How (and How Not) to Get Customer Feedback
The key to a successful business – whether that be brick and mortar or an online establishment – is knowing how your customers feel. This type of information is vital for you and helpful for others; it can help guide you to make the right decisions, and can do the same for other people who hear about your business through word of mouth. Online businesses in particular find it difficult to extract meaningful feedback from their customers and visitors, leaving many frustrated and lost on how to please them. If you need help with obtaining feedback from customers but don’t know where to begin, then allow us to walk you through the ins and outs of what you should (and shouldn’t) be doing.
People Love Complaining
When it comes to feedback about what you are doing wrong, don’t worry: it will come. It only takes a few minutes on select review websites to see how often people are pinging servers with negative critiques about a business or brand. Unfortunately, this passive-aggressive style can wind up hurting your overall reputation. By incorporating simple elements like links to review forms into all of your methods of outreach – email, receipts, and at the bottom of each page – you’ll be able to funnel some of this sentiment directly to you. This not only will lead to more productive expression by the user of what’s wrong, but can also reduce the amount of negativity others see about your brand.
Don’t Solicit Directly
Many brands have quickly found out that reviews and advice given when they solicit for it is useless. Why is that? Some bigger companies have tried to push this strategy through social media, only to discover that the vast majority of responses were invalid, “trolling” or some other form of joke intended to make the company’s life more difficult. There is never anything wrong with implying or requesting customers leave feedback in an indirect fashion, but broad asks across social media and email directly will produce more quantity than quality.
Ask Like a Person Would Ask
Sounds simple enough, right? In the age of technology, customers and readers are all too used to the generic pitches and automated responses we receive via email and social media. If you want to break through this dynamic, then be sure to incorporate human-sounding subject lines, emotional calls to action and other forms of down-to-earth, laymen’s terminology when pinging servers with emails and status updates. Nobody wants to talk to a robot when it comes to leaving feedback; if your pitches for feedback sound similarly robotic, then expect virtually nothing in terms of quality responses.
Explain the Importance
Last but definitely not least: always explain to the customer why their feedback is important. Many customers may consider their feedback a mere drop in the bucket (when in actuality, it is a rare occurrence). There are dozens of different approaches you can take in appealing to customers’ desire to feel important. Maybe you overtly explain how few people leave feedback and therefore how far their advice will go. Depending on the industry and niche, you’ll see different results with different approaches.