Blog Customer Experience

With our 15 tips, getting feedback from customers is a piece of chocolate cake!

Mathew Maniyamkott

Mathew Maniyamkott

10 min read

Getting feedback from your customers is as difficult as getting acknowledgment from your respective spouses, you don’t always get a response, do you? Why is getting to know what your customer thinks about your product that important? In fact, getting to know your customer’s reaction to your product at these three stages can help you completely overhaul the way you do business:

  1. Before they buy from you
  2. Immediately after they buy your product
  3. After using your product for a significant amount of time.

Your customer’s opinion about your product will change quite a bit during this period of time. This is why it is important that you get regular feedback from your customers. Once you have a landmine of data, you will keep unearthing treasures which will help you draft guidelines on how you have to do your business, as simple as that.

If you send them a survey as soon as they make a transaction, they are more likely to respond to it. Promptness pays.

Now that we have established how difficult it is to get feedback in general, we give you 15 tips in which you can convince your customer to reply to your questions asking for feedback:

1. Using Social Media channels

While this might be the most obvious method to collect feedback from customers, the question is, are you doing it right? Find no more than 2-3 social media platforms where you feel that there is a maximum representation of your customers. Reach out to them by building a community of your customers. Also, building a community is an extremely difficult thing to do and it takes a lot of time and commitment. If you have the resources for it, nothing like building a community of your users but it is not something that most businesses will be up for (more about that later). In such a case, find places where your customers lurk on social media and if it is relevant to your business as well, pose your questions to them there. You can also email your customers and ask them to complete the survey on a favorite social media platform of yours where you want to build a huge base.

2. Use Live chat sessions

There was a time when the live chat interface used to be clunky, unappealing and was a big turn-off. Not anymore, as the times have changed and customers have started caring about aesthetics too. It is an extremely effective way to reach out to your customers because it is staring at them on any of the pages that they click on your website. You have already captured their attention by displaying the live chat option as an icon vying for attention. You can collect feedback as soon as they make a transaction or complete an action that you wanted them to make, the fact that there is a live person on the other side who is ready to help with any other queries makes it even more appealing for the customer to complete the feedback.

3. Sending them email surveys

Again, emails are one of the most ubiquitous tools used on earth and business connects with its customers in a lot of ways via emails, including payment confirmation emails, newsletters, and so on. Using an online survey tool like that of SurveySparrow is an effective way to collect feedback from your customers without much intrusion. There are a lot of tactical ways in which you can increase the chances of a response from your customers. If you send them a survey as soon as they make a transaction, they are more likely to respond to it. But to make sure that there is always a higher percentage of people responding to your email surveys, then you need to engage with them regularly to keep the connection warm. Inform them over email about the minutest of updates that you make on the product. When there is a lot of information that is being exchanged from your side, they will be more prone to responding to your email.

 Feeling unappreciated is the #1 reason customers switch away from products and services.

4. Ask for their opinions casually

Increase the number of opportunities in which an executive from your company can talk to your customer. Not all of these opportunities to interact should be a chance for you to ask for feedback as this will infuriate most people. Make sure you have something to offer in exchange for their time. Over the phone, people are more prone to open up and reveal a lot more information than you would expect. A simple message that says you care about their opinion is enough for them to open up. This small appreciation will allow them to be honest with their feedback.

5. Use Polls

Polls are one of the best ways to get feedback as all that people need to do is click on a radio box. Make it attractive for the respondents by saying that you will share the poll results soon. A poll can be made interesting by writing the questions in a provocative manner which will, in turn, increase the chances of people responding to them. You can conduct polls in a lot of places, you can send them via emails, newsletters, on social media websites and more. Polls can also unravel trends. In fact, if you have a good relationship with your customers, then you can also use polls to ask them what kind of content they expect from you; this might end up in creating a content calendar for you. Polls can be highly engaging when you also add a caption to it that asks for a detailed explanation on why they chose someone or something on the poll.

6. Creating a group for your customers

Building a community for your customers where all their questions are answered, where they are told better ways to use the product and where there is immediate support available always might be a difficult thing to do, but its benefits are multi-fold. A group creates a sense of belonging and your customers will become much more connected to the brand when they are engaged more in the group. You can use this group to collect feedback from your customers on a regular basis. The people in this group would be much more inclined to answer your online surveys and polls because there is already a relationship formed with the customer.

7. Check for feedback on other websites

There are a lot of websites that give people the option to rate a business they have worked with, this gives you access to a landmine of data using which you can not only read the worries of your customers, you can also see the kind of response that your competitor is having. Sites like Capterra, GetApp, SoftwareSuggest, G2 Crowd and many more. These sites can also help with research before you launch a product. One more way to be on top of what your customers think about you is to keep a list of all the review and opinion sites that are related to your niche. Put them on an excel sheet, and make sure to add all reviews, both good and bad to it to identify if there is a pattern to what your customers think about you.

69% of U.S. online adults shop more with retailers that offer consistent customer service both online and offline.

