- Customers are at the heart of brand success and customer feedback is a leading resource that you should never take for granted.
- While it is true that there is a lot of useful information that can be collected without customer intervention, things like questionnaires are no less important.
- The more you talk to your clients, the more valuable information you obtain, the easier it is to address consumer needs.
- Zakhar Yung shares a comprehensive guide to make the most of customer feedback for business growth and development.
Customers are at the heart of brand success. Brands do their best to meet and exceed consumer needs, ensure their satisfaction and encourage people to come back. With evolving technological advances, companies not only encounter strong competition but also get more sophisticated ways of collecting customer data to tailor their services.
While it is true that there is a lot of useful information that can be collected without customer intervention, things like questionnaires are no less important. By letting people tell you more about their experience, asking them what is it they still lack, or encouraging them to share their thoughts, you establish meaningful connections and get extra information to satisfy their needs. And with convenient ways of importing and storing data (through Google Sheets integration, for example), running feedback analysis has become even faster.
Why is customer feedback important?
Consumer feedback includes all the information that people share about the brand, its products, and services. Every issue they have, every insight they give, every input they make is valuable. Such feedback encourages further improvements and empowers future business changes.
Customer feedback is a leading resource for growth and should never be taken for granted. All the comments people leave on the company’s social media channels, especially the negative ones, serve as a trigger for implementing changes and really understanding clients’ needs.
How does a questionnaire help a business?
The more you talk to your clients, the more valuable information you obtain, the easier it is to address consumer needs. Moreover, your company will only benefit from questionnaires as there are tons of advantages you receive by implementing them.
1. Provide better UX
2. Establish social influence
Customers have become more conscious. No one is blindly buying a piece of cloth online unless there are at least several positive reviews stating the item is worth its money. Testimonial pages work great when it comes to giving new consumers the needed proof and persuading them to purchase from you. You can use those comments that people leave on social media, through contact forms, or directly on the site. All of the feedback helps to understand your target audience, how they view your services and address their queries faster and more efficiently.
3. Evolve your products
Whenever you are ready to expand and add new and updated products, the first and foremost is asking your clients what they want. Is there anything they lack? Are there products that they wish to buy from you but need to purchase from competitors because your brand doesn’t offer it yet?
Meeting additional customer needs is no less important than satisfying the current ones. Create a separate questionnaire where people can share their ideas and suggestions or make a comparison chart with possible products to see which one is more important and awaited. In the end, you might be surprised by the results. Sometimes, the products you think will do great might come up to be an absolute waste of money as your current customers just don’t need them.
4. Develop better consumer service
Consumers report issues on a daily basis. They use contact forms, emails, telephone lines, and chatbots whenever they need a quick response. The truth is that not all brands are ready to provide solid support and leave many consumer comments and complaints unattended. Analyzing what people say will help you provide enhanced customer service. Looking at all of the submitted forms and complaints, you can find a certain pattern or an issue that happens more often than other ones. You can then use it to add more information on the case in a FAQ section or an automated live chat. Moreover, you can educate your support team to ensure they know how to address such complaints.
Methods for collecting feedback
Obtaining feedback is not rocket science. There is a wide range of channels that are great when it comes to communicating with clients and asking their opinion. Is there a single one that works better than others? No, but there can be one that best fits the needs of a particular brand and its customers. One company can receive most of the clients’ feedback through Instagram while another company prefers email surveys. It depends on where your clients are and which channel they prefer when it comes to addressing their needs.
1. Consumer surveys
There exist short surveys and long questionnaires that both work on the right occasion. You can place a pop-up question on the web page for those who are browsing it, or you can go with more traditional, long surveys with multiple questions. The latter is usually placed after people purchase something from the site or sign up for a newsletter.
Qualaroo tool works great for single-question surveys, while SurveyKing can be leveraged to create more sophisticated surveys with multiple questions. There are more tools to explore, like Survey Gizmo or Qualtrics that allow companies to yield dynamic insights.
To ensure people participate in a questionnaire, questions should be thoughtful, open-ended, and easy to understand. They should help you meet your goals and better address clients’ needs and preferences. Rating scales should be consistent and clear.
2. Email surveys
With email still being one of the preferred means of communication, companies can use it to send more personalized surveys and create a one-on-one vibe. However, in order to encourage people to share their thoughts, you need to ensure they are heard and acknowledged. Phrases like “We’d love to hear your feedback”, “Tell us how we did today”, or “We appreciate our loyal customers and want to do even better. Tell us about your current experience” will persuade more people to participate in a questionnaire.
