How to Ask Your Customers Questions and Get Feedback | Email Marketing
Want to know how your customers and leads feel about your website, product, or overall company’s vision?
In this article, I’d like to share three different ways you can get them to provide this valuable feedback.
Why collect customer feedback?
Let’s begin by naming the benefits of gathering customers’ feedback real quick. There are many companies spending tens of thousands of dollars on consumer research because it’s an insight into what’s working well and what needs to be improved.
The input of leads and customers helps ensure the end product or service meets their expectations, their needs, and solves their issues.
One happy customer tends to share their positive experience with 9 people, while an unhappy one will share the negative experience with 16 people.
For businesses, customer feedback:
- Improves products and services
- Helps improve customer satisfaction and customer centeredness
- Measures customer satisfaction
- Helps improve customer retention
- Lets other people know that you’re good
- Gives data that helps with decision making
If this sounds good, let’s move on to how you can get that precious feedback.
Ways to get feedback
There are three great ways in which your online business can collect customers’ feedback:
- Feedback boxes
- Reaching out directly
So, let’s discuss each of them more in depth.
One of the quickest ways to get quality feedback is to host surveys directly on your website. You don’t need any programming background or any special skills for this. There are services that provide easy tools for you to create custom surveys and put them on your website.
Here’s an example of a simple on-site customer survey:
The key to collecting maximum useful data and information from customers is to ask short but insightful questions and don’t waste their time by making them feel like they’re doing work.
Here are easy and great tips to ensure that you gather enough data:
- Don’t let surveys interfere with the user experience. According to a veteran business journalist Lydia Dishman, 72 percent of customers reported surveys interfered with their experience of a website. Make it a small pop-up box that appears at certain times. For example, base these times on activity, the number of pages visited, and time spent on the website.
- Keep them short. No one wants to spend a lot of time answering questions. Ask only several critical questions and keep the overall number of questions under 10.
- Use every question wisely. Every question you ask should have an important purpose behind. If you want to find out how easy it is to use a new check out system – ask about it, but don’t go into too many details.
These are getting increasingly popular these days because they don’t interfere with customers’ experience on your website and become active only if clicked on. Besides, they allow website visitors to give immediate feedback and even report bugs on the site.
“Feedback boxes and live chat are the most popular customer communication options,” says Patrick Bledsoe, a customer support expert. “For example, clients looking for immediate assistance such as assignment help want to speak to a representative as quickly as possible, so they use these options.”
Here’s an example of a great feedback button placement on TNT’s website:
When you click on the button, the website offers three alternatives for leaving feedback: specific feedback, generic feedback, and getting in touch with customer service.
To make the most out of this great option for collecting customers’ feedback, follow these tips:
- Provide several options for giving feedback. Take a look at the TNT’s feedback box once again: it has three options, which means that the visitor has a better chance to find whatever he or she is looking for.
- Don’t request information you don’t really need. For example, if you’re testing how the new version of your website performs, that’s not a good opportunity to collect data such as gender, age, job position, industry, and stuff like that.
- Make the process of giving feedback really simple. Let’s say we clicked on TNT’s “generic feedback” button. This is what appears next:
The new box offers to rate the website using the rating system: 1 (hate), 2 (dislike), 3 (neutral), 4 (like), and 5 (love). When you click on a value, a drop-down menu appears with several options: Suggestion, What We Are Doing Well, Bug/Error on Website, Question, and Other.
Let’s say we select “Suggestion”.
Now, we’re presented with a text box where we can type our suggestions and let the business know what we think about the website.
And we’re done! Clicking the “Send” button ends the feedback session. Overall, the entire process lasts a few minutes, tops.
Reaching out directly
There are many ways to gather information from your target audience directly. For example, many businesses use emails; here’s an example email sent out by a popular online service Thumbtack:
Organizing meetings and events is also a good choice if you have a considerable number of local customers.
Read more about the Hidden Power of the Survey Email.
What you shouldn’t ask about
While implementing these customer feedback collection tools, keep in mind that you shouldn’t ask the following:
- Ask what, not why. The “why” implies that the customer will have to spend more time to provide the qualitative information about their experience. If you do ask the “why,” be careful, says Dishman, because 52 percent of customers don’t want to spend more than three minutes filling out a survey.
- Irrelevant questions. When designing a survey/feedback box/direct email, make sure that you’re not asking anything extra. An overwhelming number of questions is one of the most important factors that prompt people to drop surveys.
- Personal data. Don’t ask for details like gender, location, age, and occupation unless it’s absolutely needed.
Practical feedback questions
Asking the right questions can be a difficult thing, so see some good examples below. They focus on customer experience, website improvement, and marketing considerations.
- What did you want to find on our website?
- Did we meet your expectations? Why?
- Did you find the information on our website (or specific page) useful?
- Is our pricing clear?
- How do you think we can improve our website (specific page)?
- If you weren’t satisfied with our services, what can we do to get you to come back?
- How did you hear about us?
- How likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or a colleague?
- What company can we learn from?
- Is there anything holding you back from making a purchase right now?
Get the feedback you deserve
Collecting customers’ feedback is a critical piece in the conversion-research puzzle. Keep in mind that the tone of your communication should be conversational because it’s much easier to engage the customers.
To make sure you’re doing everything right, try to experiment with different ways of collecting feedback and different question types. See what works best and use the feedback to improve your business!
Author: Lucy Benton is a marketing specialist, business consultant and helps people to turn their dreams into the profitable business. Currently she is writing marketing and business resources. Also, Lucy has her own blog Prowritingpartner.com where you can check out her last publications. If you’re interested in working with Lucy, you can find her on Twitter.
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