Customer feedback isn’t something that grows like apples on trees and falls on your doorstep.
It’s not something you ‘expect’ from your customer, but something that you earn.
In fact, for every customer that even bothers to complain and tell you “what’s wrong” – a staggering 26 others choose to remain silent.
Acquiring good feedback from your customers will grant you the super-wizard’s knowledge of:
- Knowing exactly what might not be “working” properly with your product.
- Understanding, from good to bad, how efficient the user experience is.
- Getting a first class ticket to Improvement. Land where you’ll be given exact instructions on how to make your product better.
Now how do you acquire it? I’ll share a few ideas with you that we at HelpJuice have found to be extremely efficient and has saved us from numerous disasters.
These smooth and efficient ways are guaranteed to be getting you the best kind of customer feedback you can possibly ask for!
1. Use Social Networks To Your Advantage
Imagine knowing everything about your customers’ personal lives, secrets, passions and interests without ever having interacted with them.
Magic, you say. . .? YES – for people over the age of 70. But in the modern era we simply call it social media.
Now imagine the possibilities behind such a place in relation to your products and services. You’ll know exactly what, where, and how to target your customers.
And the best part is – your customers prefer it this way too!
- 53 % of people use Facebook to interact with a brand.
- 65 % believe that social media is better than call centers. You already know from previous experiences what call centers can be like. . . and so do we, as I talked about in this article and vented on my worst customer service experiences.
- And finally, 40 % think that social media overall is the future of customer-company interactions.
Here’s a few ideas on how you can use social media to your advantage:
- On your FB-page, you could post a status asking for feedback about whatever it is you are currently concerned about. Allow people to comment, share ideas or send you a PM to answer your question.
- On your Twitter, be creative and host a personal hashtag along the lines of #yummyfeedback and let customers freely write about anything at all they might have a concern about or would like to share with you regarding your service, website or employees.
- The very same idea goes for LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr and any other social media you’re involved with – all having tools and elements that can be used in your advantage.
The creative world is yours really. Figure out how using the services of social can be of good use in customer feedback and do it in a fun and engaging way!
2. Comment Boxes Reserved For The Public
Do you have a live chat option down in your bottom right corner of the website? Reconsider for a moment.
KISSmetrics product manager Jason Evanish says that pop-ups and live chats usually ”. . . interrupt the flow of whatever the customer was doing at the moment” and “require an employee to be around at all times”.
Strategically placed “comment boxes” on specific pages in which the customer can leave a reply or feedback regarding the page itself, or the site as a whole (whichever “rules” you set up for it, really).
- Never again does a customer have to be bothered by annoying pop-ups and live chat requests.
- You won’t have to waste an employee's precious time.
The comment box could be an “anonymous, free for all” kind of box – or it can be connected to Facebook so people can leave feedback without having to register or log in to any service.
Seems pretty cool?
Look through your pages and services and figure out what you’d like customer feedback on in the near future and consider if the comment box option is well suited for your needs.
3. Old School E-mails/Surveys
The first thought that might be going through your head is: “This is boring, who would take time off their day doing you this favor?”
There’s a reason the classical e-mail/survey option has been around for so long: They still work. . . When done correctly.
I was on Dummies.com a few weeks back looking for a quick read about healthy food recipes that I wanted to try cooking that evening. All of a sudden, a small pop-up showed up saying something along the lines of:
‘We will randomly pick out a winner that will receive a €300 gift card for the people that take our survey and give us feedback for the website. Click here to partake in the competition!’
Point is, Dummies didn’t simply tell you “Hey man please help us out with this, we’d really appreciate it”, but rather offered something in return for the people who were kind enough to help them out. Not to mention that it gives you the feeling you’re doing it for a ‘good cause’.
There’s a reason the classical e-mail/survey option has been around for so long: They still work . . . When done correctly.
Brainstorm a couple of affordable and simple ideas of a “favor for favor” kind of request, and definitely include them when you shoot off that e-mail!
4. Forums – A Place To Access All Customer Feedback In One Spot!
A special place where you can place your own set of rules on what kind of feedback you want, where you want it and how you can access it efficiently? Yes, please.
This one can actually be really fun! You know how Reddit uses an upvote system to allow the best threads (according to the masses) to show up on the front page?
Well, a service like UserVoice allows you to use the same method, but for feedback!
Basically, their simple interface and widgets allow your customers to present an “idea” or feedback regarding any of your services, in which all the other users of your site can enter and upvote/comment on the suggested topics.
The feedback which your customers feel is the most important will automatically be shown on the top page for you to view.
Why is the idea of a forum so great?
- You won’t have to spend time sending out mass e-mails and requesting feedback from every little thing you want reviewed. Instead, you present a ‘room’ where all your users collectively can do it all for you whenever they feel the need to.
- There is no time-limit, meaning that people can post things whenever they want without having to adapt to you or you adapt to them.
- No more “let’s analyze all feedback” to see which are the most urgent ones. A forum would allow you to see the results of the feedback right away based on points/upvotes/comments of your users and it would all be structured in one place available for you and your employees to see.
So consider adding a “Forum” or “Secret Lounge” option that will direct the user to a special area of the site in which they can share their thoughts, ideas and feedback for you to read collectively any time you want!
5. Reach Out Directly! “Oh My God, They’re Real. . . “
“This is my friend Maria.” You stand up, shake her hand for the first time and look her in the eyes.
You smile, she smiles and you get this sudden feeling there are tiny cavemen in your stomach tickling you with feathers.
This is real human interaction right there – and it exceeds anything you will ever feel behind a keyboard, regardless if you are an employee or customer.
- Sub-communication. The internet will provide you with “what is the customer telling you” whereas real life interactions will provide you with “HOW is the customer telling you it?”. What’s his tonality like? What are his choices in wording? By only listening to your customer’s voice, you can learn many more things in the sub-communication than you would ever be able to over keyboard-written content.
- Stronger empathy levels. When you talk to a “real person” versus behind a screen – your level of empathy for that person increases. This is why people can say nasty things over the internet but not as much in real life, for example. Meaning? The likeliness of them actually making an effort in giving constructive feedback increases now that you both feel you’re speaking to a human being.
Depending on where you live and how close you are to your customers, you can either walk up to them directly or them call every couple of months for a regular “check-up” on their level of satisfaction, the choice is yours.
And if you don’t want to “surprise” your customers, you can host video conferences that you notify your customers a week or two prior about and have them come in for a free-for-all talk about anything they like.
Don’t underestimate the value of direct communication! Use human empathy to your advantage and set up a few strategies right away for how to reach out to your customers directly.
Feel them super-wizard powers tingling?
Customer feedback is something that must never be underestimated and has to constantly be part of your strategy whether it be through social media, comment boxes, e-mails, forums or direct communication with your customers.
So get your mind crawling through these five examples and figure out which ideas suit YOU the best and how you can implement them in your favor.
PS: Have you tried any ways of efficiently gathering customer feedback?
Got any theories of your own. . .? Do share them below!