The Ultimate Guide To Collecting Customer Feedback (With High Response Rates)
We all have heard the age-old business mantra that the ‘Customer is King’.
It has long been known that the success of a business relies on its customer base and their continued loyalty. With that in mind, it is easy to understand why collecting customer feedback is so integral to forming long-lasting loyalties with customers.
Customer feedback provides insights into not just what your customer thinks about your business, but also how to best grow your business successfully. With that in mind, the chapters that follow take a closer look at the best way to get customer feedback, and how to use this customer service feedback to grow your brand.
What Is Customer Feedback?
Customer feedback relays information about what a customer felt about a service, product, or interaction. It is a customer's personal opinion based on their experiences and can be positive, negative, or ambivalent.
Customer feedback can come in many forms. It could be via an active campaign from a company such as:
- Interviewing customers.
- Sending out surveys or polls directly to a customer's email.
- Including a review request post-purchase.
- Asking for feedback via pop-ups during their time on your website.
- Or directly asking via free-form reviews.
Alternatively, there are some more passive approaches such as a feedback section on a business page. This is left open for a customer to leave complaints, compliments, or general comments without any compulsion from the business.
Why Is Collecting Customer Feedback So Important?
There are so many benefits to collecting customer feedback. Without customer feedback, it is impossible to know if what you are offering is of value. If you cannot properly understand the value of your product from a customer’s perspective, you cannot market it effectively. You also will be unable to understand your customer’s ongoing needs in relation to what you offer.
This can lead to a failure to retain existing customers and challenges in gaining new customers. With no customers, there's no business. Therein lies the value in collecting customer feedback and properly understanding and implementing its insights. Keeping a customer happy is also an investment in securing new clients via word of mouth.
Marketing specialists Bain & Company state that:
“A customer experience promoter has a lifetime value to a company that’s 600% to 1,400% that of a detractor.”
Ultimately, placing importance on customer feedback ensures that you keep the customer at the heart of everything you do. This leads to a more successful business that is better able to grow. One of the best ways to collect and collate this feedback is through customer feedback software. This feedback can then be used to drive your marketing strategies, product development, and customer service strategies.
What Are The Difficulties In Asking Customers For Feedback?
Asking customers for feedback is not necessarily as straightforward as it sounds. There can be challenges in how you engage a customer to obtain their opinion following an interaction with your business. Often, it all comes down to the approach.
For some customers, they simply do not like or do not have the time to complete surveys or polls. In these situations, feedback requests will be discarded. For others, an improperly executed or poorly thought out approach will either deter them or elicit an inaccurate response that lacks honesty. Your customers want to feel that you truly value their feedback and believe that they possess good ideas.
For most businesses the biggest obstacle or difficulty in asking customers for feedback is fear. Fear, however, should not hold you back from wanting to understand your customer. Feedback, both positive and particularly negative, helps you to shape how you grow your business and remain successful. With this in mind, a business should always solicit feedback, and use it - both negative and positive.
The Best Ways To Get Customer Feedback - 13 Methods With High Response Rates
If you have ever felt unsure about how to go about obtaining useful feedback from your customer base, try implementing one or more of these methods.
- Customer feedback surveys.
- Customer feedback forms.
- Sending follow up emails.
- Targeted website surveys.
- Offer incentives.
- In-message surveys.
- Keep an eye out and monitor social media pages.
- Add feedback surveys into your WiFi network.
- Use recorded sales calls.
- Post-purchase feedback.
- Monitor feedback on other sites.
- Request feedback on the order confirmation page.
- Use live chat.
1. Customer Feedback Surveys
Customer feedback surveys should be part of any successful business’s approach to collecting customer feedback. Two very effective customer feedback survey styles are the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT).
An NPS asks the customer to rate their interaction with your business on a scale of 1-10. Scores rated 0-6 are counted as Detractors, scores 7-8 are viewed as Passives, and scores 9-10 are the Promoters. An NPS calculator can help you determine your exact scoring, which is done by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. This then gives you the net likelihood that your customer would recommend you to a friend.
