Getting customer reviews is essential for you to be able to improve the different aspects of your business. However, collecting online feedback is not always an easy task. Here’s your beginner’s guide to doing this effectively.
Getting online feedback is essential for you to be able to improve the different aspects of your e-commerce business.
However, collecting customer feedback is not always an easy task. Your customers may not be enthusiastic about giving you feedback. Or you have trouble asking relevant questions that can provide you with actionable next steps.
We understand you don’t want to go spamming your customers with random feedback surveys. The best way to start out is to look at some examples and best practices.
In this beginner’s guide, we will show you different ways to collect customer feedback effectively and how to meaningfully incorporate the feedback into your business. As well as tried-and-tested methods from top customer-centric companies.
So sit back, and let’s go!
Seeking it out actively
The main thing to remember when collecting online feedback is that you have to seek it out actively. Not many customers will randomly tell you how they feel about your website. But that does not mean they have nothing to say!
Microsoft’s study revealed that 77% of consumers view brands more favorably if they proactively invite and accept customer feedback.
Many people will actually be happy to share their opinion. You must not hesitate to reach out and ask them to answer a few questions for a survey or write a review. This way, you will get valuable feedback for your product development plus start building long-term relationships with your loyal users.
Here’s an example from Facebook where they made customer feedback surveys seem privy and intimate. “We’re asking a small group of people for their opinion” will get you thinking you are special and chosen.
Ways to collect online feedback
Another common roadblock for beginners is selecting the most suitable channel(s) for feedback collection. Note that it’s “suitable” rather than “best”. As the type of your business function and the size of your team would determine how you collect feedback.
Choose your channel
Here are some channels you can use to collect online feedback:
- Social Media: Each social media has its own strength in engaging customers. For example, you can use Instagram Stories with their poll and question features or start a Twitter thread asking followers to reply to it with their thoughts and ideas.
- Feedback Button: A customer feedback button embedded to your website or product is a great channel for streamlining online feedback. For example, Canva has a help button in the bottom corner of the product for users to easily submit feedback and report an issue.
- Chatbots: Use chatbots not only to support customers with problems but to initiate conversations for feedback.
- Survey Forms: Send online surveys and questionnaires to collect more customer insights or to conduct market research. If your survey requires more than 5 minutes of the customers’ time, it is advised to offer an incentive to thank them for their effort.
- In-app pop-ups: Time or event-triggered pop-ups can engage with customers and prompt them to give feedback as they are using your product. Make sure to always have an opt-out/close button and not make the feedback mandatory.
- Emails: If you want to collect customer feedback after they have left your website or product, email is great in doing the job.
Design your feedback form
After you have decided on how to solicit online feedback. You should think about the questions you want to ask your customers and what kind of answer would be most useful to your business. The pros and cons of quantitative and qualitative data are listed below:
|Quantitative Customer Feedback||Qualitative Customer Feedback|
|PROS 👍||Easy for users to respond Standardized and scalable Comparable statistics Faster feedback loop||In-depth exploration of customer behaviour Pinpoint the whys Understand opinions and sentiments Easily actionable|
|CONS 👎||Limited ability to probe answers Difficult to reason the results||More effort required from customers Time-consuming to analyze|
What rating system to use
In this type of numeric rating system, most commonly ranged from 1 to 5, where 1 indicates the worst and 5 is the best. It is great for collecting feedback quickly. You can alternate the numbers with stars or emojis to make the more intuitive and engaging.
Symmetric Text Scale
Using a symmetric scale, by removing the middle-ground option, will reduce the ambiguity of the feedback. It is best practice to use text descriptions rather than numbers to draw emotional connection to the raters.
NPS (or Net Promoter Score) is widely used to measure customer loyalty by asking customers to rate from 0 to 10 how likely they are to recommend your product or brand to others. If they give a score below 6 then they are classified as “detractors”, a score of 7 or 8 means they are “passives”, and a score above 9 are categorized as “promoters”.
You can follow up with the different segments of customers according to their loyalty level. Closing the feedback loop after your customers provide you with insights is a great way to boost their experience and impression of your business.
Similarly to the star rating system, the binary system is easy to use and very intuitive for your customers and allows you to collect feedback quickly. You can present the options as yes/no or thumbs up/down. It is most commonly used when one believes a response might be evasive or misleading.
This is a selection of adjectives that should describe their experience and preference of your product. It can help you gain further insights easily and “almost” in a qualitative way. However, the predefined adjectives might disposition the customers’ true feelings. This leads us to our next feedback collector method.
