It’s difficult to know what your customers are thinking and feeling.
Maybe your new product isn’t doing so well or your big seasonal sale just flopped. Every business has a down day. The question is… Why?
To answer that question (and many similar ones), you’ll want to start collecting feedback from your customers.
If you’re able to gather it effectively, a whole new world of knowledge opens up about how to satisfy your customers’ needs.
Get inspired by these 15 ways to gather customer feedback. It will help you to develop your ideal customer feedback strategy for your business.
The 4 main methods of collecting customer feedback
We’ll start by discussing the backbone of any customer feedback strategy: the 4 main methods of collecting customer feedback. Let’s see!
Surveys are easily the most well-known method of collecting customer feedback.
A survey can generate specific feedback for issues that you want to focus on. Write questions that let you collect customer feedback relevant to the challenges your business is facing.
However, customer surveys also have some drawbacks. One of them is: people are unlikely to fill out long surveys. Even if they do, they’ll likely be clicking their answers more or less randomly, halfway through.
To avoid this, make sure to keep your surveys short and to the point. Only use feedback survey questions that you really need the answers to.
2. Feedback boxes
Feedback boxes make it easy for you to get feedback without interrupting your visitors’ shopping experience.
These are a one-question form—placed in a highly visible area on your website.
While surveys collect the customer feedback you ask for, feedback boxes can bring insights you never expected.
For example, customers will point out bugs and other problems with their customer experience in a feedback box. This alerts you about the problems that would go unaddressed in a survey.
Here’s a great example from Kissmetrics: they used an open-ended question to ask customers what improvements could be made:
3. Reaching out directly
Sometimes, low-tech solutions are better for collecting high-quality customer feedback.
Calling your customers, emailing them, and organizing meetings with them are all great ways of getting feedback in person.
You can get more value from a simple conversation like verbal and non-verbal cues that you won’t normally get from a survey.
4. Checking heatmaps
Instead of asking your customers directly for feedback, you can look at their actions.
A heatmap gives you a graphical representation of how your visitors interact with your website. Tools like Hotjar, track:
- which sections of your site people are visiting
- where they’re clicking
- where they tend to get stuck
These tools help you to improve the user experience based on what you see on the heatmap. If website visitors tend to get stuck on a certain page, make the navigation smoother on that page. Or, you can also eliminate and restructure sections to provide more value for your customers.
When a company uses and monitors a visitor’s actions to collect feedback, they’re gaining access to insights that they wouldn’t think to ask about. And their customers wouldn’t think to talk about it either.
15 tried and tested ways to get customer feedback for your business
1. Ask for feedback when your visitors try to abandon their cart
One of the best times to gather customer feedback is when visitors leave their carts behind.
In fact, ecommerce sites face a cart abandonment rate of approximately 68%. That means you’ll have tons of opportunities to collect customer feedback. And by acting on that feedback, you can reduce your cart abandonment rate while increasing your conversions and revenue.
You can use a popup with a small textbox to allow users to explain why they didn’t check out.
Alternatively, you can give customers a multiple-choice question to share their reason for cart abandonment. A typical set of response options includes:
- Unexpected/added costs at the checkout stage
- Got a better deal at another site
- The process was taking too long
- Delivery options that don’t suit their preferences
You can use an exit-intent popup from OptiMonk to catch customers and collect valuable feedback just before they abandon their cart.
2. Ask for feedback right after a purchase
Another great tip: ask customers for feedback right after they buy something.
At this stage, customer feedback helps to ensure that you’re building a solid relationship—which will convert a one-time buyer into a loyal customer. Your buyers will feel included when they help a brand or store they really love.
Furthermore, customers who just bought something are in a positive mood. They’re more open to communication. Use this opportunity to your advantage and display an onsite message right after they purchase.
Take a look at the example below. It offers 20% off the next order in exchange for feedback. The discount will encourage customers to answer your questions and help convert them into repeat customers.
3. Use icons to make it easy to leave feedback
Not everyone has the time or desire to answer long surveys about their experience on your website. One way to increase your response rates is using clickable icons that allow your customers to express how they feel.
