Asking for feedback shows customers that you care. Most customers are likely to be appreciative of any attempt you make to get their opinion on how to make your product better. It conveys a willingness to hear opinions that may be different to your own and to be vulnerable to criticism. For e-commerce businesses, customer feedback is vital for making the right decisions in a highly volatile market. In a face to face setting, asking for feedback can be rather awkward. However, digital tools like chatbots, in-app surveys, email, and even IVR are making feedback collection easier than ever.
The flip side is that these very tools are making businesses over-zealous about learning about their customers’ expectations. Ever wonder why online survey response rates have been dropping lately? The online survey platform, QuestionPro, found that email surveys had an average completion rate of just 25-33%. Phone surveys, a go-to survey option relied on by many businesses had the greatest variation in terms of response rate, fluctuating between 9% and 23%. Thus, to improve response rates, finding the right frequency for customer service surveys is as critical as is finding the most appropriate channel.
Why? Because most businesses do not realize that they are making demands on their customers’ time when asking them to complete a survey. On any given day, the average American is exposed to multiple messages that demand a response. This makes most people highly selective about responding to emails and SMS messages that do not seem important. For this reason, your request for them to rate a product or provide feedback triggers either a ‘no’ or ‘not now’ response. Getting quality feedback from customers requires not just persistence but also a well thought out strategy.
8 Steps to Master the Art of Customer Feedback
In this article, we will explore how to tap the right survey channels for maximum customer participation and engagement.
1. Leverage the power of live chat
A live chat widget on your website can enable real-time communication with customers. It can help you capture customer reactions with a minimal time lag and offer product recommendations while they are still on your website. This can create a positive brand association and encourage the customer to add more items to his cart during checkout.
A chatbot survey can allow a customer to give feedback freely without the guilt of being unfair to an agent for no fault of his. The data collected by a chatbot can help you build a multi-dimensional customer profile that will, in turn, be useful for testing and implementing process and product improvements.
2. Engage with customers on review sites
Review sites enjoy a lot of credibility with consumers when it comes to making buying decisions. A study by Podium, a marketing consulting firm, shows that 93% of customers are influenced by what review sites say about a particular brand or product. Your brand cannot afford to ignore the conversations taking place on review sites as they are likely to pop-up when customers’ search for your product by name. Remember: first impressions take a long time to change!
By responding to reviews, you can shape customer perceptions about your brand and also build rapport with them, especially if they have had an unsatisfactory experience. Monitor review sites regularly for brand mentions and respond with empathy to find a solution to customer problems. Consistent review monitoring can pay off in the long term by way of quality lead generation and higher average order value.
3. Go social
User-generated content on social media can create all the social proof you need to attract new customers and build brand loyalty. Engaging with customers on social media in a professional and engaging manner can help influence their future buying behavior. Traditionally, small businesses have stayed away from social media which is unfortunate considering the countless opportunities for customer feedback that they are passing up.
The biggest advantage of social media is that the average American spends an average of 12 hours and 9 minutes on it, per day. This increases the probability of customer response and brand exposure by many times.
4. Email customer advocacy
Email is widely used for getting feedback from customers. It has a respectable response rate of 30% despite widespread spamming. To increase the odds of a response, you need to segment your target customers based on their spend history and other personal attributes. This can help you ask better questions that are relevant to the recipient.
A well-designed feedback form with a progress bar and easy navigation buttons can allay apprehensions and improve the quality of response. Most importantly, do not forget to clearly explain what you intend to do with the feedback. This will generate buy-in on the part of the recipient and potentially increase completion rates.
5. Use the phone
IVR-based phone surveys may sound a bit dated but by all accounts, they are still a credible way to gather customer feedback. According to data compiled by SurveyAnyplace, an online survey specialist, phone surveys fared better than in-app surveys at 18% versus 13% for the latter. Some marketers say that it has no equal in terms of building a personal connection with customers. It can help you create top of mind brand recall and boost customer lifetime value over a period of time.
Phone surveys are best kept short while taking care to avoid asking leading questions. You can schedule survey calls on an as-needed basis at intervals of at least 3 weeks.
6. Wait for the customer to complete checkout
Pop-ups, sign-up windows, or ‘frequently bought together’ recommendations can unconsciously draw a customer away from the checkout page. Scientists term this phenomenon, cognitive dissonance. So, It is best to wait until the customer has completed a transaction to ask for feedback. A better alternative is to include a feedback survey link with their post-purchase confirmation email.
This can also provide valuable data on purchase trends and average spending patterns for individual customers which can be leveraged in the future.
7) Don’t ask for feedback when the customer escalates
Customer complaints require patient listening and prompt action. However, it is not the best time to ask for feedback as the customer is likely to be angry.
8. Get your timing right
As with every other touchpoint along the customer journey, customer convenience must be kept in mind when asking for feedback. It directly affects the response rate and response quality. Experts say that Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are relatively less busy for most customers compared to Mondays or Fridays.
To find the best time of day to send out feedback surveys, test a few time windows such as mid-morning to noon and late-noon to early evening. Let the response rate be your guide.
Customer satisfaction is a key business priority for e-commerce businesses. Response rates are closely linked to first contact resolution and business growth. With budgets getting tighter in the new normal, covering gaps in customer support can be a challenge. Helplama can help you find on-demand support for peak hours that fits right into your budget. Contact us today for more information!