How To Ask for Feedback from Customers
Customers are the lifeblood of your business. So, it pays to keep them happy.
But how can you do that if you don’t know what your customers are thinking about your business and its products and services?
Well, this is where the value of asking them for their feedback really comes to the fore. And if you’re to make the most of this opportunity, it helps to know how best to go about obtaining this feedback, as well the most appropriate methods for collecting it from your customers.
However, before we go on to explore this, it’s useful to know exactly what we mean by customer feedback and why it’s important.
What is Customer Feedback?
Essentially customer feedback is focused on gaining an insight into your customers’ experiences with your products or services. By enabling businesses to gain a better idea of their customer’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction, customer feedback can help them to identify what needs improving and enhance experiences for their customers and prospects moving forward.
Why Is Customer Feedback Important?
Considering that a dissatisfied customer can tell between 9 to 15 people about their experiences and social media can spread that dissatisfaction further and wider, it’s not hard to appreciate why it’s important to obtain customer feedback. Being able to reach out to customers and improve issues before they get to this stage is crucial if you’re to limit any potential damage to your reputation and brand.
But collecting customer feedback is much more than just firefighting the signs of dissatisfaction and can benefit businesses in much wider ways including.
An improved understanding of the customer journey
By collecting customer feedback at key points of a customer’s journey with you, it can help reveal how customer behaviour, wants and needs change overtime. Armed with this insight it can help you to not only build better products, but also improve the infrastructure that supports customers along this journey.
Identifying what you need to improve and lowering customer churn
Customer churn rates are one of the biggest worries for any business. So, being able to identify the chief causes of churn among your own customers is hugely valuable, as it can enable you to identify your most unhappy customers and know what issues you need to improve to reduce churn.
Better measuring customer satisfaction
Collecting customer feedback, can also give you a better idea about levels of satisfaction among your customer base. And as long as you’re regularly issuing customer satisfaction surveys, you can use this feedback to improve customer satisfaction levels moving forward.
Improving customer loyalty
When you’re regularly asking customers for their feedback, they’re more likely to feel valued and connected to your organisation. And if they can see that you’re acting on their feedback it will help to improve your customer loyalty rates too.
How to ask for customer feedback
Having outlined some of the key reasons why customer feedback is so important, it’s helpful to know what the best ways are when approaching customers for feedback. This is essential if you’re to obtain the most meaningful feedback.
Here’s some best practice tips to think about.
Get your timing right
Your customers are busy people. So, being able to identify the best times to reach out to them for their feedback can pay real dividends in terms of the volume and quality of responses you’re able to obtain.
As a general rule, it makes sense to ask for feedback when it’s fresh in the customer’s mind, after a key interaction with them has ended.
Here’s some good examples of when to collect feedback, which are common to many businesses:
Following the completion of a live chat conversation
After every live chat session, you should ask a customer for feedback about the chat experience they’ve just received.
After a successful transaction
Whenever a customer completes a successful transaction checkout, it’s a good opportunity to request their feedback.
Following a service ticket resolution
Once a service request is resolved and your customer is happy, it can be a great time to gather some genuine feedback from them.
After a product demo
There’s no better to get product evaluation feedback from a customer, than just after they’ve experienced a product demonstration.
Choose the right feedback method
From a web embed, email and SMS to live chat, social media and kiosk mode. If you’re to maximise your engagement with customers and opportunities to obtain their feedback, your choice of communication channel is also vital. And this applies whether you’re embedding a feedback form of questions directly into a live chat application, or using different communication distribution methods to reach your target audience with an online customer survey.
While some applications such as a website, will lend themselves to a particular set of channels, it’s prudent to ask your customers what communication channel they most prefer you reaching out to them on.
Reach out to the right customers
It also helps if you can segment your customers before reaching out to them and a good place to start is to identify who your brand promoters and your brand detractors are, so you can tailor different approaches to reach out to them.
The NPS survey is the best method to help identify this by using the following key question:
“On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product/service/company to a friend or colleague?” (where scores between (0-6) are your NPS detractors, scores between (7-8) NPS passives and scores between (9-10) your NPS promoters).
Having performed your NPS calculation and identified your promoters and detractors, you’re then able to craft and issue follow up questions to get a better insight into why each customer provided the scores that they did. This can be particularly useful for detractors, because if you find common causes of dissatisfaction among this group, it will provide the insight you need to make improvements and get them back on board.
