7 Channels to Gather Quality Feedback

Any business that wants to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace needs to collect and act upon customer feedback.

quality feedback

That’s because it helps you to understand the people you serve on a deeper level. The feedback you receive will give you valuable insights and help you make better and more informed decisions on the direction of your business.

This influences your product in all of its aspects: how it’s made, used, and sold. It also results in customer satisfaction, because the more you know your customers, the higher your chances of creating a great customer experience for them.

Today we’re going to show you some of the best ways to get customer feedback from the current and prospective customers who come in contact with your business.

Feedback can be different and come from different channels

Each channel provides a particular view of how, where, and why your customers are using your product. They each give unique insights into their likes, dislikes, and any issues they may be running into.

Your goal is to combine these different views to form a complete picture of the current state of your product and to understand where it should be going in future versions.

Below is the list of the most useful channels of receiving feedback and how to get the most of each of them.

1. Social Media

The great thing about social media is that users are authentic and genuinely express themselves through comments, mentions, and hashtags.

One of the ways you can gain valuable customer feedback is by monitoring mentions of your brand.  When you see your company’s name being talked about on social media, you can reach out to the people who mentioned it and ask about their experience. This allows you to develop a more proactive approach that clients love, because they feel that they’re genuinely being taken care of.

Another great strategy to collect customer feedback is to monitor your competitors when they are mentioned. You can learn about the things their customers are unhappy with and see if you can provide a better solution. Not only will this help you to stand out from competitors, but you can also nurture their unsatisfied customers into leads for your company.

You can also automate this process by using a specialized tool like Mediatoolkit or Hootsuite.

2. Customer Feedback Surveys and Polls

Not all customers will be open to leaving public and detailed feedback via comments or mentions on social media. Some people prefer to keep their opinions anonymous. That’s why you must have surveys.  

If you want to conduct short surveys to ask one question or conduct a brief poll, with the purpose of getting responses from your active customers right from your website or app and in your responses to customers (along with the request for direct feedback), a nice tool to use is Qualaroo.

But in case you want to create a longer survey to be sent out via email, using social media or web, one of the easiest and most popular ways to do it is Survey Monkey. Survey Monkey also offers you the most popular templates to base your survey depending on your case and purposes.

In order to make up a survey that the customers will actually complete, you should follow this guideline:

  • ask questions that lead to your end goal;
  • ask only the questions that will give you useful insights;
  • ask open-ended questions to find out what your customers really think;
  • keep it short (up to 5 questions).

3. Email and Customer Contact Forms

This channel allows customers to contact you directly and privately. It’s a more personal approach and it will allow you to engage with the person contacting you. By choosing to go this route, you can develop the conversation and turn them into loyal fans, simply because you’ve taken good care of them.

When communicating with your customers, remember to follow these tips:

  1. Make sure your customers get a response quickly. In today’s fast-paced world, customers expect to be responded as soon as possible. Therefore, try to reply to them immediately.

  2. Create an organized customer feedback system. With so many feedback coming in, it can be hard to keep track of it. Make sure you have a system that can handle this for you.

  3. Always follow up. So many businesses answer their customers and never engage with them again. Make it your priority to follow up and see how they are doing. Ask about their experience since your last engagement, send satisfaction surveys. These simple actions lead to a stronger relationship with your customers, increasing their satisfaction and loyalty.

4. Feedback from Your Team Members

Each department is able to provide their own unique perspective on what they think about your products or services, and what can be improved. Of course, Support department communicates with clients directly and know the customers that are going through better, because every day they come across their pains, problems, and are able to spot common patterns that need to be fixed. However, be sure, that most of your employees have their own suggestions on improving your product. Acquiring feedback from your colleagues is critical to business growth.

Create a survey with some open questions and send it out to the team members with the ability to fill it out anonymously.

5. In-app Feedback (Using Widgets and Community Forums)

Most companies invest in pop-ups and live chat as a way to get customer feedback. However, pop-ups tend to create a bad user experience and live chats require an agent to be available to handle the inquiries. Kissmetrics took a different approach and placed a comment box at the bottom of their web pages. That way, customers won’t be interrupted when browsing the website.

In-app feedback makes it easy for users to tell you when they stumble upon something they don’t like. And if they don’t need it, it’s not interfering with their experience either.

When applying in-app feedback to your website, make sure it’s easy to reach. It’s hard enough for customers to reach out and give their honest opinion, so if you will create extra barriers, they won’t give you their insights at all.

As customers use your product/service, they are constantly spotting things they like, dislike, or would love to change. By having in-app feedback widget, you make it easier for them to reach out to you and give their honest opinion.

Keep the feedback form short – a simple title and description box should work. Once you receive feedback, be sure to follow up as soon as possible.

6. User Sessions

When you see customers using your products and services, you can understand their interactions throughout your process. The user sessions allow you to do just that.

This is how it works: you put a code snippet from a user session monitoring service on your website or app and when a user enters your site or app, this service records the whole session from a user perspective.

The goal is to analyze how users behave throughout the process and make their experience better. Make sure to take note of the things that caught their attention and what was challenging for them.

This source is ideal for startups launching new products to analyze the customer’s behavior, as you get the maximum amount of insights from every user. As a result, they allow to highlight weak parts of your product and avoid future problems.

To run manual tests we recommend you to check out UsaBilityHub and UserTesting for these purposes.

At the same time, you can run automatic testing to identify user heat maps. Whether you’re searching for the best place to put a call-to-action on your website or need to get a visual representation of engagement on a page, heat maps can be your best tool. Use them for estimating user attention and creating the content that interacts with your audience and converts them into leads and customers.

7. Customer Interviews

While most data extraction methods still revolve around tech, face-to-face interviews are still proven to be one of the best customer feedback methods. That’s because you can analyze verbal and non-verbal cues, have control over the process, and capture emotions and behaviors that a tech channel couldn’t.

When conducting these interviews be sure to focus on the following things:

  • Discover the root problem. When you ask users what your design should look like, that won’t get you very far. However, when you understand their underlying motives (“your web page is hard to use”), then you can get a clear picture of what the real problem is and fix it.

  • When they experienced a problem. Ask users to remember a specific time when they faced this challenge. You can discover a pattern that happens only on certain occasions.

  • Understanding users habits. When you ask users how they use your products you can discover the problems they were unaware of. For example, they can be going through various steps of a process when in reality they could achieve their desired task within one step. This will allow you to uncover ways to improve your workflow and create a better user experience.

Conclusion

Today, there are dozens of tools that provide you with data and analytics to help you understand what your customers value the most in your business. However, no matter how much insights are available at your fingertips, the best answers in most cases come from your customers directly.

While analytics provides you with the raw numbers and a logical explanation to the actions they take – asking your customers directly helps you to understand them on an emotional level.

That’s why the best results come when you combine both data and customer feedback. By taking this approach,  you get a clear picture of users true behavior as well as the information you need to make decisions on what you should focus on, and the things you need to improve.

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