Back to Blog Homepage

Your Quick Guide to Customer Feedback

customer feedback, customer reviews, customer feedback 2021, feedback, online business feedback, ecommerce feedback, customer satisfaction strategies, guide to customer feedback, online store feedback

One way or another, every business is trying to understand their customers. And if they aren’t, they really should be. If you think about it, your customers’ opinion of you is your company’s reality. You really don’t know who you are until your customer tells you who you are. Now, that is some mind-boggling stuff right there.

Proper customer feedback is how you can help shape this reality.

Customer feedback is the information and issues shared by your consumers about their experiences with your company, products, or services. This customer feedback allows you to optimize your business and shows your customers that you care about what they have to say.

So here is your quick guide to all things customer feedback.

Best Practices to ask for Feedback

Survey Says

Surveys have been around for as long as I can remember, which means they must work. You can sit there guessing what your consumers are thinking, or you can set up surveys to get proper and precise feedback right from the source.

Always keep in mind that requesting feedback from your customers could be unexpected. Give them some backstory before asking. There are various ways to categorize surveys, but I find the best way is: long and short.

The most crucial role of a survey is to understand how your audience feels about your products, services, and overall brand. An exciting way to think of your customers is that each customer is at a different stage of your customer experience lifecycle. This means no one survey will effectively work on all customers.

1. Long surveys

Using popular online survey tools, which we have all easily used or filled out, is promising for getting customer feedback. But this isn’t foolproof. These results you receive might not be good and, more importantly, helpful to you and your business. This can range from incomplete surveys or the answers not being insightful enough. But, asking yourself these questions before requesting your customers’ answers can make sure you get great answers.

2. Keep it short

As much as surveys are beneficial, let’s think back to when we were in the position of filling out one. Keep it to five questions if you can, and whatever you do, don’t push it over 10. You want quality over quantity.

3. No fillers

Every question should serve a purpose. Every. Single. One. If you don’t plan to use the information, don’t ask. Make sure you use their time wisely as you want them to provide customer feedback in the future.

4. Open-ended Questions

When you start asking questions, be ready for answers you wouldn’t begin to imagine. But this is good! You want to hear these things to build insight for your business. So, try to stay away from multiple-choice questions because if you think of it, you are giving them the answers to pick from. This doesn’t help to get inside your customer’s head.

5. Short surveys

Short surveys can offer a lot of customer feedback. A short survey is something you would offer right on your website. But, when I say short, I mean short. If you want to feature a survey on your site, keep it to one or two relevant questions. Again, quality over quantity. Lastly, remember, if you ask vague questions, you’ll get vague answers.

There are many online tools for short surveys to gauge the response of customers who are already active on your website. It’s as easy as writing the question and picking where to ask it on your website – then you wait for the responses.

You’ve Got Mail

Email is one of the easiest ways to gather honest customer feedback. Mainly because all companies have it. So, how do you maximize the probability of hearing back from a customer? Great, I thought you’d never ask.

1. Set expectations

Trying to get customer feedback is tricky because people do not want to spend the time, as they believe it’s just a robot on the other end. Why should they care if it doesn’t seem like anyone cares on your end? Humanize your emails. Let them know when they will hear back from you. You want to build trust and a community and setting expectations will help.

2. Personalized it

We can all admit that we love getting personalized mail. No, not bills, but letters and cards. It makes you feel and know that someone cares. So, why not try to get personal with your customers? Within reason, don’t be creepy!

Doesn’t this take a lot of time? Well, it does take time, but we all know that you only get what you put into your business. Also, wouldn’t you appreciate this as a customer?

Now, I’m not saying that you can’t use auto-responders… there is definitely a time and place for those. The trick is to make sure you set a process for replying to these emails; otherwise, your customers will feel let down. You can also use a help desk to transform every email into an opportunity to tune into customer feedback.

customer feedback, customer reviews, customer feedback 2021, feedback, online business feedback, ecommerce feedback, customer satisfaction strategies, guide to customer feedback, online store feedback

Reach Out

This one is a personal favourite. Honestly, it seems so simple but talk to your customers. Reach out to them directly and ask them personal questions. If you want to truly understand somebody, you really need to speak to them. When using surveys, email, or analytics, we’re missing all sorts of contextual information.

And if the opportunity strikes, do this in person. The value of this is more substantial than a hundred surveys, that is, if you keep the following tips in mind.

1. Be open-ended

These types of questions will be your key to get questions you didn’t even know you wanted the answers to. These queries give your customers the flexibility to dig into their experiences in more detail.

2. Get specific

Now, maybe not right away, but definitely get into specific questions as your dialogue evolves. Every answer they give you is an opportunity for another more specific question.

3. Active listening

We know your business is your baby, much like Bookmark is ours, but you need to be open and responsive. Stay engaged, and keep the spotlight on them.

The world is slowly reopening, but still, don’t let distance get in your way. If you are an international company, you want to hear customer feedback from every country you can, and Zoom is there to help you do that.

Social Media

The cool thing about social media is that it generates customer feedback for you organically. Don’t take this as it’s handed to you—you still have to make sure that you have your platform set up correctly to receive it. Allow people to DM you and always let them know your ear is open. Also, make sure you reply to your messages within 24 hours. The sooner, the better.

Social media is also where you are building your company’s community. So listen and learn. Social listening can give you access to an otherwise untapped pool of sincere customer feedback, AKA pure insight gold. This kind of natural engagement ensures that your product decisions align with the purchasing practices of their community.

Never Forget

Here is some essential advice to always keep in mind when working with customer feedback. It will help remind you what you are doing and how not to lose focus.

Reach Out First

You need to reach out. If you don’t, customers will only offer feedback when something is seriously wrong or extremely good. However, you want to know about all the middle ground too. Building this into your process to ask for feedback directly and incorporate feedback questions into your order process.

Expect the Unexpected

Prepare yourself for all types of customer feedback – the good, bad and the ugly. It’s out there, and you will eventually get some. This is where you cannot take it personally. You may receive criticism on stuff you didn’t even think could be criticized! We know this company is your life, so you will protect it when people come at it, but remember to try to use all customer feedback as something you can grow from.

Just Ask

Don’t fear asking. In the words of Nike, just do it. Email them, reach out to them directly, do it all without getting too stalker-like. I don’t think I need to tell you, but that’s a big no-no. Remember, the quicker you get customer feedback, the quicker you can apply that to better your business.

Key Takeaways

Without customers, none of us would have a business of any sort. So really, the least we can do is listen to what they have to say, especially if they are willing to tell us. Customer feedback is truly the only solid element that is effortlessly handed to us and can show exceptional growth in your business. So, surveys and emails work well, but always make sure there is a personal component to them. Your customers are investing their time and money into your company—the least you can do is listen, learn and grow.

And don’t forget that Bookmark has everything you need to get started, including adding contact forms to your website to pull customer feedback.

It’s that time to sign off, and I hope you come back next week for our next blog to help upgrade you and your website.

customer feedback, customer reviews, customer feedback 2021, feedback, online business feedback, ecommerce feedback, customer satisfaction strategies, guide to customer feedback, online store feedback