How to Use Customer Feedback to Improve Performance

How to Use Customer Feedback to Improve performance

Asking for feedback is an essential task for every business. It helps to improve customer experience, improve conversion rates and gain new ideas for A/B testing, but most importantly, use feedback to improve personalization, which in itself helps to build a better product or service roadmap. The focus of this article will be ecommerce and CRO.

How Asking for Feedback Can Improve Performance

Understanding your customers is essential for increasing performance of your website.  This is can be achieved through conversion rate optimization techniques that increase personalization, which in layman’s terms is giving the user what they want, -the right offers and content and products or services at the right time and place.

It, therefore, stands to reason that by asking for feedback you can learn more about what your customers want and by providing it, you can greatly improve conversion. The process of obtaining feedback through survey questions is a wonderful opportunity to increase your understanding of your customer base and identify missed opportunities.

Leveraging Touchpoints

Improvement through feedback is a principle that can be applied to every area of the business but is usually limited to the customer touchpoints, those places where the customer engages with the business. 

These key moments are windows of opportunity to improve what you do and how you do it, and timing is everything. When users need help 40% prefer to use self-help resources, which limits our understanding of the problems customers encounter. 

The benefit of using an automated, triggered system to elicit feedback is that you have more opportunities to converse with the customer at those moments when they are most frustrated, the exact moment that they want to vent their anger/frustration. 

It makes them feel better about you and as a business, you get to prevent the problem from occurring again thanks to feedback.

Feedback can be used to elicit all kinds of data. For example:

  1. Customer Satisfaction, how happy are they with what you offer in terms of your product or service.
  2. Marketing Channel Feedback + Advertising Feedback
  3. General Experience (NPS) measure sentiment as an early warning system.
  4. Competitor Feedback – learn about your competitors through your customers / potential customers.
  5. Customer Service, customer effort indicator of how well your business deals with customer queries and handles administration tasks like making payments.
  6. Sales support, by asking customers what else they would like to know and what features they feel your product is missing.
  7. Pricing Feedback. Understanding how users feel about your payment plans and options.

Since the buying decision of any product or service is an emotional decision it always pays to acknowledge users’ / potential users’ feelings in relation to what you offer.

Today feedback is still collected during an annual customer survey and is usually carried out anonymously.

However, this does not need to be the case….. 

On-site users will usually give consent to you to collect other data for the purpose of personalizing their experience, therefore if you are not collecting additional data then this is a missed opportunity.

What you offer and how you offer to customers can now be managed in real time.

Depending on how your users’ respond to your feedback messages, you can change what you offer to the user instantly.  In order to elicit such precise data you need to be able to target the right user in the right moment.  This is the power of instant messages.

Let’s take a look at an example.

A visitor to an ecommerce store adds an item to a shopping basket but then decides to abandon that product and exit the website. In that very moment, the moment where the user goes to click the x icon on the web browser tab, a message can be triggered asking why they have chosen to abandon the product. 

This can be in the form of a text box for them to edit so that they can explain why they are abandoning the cart and product, without limiting their answer (open ended question). 

Alternatively, a multiple-choice question can be used. The answers provided will enable you to provide a more precise range of offers tailored to different groups, expanding your customer base, capturing previously lost customers.

It’s not always about price, it’s often about the offer itself, the value and flexibility it supplies. Perhaps a competitor is offering something different that appeals to them.  Perhaps they don’t yet trust your brand or your website. The responses they provide give you the means to segment users into different campaigns for retargeting in a way that meets their needs, both on-site but also via email or through Facebook retargeting.

Custom Fields, Segmentation, and Retargeting

Custom fields can be used in any message including feedback messages that ask for new information about the customer.  For example, to determine the age group of the user for segmentation into generational segments or perhaps to identify the type or industry of the business the website visitor is involved in, this again allows for a more precise targeting.

