Customer feedback is essential when troubleshooting issues with a brand’s product or service. It’s also necessary when developing products and customer experiences.
Most importantly, brands that request customer feedback tend to understand what their customers want and how a customer perceives the brand.
Such information can help businesses fine-tune their offers to give customers exactly what they want while also leaving them asking for more! This will help you land more referrals and repeat business.
However, getting your customers to provide feedback is challenging. Even big brands that have been conducting market research for decades have trouble asking for customer feedback.
Our guide is here to provide you with tried and tested methods of acquiring valuable customer feedback.
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Top 10 Methods to Collect Customer Feedback
We have collected the best practices on how to ask for customer feedback in the list below. Our list contains tried and tested strategies that brands use to obtain information relevant to improving their products and services.
We hope that these strategies can help you find a better perspective of your business.
Read Live Chat Transcripts
Live chat technology has become one of the most popular customer service practices. Instead of talking to brand representatives on the phone or via email, people can have a live interaction with them in a chatbox on a website. Live chat transcripts provide a lot of information about customer experience.
There are plenty of software vendors that have created live chat plugins. You can have a look at some of these vendors here in this review of the 25 best WordPress live chat plugins in 2021.
For instance, frequently mentioned topics have to become the most urgent areas to be improved. Reading live chat transcripts and breaking down feedback points into categories can help define CX problems and solve them efficiently.
Send Follow up Email
Follow up emails is one of the most widely used methods to enquire about customer feedback. Companies commonly send customers follow-up emails with the suggestion to complete a customer satisfaction survey once a product or service is purchased.
Accompanied by an engaging marketing message and visuals, a follow-up email is a great way to receive honest and direct information about real customer needs and wants.
Digital tools like Mailchimp, Survey Monkey, Typeform, Google Forms, and Zoho Survey can help you automate and facilitate the process. Below, you can see an example of a follow-up email sent by Airbnb.
Set In-app Feedback
Another handy tactic for brands with mobile apps is providing users with an opportunity to leave feedback right within an application. It allows you to kill two birds with one stone: to efficiently collect user feedback and keep it inside the app.
It’s especially helpful regarding negative customer experience. In-app feedback helps your team learn and improve CX without the need to expose a brand reputation to the risk of receiving negative public reviews on the web.
For example, PatientSky has used an in-app survey to ask users about their experience with the demo.
Include Post-purchase Feedback
Post-purchase feedback is one of the best eCommerce website practices. Your company can ask for customer feedback after they completed a purchase right on the website. You can ask about the product and how smooth the purchasing experience has been.
It allows you to collect valuable UX insights and optimize sales funnels without distracting the customer with surveys from making a purchase.
Another great practice is sending emails requesting post-purchase customer feedback. Here is how Casper, a mattress brand, has used post-purchase feedback to ask customers whether they have been sleeping well on their recently purchased product.
Conduct Customer Interviews
You might be surprised how happy your customers can be if you ask them for feedback about their experience with your brand. Customer interviews are another helpful practice to learn real customer needs and optimize purchasing experience accordingly.
The most frequent customers are usually happy to share their thoughts with a company. It would be best if you initiated this conversation. Select several target groups, find customers that match these profiles, and contact them personally. “Human” interaction may help you increase their loyalty even more.
Initiate SMS surveys
Although you might think that SMS surveys are an out-of-date marketing practice, it’s still a powerful tool today. According to recent studies, SMS messages have a 209% higher open rates than emails and phones.
SMS surveys are a great alternative to phone calls, live interviews, and emails if you have a customer’s phone number.
Monitor Social Media Channels
Monitoring your social buzz is another helpful and cost-effective tactic to gather customer feedback. You can create posts on social media to encourage users to take online surveys, interactive Instagram Stories with “ask me a question,” and invocations to share feedback in the comment section.
Moreover, you can gain more comments and therefore set an example for your followers and visitors.
Or you can take another approach and just proactively interact with customers in the comments section, under their posts with your brand mentions, or with direct messages to get feedback about your products and services.
Fortnite is a brand that seriously values customer feedback. Apart from asking players for feedback within their game, Fortnite also receives plenty of feedback on their socials.
By consistently applying their customer feedback to their game, Fortnite managed to grow a free game into a billion-dollar empire.
Organize Focus Groups
Focus groups are a research method that allows customers’ to participate in a discussion previously planned by a researcher and guided by a facilitator. This practice helps you learn about real customer opinions about a brand and its products.
It also allows them to gauge their thoughts about new product features and understand their expectations toward the brand and its further innovations. Focus groups can help you test ideas and see how a target audience may react to your brand’s disruptions and new offerings.
Analyze Recorded Sales Calls
If you have an outbound marketing team, they must make dozens of calls every day. You can use phone calls to provide customer support, training, sales, and collect customer feedback.
Companies can encourage their customers to share feedback about products after the trial or ask about it at the end of the conversion with a customer service representative.
Record Website Visitor Sessions
One of the most innovative ways to learn more about customer experience is to record website visitor sessions. There are many digital tools available on the web that can help you record, store, and watch the entire customer journey. This can be from the moment a person lands on your website to the moment they complete a purchase.
Although it may seem like a “phishing” at first glance, this practice doesn’t expose the customer’s personal data like credit card details, email, and name to the risk since these tools store completely anonymous information.
This software captures user clicks, scrolls, taps, and other interactions on a website. It also enables you to gain valuable insights about how people browse with your company’s website, what content is engaging or frustrating for them, and the challenges they may face when completing a purchase.
It helps optimize the website experience for your customer’s expectations and provides many digital marketing ideas that can grow your business in the online world.