CSAT is similar to NPS in that it is also captured on a sliding scale between 1-10. It is asked with a corresponding question such as ‘how likely would you be to recommend a friend?’. 1 representing the worst and 10 the best outcome. CSAT is often used to query a customer's experience over many aspects of their interaction and allows a business to pinpoint problem areas more easily.
2. Customer Feedback Forms
Customer feedback forms are an efficient and economical method of gaining insights into the experience that customers are having with your business. Customer feedback forms are beneficial for giving customers a free-form platform via a ‘free text’ box. This box can be used by customers to voice their opinions, make suggestions, and craft personalized reviews.
These forms are usually designed to be user-friendly, with simple, uncomplicated language. They should also be simple in design to promote visual appeal. They can be mailed out to customers post-purchase or built into a website to give customers the option to engage with your business at any time.
3. Sending Follow Up Emails
Often an underrated customer feedback tool, the follow-up email can actually be very effective. For businesses where a customer has had direct interaction with a customer service representative, they represent a great opportunity. Email feedback is simple and easy to collect.
Customers like to feel valued and that their time and business with you matters. By sending a follow-up email, you are reinforcing that you appreciate their dealing with you. It also helps customers know that you didn't forget about them the minute a call ended or an email was sent. This can be integral to building long-term repeat business and wowing customers. These customers are also then more likely to give useful and honest feedback.
4. Targeted Website Surveys
Done via a slide or pop up widget, targeted website surveys elicit an immediate response from your customers. They may cover queries such as ‘how would you rate us?’ or ‘did you find what you were looking for?’ These surveys can also be used to prompt conversions on sales by offering discounts when visitors seek to navigate away from the page.
Targeted website surveys can irritate customers, however, so proceed with caution. To avoid frustration, make sure that they are relevant to the customer’s behavior while browsing, contain only short, simple questions, and are easy to exit if desired.
5. Offer Incentives
Incentivizing a customer to provide feedback is a proven tactic. Most customers will be willing to provide feedback in exchange for something. Often referred to as lead magnets, these incentives may include:
- A percentage off their next purchase.
- Free shipping.
- A complimentary gift.
- A charitable donation made in the customer’s name.
There is no end to what these incentives can be, it just comes down to what fits with your business and client base. The role of incentives is of course to secure more feedback. If your business is already receiving more than a 10% response rate to surveys, then you may not need to pursue incentives.
6. In-message Surveys
In-message surveys can be disseminated via email or through a web-chat service. These messages are automated to respond to a customer’s action - such as canceling a service. The survey will ask a question, usually with the option to select an answer from a list. When the customer selects an answer, they are redirected to a longer survey related to their answer.
In-message surveys can be very effective as they capture feedback at a specific moment related to a particular action. They tend to elicit honest, rapid response times from customers.
7. Keep An Eye Out And Monitor Business Social Media Pages
Social media dominates these days and that's no exception for marketing and feedback. For marketing, opinions, star ratings and more, social media is a great tool. It is so important that businesses maintain an active online presence beyond their own webpage.
The majority of your customers will likely have checked to see if you have a Facebook or Instagram. Many of these will have formed an impression about your business before ever engaging with you based on your social media pages. Watch how your clients engage and ensure that you read and respond to customer comments and feedback. This can help you better position yourself amongst the competition.
8. Add Feedback Surveys Into Your WiFi Network
Ever been to an airport or hotel and logged into their WiFi network? On the login page, you may have been asked to provide feedback about your experience. This is an example of building surveys into a WiFi network.
These surveys are often quite successful as customers will fill out the survey as part of the login process. This means that it doesn't feel like an external prod for information, but rather part of a necessary process to gain access to the WiFi network. The surveys can be targeted to question a certain location or just generalized. For example, if the customer logs into the restaurant or lounge network, the questions could be about food or service.
9. Use Recorded Sales Calls
Recorded sales calls are an invaluable tool when it comes to understanding customers and how best to wow them. It’s not a traditional feedback method in regards to capturing a direct opinion from a customer, but useful nonetheless.
Recorded sales calls can provide a great training opportunity, especially for those in outbound sales roles. It can allow an in-depth review of various approaches to sales and how customers reacted to those methods. Using both successful and failed sales calls can give insights into your customers and what appeals to them concerning your product.
