalization is one of the four ways to turn this around (alongside competency, convenience and proactivity).
This can be as simple as adding customer names into your emails to providing recommendations of products based on previous purchase behavior. Simple steps to tailor your customers’ experiences can turn people into customers as well as helping maintain them over time.
3. Ask for customer feedback by email
We all know the power of recommendations from friends and family members. Word of mouth is one of the most trusted forms of advertising. But did you know that 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? This is why it’s so important to ask for customer feedback.
If you ask for customer feedback by email you can reach your customers at the right time, either straight after purchase or giving them enough time to experience your product or service. You can either use a tool like our Customer Feedback Software, encourage them to leave a review on Google or complete a survey. For more on the ultimate guide to collecting customer feedback, click here.
4. Interact with customers over the chat feature
Customers often don’t want to wait for an email reply or to pick up the phone. If they’re interacting with your business online, they want to receive support right then and there, on your site. It’s kind of like being in a store and being able to turn around and speak to someone.
Setting up a chat function on your website allows customers to get answers to questions they might have right at the moment that they are deciding whether to buy from your business or not. You’ll often be able to solve problems, answer questions or provide the piece of information that will close the sale as well as collecting customer feedback in the chat window.
5. Use creativity in solving customer problems
When gathering customer feedback you never know what you might uncover. The unexpected finds could be wonderful new uses for your product or suggestions for improvements that you haven’t imagined. However, there may also be issues you never thought of, limits of your existing processes or other negatives surprises.
This is when it’s important to keep your mind open and to be creative. Creativity can be your secret problem-solving tool. It can help you think of novel strategies to help your customers which will lead you closer to optimal solutions, rather than just the same old fixes you’ve used in the past.
6. Leverage the benefits of social media for customer feedback
One of the benefits of social media is the ability to listen to what your customers are saying about you as well as having conversations with them. Comments on your posts, tags in other people’s posts and conversations happening between your fans are all goldmines of customer feedback.
Finding a simple listening tool can keep an ear to the ground on social media channels to see when your business is mentioned. You’ll also want a way of keeping track of all the comments or tags so that you can include this in any reporting of your customer feedback. And don’t be scared to ask people for feedback on social media. It can be a quick, easy way for them to share with you.
7. Keep a close tab on why customers were dissatisfied. Then improvise!
If your customers are telling you that they’re not happy, make sure you don’t just disregard this customer feedback. If you have overwhelmingly positive support, it can be tempting to not value the outlier voices.
Even if most of your customers are telling you that they’re happy, the few that are you telling you otherwise give you a chance to improvise, improve and grow your business even further. You don’t want to completely redesign your business because of the feedback, but it can give you ideas for limited product runs, tweaks or areas you may need to focus on in the future.
8. Don’t forget to include user surveys
When you’re collecting customer feedback it is so important to include user surveys. Rather than just ad hoc reviews, surveys allow you to ask for feedback on specific parts of your business. It also allows you to get insights from multiple customers, rather than just a single take on your product or service.
Getting this feedback from a broad cross-section of customers is important. Some will never have requested a refund, some only shop online, some will need a new product and could move to a competitor as you don’t supply it. User surveys, when done well, will capture information that digs into all your processes, products and services to create useful feedback for your business.
9. Analyze the data from these user surveys to improve customer service
Customer service isn’t always about your frontline staff. Analyzing the data from your surveys will allow you to improve service in other ways too. Perhaps the invoicing and payment process is cumbersome. Maybe the courier company is slower than expected. Or the website is slow to load and move between pages because there are so many images included.
All interactions are a chance to do customer service well and improve your customers’ overall experience. Having a robust system in place to analyze the data from your user surveys can bring to light trends or patterns in how your customers feel as they deal with your business.
10. Constantly do user testing and work on feedback
Once you’ve gathered feedback, analyzed it, found improvements you could make and actioned them, it’s not time to slow down. To be a truly customer centric organisation you need to constantly stay on top of how your customers are experiencing the changes you’re making.
Setting up a culture and system of continuous customer feedback and improvements will see your business continue to evolve and grow, alongside your customers. Reviewing their feedback can be challenging or push you to face the areas of your business that need a bit of work, but all this will make your business stronger and your customers happier.
Collecting customer feedback can provide you with valuable insights, actionable improvements and another perspective on your business. There are some simple strategies to include in your process to ensure that you maximize the value you’re getting out of the whole process.
A system like our Customer Feedback Software can help you get the feedback through to the right people at the right time, continuously gather data to see the impacts of your changes and stay in touch with your customers throughout their lifecycle. All of this will mean you have happier customers that are recommending you to their friends and family, growing your business in the process.