Every additional piece of data collected is a new opportunity to retarget the user with a more personalized offer, thus increasing your chances of converting them.  OptiMonk’s custom fields can be provided as a drop down field, making it easy for users to select.  If customers are happy to respond to a customer survey message, then they usually have no issues with providing additional data if it helps to make the product or service better.

Most importantly of all, the completion of one message by a user can trigger a secondary message which could be a better offer that meets the needs of the customer.  The secret sauce is that new piece of data collected in that custom field in the prior message.  This can be used to re-segment users according to the new data and then trigger a new offer, a reward, within a “thank you for your feedback” message.

Feedback Message Examples (use-cases)

For the examples below I have tried to choose questions that have broad application, even so they may not be relevant for your business. However, more-often-than-not, they can be adapted to your business use.

Let’s start with the most widely used question of all.

How likely is it that you would recommend our product / service to a friend or colleague?

The above question is what is referred to as the Net Promoter Score (NPS) question. The standard for measuring user sentiment towards a brand/business.  If you are looking for an easy way to implement this, lookto OptiMonk because theyhave a NPS nanobar at can be added to your website very easily, please read the linked-to blog to learn

Best feedback questions to ask for ecommerce

1. Why did you abandon your shopping cart?

Users usually abandon their shopping cart. It’s an uncomfortable fact for ecommerce business owners that 60% will abandon their cart.  Understanding why they are abandoning their cart provides a way to prevent it next time.

2. How can we improve the checkout process?

The checkout should be quick and easy, no hidden surprises.  The more effort the user has to make to pay the more likely they are to abandon the payment process. Eliciting feedback on why a user is abandoning provides invaluable information that can prevent it happening again for the same reason.

3. Why didn’t you buy anything today?

Here are the potential answers I could think of in 2 minutes.

  1. Pricing
  2. Images
  3. Shipping costs / policy
  4. Coupon codes not working
  5. Payment issues
  6. Colors
  7. Inadequate FAQ / Self help
  8. No way to communicate.
  9. Languages
  10. Security concerns
  11. Returns Policy
  12. Privacy concerns.
  13. User got interrupted
  14. Internet disconnection.
  15. Website too slow.

Knowing their concerns is the first step to fixing them and reassuring your visitors that you have it taken care of.

4. How can we reassure you that buying with us is a great choice?

Trust is hard-earned and essential if you want to improve sales, simply because people only buy only from stores that they trust. Words like confidence, credibility, and comfort suggest trust.  So, how can we build this using feedback?

Small businesses need to build creditability, with credibility comes confidence and trust.  Eliciting feedback from users on issues that concern them is a great way to build credibility.  Dealing with answers from question 3 would also build credibility.

Show that you care!

For example what customers think about your refunds or shipping policies or even if they could find them in the first place. How can you do things better?

5. Why have you decided to exit the website now?

Understanding why your customers are leaving your website is the first step in the personalization process.  Segmenting users according to their needs and interests improves conversion and keeps customers happy.  Don’t lose customers to your competitors, which brings me to the next question.

6. Compared to our competitors, our prices are lower, higher, or about the same?

It would be nice to know how visitors assess your pricing, right? It might turn out that users already see you as a more cost-effective solution than competitors. Then giving additional discounts may be just a waste of money and other kinds of promotion can be more efficient. And I assume that you don’t like wasting money.

7. Are you interested in a great deal?

We are bombarded with offers and deals, potential customers expect a discount coupon or at the very least free shipping.  Seasonal sales work because nobody wants to buy at the regular price.  How can you make your customer feel special, this is the question that matters and the answer comes through personalization, – catering to your customer’s needs.

What deal would be good enough to persuade them to buy?  Why not ask them if they are leaving anyway (exit intent detected).


Action-triggered feedback surveys are invaluable, cost-effective and one of the best ways to personalize the user experience.

Collect additional data about your customers via feedback messages by using custom fields. Through personalization, you will improve conversion rate through improved segmentation and targeting. 

There is no downside to improved feedback. Increase sales by improving what you offer and how you offer it, just by improving your understanding of your customers.

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