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Tuesday, April 18, 2023
When and how to ask for customer feedback
Asking for customer feedback is an essential part of running a successful business. Without feedback, your product development is just a game of guestimate - failure is inevitable.
All successful businesses work with customers to retrieve feedback and use it to improve their products and services. What they know is that getting valuable feedback takes a lot of work. The statistics are there to tell us.
Only 1 out of 26 unsatisfied customers is willing to provide feedback. The rest will just leave you for good.
For satisfied customers, the numbers are even lower since people with a negative experience are more willing to share it.
To make customers provide feedback, businesses need to be intelligent and decisive. It is not enough to send an email with a milestone survey included or put a banner on your site.
In this article, we will look into the basic principles of what businesses should and should not do when collecting customer feedback.
Choose the right format
What business are you running and what type of communication do your customers prefer? These are important questions to determine the right format for running a feedback survey.
While we are used to digital surveys, which are easy to deliver, some businesses may require other types:
- Phone interviews
- In-person interviews
- Post mail surveys
If personalization is required or your business niche is very traditional, these communication channels can be your answer.
When it comes to digital surveys, several options are available as well.
The most popular one is website surveys which means that feedback is incorporated into your website or web platform. This allows you to make feedback a part of your customer journey.
Using third-party services is an option as well since it can be faster to create.
Last but not least are email surveys which are often used as a delivery method rather than the survey itself. Nevertheless, initial questions, like customer satisfaction score, can be asked right there.
Make sure to choose the method that is applicable to your business niche.
Push your branding
A feedback survey is a part of your customer journey and requires blending in. As a customer, you would like to see consistency when it comes to branding and interface - surveys included.
When creating a feedback survey, think about how it will incorporate into your website. Colors, shapes, typography - everything matters there.
This can be tricky if you are leading customers to third-party services since they may have limited styling options. And this is the reason why businesses tend to choose solutions that allow integration.
You want your feedback survey to look professional.
Select the right software
Choosing software for your feedback survey is a hard choice to make. There are plenty of vendors on the market with different pros and cons.
The good thing is that you are able to get started with the free version. Most of the survey tools provide free plans that are powerful enough to receive a meaningful amount of feedback.
What businesses should think about is growth. If your work does not limit only to collecting feedback but converting it into actions - your business will grow. This means that you will outgrow your free plan. It is good to know in advance what you can expect in terms of pricing.
At the same time, pricing and limits are not the only things to look into when choosing survey software. Most of the tools are pretty much similar in terms of pricing and basic functionality. What makes them different are delighters - extra features that you were not aware you needed.
An example of a delighter would be milestone annotations in Omnisome that allow you to add important events (such as releases and campaigns) to the survey graph. It allows you to follow how your changes impacted customer satisfaction without doing a cross-platform data overview.
Do not oversaturate
How many questions would you like to ask your customers? Five? Ten? More?
How about limiting your appetite to three core questions?
While it may sound too little, remember that every question adds another 17% chance of your customer abandoning the survey. Your goal is to remove obstacles for your customers to complete the survey - not to create ones.
In most cases, it is enough to have even two questions to receive feedback. What matters is the questions you ask and not the quantity.
A good way to reduce the number of questions is segmenting your customers. We do that with Omnisome surveys where customers receive different feedback questions based on their satisfaction score.
Why is it important? You may not want to ask satisfied customers about problems they are facing and focus on the value they receive. As for the unhappy ones, it is important to understand their pain points to address them.
React and follow-up
What are your steps when receiving feedback?
Many businesses tend to skip one of the most important parts - getting back to their customers. It does not mean that you need to reply to every customer, some like to stay anonymous and this is completely ok.
What you can do is create a public roadmap based on the feedback you receive and share it with your customers (or community). It can also increase your response rate since customers will see that you care about their feedback.
As for the ones who are willing to share their contact information, make sure to get back to them and collaborate when working on a solution to their problems.
Choose the right time
This is a two-in-one suggestion since there is more about time that you should take into account.
The first thing to consider is the time when you ask for feedback. It is highly doubtful that people will be responsive if you send them an email on Friday night or offer a phone survey at 10:00 PM.
In fact, you risk losing customers if your time zone management is not up to the level.
While it all sounds obvious to most business owners, there are companies working globally and making that mistake every day.
Another thing about the time is momentum. It doesn't make much sense to ask customers who just registered with your product to provide feedback unless you want to know about their onboarding experience.
Ask the right questions at the right time will give you legit data to work with and avoid high drop-off rates.
Adjust the tone of voice
There is no “you' and “they” when it comes to collecting feedback. Don't think about your customers as a source of information. You are partners that want to create a better product - for them to use and for you to earn.
The communication between you and your customers should be respectful and fair. Cut out your marketing slogans and focus on building a customer feedback loop where people can share their expertise (or pain points) with you.
Choose the right place
Just like with time, being in the right place is important for receiving feedback and not only that.
The first rule of any survey is not to disturb customers when they are performing a critical action. Such actions can be a launch of the service (using your product), making a purchase, running a demo for their clients, and similar cases.
Not following those rules can lead to customer frustration, lower response rate, and even customer churn.
Make your customer feedback survey associated with a positive outcome or the final step.
Consider customer rewards
While it is not mandatory, you may want to consider rewarding your customers for giving you feedback.
A customer reward program can be a powerful tool to raise the engagement level of your customers. It can result in a higher survey conversion rate which will lead to receiving more feedback.
The downside is that the quality of feedback may suffer since customers will be more willing to receive rewards while not taking the feedback process seriously.
The trick is to make the reward attractive but not too much. In other words, this is not the place to spend a lot of money. In fact, using free reward mechanisms can be beneficial when talking about feedback.
Getting valuable feedback is not an easy task but, with the right approach, you can maximize your success.
Building a relationship with your customers and being on the same page can help you receive not only more feedback but also improve the quality. When it comes to feedback, we need both - quality and quantity.
For those who already have a customer feedback loop in place, use this article to validate your feedback mechanisms.
If you are new to customer feedback - it's time to get started. We are here to back you up.
It’s time to start understanding your customers
Stop playing guesstimates. With Omnisome, you are building a lean feedback loop with your customers joining the game.