Customer satisfaction is the key to growing your venture and profits. If you fail to meet your customers’ expectations, they will quickly go elsewhere and never look back.

To gain loyal clients and remain competitive, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are my customers?
  • What are their needs and preferences?
  • What everyday challenges do they face?
  • How can I improve my products or services to better meet their needs?

Accurate answers to these questions will help you establish an ongoing and productive dialog with your clients. Learn to not only listen, but to actually hear them and promptly address their concerns. Do not simply create the illusion of caring, but take actions that reflect your sincere interest in your clients’ wellbeing.

Business owners sometimes find it challenging to ask customers for feedback, analyze their answers and draw meaningful conclusions. This article should help you break the ice and start building a warm relationship with your audience.

Why You Should Learn to Manage Customer Feedback

If you want to understand your prospects’ needs, ask them directly. Customers often make better business advisors than the most experienced and knowledgeable marketers, and they will share their valuable insights free of charge. By not interacting with shoppers, you are missing out on a valuable pool of information that can help grow your brand.

It is human nature to avoid negative reactions, but it is better to address dissatisfied customers and cater to their needs than to lose them to your competitors. Handling criticism in a positive way enables you to use feedback to improve customer service and retain your audience.

If you are indifferent to negative feedback, resentful clients can use social media and word-of-mouth to bury your reputation. You will lose your credibility and be stigmatized as an unscrupulous company. Be quick to apologize for your blunders and the inconvenience they caused your customers, and offer free services or gifts to make amends.

By embracing customer feedback and responding openly, you have a chance to restore trust and prove that your actions were not intentional. People will be pleased to know that you are genuinely interested in their opinions and willing to fix mistakes to improve their shopping experience.

Following are some of the best ways of collecting customer feedback to gain the favor of your target audience and boost your brand’s performance.

1. Questionnaire on the Order Confirmation Page

Your visitors’ shopping experience should be easy and comfortable. If shopping on your website is too complicated or its features don’t work properly, customers may abandon their carts and leave to shop elsewhere. Once a customer completes their order, ask about their shopping experience, to learn whether they encountered any obstacles along the way.

Your feedback form should include a few multiple-choice questions and a field for additional comments. Keep it short, since buyers are unlikely to linger for long after their order has been placed.

2. Feedback Button

Place a “Share Your Feedback” icon in a visible spot, like in a footer or at the side of the page. The best way to get customer feedback is to make it quick and easy.

Most shoppers just want to make a purchase and leave your site. A bright and attractive button with a strong CTA can entice them to stay a moment longer to share their opinions about your website’s usability, design, and content.

3. Email Survey

Email can be an effective way to get information about your client’s shopping experience. You can devote a survey to any topic, from product photos and catalog descriptions to the behavior of your customer support staff.

It is recommended to engage each new client in a survey within three to five days of their order placement. However, do not email your regular customers after each buy. They may see it as annoying and intrusive.

Use surveys to manage customer feedback on the following issues:

  • Reasons for choosing your brand: competitive price, superior customer support, free services and products, straightforward order process, high position in SERPs, etc.
  • Strengths and weaknesses of your products or services: cost, exclusiveness, availability, quality, delivery time, etc.
  • Shopping experience: site navigation, design, loading time, useful content, speed of order processing, polite and responsive customer support staff, etc.

Remember that your goal is not to sell more goods, but to get a realistic idea of your brand’s performance. You may receive both accolades and complaints. Do not take offense at negative feedback. Instead, do your best to console a dissatisfied buyer and regain their trust.

4. Calls

A phone call is one of the most personalized methods of collecting customer feedback. Of course, it is much easier to reach all your clients with a single email than to phone them individually, but the results will be worth it.

A personal phone will make your customers feel special and increase their loyalty to your enterprise. You will be able to detect their degree of satisfaction, curiosity and disappointment in their voice, and respond accordingly.

You can ask the same questions in your phone calls as in your email surveys. However, phone calls are most effective for new customers. Constantly calling your repeat customers can alienate them.

Make calls only during business hours, and always ask whether it is a convenient time for a phone call. Be polite and patient, and do not ply them with questions right away. Remember that you need this conversation more than your customer does, so be respectful of their time.

To determine which ways of collecting customer feedback are most effective for each segment of your clientele, ask buyers to choose a preferred means of communication when placing orders on your site. You can then organize your communications by phone call, text, email or instant messenger chat.

5. Incentives

Everyone loves gifts. Most people will be happy to fill out a survey or communicate with a sales representative by phone in exchange for a bonus, discount, free consultation, product or service.

Pampering clients with gifts delivers value and expresses gratitude for their loyalty to your brand.