You can quickly check how your customers are feeling. Gathering many quick reactions can help guide you on issues that affect all users
OptiMonk popups allow your visitors to give feedback quickly and conveniently. Icons are great, clickable attention-getters: stars, emojis, thumbs up/down, or custom images.
4. Get feedback from a live chat session
You can get quick feedback on your customer service from visitors who just sought help from your live chat. And prompt action can help you win your customer’s trust in the case of an unsatisfactory experience.
But beware: both positive and negative emotions will be heightened directly after their live chat session. So the data that you collect will be very raw and accurate.
This feedback can include basic questions about whether their chat experience was helpful or not. This can help you rate your chat-support personnel also.
5. Provide dedicated customer feedback forms
At the very least, you should provide your customers with a dedicated feedback email address, so they can send their grievances and complaints.
This simple step can make your business more trustworthy because customers know where to send an email if they have a problem.
You can take this one step further by providing a dedicated customer feedback form. Here, you can guide website visitors through a short survey to understand exactly what their problem is.
Be sure to include an open field so that visitors can point out problems with your site that you may not know about.
The email address or feedback form should be highly visible on your website. This will make the greatest impact.
6. Measure your customer service performance
Send customers an email survey as soon as their complaint ticket has been resolved.
Ask your customer if they were satisfied with their customer service experience. You can also ask if they were happy with your support team.
These surveys work well when there are only a few questions. A simple option: ask your customers to rate their experience on a scale of one to five.
These ratings can reveal your general level of customer satisfaction. If this degree of satisfaction goes up or down—you can look into why that’s happening.
7. Use NPS to evaluate loyalty
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a customer satisfaction benchmark that measures how likely your customers are to recommend your brand to a friend.
Typically, there’s a scale from 1 to 10 for them to answer the question.
Researchers found that companies with the highest NPS in their industry tend to outgrow their competitors by at least double.
You can find out how enthusiastic your customers are by using OptiMonk’s NPS sticky bar.
8. Use email surveys for new customers
Post-purchase email surveys allow you to get feedback on the entire shopping experience—from search to shipment.
It’s a must for new shoppers because it gives you the chance to learn about, and correct, any problems they experienced during their first purchase. Repeat customers shouldn’t receive a survey after every purchase since it can get annoying quickly.
The customer feedback questions on your new customer survey could be about:
- Motivation: What factors led you to choose our store?
- Options: price, availability, free shipping, etc.
- Entry Point: How did you find our store?
- Options: search engine, customer referral, social media site, comparison site, blog post, local listing, other online ads, etc.
- Products/Services: How did you like using our product/service?
- Options: high/low quality, high/low price, performance relative to expectations, etc.
- Overall Service: How easy was it to order our products?
- Options: website navigation, ease-of-use, availability, customer service experience, delivery time, quality of communication, etc.
Important to note: feedback must be for customer satisfaction and not cross-selling. Otherwise, customers might feel taken advantage of.
Once you’ve received some responses, you can share positive feedback on your website (with permission). These will make the customer feel valued.
9. Monitor social media channels
Companies are now focusing more and more on social media because it can be an invaluable resource for customer feedback. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the most popular social media channels.
Word-of-mouth and negative comments spread rapidly on social media. So it’s vital to respond to complaints at once.
Some of them even help monitor the social presence of your competitors.
Social listening requires dedicated resources such as a combination of your in-house staff and a third-party support team to collect and respond to customer feedback on social media.
Here’s a great example of customer service on social media from T-Mobile.
10. Create an online community
Instead of just gathering comments from social media, why not create a network of your own? Add a forum feature to your website or create a Facebook group to generate excellent feedback for your business.
You’ll have to keep in mind that such communities require continuous monitoring and, ideally, a full-time moderator. The moderator’s responsibilities include:
- Starting new discussions
- Moderating discussions
- Posting and updating regularly
- Responding to feedback, etc.