Services like Hotjar can capture website visitor activity and provide you with a video of that activity. The video also maps out mouse movement and website scrolling.
This is vital information that can help you to better optimize your website landing pages.
Types of Questions to Ask Your Customers
Collecting customer feedback is a technique that looks like a conversation between the brand and the customer. To get the right insights, you should ask the right questions. These types of questions will help you get a full picture of customer experience with your product or services.
Questions to Understand Dominating Trends in Customer Satisfaction
It is a cluster of quite generic questions that help get into the overall trends in customer experience. They are the classics of customer satisfaction surveys.
These questions allow you to understand the prevailing customer opinions about your products and services, as well as the actual state of a brand reputation among your target audience.
Let’s take a look at the three parameters defining the customer experience: net promoter score (NPS), customer satisfaction (CSAT), and customer effort score (CES).
❓ Net Promoter Score (NPS): How likely are you to recommend our products or services to anybody?
According to many studies, the customer’s willingness to recommend a brand to their friends and family is an excellent indicator of customer satisfaction and loyalty. It’s unlikely, people will promote a company they don’t like and trust.
❓ Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): How happy are you with our products or services?
These are direct and straightforward questions that can help you better estimate actual customer satisfaction. CSAT can also determine how happy customers are with your product or services.
A great practice is to display the question “Are you satisfied?” with the answer suggestions “Yes/No” in a pop-up poll instead of posing it as an open-ended question. This allows calculating CSAT much easier.
❓ Customer Effort Score (CES): How easy did a brand help you tackle your issue?
We all try to solve our problems as efficiently as possible. Consequently, the time and effort spent to tackle an issue are the two next important aspects of customer satisfaction. This question enables the brand to determine whether it has succeeded to become a problem-solver for a customer.
Asking people to score their effort spent to handle a problem also helps define whether there are any challenges on the way to their goals and eliminate them efficiently.
For example, Qualaroo has used CES to determine whether its content has helped users solve their problems.
Questions to Identify Customer Service Issues
These questions help identify the imperfections of your customer service and improve it upon these insights. Here we consider a few examples of questions you can ask to estimate your customer support quality.
❓ Did a company help you quickly solve your problem?
You can suggest answers like Strongly agree / Agree / Neither agree nor disagree / Disagree / Strongly disagree. This question allows defining how helpful and productive your support team is. Another option is to provide a rating score like Hotjar has done it in the example below.
❓ How easy was it to contact our customer support?
This question may suppose the following responses: Easy / OK / Not so easy / Difficult / Very difficult. Asking it, you can determine how fast and accessible your customer support team is. Here is how Slickr implemented it.
It lets you know whether it’s time to hire more customer service agents or unload an existing support team by creating a self-service portal for customers.
According to HelpCrunch, most customers prefer to use the company’s FAQs to resolve their issues instead of contacting customer support.
❓ Please give us feedback to this ticket and customer support
Followed by a rating score, you may quickly determine your employees’ competence and take the next actions like training, workshops, and so on. Here is a rating score suggested by Pokerstrategy.
Four Questions to Improve Your Product or Service
It’s critical to collect consumer feedback about their experience with products or services. It empowers a brand to learn from past mistakes and create better products or deliver higher quality services. These questions help you determine how satisfied people are when using your products.
- How often do you use the product/service?
- Has a product/service helped you achieve your goals?
- What is your favorite feature or option of this product or service?
- What do you recommend to improve?
Below, here is what the Uber team asks customers to estimate the quality of their services.
The user’s responses to these questions uncover the hidden problems and provide your product development and marketing teams with valuable information to enable quick product enhancement and adjustment for real user needs.
Why Gathering Customer Feedback Is Key to Customer Loyalty
Collecting customer feedback doesn’t only help shape the right strategy and get a deeper understanding of your customers but also works as a customer loyalty practice that allows you to set a tighter connection with your audience.
When you ask if people like your service, they feel that their opinion matters to you. They subconsсiously understand that your brand cares about their happiness and satisfaction. Naturally, it lays the foundation of customer loyalty and builds a strong brand image.
“They aren’t indifferent to what I feel when interacting with their brand. It must be a good company.” This relatively straightforward thought is a seed of loyalty in customer minds.
Like the lightwave, the customer’s positive feedback will quickly spread across their social circles by word-of-mouth and conquer the new audience. This approach helps expand the community around your brand and acquire new loyal customers.
Customer feedback is an invaluable source of ideas and insights about how you can improve your existing products, what new features your target audience expects from your brand in the future, and how you can adjust your offering to customer demands. It’s also a powerful practice to optimize your online strategy and make sure that your marketing efforts are always well-targeted, useful, and timely.
Here we have considered proven tactics about how and where a brand should initiate the conversation with customers. We also have outlined essentials about what questions to ask in customer satisfaction surveys to get a deep understanding of customer experience and the ten most popular methods to collect customer feedback.
Hopefully, these insights will help you effectively gather feedback about your brand and build a robust product and marketing strategy upon it.
What do you think of the importance of customer feedback? How crucial is it for businesses? Let us know in the comments below.
About the AuthorLidia Bondarenko is a PR and outreach specialist at HelpCrunch, an all-in-one customer communication platform. Her professional experience encompasses customer service improvement, social media marketing, and SEO. Her free time she spends searching for new marketing trends and tv shows and practicing yoga. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn
Jack Paxton is the co-founder of VYPER, a marketing tool that helps brands build email lists, social followings, and revenue using viral giveaways, referral, and reward programs. After millions of dollars spent testing different marketing strategies at his marketing agency. He then also co-founded Hyax a fast, conversion & design-focused course and funnel builder for creators.