A Comprehensive Guide for Navigating Customer Feedback in Business
Customer feedback is one of the most important things that your business can invest time and money in. Nothing is more valuable than knowing what customers are thinking about your business at any given moment. You can improve your product or service, and know if you are performing beyond expectations, or are in the red.
A study by Harris Interactive showed that 79% of consumers who used online feedback to complain about a poor customer experience were ignored. That's a glaring statistic noting that consumers are migrating towards online products/services. It also represents an opportunity to fill a gap and outshine your competitors if you're already in business.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll take a look at customer feedback for small businesses and startups. We'll tell you where to start and how you can use customer feedback to achieve new levels of growth.
What Is Customer Feedback and Why Is It Important?
Any customer feedback is meant to gain insights from customers concerning how they view your business. In most cases, businesses ask customers about their level of satisfaction and what aspects of the business can be improved.
For example, you might create a survey to know what customers think about a new website. The business might also want to know if the customer would recommend it to another lead or prospect. For example, let's say you run an online service such as best essay writing service. You can have satisfied customers leave their reviews on your website and display this feedback as part of your social proof.
So why is customer feedback important?
- Acknowledge customer thoughts about your product or brand. Which features are most popular and which need improvement? Thus, you can implement a customer-centric business or product model.
- Still, on that, customer feedback's ultimate goal is to improve the customer experience. If you are a service-based online business such as a SaaS, you will benefit greatly from improving the customer experience.
- You can populate your CRM with insights from customers including what their buyer journey looks like. You can even incorporate customer feedback into methods such as segmentation and developing buyer personas.
- You can always be debriefed on the main client touchpoints and thus respond promptly to queries.
- Your product backlog can be updated. Features, updates, or bugs can be logged and resolved. Thus, customers will love your product.
- Improve your content and conversion copy on your blog, website landing pages, home page, social, and other web copy.
- Positive feedback is useful in showcasing social proof. For example, you can display quotes, reviews, and testimonials on different parts of your website.
Customer feedback should drive your entire customer experience and product strategy. There’s no better way to improve your product or service than being able to utilize customer feedback.
Importantly, contextual feedback will allow you to customize the user's experience and thus gain an edge over your competitors. Remember, feedback adapted and used ASAP leads to better business results and can help you close even greater leads.
Customer Feedback Methods for Online Businesses
Feedback can be collected in different types of mediums. These include social media, cold calling, physical or online surveys, and even website analytics. This depends on the nature of your business and how customers reach you. Let's dive into some of these methods that a business with an online presence can use. Email will prominently feature here as it is one of the best ways to collect customer feedback.
Let's assume you have just started an online business, for example, an e-commerce store. For your store, you need to gauge how well the website has been designed, and for example, the quality of the products or speed of service. Here are a few ways an e-commerce store with a service or product would navigate customer feedback:
- Online reviews - With these, customers can address their overall experience and tell other folks why your company or product is the best. Encourage your customers to be detailed, honest, and specific to make them useful.
- Star ratings - Simply use 5 or 10-star rating labels to assess the satisfaction of a product. A variety of questions are needed to make the feedback more comprehensive and valuable.
- Social media mentions - Monitor social media mentions, names, posts, reviews, and relevant keywords. This is what you call proactive management.
- Customer support interactions - Valuable feedback comes through customer support, whether via email, live chat, social messaging, etc.
- Feedback forms - Online forms present one of the best ways to get comprehensive and accurate feedback data from leads and clients. These can either be embedded into emails or websites or even sent as links.
- User testing - With a new product, you can have users test your product and provide qualitative insights plus quantitative data.
- In-app feedback - This can be through open-ended app widgets or even app analytics feedback.
- Email surveys - Email presents a personalized way to gain contextual feedback from your audience. More on this later.
- Community forums - Whether on a blog forum or social media communities such as Reddit, these present the perfect way to follow the discussion.
One last method to consider is cold or warm calling. This applies to any type of business, whether online or brick-and-mortar. This is the most personalized way to gain feedback, although it depends on how far the lead is in the sales pipeline.
Customer Feedback on Email
Email feedback is one of the best ways for online businesses to interact with and gain feedback from customers. Email is also effective because it allows for automation and therefore proper follow-up and a good record of customer feedback. You can send personalized feedback and keep up-to-date with each customer's pain points.
For email surveys and other forms of feedback, here are a few best practices:
- Craft compelling subject lines - this should be something that instantly captures attention and provides incentive.
- State the purpose of the email - Articulate clearly what you want the lead to do and why their feedback is important.
- Explain why the survey is needed - Respondents will always participate willingly if you tell them upfront why their help is needed. This might be to improve a product, the customer experience, or even to personalize their experience.
- Let them know how long the survey takes to complete.
With email automation tools and CRMs such as SendinBlue, MailChimp and Omnisend your work is made easier. You can respond to feedback in good time, store it, and incorporate it into your personalized lead pipeline.
Types of Customer Feedback Surveys
Once you have set up your email automation tool, you can proceed to incorporate customer feedback surveys. These are non-intrusive and allow your clients or leads to respond at their pleasure. Here are several different types of surveys for online businesses.
Net Promoter® Score (NPS) Survey
One of the best ways to measure customer satisfaction is to use the NPS. This measures customer loyalty and can be used to predict business growth. This provides a numbered rating system, usually from 0-10, that allows you to gauge customer experience.
Service Quality Survey
This measures the online service quality and user experience and also focuses on customer satisfaction.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
This is another commonly used survey metric that allows you to gauge how satisfied clients are with your products or services. Usually, the feedback question takes the form of: "Kindly rate how satisfied you are with product/service ‘A’?" The responses can range from "extremely dissatisfied" to "extremely satisfied".
Product Feedback Survey
This allows you to gather customer insights on customer satisfaction with online products or services. You can understand their pain points and work towards improving them.
Take your Online Business to the Next Level With Customer Feedback
We've provided a detailed coverage of why customer feedback matters. We've shown you some crucial steps to achieve it without getting too technical.
Whether you are an e-commerce store or a brand trying to build an online presence, customer feedback should be at the top of your priorities. Not only does it help you to improve your product or service, but it also leads to higher customer retention.
With customer feedback, you have the opportunity to gain a competitive edge and hit new revenue milestones. Going forward, always remember to leverage the power of feedback.
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