Giving your customers a forum to express their feedback also gives them a place to find like-minded people. This helps increase user engagement and strengthen your relationship with your customers.
You can even encourage users to share their experiences, pictures, and videos. For example, the homepage of Bebe.com features pictures of customers wearing their merchandise.
11. Monitor feedback on other sites
You’d be surprised at how much buzz your brand gets outside of the top generic social media platforms.
Media coverage, blogs, local listings, and online forums can be full of high-quality feedback. This shapes how people think of your brand. And customers who aren’t happy with your business are likely to vent on these types of forums.
The problem is finding all of this community feedback.
Google Alerts is a must-use resource in this context too. It keeps track of people mentioning your brand, and it picks up on any mentions of your competitors.
Below you can see us configuring our Google Alerts by setting source and language preferences.
12. In-app feedback
An in-app message is ideal for getting feedback on problems that customers run into. This is a great way to get customer feedback about your app’s functionality.
Eventually, one customer will send in a vital piece of feedback that helps improve your app for everyone.
You can also request feedback to get inactive users back into the habit of using your app. Intercom helps you identify certain segments of users, like “users who last visited more than seven days ago,” and you can send them push notifications to engage in a conversation with them.
Offering users a chance to share their complaints and taking steps to fix them, could be a starting point for bringing them back into the fold.
Solutions like Intercom and OptiMonk make it easier to treat your customers like humans. They allow you to ask customer feedback questions based on specific actions that customers took on your website or app.
13. Use Facebook reactions
When Facebook added new ways for people to interact with content beyond the traditional like and comment, a whole new world opened up for getting feedback on social media.
These reactions (love, haha, wow, sad, and angry) allow companies to get fast feedback about available or even upcoming products.
Also, the comment sections are usually active. A high percentage of customers will accompany their reaction with a written opinion.
14. Ask for feedback on the order confirmation page
Your order confirmation page is ideal for seeking feedback about a customer’s online shopping experience.
Ask if customers faced any difficulty in navigating the website and reaching the desired product, if they were happy with the options available, etc.
Keep questions as brief as possible.
This feedback can be a useful source of information and play a critical role in improving your website’s usability.
15. Offer a prize or gift
Typically, it’s very difficult to generate positive feedback. Customers are more likely to send feedback after an unpleasant experience. You can solve this problem by offering gifts to customers for sending feedback.
Gifts can include free shipping, discounts on future purchases, free samples, gift cards, etc.
The prize should be valuable for the customer.
One of the few risks you face with this method is that customers may see this as a “bribe.” Negate the risk by keeping the tone of your email or survey as a genuine effort to improve customer service.
Now that we’ve looked at 15 ways of gathering feedback, it’s time to look at what to do with it.
What to do with customer feedback
Figuring out how to get feedback from customers is only half the battle. Once you’ve got it, you need to be able to put it to use.
Looking at a huge file that’s full of negative and positive customer feedback? That can be overwhelming. However, once you come up with a system for categorizing the data, it’ll be much easier to go through them all.
For example—you’ll want to separate product feedback from what customers say about customer service or your website design. Then share the relevant feedback with people on your team who can implement changes based on that feedback.
Every piece of feedback will end up being useful as long as the right person gets their hands on it. A team that works on one specific area of your business will have the best insight into how to respond to customer feedback.
Finally, it’s a red flag if multiple customers complain about the same thing. When many people are agreeing on something, you know that it needs to be fixed ASAP. Many customers who aren’t complaining will be experiencing the same issues.
Customer feedback is important because we all have our blind spots. There are many improvements you could make on a product or service that you may not think of on your own. Sometimes you need your customers’ help.
You’ll be surprised at the great ideas coming your way once you take the step of asking for customer feedback.
All the customer feedback methods we’ve gone over have their own strengths and weaknesses.
For the best results, collect different types of customer feedback and integrate what you learn from each.
There’s no reason not to start collecting feedback today. Start putting together a survey or implement one of OptiMonk’s customer satisfaction popups!
Let us know in the comments what tips you like and update us on how they’re working for your customers!