Customer feedback has become an essential part of business growth with modern organizations always looking for ways to speak directly with customers about their experience.
However, it’s easy to become overwhelmed thinking about all of the ways you can collect feedback from your (hopefully) many customers and what you should do with the feedback once you’ve collected it.
In this article, we’ll explore the tips and tricks for collecting customer feedback in 2023 to help facilitate business growth.
Customer feedback is information provided by a customer regarding their experience with your brand or products.
Customer feedback allows you to better understand how satisfied a customer is with the overall experience of shopping with you, and it’s particularly useful for online retailers who don’t get to see and interact with their customers face-to-face.
Taking a proactive approach and collecting customer feedback is incredibly useful. It allows business owners to understand where their brand is succeeding…and where it may be falling short.
The reality is that your business cannot succeed without listening to your customers. Without customer feedback, how do you know if you’re doing something wrong? How do you know what works well and should be given more investment?
Customer feedback should cover every aspect of your business, including your marketing strategy, how you attract customers to your online store, sales, the overall online experience, and the customer service and dispute resolution you provide customers.
Better understanding your customers through customer feedback allows you to grow your business in the areas that matter most to your customers.
There are various ways you can collect customer feedback for your business. Some of the most popular ways include:
Customer surveys allow you to obtain answers to your most pressing customer feedback-related questions. By sending surveys to previous customers, you can encourage them to provide you with crucial feedback. If you opt for a survey, be sure to only include questions you actually want the answers to, create consistent rating scales, and don’t ask leading questions that may influence the answers.
Utilizing your social media audience can be a great way of collecting customer feedback. Many social media platforms now allow you to post polls to your audience, meaning you can ask your followers key questions and obtain their answers. You can also conduct social listening to see what people say about your brand online and in the comments of your posts.
It’s important to remember that not everyone who answers your social media polls will be a legitimate customer, so your results and feedback may not be as accurate as you hope.
Adding a pop-up to your website can be a great way of capturing customers when they’re visiting your business site, making their feedback as timely as possible. Asking customers “how are we doing?” at some point during their journey through your website allows you to understand how customers feel at different key touchpoints. Alternatively, you could add a pop-up that appears once a customer has checked out so they can review their entire experience.
However, pop-ups can appear too spam-like to some users so make sure you only use them once during a customer’s journey. You don’t want to put them off your website entirely!
Emails can be useful for collecting customer feedback, especially for business owners who also use email as a support channel. By emailing your customers to ask for their feedback, you’re highlighting that you care and value their opinion – your business wants to hear from them.
It’s important to let your customers know that you’re actively looking for their feedback. Usually, it’s only those who have a particularly good or bad experience who will think to get in touch with a business without a prompt.
Now that you know how to obtain customer feedback, take a look at these best practice tips to ensure you’re collecting and using your customer feedback effectively.
#1. Store Your Data
A key part of collecting customer feedback comes down to storing it in a way that allows you to get the most out of it.
This is particularly important for brands that are collecting customer feedback via multiple methods and platforms, such as social media or a website pop-up.
No matter what kind of data you’re collecting, whether it’s customer feedback, competitor research, or market research, you need it to be easily digestible and stored in a central place.
Chances are you may be storing the feedback in different places, such as separate spreadsheets or in individual folders, which makes analyzing and identifying patterns difficult.
It’s a good idea to centralize all of your data in a single location so that you know where it is and can be sure you’re getting the whole picture.
#2. Don’t Spam
It can be tempting to bombard your customers with requests for feedback or ask for customer reviews. Maybe they didn’t see your first request? Maybe your email landed in their spam folder? Or maybe they just don’t want to give you any feedback.
Sending multiple emails or adding pop-ups to every page of your website will annoy your customers. Not only will it put them off answering your questions, but it’ll also put them off shopping with your brand altogether.
#3. Analyze Your Feedback
Once you’ve collected your customer feedback, it’s time to analyze it. It’s all well and good collecting and storing customer feedback, but you need to remember to actually do something with it!
The key thing to do is look out for patterns that form based on what different customers are saying.
Perhaps multiple people have had an issue with your returns policy or various customers have praised the conduct of your customer service team.
Patterns allow you to understand what’s an isolated incident and what areas are causing problems repeatedly.
#4. Action Improvements
Once you’ve determined the improvements you need to make, whether they’ve been suggested directly by customers or you’ve been able to theorize through your feedback analysis, you then need to action them.
Customer feedback is only beneficial if you take action and implement the necessary changes.
When analyzing your feedback, make a list of the key steps you need to take to improve any issues and assign them to the relevant members of your team.
Taking action to improve the overall customer experience based on feedback will help to encourage customers to shop with you again. If they see that you’ve listened to their feedback and implemented change, they’ll be more likely to return to your brand now that they feel valued and listened to. Creating this positive perception of your brand can also aid SEO reputation management at the same time.
#5. Nurture Potential Brand Advocates
Collecting and analyzing customer feedback isn’t just about spotting the negatives and finding areas for improvement.
In fact, one of the most valuable outcomes of collecting customer feedback can be the brand advocates you may discover.
Potential brand advocates are customers who have had a particularly great experience with your brand. It’s likely that they’ll have sung your praises within their feedback.
If you nurture these customers, you could see a boost in your sales overall! You can build a relationship with these brand advocates by offering them unique referral codes, setting up affiliate links for them to use, or giving them access to new lines or sales before they go live to the public.
By nurturing the relationship and making them feel valued, you’ll encourage them to become your biggest brand advocates.
#6. Always Close the Loop
Closing the loop refers to the concept of finishing your quest for customer feedback where you started, with the customer.
The loop begins when you ask for feedback, customers provide it, you analyze it, action their comments, and you can then close the loop by getting back in touch with your customers to explain what’s changed.
Asking for feedback is one thing, but once a customer has provided it, if you simply ignore them without so much as thank you, it’ll leave a sour taste in their mouth.
Aim to reply to customers with updates on what your brand has changed or enhanced as a result of the feedback given.
You don’t need to individually reply to every single customer who gives you feedback (there aren’t enough hours in the day for that!), but you can send out regular updates to your email list or via social media instead.
Your customers have the power to totally transform your brand, from how successful your marketing campaigns are, to how many sales you make and how you’re able to improve your customer experience.
Collecting customer feedback is the best way for business owners to fully understand how the business is performing – not with numbers but with real, human opinion.
You can then use this feedback to inform your strategies moving forward, allowing you to see what works and what might need to go back to the drawing board. This is also the ideal time to solidify your strategy of following up on customers.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this article with a better understanding of why customer feedback is important and how to collect it, give it a go for yourself and let us know in the comments how you find the process.
- How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?
- How likely are you to return to shop with us again?
- How did you hear about us?
- What areas could be improved?