10. Post-purchase Feedback
A post-purchase feedback form is presented to a customer immediately following a purchase. At the close of the transaction, they will be asked something along the lines of ‘do you have a few moments to give us your feedback?’.
The goal of the post-purchase feedback is to highlight any issues a customer may have had during the buying experience. It also serves to bring attention to any potential objections or aspects of the transaction that the customer had concerns with. Questions should focus on asking ‘what did you love about the experience?’ and ‘what could we do better?’.
11. Monitor Feedback On Other Sites
Whenever someone is considering a purchase or considering engaging with your company, they’re going to Google it. Chances are that one of the search results will be a comparison website or review site such as Capterra. These sites host reviews of products with customer ratings, opinions, and questions.
It is important to monitor what people are saying about your business on these forums and to respond to any feedback.
Potential customers will value that your concern for their experience extends beyond your brand’s website. It also allows you to see if there are any unresolved issues with displeased customers that may have been missed. In short, it's a great way to see what you're doing well and what you're not doing so well in a court of public opinion.
12. Request Feedback On The Order Confirmation Page
Order confirmation pages generate the biggest open and click-through rates in the ecommerce industry. This makes them an ideal place to request feedback. A great order confirmation page will summarize not just the customer order but also:
- Thank them for purchasing with you.
- Invite them to follow your social media pages.
- Provide a lead-magnet via a limited time offer as a reward.
- Ask for their feedback.
By following this order, you can more readily entice a customer to provide feedback and hopefully, positive feedback.
13. Use Live Chat
Live chat provides an instant feedback option for customers. It helps to heighten how valued they feel when they have direct access to customer care. A fast response is one way to wow your customers.
Keep in mind that live chat may also attract negative feedback as customers are more likely to use it when something isn't right. The upside to this is that you're able to resolve any complaints much faster via a live chat service. The result: higher customer satisfaction.
How Should You Use The Customer Feedback That You’ve Gathered?
Identify Where There Can Be Improvements Made
Once you have a clear picture of what customers are not liking or what they believe you could do better, it's time to work out a plan. A proactive approach to addressing customer feedback could include:
- Improving the user experience of your website, ensuring no glitches and seamless navigation.
- Building on your social influence to boost engagement with your customers and build trust.
- Evolving your product range in line with customer needs and requests. Reviewing your pricing and the competition can also be helpful to ensure that you're remaining accessible to your customers.
- Improving customer service. This could be via better response times, or targeted training around resolutions for common complaints.
Find Your Niche
Using customer feedback to find your niche can help you capture a specific corner of the market. With a niche strategy, you can leverage your expertise to better stand out among the competition.
Niche marketing strategies are not suited to every business, but they do offer benefits when used in the right situation. These benefits include:
- Enhanced customer relationships.
- Reduced competition.
- Increased visibility.
- Improved word of mouth growth.
- Honed expertise.
- Requiring fewer resources to serve clients.
- More enjoyment as a business owner.
For customers, expertise is often considered more important than brand name or size. Meaning that for small business owners, finding your niche can help your business succeed and overcome the competition.
Perhaps one of the most important ways in which you can use customer feedback is to reduce or prevent churn. Churn refers to the rate of attrition or rate at which a customer stops doing business with an entity. Churn is usually measured by reviewing the percentage of subscribers who discontinue their subscriptions within a given time frame.
For example, if you start the quarter with 500 customers and end with 475, your churn rate would be 5%, as you lost 5% of your customers. The reason a business should work on reducing churn is because it is easier to retain existing customers than it is to acquire new ones. With this in mind, it’s integral to the success of your business to understand what makes your customers happy. Happy customers are customers who will continue to come back.
The best ways to reduce churn are to:
- Focus on the customer.
- Analyze the churn when it occurs and as it occurs.
- Demonstrate that you care to your customers.
Connect With The Customer And Win
Ultimately there is no set rule for determining which customer feedback methods will work for each business. It may be that a combination of methods work for one or a sequence of trial and error is required to find the right fit.
If your business is pursuing excellent customer service feedback and looking for ways to improve connection through implementing that feedback, then you are on the right path. Should you need support with obtaining customer feedback, we can help.