Gathering customer feedback is a really important part of business growth. By using insights, comments and feedback from your customers, your business can identify your priorities and the way forward quickly and easily. Often, business decisions made without customer feedback in mind can create issues that those within the business are unable to predict. By utilising your customer comments in the decision-making process, you can ensure that any decisions, changes and investments are going to make your customers happy.
One such way of collecting these insights is by using customer feedback forms. These can be automated and personalised to get relevant comments to help drive your business forward, and to address any issues.
Below, we take a look at customer feedback as a whole and give you nine ways to create an engaging customer feedback form.
Customer feedback is information from your clients or customers about your product or service. This can come in the form of:
- Customer reviews
- Chatbot ratings
- Comments left on social media
- Customer phone calls
Customer feedback can be positive, neutral or negative. What it entails can vary between businesses. For example, eCommerce businesses could get feedback about their product, postage and packaging, shipping fees, website experience, customer service and more. While B2B businesses are more likely to get feedback on their service(s) and the customer experience.
Obtaining customer and client feedback is crucial for long-term business success. It can help you locate any weaknesses and places to improve, and can identify which bits you’re doing well.
Customer feedback can be used to help the decision-making process in your business. You can also use the severity and frequency of the feedback you’re getting to prioritise the changes in your business.
For example, customer feedback about high shipping costs might help you reconsider your supply chain or pricing points. As well as keeping your current customers happy, this will help to increase your conversion rate, reduce cart abandonment and improve the customer experience for future website visitors, too.
As well as helping your business to improve, asking for feedback can also help you engage with your current customers and boost brand loyalty. By asking for their opinions and making your service better as a result, you’re showing your customers that you’re taking their reviews seriously. This helps customers to feel heard and supported by your brand.
In terms of the customer experience, customer service is also the key to a person’s perception of your brand. With the rise of eCommerce websites and online shopping, customers will often only experience speaking to someone from your brand once or twice. So, customer feedback here can be crucial for brand perception and customer satisfaction. By gaining insights from customers after an interaction with your brand, you can improve these further and even create targets for your staff based on customer satisfaction.
While it depends on the way your business operates, some of the most commonly used ways to obtain customer feedback include:
- Short surveys or ratings after a live chat
- Checking in with customers via a phone call
- Sending a follow-up text after purchase
- Creating a poll
- Using social media to monitor brand mentions
- Sending emails to encourage customers to share their opinion
- Building an online community or knowledge hub
- Reviews on your own website and third-party review websites
So, how and what should you ask when collecting feedback from customers? What are the best methods of doing so, and how do you get the insights you need? Below, we’ll look at nine tips to create an engaging customer feedback form.
One of the crucial elements of gaining accurate feedback is through timing. This is why feedback on live chat works so well, as the customer has finished the conversation and can give a short 1–10-star rating or smiley face feedback. This takes a second of a customer’s time, and can give you a good overview.
For those sending emails to fill out surveys or leave customer reviews, timing is critical here too. By asking for feedback once the customer has ordered but prior to them receiving the product, you’re unlikely to get any kind of product feedback. Conversely, by sending an email 24 hours after confirmed delivery, you’re far more likely to gain a response from your customers.
The first thing to personalise is the feedback form itself. It’s jarring to customers if they’re used to seeing your branding, colour schemes and logo, and then find themselves on a relatively plain blank page. Remember that your brand image can often be emotive for customers, so include your recognisable colour palette and logo when asking any questions. If you’re using a third party to gather customer feedback, try to use one with some customisation options.
Secondly – and, arguably most importantly – personalise the questions to your database. There’s no point in asking all customers what they think about your latest social media video, a wide range of services or personalised products if they haven’t experienced any of these things. So, either make your questions widely applicable to all customers or create segments of audience data to make each question more personal and relevant.
For a super-personalised customer feedback form, tweak the introduction to include their first name. By starting the survey by acknowledging them and reiterating that their feedback is important to your business, your customer is likely to be far more engaged with the process.
Much like your website, you’ll want to reduce the bounce rate of your customer feedback forms and encourage users to complete the fields and stay until the end. So, make it user-friendly.
There are several common pet peeves for feedback forms that can make people bounce. These include:
- A poor mobile experience
- Compulsory text fields
- Minimum character limits on text fields
- A long survey with lots of questions and multiple pages
- Having to input phone numbers, email addresses or names
- An unclear journey
To make your feedback survey more user-friendly, make the page clear with a linear and chronological timeline. For example, it might be confusing to ask about the experience with the delivery of the package before asking whether or not they found your website easy to use.
You also want to make sure that whether the survey is completed on a mobile (portrait or landscape mode), a tablet or a desktop, it is easy to complete and is responsive. This should apply to the questions and field labels as well as the buttons and navigation.
Finally, keep all or most of the fields optional. Although you’ll no doubt prefer detail on each of the ratings, asking your customers to explain and legitimise each answer they give will lead to them leaving without completing the form.
Staying with the idea of user-friendliness, having clear and concise questions on your customer feedback form is key. Think about what you really need to get out of the customer feedback. Try not to waffle on with questions about every element of their experience with you: prioritise based on what’s truly important.
Try to keep the volume of questions to a minimum and make them easy to understand. This applies to ratings too, whether numerical or using smiley faces. Some businesses or customers may use a rating of 1 as Excellent, where others consider 10 as Excellent. So, make this clear when asking for responses.