Once consumers complete the survey, make sure to send them an automated reply, acknowledging it and thanking them for their time and effort.
3. Usability tests
Checking usability is a way of gathering consumer feedback and finding out what else there is to improve. You can get insights on different things, from a website to newly launched products and updated services.
If you have finished and released a new version of the website, inform your clients via email, asking them to share their thoughts afterward. Otherwise, you can insert a pop-up on the site with an encouraging note: “Welcome to our new and updated website. We are dying to hear what you think of it.”
On another note, when implementing a new service or introducing a new product, make sure to collect enough feedback as well. Offer to send free samples for customers to try it out. If it is a new feature, make it free and ask people to test it out. The more reviews you receive, the better the end product.
4. Customer interviews
Some companies practice direct communication with their clients. Brand representatives reach out first, initiating a friendly conversation, asking simple questions, getting people’s thoughts, and trying to know their consumers. Who told you that the one and only reason for initiating a conversation lies in resolving complaints?
Such customer interviews can provide useful insights and help brands understand their consumers better. You can start a conversation with those consumers who have recently completed a purchase or updated their yearly subscription. They will appreciate such attention and feel welcomed and valued.
Customer interviews might be a tough thing to accomplish due to a large number of consumers but are absolutely worth the hassle.
5. Social media interaction
As most people nowadays are extremely tech-savvy, social media has become a go-to place in terms of reviews, comments, and feedback. With so many people using Facebook and Instagram 24/7, there is no better place to grow your brand’s presence, establish your influence, and collect valuable data.
People can leave direct comments, use hashtags, or mention the brand when they write a new post. Social channels are adapting and there are now built-in polls, surveys, and automated questionnaires. Many brands use Instagram stories to communicate with people, ask questions, and share their feedback. Such an approach allows them to reach more potential clients and gather more from a large number of people.
6. On-site analytics
To know how clients interact with a brand, and whether their website experience is pleasant enough is possible without asking direct questions. It is possible to see whether people visit certain pages, what is the average time on a page, and how good the bounce rate is with the help of analytics.
Leveraging analytics helps you improve user on-site experience, change your messaging, and understand what resonates with potential clients and what doesn’t.
7. Instant feedback
You can combine analytics and surveys and gain even more information. Clients’ feedback can be collected without asking any questions.
If you have some useful content (how-to guides, tips and tricks, industry statistics, etc.) that you consider helpful for site visitors, you can place it on the page and see whether people click to read more or just ignore it. You can also add a question to find out whether the information is useful or not. In case you get more negative answers and zero clicks, there is a need to reconsider the types of content you offer.
Analyzing every answer you get and every comment you receive, you can ask the site users to share their thoughts and ideas on the topics that will be interesting for them to read.
Questions to ask a customer to determine their needs
While we have already discussed different methods for collecting consumer feedback, we still haven’t covered those questions to include in a questionnaire. They will differ depending on when you want to ask them: before or after the purchase, or when people have already received their products.
When you plan to send the first survey to new visitors who have just subscribed to your newsletter, consider the below questions:
- Tell us about those products you are interested in.
- What are certain types of goods you want to find?
- What is the occasion (if any)?
- Did you manage to find the things you were initially looking for?
- How easy it is to navigate the site and search for goods?
- Are there things you didn’t manage to find?
Once people complete their first purchase, you can share some additional questions:
- Were there any difficulties when you placed an order?
- Which delivery method do you prefer?
- Which payment method is the most convenient for you?
To find out whether people are satisfied with ordered goods or services, follow up after a few days via email or any other preferred channel:
- Are you happy with the purchase?
- How was the delivery service?
- Would you like to share some comments or suggestions?
Depending on the nature of offered goods and services, companies can tailor questions and make them more product-related. If it is software, there will be more questions about usability, speed, features, and upgrades. If we are talking about makeup, there will be more questions about skin types, allergies, and color preferences.
But the only thing remains unchanged, the more you know about your clients and what they expect from the brand, the more tailored and customer-oriented your services will be.
Questionnaires not only help to evolve your company but also to build meaningful connections with the clients. When you know enough about your consumers, things they love, and products they lack, you can further develop and improve, build social influence, and provide enhanced customer service.
You can create on-site surveys, share questionnaires via email, or leverage social media to interact with people and gather their insights. Website analytics is also a great way of collecting data and understanding what really works and what doesn’t.
Test different surveys, create a list of diverse questions, aligning them with the company’s goals to help you meet and exceed consumer expectations.
Zakhar Yung is a technical content writer at Coupler.io, a product by Railsware that allows users to import data into Google Sheets from different data sources.