6. Shopping Cart Popup

The moment a prospect decides to abandon goods in a cart and leave your website is the best time to take action to change their mind. To learn the reason for abandonment, display a popup with a short multiple-choice question like “Why are you canceling your purchase?” Provide a field for detailed comments.

You can provide the following options:

  • Hidden fees surfaced during order placement;
  • More enticing offer from another brand;
  • Awkward and lengthy order placement process;
  • Unsatisfactory delivery options.
  • Other

Also, provide contact information for your customer care staff, so they can support a disappointed client and prevent them from leaving.

7. Social Listening

People use sites like YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to communicate with friends and relatives, be entertained, take a break, educate themselves and shop. Take time to find out what people are saying about your brand on these platforms, so you can take steps to either maintain the hype or do damage control.

You do not need to track brand mentions manually. Automate the process with helpful tools like HootSuite or HubSpot. Apart from assessing your own image, you can use them to scan your rivals’ presence on social media.

If people complain about technical issues or poor user experience on your website, be quick to respond and promptly solve the problem. It is critical to prevent a wave of customer resentment from destroying your brand on the web. If dissatisfaction goes viral, it will be impossible to intercept negative comments.

8. Online Community

Rather than tracking reviews posted by your clients on different platforms, you can consolidate them into a single channel. Create an online community where people can share experiences, interact with your brand and get advice. Launch it on a themed forum or on the social network most relevant to your business.

Creating an online community is simple, but maintaining it requires a bit of work. You need a moderator to spark new discussions and monitor existing ones, post fresh content and delete outdated information, answer users’ questions and resolve disputes.

An online community lets you nurture lively interaction with prospects, engage them with your brand, and build strong and lasting relationships.

9. Feedback Request After a Live Chat

Ask questions about the quality of your customer support after live chat sessions. Find out whether the session delivered value and helped address customers’ concerns, and whether your staff behaved politely and respectfully. If you receive complaints, take action to resolve the issue and regain your customers’ trust.

10. Scan the Web for Mentions of Your Brand

If customers feel deceived by a company or disappointed by its customer support, they often rush to forums, blogs, business directories and online communities to vent about their negative experiences and warn other web users.

You do not want a customer’s dissatisfaction to tarnish your reputation. Use software like Google Alerts to detect and mitigate conflicts before they go viral. You can also use it to monitor your competitors’ feedback.

How to Use Collected Feedback

It is not enough to know how to ask customers for feedback. You need to know how to use this valuable information wisely.

Customer reviews should be thoughtfully processed, conclusions drawn and necessary changes implemented. All these steps are critical to the success of your business.

Analyze and Distribute Reviews Among Responsible Teams

Be patient and allocate time for a thorough analysis of user feedback. Categorize comments and delegate them to different teams (product team, customer support team, etc.) so that appropriate changes can be made to boost customer satisfaction.

Give your employees the autonomy to decide which requests are most important, and should be addressed right away. Their hands-on experience equips them to make good decisions about handling feedback that concerns their department.

Use Criticism to Strengthen Your Brand

Criticism is not always a bad thing. Growing companies are bound to make mistakes. There is no magic formula for achieving excellence overnight. If you want to achieve outstanding results, be prepared to overcome obstacles and learn from your mistakes.

Even after years of self-perfection and hard work in your industry, you cannot expect everyone to like your product or service. Even the most popular brands get negative feedback from dissatisfied clients.

Do not categorically shrug off all negative customer claims. While some may be false or unjustified, most are rooted in a legitimate complaint. Use the latter to become stronger and create a better customer experience.

Begin your conversation with every disgruntled client with a polite and sincere apology. Let them know you are sorry for their inconvenience and are ready to do your best to resolve the problem.

Invite them to share more details so you have an accurate picture of the issue, and what needs to be done to resolve it. Provide them with contact information so they can reach out to your customer support staff.

Responding positively to negative claims shows your genuine desire to provide high-end services and tailor your brand to meet customers’ needs.

Showcase Positive Testimonials

Place the best testimonials on your homepage or in a special section. Web users are well aware that some companies post fabricated reviews, so make sure yours look natural.

Specify each author’s name, occupation, company, and location, if they provide this data. Seeing good feedback from real customers will spark other visitors to leave their own positive reviews. You will get more testimonials when you show that you really do value your clients’ opinions and treat them as unique individuals.

Final Thoughts

If you want to create a stunning brand image and build strong and warm relationships with your loyal clientele, it is critical to regularly collect and analyze customer feedback. Monitor both accolades and criticism, and use both to build your brand’s reputation.

Do not take negative feedback personally. View it as an opportunity to make improvements and build better customer relationships.

Use the above tips to get feedback from your clients, apply it to your best interests, and watch your satisfied clientele and the profits they bring rapidly grow.