May 30, 2017

7 Ways to Gather Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is more than measuring customer satisfaction, it’s vital for any organisation to improve and grow. But it’s not just getting customer feedback that makes a business better – it’s utilising it to it’s full potential.

It’s one thing to simply know that there are things you can improve on, things you can change, but the point of getting feedback is to take action and be proactive.

There are many ways to better understand how your customer views your service. Here is a breakdown of some effective ways you can gather feedback from current and potential customers.

Customer feedback surveys

Feedback surveys are an efficient way to get a lot of information back in one form. Surveys are also efficient as you can send the same one out to a large group of people and receive a range of responses.  

What can be more difficult is coming up with the right questions to ask. And having too long a survey means people won’t complete them.  

Some useful tips;

  • Make sure the questions are simple and easy to understand
  • Construct smart, open-ended questions
  • Ask one question at a time
  • Make rating scales consistent
  • Avoid leading and loaded questions

Coming up with your own questions can be a challenge, which is why it can be helpful to use a service that have already created the survey templates for you.

Email and Customer contact forms

Email and customer contact forms are some of the most common ways to get feedback from your customer base. It’s instant to send and can be personalised for the individual customer.

But there are also ways that it can be improved so you can get the most out of it. This includes;

  • Assuring customers of a speedy response –  most customers are reluctant about leaving feedback if they think it falls on deaf ears. By being responsive to customer feedback you’re letting them know you have received it and are going to promptly do something about it.
  • Creating an organized customer feedback system – it’s important to follow up all feedback and to so you need to be organised. Keep track of all feedback so that when follow ups are done you have a database of who said what and what action was taken. Also, take note of any feedback that is repeated as it may to important to improve that sooner rather than later.
  • Candid follow-up emails – as emails are personal and private, it’s a great way to get honest feedback. If you start to have an personable conversation with your customer, then they will see more value in you and your organisation.

Usability Tests

Usability testing is a way to see how easy to use something is by testing it with real users. They require more planning than other customer feedback methods, but can offer more insight than others.

Users are asked to complete tasks, typically while they are being observed by a researcher, to see where they encounter problems and experience confusion. These types of situations can often lead to things customers don’t even realise they are struggling with, and gives you a clear path on how to improve things.


Exploratory customer interviews

This is a very direct approach to getting customer feedback. It consists of having a very in-depth interview with customers to better understand their experience.

This method can often fill in the gaps that are missed when conducting a survey or a feedback form. To get the most out of the interviews there are certain things you can look out for.

  • Focus on their attitudes – by getting longer answers, you can explore how users think about a problem. Better understanding their impressions will allow you to alter features to address the problem.
  • Use the critical incident method – this means asking users to recall specific instances where things didn’t work and other aspects that worked particularly well.
  • Inquire about habits. Asking users how they normally do a task can reveal problems they didn’t even know were there.

Exploratory customer interviews can be done via email or phone, but have been found to be most efficient when conducted face to face (either in person or via video call).

Social Media Feedback

Social listening is where you scour social media to see what people are saying about you and your brand. This is a good way of getting candid feedback from your customers. You can even do polls on most platforms, like Twitter and Facebook.

The social media comments and feedback won’t necessarily be tagged to your organisations, and sometime a deeper search is needed to find out what people are really saying.

This is also a good way to see what people are saying about your competitors.

Website Analytics

How your website performs can be a big indicator of how much attention you are getting from current and potential customers. A good website can also reflect well for the overall brand – get the analytics and see where they are going to the most.

Is it the About page? Or the Contact Us page? Maybe there are certain content you can develop to create more traffic for your website and overall brand. If your FAQ page has a high bounce rate, it may mean people want to know more or have questions, but aren’t getting the most out of your content – you have to re-vamp it with better questions and answers.

One innovative way many businesses create more traffic for their website is to have content such as video and blog posts. This is also content you can distribute to other sites to get more brand awareness and link backs.

Comment Boxes

A new way some organisations are getting customer feedback is by having comment boxes at the bottom of some of their website’s pages. Sometimes having to write an email or go to another page can disrupt the flow of what the customer was doing or thinking. If the feedback comment box is easily accessible on their website – like in their FAQ page – then it is more likely the will respond.

Customer feedback matters and it important that you make it easy for the customer to give you the information you need to make improvements. It shows that you have a commitment to evolving and an organisation and offering better service.

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