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Planning strategies to obtain customer feedback is not difficult at all. You just need some help (from us)!

Mathew Maniyamkott

Mathew Maniyamkott

10 min read

No matter what stage of business you are in, collecting feedback from your customers is extremely important if you want to scale to the next level. It is all about finding the right strategies to obtain customer feedback and keep implementing the changes that they ask for. The word and frank opinion of your customer is pivotal not only when you are launching a product but when they leave you for a competitor as well. In short, customer feedback is worth its weight in gold or whichever is the costliest metal in the world. A customer who is loyal to you is hard to find and the only way to know if someone will be loyal to you is by getting feedback at regular intervals.

Why strategies to obtain customer feedback matters!

Customer feedback is an invaluable tool that can bring in real change to your entire business, bring a change to the many systems and processes that you have followed so far and it gives ideas that you might have never thought about earlier.

1. You can form a relationship with the customer

When you knock on the doors of your customer asking for their opinions, you get to form a relationship with them by putting forward the right questions and acting upon the feedback given. But if you don’t work on the suggestions that they give you, expect them to drift further apart from your business. When customers allocate their time, they expect you to take full advantage of it.

2. Helps you stay relevant

There is so much change happening in terms of technology, processes and how customers perceive your product, every single day. Tapping into your customer’s thought helps you understand what exactly they are looking from you. Give prominence to what your customers tell about your products, they will exactly know where they have been failed and the areas where you have provided excellence. A brand that stays on top of their customer’s demands will flourish.

3. You come out as caring

When you put the interests of your customers first, the customer will associate you as a business that cares. It also shows that they can trust you and when you launch newer products, they would be more than willing to try out your products, even recommend them to their friends and family.

4. Helps you with outbound sales

Case studies, reports, testimonials, and statistics are the elements that the sales team uses to get new clients. Getting feedback from your customers helps you get a lot of data that you can use as proof to sell to your new customers. You can use this feedback to create a system where you can pitch to your potential customers. Feedback is essentially evidence of sorts for your customers that you are trustworthy, have a solid product and do your work well.  

5. Increase opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell

While this is not the most important reason for going out of your way to ask customer feedback, do remember that when you see extremely positive reviews, you can use that opportunity to see if you can add more value to your customers with an existing product of yours. This strategy would not work with a customer who is not happy with the services.

It is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.

13 foolproof strategies to obtain customer feedback

#1 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: Using contact forms

Give your customers the power to lodge a complaint on any page of your website by giving them access to a contact form. This form will be pivotal and it will act as a major boost for your customer to share their ordeals with you. It is a given that a visitor on your website is someone who is a part of your target market making it all the smarter (and necessary) to get feedback from them. Make sure that each contact form that is filled is connected to your ticket management system using which the complaints can be tracked and responded.

Don’t just ask a set of questions that are pre-set, allow provision for the customer to write their heart out, as in give them a chance to write their own answer without having to just rate your service or use a scale.

#2 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: Net Promoter Score

It is considered as the gold standard when you are researching customer satisfaction. NPS asks a question that usually goes like this-“How likely are you to recommend our services to your friends and family?” Research says that people who say that they will recommend are more inclined to help with word of mouth marketing and order more of your products. If the NPS score is at the most optimal level, then you can expect more purchases and more customers.

The initial question is followed up with a question that demands the reason behind their previous answer. The question reads like this-“What is the reason for your answer?” All you need to do is to try to get as close as possible to an NPS score of 100.

#3 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: Providing incentives

While providing incentives are an excellent way to get feedback from your customers, let us tell you how exactly you can do it without feeling that you are bribing your customers for positive reviews. Provide a discount coupon or some other sort of incentive that they can use when they buy next from you. Keep it in such a way that the coupon can only be redeemed if they finish the survey by completing an action. The only thing that you need to do is to make sure that this incentive that you offer gives something significant to them as a token of appreciation for their time.

#4 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: Usability tests

“If a customer likes you—and continues to like —they will continue to do business with you. If they don’t, they won’t.” - Paul Greenberg

Let us explain what Usability testing means first, shall we? It is a technique that is employed in user-centered interaction design to evaluate a product by making users test it. In this, real users are given tasks to complete, it is extremely powerful because users are giving you direct input based on how they are using the system. It monitors if the product meets its objectives, is easy to use for the customer and many other things based on the objective.

Usability tests are run during every single phase of the project starting from the ideation stage, mockups, creation of prototypes and so on. The people involved in usability tests are usually those who would be using the product thereby reducing any bias since they don’t owe any allegiance to the company. Because of usability testing, you can see the problems of the product before it is even launched to the general public.

#5 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: Asking the right questions

While this may seem like a simple enough strategy to increase response rates, it is highly effective. Because there are a lot of respondents who drop off because of the way some questions are drafted. The easiest thing you can do is to keep questions short, simple and direct without causing too much confusion.

If your questions are not targeted to the right person and are framed without too much of an effort, it will put off your respondents who will choose not to respond further. You can use an online tool like that of SurveySparrow’s to send a survey to your customers.

#6 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: Target the right audience

 Asking the right person is as important as asking the right questions. Just because you have an email list doesn’t mean that you direct all of your surveys to all the customers even if it does not concern them. This might even end up with your customers unsubscribing from your newsletter which is a big blow.