Prepare the right set of questions for your questionnaire
Whether you’re trying to offer better customer support or you’re looking to improve your website and product roadmap. Whatever it is that you want to find out and improve, you need to be armed with the right questions to get the feedback you need.
Often the way you choose to ask your questions will determine the kind of answers you will get back. A major part of this is to decide on how many closed ended and open ended questions you will include in your questionnaire.
Closed ended questions
Closed ended questions look to collect quantitative data and can be answered with a single word ‘yes’ or ‘no’ type reply, or through a respondent selecting their answer from a limited number of options. This type of question is either presented as a dichotomous question or from a range of different multiple-choice formats.
Open ended questions
In contrast open ended questions are focused on more qualitative data. Rather than getting a respondent to select from a choice of available answers, open ended questions are unstructured in order to get as much descriptive information from a respondent as possible.
It’s important to get the right mix of closed and open ended questions into your survey, as this will help determine the quality of feedback you get back.
Regularly collect customer feedback
When it comes to collecting customer feedback, it’s important to be regular and consistent. If you can do this, you’ll have more available and reliable information about any issues with your products and services to work with.
However, it’s important to make sure you don’t overdo this process, as you don’t want to send feedback forms or surveys so regularly that your customers get frustrated and unsubscribe from your mailing list. Maybe look to ask your customers for feedback, or a quarterly or half-yearly basis.
Methods for collecting customer feedback
With best practice tips about how to ask your customers for feedback under your belt, you’re now ready to look at the different methods available to you to collect this feedback.
By far and above the best method is the online survey, with the customer survey offering an extremely effective way to better quantify and understand what your customers want, need and expect. And with today’s digital tools making it quicker and easier to reach your customers, analyse their responses and present your findings in high quality reports, the online survey can help you to make smarter decisions.
From customer satisfaction, customer service and customer engagement to customer experience, NPS and more. With a wide range of different customer survey types available to gather customer feedback at different touchpoints of their customer journey with you, this method offers everything you need to help build stronger customer relationships.
Given the importance of websites for today’s businesses, they offer a great way to obtain feedback from site visitors.
Whether it’s a web embed, web popup, web exit survey, or a feedback box on your website, the insight you can collect using this medium can really make a difference in helping you provide what your customers want to see from your business.
In-app feedback is another great way to gather relevant information from users as they are exploring your product in real-time.
By enabling you to better understand the performance and experience of your app, in-app feedback can help you to further improve your product and the experience it provides for users.
Given that email is still one of the most popular channels used by businesses, it can provide a frequent and effective way of gleaning feedback from your customers.
Depending on the subject of your email, it also lends itself to collecting customer feedback on a range of different issues, whether that’s an ongoing support issue or something more product focused such as a performance or feature issue.
Whether you wanted to find out more about a customer’s website experience or experience with one of your live chat agents. The growing popularity of live chat tools makes them an effective tool for collecting customer feedback, particularly for your sales and support teams.
By placing live chat bots and embedded surveys are key points around your website such as your product, pricing and checkout pages, it can also help you to improve the performance of these pages.
Given how much time most individuals spend on their smartphones, SMS is also an effective way of reaching to customers for their feedback.
With the most advanced survey plans, it’s possible to reach out to your customers with an SMS based survey. For example, with our Enterprise plan, users can use our in-built SMS survey tool to target their customers while they’re on the move and send bulk SMS survey invitations.
Why collecting Customer Feedback is so important
At this point it’s worth reiterating the importance of gathering customer feedback.
Firstly, customer feedback is the only way you’ll get to see how your products and services affect customers from their perspective. And while good feedback has the capacity to help you build better customer relationships, even bad feedback is valuable, as it will help you to better understand your customers and make the further improvements they want to see.
In fact, customer feedback is crucial for improving one of the most important areas for a business today, namely it’s customer experience. So, if you can do that by regularly collecting and acting on your customers’ feedback, you’ll be able to keep one step ahead of your competitors.
Get the tools to deliver a better customer experience
Collecting feedback is essential if you’re to improve your customer relationships, but you still need the right survey tools if you’re to deliver the experiences your customers need.