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Customer support has grown over the last few decades drastically. Many big companies have shown their dire interest in investing in customer support. This field has not been called “The Face of the company” for nothing. With the help of customer support staff, the business owners have been able to have insight over customer trends.
Over the year online business owners have tried and tested many ways to know what their customers want. Having an efficient customer support has proven to be one of the successful ways in doing so. With the real power remaining in the hands of customers, business owners are bound to find new and efficient ways of customer interaction.
One such way of interacting with customers and gathering insight of the customer trends is having a Customer Feedback System.
According to Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Inc.
I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.
Since many big companies see its potential, customer feedback has become an integral part of Customer Support.
Customer Feedback can be defined as a way of gathering customer’s opinion about a business, product or service. It may be in the form of a written document or in a much convenient way, through Emails.
Customer feedback is one of the most important aspects of business development. It not only allows business owners to know about customer expectations, but it also allows them to see where their company stand at a given moment.
If you want to know more about Customer Feedback, and specifically about the importance of customer feedback, you can read more by clicking here. Here you will also find some of the best ways to handle bad customer feedback. So make sure to give it a go.
Customer feedback is surely a must-have but most of the aspiring business owners have no clue how to do that. So if you are also among those who don’t seem to know where their company is lacking in gathering customer insight, this article will help you look out the best ways to gather customer feedback.
How to gather Customer Feedback..?
It is a well- known fact among business owners that customers don’t bother writing a feedback until they have a really bad experience. And making customers write a feedback for a great experience is a totally different story.
Customer feedback lets people working for a company understand a lot of difficult issues of their customers.
- What makes customers stop using our product..?
- Why the traffic is low on a particular page..?
- Which features are popular among customers and why..?
- Why our customers are returning back from the pricing page..?
These questions can cause serious issues in the business world and must be answered as soon as possible. It is in those circumstances, customer feedback acts as the rescue mechanism.
Here are some of the best ways business owners can gather customer feedback:
With the help of Surveys
When it comes to feedback surveys, there is nothing to dislike. Feedback surveys are very easy to set up and analyze. With a little bit of creativity business owners can even make it more fun to the customers to fill in the surveys.
Basically, there are two types of feedback surveys:
- Long Feedback Surveys
- Short Feedback Surveys
Let us dig deeper and talk about both of these in detail.
Long Feedback Surveys
Services such as SurveyMonkey, JotForm allow
It is to be noted that this option to gather customer feedback should be used in case of loyal customers. Being a long survey it can take up to 20-30 minutes just to complete it. For most of the normal customers, it can prove to be tedious and frustrating.
But once customers fill these surveys, it acts as a resource of great value. The business owners can analyze the survey and can try to figure out where they are going wrong.
Here are some best practices that you can keep in mind while working with long surveys:
- Keep your questions to the point. Ask only those questions which will help you analyze the status of your company or product. Don’t ask unnecessary questions as they tend to waste both your’s as well as your customer’s time.
- Since the name suggests “long”, it doesn’t have to be like a huge question paper. Ask not more than 10-15 questions if you don’t want your customers to become irritated.
- Try to avoid MCQs. If you genuinely want to know customer’s feedback, let them answer the question the way they want. Don’t force your assumptions onto customers and then think that the outcome will be productive.
Short Feedback surveys
As the name suggests, “Short Feedback Surveys” are the shorter version of the feedback survey that we discussed above. The main reason these surveys are more successful than the longer ones is the fact that they take less time for customers to complete. Besides, the store owners can have these surveys on their own websites rather than going for other services.
The short feedback surveys are generally containing 2-3 questions along with a text field where customers can write their answers. The best way to make use of these surveys is by adding these to separate pages of your website. This will separate the issues or suggestions customers have based on a particular page on the website.
Have you ever thought about the idea of using Live Chat for feedback..?
Well..! You should..!
Live chat has been the choice of the customers following the lesser time involved in a whole chat session. Keeping in mind the customer preference, it can serve as one of the best ways to gather customer feedback.
One of the best ways to integrate chat into your website is with the help of Tawk.to. It provides seamless integration right to your website with the help of a WordPress plugin.
You can click here and read more to have a deeper insight about Live Chat.
Dedicated feedback form on your website
The feedback form is just like the customer support’s Ticket Submission Form, which is placed somewhere on the website itself. The basic advantage of having a feedback form on your website is that you can customize it the way you want, whenever you want.
With a dedicated feedback form, the hesitation of having MCQs can be eliminated. Plus you can even manage the size of the feedback form and the number questions based on the customer reactions.
As a bonus point, the feedbacks collected by the feedback form can be easily managed with the help of a HelpDesk Ticketing System like WSDesk, in the form of tickets. That way it would be very easy to track as well as manage the responses to the customer feedback.
Customer service feedback email
This is one of the most loved and prefered way of customer interaction. Email may sound a bit too old-school but it is still working wonders when it comes to having interaction with the customers.
Unlike many new ways of communication, Email is well-established and almost every customer knows how email works. But having a strategy to use with customer feedback emails seems to add a personalised touch to that.
Customer feedback emails are different from other means of gathering feedback. Where other means must be available to the customers 24*7, these emails should be sent to the customers periodically. The perfect timing to send customers these feedback emails is right after they create a new account. It can ask for the experience that customer had which led him to the conclusion of having an account on your website.
Another best time to send these emails is right after the customers receive their shipment or order. You can send them an email asking them about the whole experience of having business with your store.