People don’t like to give out their information without rhyme or reason. There should be a specific purpose behind your surveys and it can only be fulfilled by people who are affected by it. This is why segmenting becomes important, it is a marketing technique where you separate the customers based on different characteristics like demographics, purchasing behavior, and so on. Target customers based on their previous purchases and send emails out regularly to collect feedback about the products that they are using right now.

Targeting a specific set of customers means that you know who you are talking to and therefore you can ask them highly targeted questions.

#7 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: Through SMS

$1.6 trillion is lost by companies in the United States due to customers switching as a result of poor customer service. - Accenture

 SMS surveys are extremely effective after a transaction because people would have just received an SMS immediately after a successful transaction. Since most people carry a mobile phone on their person, you are able to land directly to the customers. SMS feedbacks and the general utility of it will not fade anytime soon, therefore it is imperative that you use SMS surveys as a medium too. The advantage of SMS-based surveys is that it is instant, can be automated and users are much prone to responding instantly if it comes with an incentive, that too at the physical location of the business.

#8 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: Exit Popups

When a popup appears as soon as you close the tab that you are currently using, that is called an exit popup. There are varying opinions about its utility. Some find it annoying while businesses think of it as the last step to give their visitors some more value. Exit popups are generally used to ask visitors to sign up for newsletters, but it is an effective way to ask for customer feedback.

The feedback that you use at the exit popup cannot afford to be slow because customers will certainly not appreciate having to spend more time especially when they were about to close the website. In fact, if you can collect feedback on just one parameter, there are high chances that you can convert the customer.

#9 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: Hello bars

70% of unhappy customers whose problems are resolved are willing to shop with a business again. - Glance

 While exit popups appear when a visitor leaves your website, hello bars pop up as soon as a customer visits your website. It is a clever way to welcome your visitors where you can ask for information about what they are expecting from you (if they are a first-time visitor) or ask them to write away if there is anything that bothers them for an immediate reply from the support team.

#10 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: Direct Interviews

One of the most effective methods to obtain customer feedback is to directly interview the customers and ask for their opinions. Arrange for a time when your customer is free, sit and talk with them, ask them what bothers them, ask them if your business is helping them solve the issue and so on. The quality feedback that you will get will surely help with increasing customer engagement and even help you form a trustworthy relationship with your customer.

This is not something that you ask all your customers since you want comprehensive answers and it makes sense to gather customers who have used your products a lot and can communicate their criticisms and ideas properly. It is a costly approach, and very effective too.

#11 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: Customer Touchpoints

75% of customers will want to shop with businesses that offer personalized experiences by 2020. - Salesforce

Asking feedback from your customers at each touchpoint is a smart way to collect feedback especially since they have just completed a call-to-action. Totally opposite to this advice is asking customers for feedback when they have stopped interacting with you for a long time or when they have returned your product.

List out the various touchpoints where customers interact with you. Draft the right kind of questions (read surveys) that you can ask which will have maximum impact on the customers, prompting them enough to respond to them. There might be different combinations of questions that you can ask at these various touchpoints to gain the maximum from them.

#12 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: In-message surveys

You can use in-message surveys that you can distribute via email or chat. The survey appears and when a respondent clicks on one answer, they are redirected to a new tab on the browser where the rest of the question appears. If you wanted your customers to answer just that one question, then you can respond with a ‘thank you’ message, otherwise, you can let the rest of the questions show.

People are more attuned to respond to this type of surveys because they usually think it is a short survey and since the survey appears on the app. This is gaining in its popularity for collecting feedback.

#13 Strategy to obtain customer feedback: Retarget website visitors

What is so special about retargeting your website visitors, you ask? Well, other than the fact that they have already visited your brand in some way or the other, you also get to add more value to these people when you keep targeting them in your ads because the more your ads stare in their face, higher are the chances for them to buy something from you eventually. You can use the Google Tag Manager for setting up retargeting ads on Google Adwords, Twitter, and Facebook. Usually, only 2% of people are converted, retargeting helps you bring back the other 98%. It works by keeping track of people who visit your site and displays your retargeted ads to them when they are on other sites.

Conclusion

23% of businesses use social media as a tool to collect and analyze data. - Gartner

With all that said, when you are going to ask your customers for feedback, you will get to know what they like and what they don’t. A smart business will make use of this opportunity to get the necessary information on how to improve your services by understanding what exactly your users want. Knowing in detail about your customers is extremely important for you to make tough business decisions.

If at any moment, you are not sure about what is making your business lag, then look no further because the right answer is with your customer. There are so many insights that you can possibly gain, starting from a minor technical issue which turns off users to the way your sales team makes calls and interacts with the customers in a rude way. Once you identify such missteps thanks to the feedback given by your customers, the next important step to do is to go out of your way to correct the mistakes.

What is your company’s policy with regards to obtaining customer feedback? On an average, how many times do you send out surveys to your customers? If you understand the kind of importance that getting customer feedback can give you, then you wouldn’t mind using an online survey tool to get started, would you? Why not give Survey Sparrow’s online survey tool a spin?

Mathew Maniyamkott
Mathew Maniyamkott

Guest Blogger at SurveySparrow

Regular contributor to various magazines. Passionate about entrepreneurship, startups, marketing, and productivity.

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