One characteristic all successful businesses have in common is that they are equally aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They know which aspects of their business they need to put front and center and which aspects they need to work on. To be able to get to this point, one thing is of great importance, and that is having relevant and honest customer feedback, because who better to tell you what your products or services lack than the people who purchase and use them themselves.
Getting customer feedback is extremely valuable for the advancement of your business and for improving your products or services.
It can help you discover issues that might not be so obvious, but most importantly, it can help you keep a clean rep. Unfortunately, most happy customers don’t have a habit of leaving feedback, which isn’t in any way your fault, it’s just a fact that people don’t usually remember to leave a review after getting a product or service they are happy with. But on the other hand, a dissatisfied customer will be very quick to talk about a bad experience they had with your business to people in their surroundings and their followers on social media. If this becomes a standard occurrence in the case of your business, you could end up with a bad reputation that you aren’t even aware of.
So in order to be informed about both positive and negative experiences people are having with your business, you need to have the appropriate means of gaining feedback implemented that will encourage people to share them.
When it comes to choosing a method for gaining feedback, you have plenty of options, but to be honest, not all of them are effective and might just be an annoyance to your customers or something that they scroll past without giving a second look.
To help you not waste time on methods that won’t give you any valuable information or any information at all, in this article we will list some of the most effective ways of gaining customer feedback that will enable you to establish the right type of communication with the people that matter the most to your business, your customers.
The best type of feedback is fresh feedback, and the best way of getting it is to reach out to your customers through live chat.
Compared to emails and forms used for leaving feedback, live chat is much more practical and accessible to your customers.
A live chat window will, in 99% of cases, pop up on its own automatically after a user loads a site, so finding it won’t be a difficult task. Besides being a quick and easy method garnering feedback, live chat can be used to improve user experience as well. It improves it by being there for your customers in any situation or in case of any inconvenience, whether it be trouble with finding something, issues with completing a payment, requiring more information, or any other issue of that sort.
Sticking with the theme of getting the feedback while it’s fresh, post-transactional emails can be used to do exactly that. Unlike standard feedback gathering emails that aren’t sent out at a specific time, post-transactional emails are sent out immediately after a customer has completed an action that triggers the email. That can be an action like completing a purchase, requesting a refund, subscribing to a service or canceling the service, basically after any transaction between a customer and your business that you would like feedback on.
Post-transactional emails are effective because a customer is much keener on giving you feedback right after a transaction was completed rather than days sometimes weeks later. The information will also be a lot more accurate since the experience is still fresh in the customer’s mind, while days later, they might not even remember it anymore.
Your customers will often be more open to sharing their feedback when they see other people doing it as well. On community forums, your customers can share their feedback with you and with each other. They can talk about each other’s experience with your business, agree if they had a similar one or disagree if that isn’t the case. This is good for you because you can use it to identify what is a common issue and what is more of a one-time occurrence.
Community forums can also be a great place to ask for suggestions on new products and features you might want to add to your offer. This way, you might even realize that what you thought your customers might want/need is completely different from what they actually do, stopping you from wasting money on something that is completely unnecessary.
Use social media
Nowadays, social media is one of the most useful tools a business can use, and besides being used for promotion and advertising, it can come in extremely handy for gathering feedback from your customers. Your customers can leave the feedback on their own initiative, through comments or and private messages, or you can directly ask them for it using polls and questionnaires in your stories, and posts.
This method of garnering feedback is extremely easy to implement and won’t require much effort from you, except to ask the right questions.
Since the feedback will be coming from people who are your followers it will most likely be candid and constructive. But don’t worry, you won’t be getting only the positive side of things, social media is probably the first place you will receive negative feedback as well since it is the go-to place people use for venting after a bad experience.
Give rewards in return for feedback
People love free stuff, and if they can do a little something in order to get it, they definitely will. You can use this to your advantage to encourage your customers to leave the feedback you so desperately need. We’re not saying that you should pay them for it, but only that you should show appreciation for the fact that they set aside some of their valuable time in order to answer the few questions that you have. You could do this by giving them discounts, coupons, special offers, free shipping, gifts, or whatever else you think they might enjoy.
Check your analytics
If your customers are reluctant to leave feedback regardless of the method you are using, then the only thing left to do is to dig up the feedback yourself using your site’s analytics. Your analytics can tell you a lot, for example, on which pages of your site are people spending the longest or shortest amount of time on, which features are they struggling to use, at what point do most of them give up on making a purchase and so on. This way, you will have a clear insight into the experience people are having on your site. Using it, you can make the right adjustments to improve that experience, all without bothering your customers with polls, forms, emails, questionnaires, or anything of that sort.
Now that you’ve seen our picks for the most effective ways of gaining customer feedback, we hope you found at least one that could be right for your needs and goals. What method will be the best one will depend on the industry you are in, the type of product/service you are offering, and the people that make up your consumer base. Another thing to keep in mind is that finding the right method will take some time and experimenting, but it’s all more than worth it considering how valuable the information you get in return is. Also, there is no rule saying you can only use one method of garnering feedback, maybe a combination of two, three or more methods will prove to be the best solution in your case.