The Art of Asking for Customer Feedback
Ahh the art of customer feedback. Like playing Jenga or performing a magic trick, there’s a fine art to collecting feedback in a way that actually improves your customer experience. You may have crafted an excellent survey, but if you're met with radio silence at the other end, it’s not much use. If you want customers to provide valuable feedback, you must make them genuinely want to do so – and there’s a few things you need to do in order to make that happen. Read on to uncover how to get the most of your surveys, in the fine art of asking for customer feedback.
Meet Customers Where They Are
In order for you to get the most relevant feedback from your customers, or to get any feedback from them at all for that matter, you need to meet them where they are. Customers won’t go out of their way to come to you, so you need to reach them in a way that’s simple, accessible and requires minimal effort on their end.
Most of the time, this is on mobile. By sending surveys directly to the pockets of your customers, they can easily drop their feedback while they’re responding to a text or checking their email. While desktop surveys can be useful for some target markets, make sure all surveys you send out can be completed easily on mobile to cover your bases.
Don't Ask Too Many Questions!
The adage "less is more" absolutely applies to customer surveys. The rule of thumb is simple: the more questions you ask, the fewer responses you'll receive. In fact, studies indicate that surveys with 1-3 questions have a completion rate of 83.34%, while surveys with 15 questions and more have a completion rate of 41.94%. Short surveys not only have better completion rates but also yield higher-quality data.
For an effective survey that customers will actually want to complete, we recommend using 1-3 Net Promoter Score (NPS) questions such as, "On a scale from one to ten, how likely are you to recommend our business?" Follow up these questions with cascading questions like, "Why?" to uncover the reasons behind each response.
Only ask the essential questions that will provide the information you need. Choose wisely!
Reward and Be Rewarded
Don’t shy away from a cheeky incentive. Whether it's discounts, freebies, or vouchers, incentives can motivate customers to share their opinions. Customer feedback is gold when it comes to improving your customer experience, so it’s a smart investment.
By providing an extra incentive, you not only show your appreciation for their time and effort but also increase the likelihood of receiving a higher volume of feedback, providing you with a broader and more comprehensive understanding of your customers' needs and preferences. So, get creative with your incentives and watch as your customers eagerly engage in sharing their thoughts and experiences.
Thank Customers & Take Action
If a customer goes out of their way to provide valuable feedback through surveys, a sincere thank you is in order. Ensure that you have predefined responses in place that convey a genuine appreciation for their participation in the survey.
However, it's important to remember that actions speak louder than words. The most significant way to show gratitude to your customers is by taking concrete action based on their feedback. Actively listen to their suggestions, identify areas for improvement, and implement changes accordingly. By demonstrating that you value their input and are committed to making meaningful changes, you not only foster a stronger relationship with your customers but also create a customer-centric culture that breeds loyalty and satisfaction.
Get Your Timing Right
Like many fine arts, when it comes to collecting customer feedback, timing is everything. Research from Gartner found that feedback collected at the point-of-experience is 40% more accurate than feedback collected even a day later. While best timings will vary across industries and customer segments, generally, fresh is best. For most industries, this ‘fresh point’ is anywhere between 1 and 7 days. In that period, customers are still riding the highs (or lows) from their recent experiences, and you’ll be able to extract feedback that’s authentic, meaningful and relevant. Not only are your customers more likely to provide accurate feedback, but asking within 1-7 days of a customer experience makes acting on that feedback much easier for frontline teams. If a frontline employee is made aware of average or negative feedback within a week, they have time to remedy things with the customer before they turn bitter.
The Bottom Line
The art of asking for customer feedback is a delicate balance that requires strategic considerations. To truly improve the customer experience, it's crucial to go beyond crafting an excellent survey and focus on making customers genuinely want to provide feedback. Meeting customers where they are, keeping surveys concise, incorporating incentives, thanking and acting and being strategic around timing will make all the difference. By mastering the art of asking for customer feedback and applying these strategies, you can unlock valuable insights and elevate the customer experience to new heights.