Don’t just say: “On a scale of 1-10, how easy did you find our website to use?”.
Instead, say: “On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the easiest, how easy did you find our website to use?”
To improve this further, add captions to each rating. 1 in this scenario could be ‘Not easy at all’, where 10 could be ‘Very easy’.
You’ll also want to make sure that your questions are clear, so be specific. Don’t just say “how do you think it went?” If you’re asking about their delivery experience, specify. Are you wondering whether the shipping company is doing a good job? Do you want to make sure your package arrived unscathed? Are there lots of customers complaining of scratches, dents or marks on their product? Be as specific as possible in your questions to get the kind of insights that will help your business grow.
One of the best ways of encouraging customer feedback is by creating an incentive for them to fill out the survey. This can include:
- Entry into a prize draw
- A discount code for their next purchase
- Money off their next purchase: £5, £10, £20 for example
- Free shipping
- An invitation to an exclusive VIP group
- A free gift
By offering customers an incentive to give you their feedback, they are far more likely to take the time to fill out your survey.
Although all reviews are important, neutral reviews don’t always give you the best insight into how you can improve, or the specifics of a customer’s experience with you. You might also consider avoiding neutral reviews so that customers aren’t tempted to quickly fill in the form with neutrals to get their incentive.
The first tip is to use even numbers with feedback. Ratings on a scale of 1-10 make 5 a negative (1-5), and 6+ are positive (6-10). Ratings on a scale of 1-9 give 5 as a perfect neutral. Similarly, 1-5 ratings give 3 as a perfect neutral. So, use even numbers in the case of any rating scales to discourage these.
This also applies to responses or tick box-style questions. You’ll need to give more than two responses, because rarely is something a case of always or never. But, having three possible responses might encourage people to go for the most neutral one. Try using two positives and two negatives to balance this out.
“Always, sometimes, never”
“Always, more than half the time, less than half the time, never”.
A good reason for customers to bounce without leaving a review is that the survey or feedback form has far more questions than they were expecting, and will take far more time to fill out than anticipated. Be clear with expectations from the outset on customer feedback forms. When you’re inviting customers to get involved, tell them how long it will take and/or how many questions there are.
You could say “Answer three short questions” or “This survey will take approximately two minutes to fill in”. This sets a clear guideline that the customer is almost agreeing to when they click to get started. However, be mindful. If you say it’s going to take just two minutes of their time, make sure that it really does!
Often, customers don’t take the time to give businesses their feedback as they think it’s pointless. Perhaps they believe that no one will read a review that they leave, or no one will respond to their feedback. So, it’s important to show the customer how their feedback will be used.
There are several ways of doing this:
- Explain why you’re asking, and how the data will be used
- Give them an opportunity to speak to someone
- Create a follow-up process
You can simply explain how the feedback will be used in just one or two sentences. Such as: “We’re looking at ways that we can improve our customer experience, so we’re asking our customers to answer five quick questions to help us improve.”
Similarly, once the feedback has been submitted, you can reiterate how their comments will be used and thank them for their time. If you’ve offered an incentive, note at the end how they can claim this.
Some customers may not have had the opportunity to speak to someone at your business yet. To address this, you can add a final (non-compulsory) text box for them to fill in to add any further notes or comments. You could also ask them to tick a box if they’d like to speak to a member of your team about their feedback, and give them the opportunity to add and submit their contact information to do so.
Another way of demonstrating that you’re taking on board their feedback is by showing on other platforms that you take customer comments seriously, too. If you’re telling your customer that you’ll read every comment, but this isn’t shown elsewhere, they’re unlikely to believe you. Make sure that all of your reviews left on your own website and third-party websites have been responded to. Similarly, on social media; make sure that you’re responding to customer feedback (whether positive, neutral or negative) - this will show that their comments will be heard and taken seriously.
If you don’t have any specific areas that you think require improvement but want a general idea of how your customers perceive you, you can stick to the two main customer feedback metrics: NPS and CSAT.
The benefits of these are that they can be tracked and monitored over time, and can also be compared with your competitors’ feedback too. Another great thing about both of these metrics is that they’re two easy questions that take only a few seconds to answer, making your customer feedback form super simple.
Your Net Promoter Score (NPS) helps you measure your level of customer loyalty, quickly resolve issues and to gain an overall view of customer satisfaction. The NPS question is standardised across all businesses, and is as follows: “How likely are you to recommend [business] to a friend, relative or colleague?”
This is answered on a scale of 1-10 where the following bands apply:
- Score 0-6: Detractors. Unhappy customers who are likely to go elsewhere and possibly damage your brand with word-of-mouth.
- Score 7-8: Passives. Satisfied customers but could be swayed by the competition. Not necessarily brand loyal.
- Score 9-10: Promoters. Loyal customers who will continue to buy from you and refer your brand to others.
Your CSAT is your Customer Satisfaction score. Unlike NPS, this isn’t a definitive question but applies to any question which measures customer satisfaction. The responses are usually on the following scale:
- Very unsatisfied
- Very satisfied
Each result is then averaged to give an overall score, which is turned into a percentage: 100% represents the most satisfied customers, where 0% represents the most dissatisfied customers. In summary, customer feedback should be a crucial part of your business growth and plans moving forward. Without customer satisfaction and happy customers, your business is unlikely to thrive in the long term. So, use our tips to create an engaging customer feedback form, and get started with collecting valuable insights today!
Net Promoter® and NPS® are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.
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