Being a customer-centric company might sound like another awful marketing buzzword, but designing your business around your customers’ needs is key. Take a look at customer service satisfaction statistics. 80 percent of companies are sure they provide superior customer support. Only eight percent of their customers agree.
A company’s view on customer service and overall performance is not necessarily the same as what customers think. And after all, it’s their opinion that matters the most. That’s why if you want to be a customer-centric company you need customer feedback. This feedback will show you what is working well and what aspects of your customer service need improvements.
In this article, I will show you five ways to collect actionable customer feedback to embed customer centricity in everything your business does.
No matter what some pessimists say, email marketing is alive and well. Apart from connecting with customers and activating them, email can be also used to collect customer feedback. While this is nothing new – you’ve been able to send emails with links to surveys since forever – now you can make it simpler for customers to take your survey.
Instead of sending a link to a survey, embed the first question directly in an email. When a person answers (i.e. clicks a link), a new tab opens in the browser with the rest of the survey. Result? Higher completion rates, thus more feedback from any given amount of distributed surveys.
Tip: you can embed surveys in the footers of your support team’s emails so customers can answer every time they contact support.
Surveys on websites
Your website is one of the most important touchpoints between you and your customers so you should do your best to make it appealing. And I mean more than colors or fonts. There are two basic attitudes toward collecting website feedback: active and passive.
The active approach is based on reaching out to website visitor to show a survey based on context. For example, you show a different survey to a person who enters a website and leaves right away and a different survey to a person who spends 15 minutes on your page and browses 20 product pages. If you want to use the active approach, targeted website surveys are the solution for you. You’re able to precisely choose who will see a survey and when so you can adjust the message, which increases response rates and positively affects user experience.
Tip: one of the most interesting ways of using targeted website surveys is running post-purchase surveys. A survey can appear on a ‘thank you’ page and you can ask new customers about their experience. It will help you increase conversion rates and sales, like in this example of a post-purchase survey.
What is the passive approach? A visitor needs to take action to leave you feedback. This comes in many forms – from asking your customers to write emails if they have issues, to placing suggestion boxes at the bottom of the website to feedback widgets that float on the side of a page. The passive approach is useful for reporting bugs – the feedback widgets or boxes are always present, as opposed to targeted website surveys that are meant to appear only at specific times. Keep in mind that you’re likely to get more feedback with widgets than when you ask people to email you or fill out a contact form, as it requires less effort.
The fact that people shop often online instead of in store doesn’t change their customer service needs – they sometimes with still seek contact with another human. That’s why live chat solutions are so popular now. Using live chat paired with high-quality customer support is a valuable source of customer feedback and a way to achieve higher sales.
Tip: some live chat tools (e.g. Intercom) allow you to embed HTML in messages. Thanks to that, you can embed a survey in a chat message in the same way as with an email survey. What’s the difference between using such surveys and built-in surveys offered by live chat providers? Firstly, agents can send different surveys based on the context of the conversation. Secondly, results are sent to a survey tool so the results of all surveys are stored in one place, provided that you choose a survey tool with multiple functions.
Social media monitoring
Surveying customers using one or more of the described techniques will provide you with a lot of actionable feedback. But you won’t change the fact that some people are reluctant to give feedback even if you reach out and ask for it. In an era of social media, some people prefer to write a post on Twitter or Facebook than to contact you.
You can use a social listening tool to be notified whenever someone mentions your brand name or any other chosen keyword on social media. If you see that someone complains about your company, you can quickly react. Remember, that on average, stories about negative experiences reach twice as many people as stories about positive experiences.
Social listening tools can also notify you when your customers publish reviews on different websites or forums.
Tip: track keywords related to your competition to find out what their customers are complaining about and what they praise. Use those insights to steal competitors’ customers.
So far, we’ve focused only on collecting customer feedback online. But what about all other businesses that operate offline and don’t have a chance to collect feedback on their website or via email? They need customer feedback as much as businesses that are present online.
In this case, you can use survey apps loaded on tablets. Providing tablets with feedback apps will help you get more diverse answers.
How can I use this feedback to create a customer-centric company?
As you see, there’s plenty of ways to collect actionable customer feedback. Just remember that no matter how much customer feedback you collect, it’s useless without analysis. Collecting feedback brings value to your company only when you analyze results on a regular basis and use conclusions to make decisions. If you make collecting and analyzing customer feedback a constant process, it will be a big step toward becoming a customer-centric company.
- Customer feedback helps you be down-to-earth and find ideas for improvements in areas like customer service, your website, and special offers.
- There are a number of different ways to collect customer feedback: via email, on a website, with live chat, on social media, and through surveys available to customers in physical locations.
- Collecting customer feedback is just the first step. In order to make it valuable, you need to analyze it, draw conclusions and implement their results
What’s your experience with collecting customer feedback and what tools do you use? Let us know in the comments! Or check out GetApp’s ranking of the top 25 apps for customer service.
Lucjan Kierczak is a marketing manager at Survicate – an all-in-one customer feedback tool offering targeted website surveys, feedback widgets, in-message surveys, and questionnaires. If you have any questions about customer feedback, reach out to Lucjan on LinkedIn or Twitter.