If you are an e-commerce store owner, you most likely have a customized dashboard showing you the real-time performance data. After all, analyzing trends related to response time, handle time, and transfer rate can help you identify the hits and misses for your team. 

It is probably also a ritual to brainstorm customer data with your team, compare trends, and assess their bottom-line impact. 

However, raw data must be supplemented with direct customer feedback to know the ‘WHY’ behind their behavior. For example, what is causing customers to abandon carts or return orders? Why are reward points not being redeemed? Are customers comfortable with entering their credit card information on your website? 

Answers to these and other questions can shed new light on metrics like customer lifetime value, average order size, and conversion rate.

Why is asking for customer feedback important?

Simply speaking, unless brands ask for feedback, they may misinterpret customer behavior, causing escalations and attrition. The human element often does not come through in the collected data. 

Moreover, data has a limited shelf life, while customer feedback can be relevant for business decisions even years later. Customer feedback can help brands optimize their products and services, providing greater value over a period of time. In the post-pandemic scenario, personalization is a top priority for brands, and customer feedback can be invaluable in helping them deliver it. 

The truth is customer feedback cannot be suppressed. It has a way of coming out into the open through online reviews and social media. By asking for feedback, you can channelize customer opinions productively and retain them longer. By responding to reviews quickly, you can even attract other shoppers to buy from you.

The best part: collecting customer feedback does not cost a lot of money. Customers interact with e-commerce brands at multiple touchpoints. These include email, chat, website, SMS, and IVR/phone. You can use the same channels to engage with customers and get feedback from them.

5 Genuine Ways to Ask Your Customers for Feedback

Customers are generally happy to give feedback. It is a great way to make them feel valued. Asking for feedback shows that you are willing to understand their needs. However, getting customer feedback is an art as well as a science. It must be collected practically and systematically. 

Moreover, brands need to respect their customers’ time when sending out survey forms and only ask the necessary questions. In other words, the intent behind a survey needs to be genuine.

Here are a few ways brands can use to collect customer feedback constructively:

1. Let customers know ‘why’?

Customers often decide whether or not to provide feedback based on how they think it might benefit them in the future. Thus, it is critical for brands to address the ‘What’s In It For Me?’ question ASAP. This can create instant buy-in and encourage customers to provide thoughtful feedback. 

For example, you might say that you are looking into an issue that affected multiple users. Be open about why you are requesting feedback- improving checkout processes, introducing new rewards, streamlining refunds, extending customer support coverage, adding new FAQs, etc. Give them some information on how exactly you plan to use the information you collect and how soon you expect to find a solution. This can help you improve the average survey response rate and ensure that your efforts were worthwhile.

2. Be specific with questions

A lengthy survey form filled with dozens of questions is likely to be a waste of time, both for you and your customers. The result: skipped questions deemed unimportant or too confusing by customers. 

So it is important to have one focus area per survey and only include questions directly related to it. Avoid generalized questions that might evoke a variety of answers. Instead, come up with questions that compel customers to think.

For example, ‘What attracted you to our e-commerce website on your first visit?’ is a much better question than ‘Can you provide some feedback on your first visit to our ecommerce site?’

3. Timing is everything

A busy day is reason enough for many customers to skip responding to surveys. So, you need to be extra careful about what time of day you send out surveys. According to Smart Insights, the best time to send out surveys is between 9-11 am and 1-3 pm

It has been proven by research that open rates are highest during the early hours when survey recipients get into work and again during lunch hours. Also, experts consider weekends to be best for sending out B2C surveys. Timing your surveys intelligently can help improve your average survey response rate and avoid annoying customers.

4. Make it easy for customers to give feedback

This means targeting the channels that are most popular with customers for feedback. For example, email. A quick phone call often works well if you seek direct feedback. However, with the arrival of social media and messaging apps, you could do just as well to make use of them. For example, you can contact customers directly via Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and ask for feedback. 

Alternatively, running a ‘Question of the Week’ poll on any of the above platforms can also generate a good response rate. For feedback on a particular shopping experience or event, include a link to a survey form in the post-purchase confirmation/follow-up email that you usually send to customers making a purchase or abandoning a cart, as the case may be. 

5. Thank customers for their time 

Customers love being told that their feedback made a difference. A simple ‘Thank You’ can go a long way in making them feel like they are part of a larger community of people with common interests/tastes. For example, explaining how their feedback was instrumental in simplifying the IVR or adding new rewards options can show customers that you are dependable and trustworthy. You can even ask customers to experience any new updates for themselves by visiting your website/app.

Last Words

Collecting customer feedback isn’t enough; it needs to be acted on. If you have been struggling with meeting your customer service SLAs, an experienced partner like Helplama can help you quickly plug coverage gaps. Our plans are flexible and can be customized to suit any budget or process. We are pleasant to work with and prefer to avoid long-term contracts. 

Our Zero-Risk Guarantee has you covered in case you aren’t fully satisfied. Contact us today for more information!