This one gives you the best data about what your customers like and dislike, plus any additional feedback they have to say to you. It is best practice to always include an open-ended question that’s optional for the customers to answer.
From our churn feedback research, we found that 94% of respondents were happy to write comments. Qualitative feedback delivers concrete ideas and reveals users’ knowledge that is invaluable for products and companies to improve and grow.
How to analyze and prioritize online feedback
It’s not true that 1 feedback = 1 action. Some feedback may be time sensitive and require immediate actions. But after you resolved the issue, don’t throw the feedback away. It is important to aggregate the feedback over time and look at the trends.
If you are getting negative feedback on usability frequently, you need to tackle it from a higher level. It might mean building a new dashboard. And if you are also getting user suggestions on designs and features, you can incorporate them into your new dashboard design.
The pro tip here is to not only observe feedback patterns and customer satisfaction trends but also label and sort the feedback to help you plan for your next roadmap.
Closing the feedback loop
When customers leave feedback for you, they expect you to do something.
When a customer told Procter & Gamble that the dryer she bought broke from its plastic base, P&G didn’t shrug its shoulders. They took the feedback and improved the product by increasing the length of tape on the back of the dryer bar holder and by clarifying the installation instructions.
Take the prioritized bug reports and new ideas to your team and discuss with them what could be done to improve your product or service, a certain aspect of your business, or a certain department.
Once you have a solution, you can proudly present it to your customers. If you can’t address it right away, you can still thank them for the feedback.
Look for feedback enthusiasts
Another awesome benefit for your business when collecting user feedback is that you will unlock the power users. They are the people who are genuinely interested in your company and the products or services you provide. They are happy to share their insights and help you develop.
Even if this group is small, it is still more valuable than a large number of people who are not as passionate about your project. In this recent Forbes article, it states how online feedback from just a small group of people can impact the bottom line.
Mix it up a bit
Once you have established a process for feedback collection, try to segment customers and get more targeted feedback. You can change anything from the method you use to collect online feedback to the time of the customer journey you send the feedback form.
You may want to experiment with different rating systems too. Netflix initially used the 5-star rater, but then switched to the thumbs up/down rater as it was more intuitive for their users.
Canva only allowed text feedback a few years back, and when they started supporting screenshots and on-screen annotations along with written feedback, the customers were 215% more engaged. (If you’re wondering which tool they used, it was Usersnap!)
As Bozena Pieniazek, head of product marketing at Typeform, shared in an interview, one of the key criteria to becoming a customer-centric company means making customer feedback accessible for all employees.
Send each feedback to a Slack channel where everyone can read it. Only when your team have customer feedback on their hands can they start to act on them. People from different departments may digest the feedback in various manners. It gets truly interesting when teams work together on turning customer feedback into product values.
“At Typeform, for instance, we have Slack channels to share key insights, such as NPS scores and feature requests, as well as regular companywide Voice of the Customer (VoC) presentations.”Bozena Pieniazek
Every customer feedback is an opportunity for you and your business to learn and grow. By listening to your customers attentively, you will be able to identify the most problematic sides of your company. Maybe they are not satisfied with your customer support or maybe they want more shipping options.
And when you enhance and grow by putting customer feedback in the center of your development, you will get more loyal users as well as ensure customer acceptance.
Checking in regularly
The expert panel at Young Entrepreneur Council shared some smart ways of leveraging on customer feedback for startups:
Customer satisfaction must be the No. 1 focus for any business to be successful. To ensure satisfaction at every step in the customer journey, the most important tip is to regularly check in on customer happiness, and don’t be afraid to ask regularly.
Collecting customer feedback is not a one-off task, it’s a cycle: listen, learn, improve and evaluate. You need to place it into your processes and delegate responsibility. You can reference your customer’s buying journey or usage lifetime.
Then the second most important thing is to be able to scale. If you don’t have the resources to build feedback loops internally, there are many easy to implement customer feedback tools on the market. (Now it’s the time you can check out Usersnap.)
Your take on online feedback collection
You now have all the necessary information about the feedback process and methods. But the most important takeaway is for you to start taking action in collecting online feedback.
Remember to stay active and use the most effective techniques and practices. Make it easy for your customers to leave feedback by understanding what rating system they prefer. Focus on the outcome, which is to have customer-driven data to improve your product and business.
If you need any help with the implementation, try out Usersnap’s user feedback tool for FREE. Contact our feedback experts for a demo and discuss your unique use case, we promise it’s a non-commitment chat.
About the author
Frank Hamilton has been working as a translator at translation service TheWordPoint. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.