Your business will be successful if your customers are happy - it’s as simple as that. But how do you keep them happy? How do you know what parts of your business they like, and which bits could be improved to make them like you more? You guessed it – you need to ask them.
Asking your customers for feedback is the best way to gain insight into what makes your customers tick, get the information you need to make significant changes, and stop playing the guessing game with your customers.
Businesses can collect customer feedback about anything; how their customers feel about the products they buy, the service they’ve received, their opinions on a particular topic, the experience they’ve had with the brand – and everything in between!
Customer feedback can take lots of different forms, and can be collected in a whole range of different ways.
Collecting customer feedback is about more than checking in with your customers. The information you collect, whatever it may be, is extremely valuable as it can be used throughout your business to evolve your company and transform you customer experience. You can uncover which areas of your business need work, which products are causing issues, and which parts of your brand your customers are loving, so you can shout about them in your marketing campaigns.
Reaching out to your customers and asking their opinion doesn’t just open your eyes to issues that could have otherwise flown under the radar, it also shows your customers that you care about what they think – strengthening relationships and encouraging customer loyalty.
There are no quick fixes when it comes to collecting customer feedback. If you want to know how your customers are feeling, you need to reach out and ask them. There are, however, lots of different ways to do this, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution - your ideal solution could even be a mixture of several different customer feedback techniques. The best method for collecting customer feedback all depends on your business, and more importantly, what you want to achieve.
Here are some of the most popular methods of collecting customer feedback.
With a huge 96% of consumers reading or using reviews in some way, online customer reviews have become an important part of the decision-making process when it comes to clicking the ‘buy now’ button.
Online reviews usually take the form of a star rating and written comment, and are split into two main categories of customer feedback: service (or company) reviews, and product reviews.
Service reviews give customers the opportunity to offer their opinion on the overall experience and service that they received when dealing with a brand, whilst product reviews are for just that – giving feedback on a particular product that the customer has purchased.
If you’re considering using reviews to collect customer feedback, there are a few things to bear in mind.
Benefits of product and service reviews
Disadvantages of product and service reviews
“We have been so impressed by the success of Smart Themes. By giving our customers the opportunity to read only the reviews that are relevant to them, we make it easy for them to access other customers’ feedback and make their buying decision.”Laura Croucher, Head of Digital
You’re probably familiar with surveys – they’re one of the most popular methods of collecting customer feedback. The idea is to collect information, data and opinions from a large number of people by using targeted questions.
Perhaps you want to collect some data for a report, find out what attendees thought of an event you held, gauge how your employees are feeling, or what your customers think of your website - there are thousands of ways to use surveys.
Let’s zone-in on customer feedback surveys. As you’ve probably guessed, these are run by businesses to get a better understanding of how their customers are feeling, whether it’s about their products, service, delivery, their customer support – anything. You could ask, for example, ‘How easy was it to find what you were looking for today?’, or ‘Did the support team help to resolve your issue?’. The answers don’t just give you an idea of how your customers are feeling, but also award the insight you need to influence marketing campaigns, develop your products, and nail your customer service processes.
Benefits of surveys
Disadvantages of surveys
It goes without saying that certain customers respond differently to different methods, and writing in-depth comments isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. To get to the bottom of how your customers are really feeling, the answers may lie within actual conversations. Collecting customer feedback over the phone means you get to pick up on the tone of the responses, allowing you to dig a little deeper where you feel you need to.
Benefits of follow-up phone calls
Disadvantages of follow-up calls
You’ve probably come across in-app customer feedback software without even realising it. This can sit inside a whole load of different apps and products – often hiding away somewhere at the side of the screen or in a bottom corner. You could even get a little prompt to give some feedback or rate the app after a few minutes of using the product. The most obvious differentiator of in-app solutions is that they’re used to collect customer feedback in real-time, so the customer is actually using the product as they are being asked how they feel about it.
Benefits of in-app feedback collection
Disadvantages of in-app feedback collection
Feature requests are ideas and suggestions from existing customers about how they think a product could be improved. Not all feature requests are the same – they can be bug reports, ways to improve current features, or completely new ideas. Customer requests can be collected and managed in lots of different ways, including feedback boards, idea portals, apps such as Trello, and software which is completely dedicated to hosting this type of customer feedback.
Benefits of feature requests
Disadvantages of feature requests
We’ve covered most of the different types of customer feedback, now let’s discuss exactly how you’re going to capture it.
Knowing which customer feedback tool to use can be a tricky decision – each has its own way of collecting feedback, gathers different types of information, reports on the findings in different ways, and provides its own unique types of insight. Before you delve into the world of customer feedback tools, make the decision easier for yourself by defining your goal and having a clear idea of exactly you want to find out.
There’s a big difference between third-party review sites and the independent review companies that we’ll talk about later. The main difference between the two is that third-party review sites collect and display reviews on their site, independently from the companies that are being reviewed. Think about the sites that usually pop up before booking a restaurant, for example; Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor - these are all third-party review websites.
Benefits of third-party review websites
Disadvantages of third-party review websites
Independent (or first-party) review companies give businesses the tools they need to collect and display customer feedback on their own websites. These reviews can live on a dedicated page on the business’s website, on the homepage, on widgets throughout the site – pretty much anywhere.
Benefits of independent review companies
Disadvantages of independent review companies
“It’s massively important to us that we stand out from the competition and Feefo ticks all the boxes. Nothing is as convincing as the recommendation of a fellow customer we trust. Such high Feefo review ratings are proof of the consistency of what we do for every one of our clients. Using Feefo is one of the best things we have done.”Luis Navarro, Co-Founder and Sales Director
Social media is becoming more and more integral to people’s lives – there are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide- that’s 45% of the population! Social media is where your customers are already talking, sharing and commenting, so it makes sense that your business becomes part of those conversations by asking for customer feedback. There are now so many ways to do this, from posting surveys on Instagram, using chatbots to ask questions on Messenger, hosting Q&A’s and live chats on Twitter and the old tried-and-true method of social monitoring.
Benefits of collecting customer feedback on social media
Disadvantages of collection customer feedback on social media
We’ve already talked about how useful surveys can be for collecting customer feedback. Depending on your requirements, the very least you’ll need to make this possible is some survey software that can help you to design surveys, send them out, and then analyse the results so you can take action. Survey software solutions come with different features and capabilities, so like many of the other methods, you’ll need to go into your research with a clear idea of exactly what you’re trying to achieve
Benefits of survey software
Disadvantages of survey software
As you’ve probably guessed by now, having a good customer feedback strategy can be a game-changer for your business. It’s the key to understanding your customers, making smart moves, and improving your brand and your customer experience.
Here’s our guide on putting together a customer feedback strategy:
There are a few different metrics that you can use to measure customer feedback, which we’ve talked about in more detail here.
Remember – a customer feedback strategy isn’t a one-time thing. As your business evolves, so will your feedback. The key is staying on top of it!
To find out how Feefo can play a part in your customer feedback strategy, get in touch with a member of our team.