Social media monitoring
Today no one remains untouched by the mighty reach of Social Media..!
The same goes for online business. Customers tend to share their experience more on social media than on the feedback survey links. So it becomes mandatory for store owners to keep a track of what’s trending on Twitter, instead of reading emails.
The best way to keep track of customer feedback in social media is by having a dedicated department of hard-working employees. Monitoring social media is a very typical task and most of the people underestimate it to be easier than it really is. But there are a lot of instances where a single social media post destroyed the dreams of a company altogether. So you better get started fast.
Ask after Order confirmation
As discussed earlier, asking for a feedback right after a successful order confirmation lets customers know that even when a store is done serving them, it still cares about how they feel. This can include asking them whether they faced any difficulties in placing their order or whether there is something that they would like to change to have a better experience.
The feedback at this point can have MCQs with a single option to ask customers their experience in detail.
Reasons for an empty cart
Most of the online stores face a threat of customers having to empty their carts or returning back from the payments page. Abandoning the cart is never a pleasant site for both the customer as well as the store owners. Hence, asking customers the reason for abandoning the cart seems obvious.
The feedback option at such a scenario can be limited to options predefined by the store owners. It is interesting to see the possible reasons that could be provided to the customers to fill out the feedback. Here are some examples:
- the payment options did not suit the customer
- customers found a better deal with some other website
- it took unexpectedly more time to add and see products in the cart
- there were additional (hidden) charges to the cost
And much more.
Show customer feedback on your website
One of the best practice for any business owners, whether online or offline, is to showcase the customer feedback that they receive. There are many benefits of doing so.
- By putting up the genuine customer feedback the customers are getting recognition. It shows that the feedback process has a meaning after all.
- The other benefit is that since other customers can see that the company actually listens to its customers. So more and more customers will come forward with their feedback. In turn, having a positive impact for both the company as well as its products.
- Customers will come to know about the genuineness and honesty of the company. Making the customers to trust the company and its product is one of the difficult tasks most of the companies fail to do.
Rewarding best feedback of the month
Rewarding may seem a bit cheezy but it sure does help attain two things at once. A strategy to reward the best feedback of the month may involve sending discount coupons or a gift pack for the customers whose feedback was the most helpful.
There is only one thing to make sure that if going with this strategy, business owners should follow it on a regular basis. Customers should feel like they are also an integral part of the product development. And most of all rewards add a sense of achievement for the customers too.
Monitor On-site analytics
Google analytics provides business owners with a quick insight into what’s happening on their website. With the help of Google analytics, it is possible to know which section of the website is performing better than the rest of the sections.
Moreover, it also allows monitoring of customer actions such as the average time customers spend on a website, the number of pages that they visit in one session, etc.
With the help of such tools, business owners can easily see if their customers are visiting and reading the FAQs provided by them or not. And if that is not the case, they can even take actions to make things right by adding relevant content helpful to the customers.
So this was all about the ways of gathering customer feedback. But the question arises, “What to do once you have successfully gathered the customer feedback..?”
Even though most of the process is complete with the customer feedback recorded and documented with the online store owners, there are still many who can not benefit from all this. The reason being they don’t know what to do with this much data.
Here are some best practices to what should be the next step after collecting the valuable customer feedback:
Respond to Customers
Make this a priority to acknowledge each and every feedback that customers give. Make sure the customers are notified of their review being posted successfully either by a message or Email.
You can use a helpdesk system to send automatic email notification just like WSDesk’s auto-notification. This will let the customer feel important and acknowledged for his review.
Sorting of Customer Feedback
Customer feedback can be very hard to encounter. But it is always a nice thing to see that someone appreciates what you are doing. Sorting customer feedback as good, bad and average will help in being focused even if there are a lot of negative reviews.
When dealing with negative reviews it is very easy to lose focus and feel demotivated. You can read more about how to deal with the negative customer feedback here. This will help you a lot in managing negative feedback in a positive way.
Since we discussed how rewarding can help motivate customers to help in contributing product development, there is one thing that should be kept in mind.
The rewards should not sound as a bribe for the great feedback. This thing should be made clear at the very beginning. Also, every policy and terms should be followed regularly without skipping a single day. The thing with these policies is that if they backfire, it is not a great site for the company’s reputation.
Fulfill feature requests carefully
The feature requests in customer feedback are mostly based on the particular business case. It must be noted that one business case may demand a feature that can become a problem to some other business case.
Hence, before adding feature requested in feedback a proper testing and analysis should be performed. Otherwise, the feature request should be rejected.
As we discussed, it is not possible to listen to every customer feedback and to work upon that. Rejecting may seem a bit rude but instead of arguing with the customers about their understanding of the product, a logical reasoning can prove helpful.
While rejecting a feature, the product managers can send a personalised email to the customers stating the reason behind rejecting their request.
Tend to unhappy customers
The business owners must conduct a proper analysis about the customer’s grievances. While encountering a customer with a bad feedback, he/she should be personally contacted to talk about the issues he faced under your service.
The customer can be contacted through email or a voice call to know more about his experience. The business owners can check where things go wrong and assure their customers that it was a “one-time” thing and will not be repeated under any circumstances.
So far we have discussed the customer feedback and the best ways to gather the most valuable asset with the customers – their review. I hope this article would have helped you in understanding the customer interaction with business owners better.
If you feel there is something which is not covered in this article, feel free to comment below. Or you can let us know about some other ways to gather custmer feedback based on your personal experience.
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