8. Use the KISS formula

Remember that your customers are usually busy and getting their attention is not always the easiest of tasks to make happen. So you need to follow the KISS methodology when you want to get information from them in the form of feedback. KISS stands for ‘Keep it short and simple’. In your survey, make sure you keep the number of questions to a minimum while ensuring that only the most relevant questions are asked. Mix and match the question types, ask open-ended questions as well so that you get to explore the minds of your customers deeply.  Always ensure that the survey eventually helps the end user and is not just for the business to get opinions from them. Keep the questions and the length of the questions to a bare minimum to get the maximum from your customers.

9. Share positive feedbacks

Whenever you see a good word written about you somewhere, make sure you take a screenshot of it and share it across platforms where you are present including your home page where there is more visibility with your target market. Potential customers who see such reviews begin to trust you more and it also encourages your existing customers to leave feedback after they use your product. The customers who have shared the reviews that are being exhibited everywhere will feel vindicated on using your products. When customers see more and more of such feedback, they are tempted to write one too.

10. Add more personality

Remember, personality always wins. Would someone rather respond to a boring question or take time to answer hilariously worded questions? It is always the latter. The chances to increase the feedback rate from your customers will be more when you hook the customers with a brilliant copy. A customer knows when they are about to get a rib-tickling survey!

It is not always possible to write hilarious content, but you can increase the attractiveness quotient of the survey by adding relevant images and adding appropriate color. Customers will always remember when they have an extraordinary experience. Thankfully, there are not a lot of companies that go out of their way to create an extraordinary experience for their customers, at least not everyone. So you have a chance to stay on top of their minds if you can plan well ahead.

“Although your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will.”

11. Use incentives

This is again a time-tested technique to increase the number of prospects responding to your feedback exercise. It is not that easy to get positive feedbacks because people usually take action when they are upset and not when they have a good experience since they expect to have a smooth encounter. This is why you usually find that even for a decent product, there are more harsh reviews than kind ones. This is why it kind of becomes imperative that you offer something in return to your satisfied customers for taking the pain of writing a nice review (only if they are happy with you). You can offer the following as a token of love for their time- free shipping, discounts, gift cards, free consultation, free entry into contests, and so on. Make sure that the customers don’t feel as if they are being given these incentives in exchange only for a positive review. Do not come across that way or your customers will feel that you are dishonest.

12. Handle negative comments graciously

Not all customers might end up liking your product, sometimes through no fault of yours. This is where you need to accept the fact that there will be negative reviews from some customers who might even be snarky about it making you and your staff look incompetent. But you should act gracefully under these circumstances and respond with respect without showing any irritation on your part. Always respond with an apology for negative comments even if you know you are not to be blamed. You disarm the person on the other side when you treat them with kindness and dignity. Diffuse the problem by offering solutions to it and make sure you plan for a call to end the issue that bothered your customer in the first place.

13. Be accessible

Remember that customers will reach out to you usually when there is a problem. So if you are looking to get customer feedback at intervals, then there is one more small addition that you can do which will make a lot of difference. You can add a small feedback box on every page in your website where users can fill what they have in mind. When you put it on every page, customers will surely notice it and will be more enthused to use it when the time arises for it. You can also ask for information from your customers on these boxes to reach back to them in case they expect you to solve a problem.

 Building a community of customers is an extremely difficult thing to do and it takes a lot of time and commitment. But oh, so worth it!

14. Proactively reach out to your customers

One of the most underrated methods of getting customer feedback is reaching out to your customers directly. It is so simple a concept that people under-estimate its potency. Ask your customers what affects them and how you can help them. See if you can get the customers on a call where they can give a detailed answer to your questions. Unless you reach out to your customers directly, you might never really know the problem that plagues your business.

15. Focus Groups

Build a focus group of customers who will be happy to come for a Focus Group Discussion (FGD). An FGD usually requires an incentive from your side as it takes up a lot of time of the people in the group. An FGD is usually a group of people who are gathered to discuss a specific topic of interest, in this case, the topic will be about your product. The purpose of an FGD is usually to develop or improve products and services. FGDs are used when you are looking to gather the opinion, ideas and beliefs of people on a certain topic. If the people constituted for the FGD have been your customers for quite some time, then it will be highly effective. While surveys are best to capture feedback, FGD helps you understand what a customer is thinking or feeling about your product.

Conclusion

Bill Gates once said-“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” When the tech genius says something like that, you might as follow it to the T and remind yourself that customer is the key. Remember that regardless of the kind of feedback that you get from your customers, they are always going to help you. Not only will the feedback improve your customer service, but you can also find out how to improve the overall product based on the survey results.

Getting feedback from your customers should be an integral part of your business and something that you commit to doing at regular intervals. All kinds of feedbacks are important, only if you act on it do you get benefited from it. Thankfully, there are a lot of online survey tools like SurveySparrow that can help your business with generating feedback to make well thought out business decisions. The plethora of features that these online survey tools come with makes it incredibly helpful for your business.

If you don’t indulge your customers, you will find them shifting their camp somewhere else because no one wants to be in a place where they are not appreciated. Every business that has been successful till date will have happy customers, a lot of them, always in the majority. Unless you sell funeral boxes, make sure you always keep your customers happy.

Mathew Maniyamkott
Mathew Maniyamkott

Guest Blogger at SurveySparrow

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

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