Collecting, analyzing, and responding to customer feedback is the secret to building and maintaining agile, responsible companies. However, collecting customer feedback can be challenging, especially when all businesses – from fast food restaurants to digital platforms – are angling to get customer feedback.
As a result, many customers feel burdened by “feedback overload” or “feedback fatigue,” as they are constantly inundated with survey opportunities.
While many customers want to feel seen and heard by their favorite brands, they also operate with their own goals, deadlines, and priorities. Filling out a customer survey often doesn’t make the cut. At the same time, some people may be skeptical of a company’s intentions or feel uncomfortable offering honest feedback. That’s why the vast majority of customer feedback methods are ignored, annoying the recipient and failing to provide meaningful insights.
It’s time for companies to reconsider their approach to collecting customer feedback.
The Importance of Customer Feedback
Collecting customer feedback provides companies with unparalleled insights into their most important asset: their buyers. Hence the importance of customer feedback. Gathering customer feedback can help businesses identify organizational elements that need modification or improvement.
Since products and services are made for customers, companies benefit when they collect customer feedback because they can align consumer expectations with real-world deliverables.
This is especially important right now. Three-quarters of consumers have altered their buying habits in the past 24 months, and nearly 40 percent of consumers have changed brands or retailers during this time.
Notably, 80 percent of people plan to continue exploring new companies in the future, making customer feedback important for brands looking to retain existing customers, assuage unhappy customers, and attract new people to their products and platforms. In addition, customer feedback equips companies to cater to their users, and since repeat customers are ten times more likely to convert than their cold lead counterparts, it’s a meaningful driver of future growth.
As Forbes reports, “The right customer engagement strategy not only contributes to your bottom line, but also gives you a competitive advantage. It’s this simple: Engaged customers buy more—and they buy more often.”
What’s more, while ineffective mechanisms for collecting feedback can fatigue or deter customers, many respond positively to the opportunity to give feedback when it’s presented at the right time, in the right format, and for the right reasons. In this way, collecting feedback becomes a catalyst for brand loyalty, which produces word-of-mouth referrals and other benefits that help businesses grow and thrive.
How Customer Feedback Surveys Can Help
Specifically, customer satisfaction surveys can support marketing or sales efforts as businesses gather customer feedback, discuss customer satisfaction, and improve customer service. This includes:
Enhancing Website Design
Nearly half of users feel that most websites are not designed for the end user’s needs. Collecting and responding to customer feedback can help reverse this trend.
Sending Customer-focused Offers
Today’s consumers expect you to have what they want when they want it. An effective customer feedback strategy makes this possible, allowing companies to cater to existing buyers and new customers.
Boosting Customer Satisfaction
Loyal customers are the key to a thriving business today, tomorrow, and forever. Customer feedback helps businesses cater to their customers’ changing needs, making positive feedback or negative feedback important to crafting an effective buyer journey.
Understanding the Customer Journey
Understanding how customers find your company or land on your website can help direct marketing efforts, content strategy, and other initiatives, a process optimized by customer feedback.
Creating Better Content
A company’s content is increasingly critical to the buying process. More than half of B2B buyers report spending at least one hour each week reviewing thought leadership articles, while nearly half of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before making contact with a sales representative. Simply put, business decision-makers are looking at a brand’s content when making buying decisions, and customer feedback ensures that this content resonates with its intended audience.
Evaluating Buyer Personas
Customer feedback can help brands modify and mature their buyer personas over time. These personas inform everything from marketing strategy to product development, and collecting feedback will keep buyer personas relevant.
Demonstrating Customer Care
People need to feel heard, and customer surveys give them a place where their opinions and experiences with your company or brand can be expressed.
Simply put, when businesses collect customer feedback effectively, aggregate the data appropriately, and respond consistently, they position themselves to thrive both now and in the future.
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How to Collect Customer Feedback Using Surveys
More than one-third of American adults report being online “almost constantly,” creating more opportunities than ever for companies to engage with their customers and attain customer feedback.
Request feedback after providing a service or delivering a product. It’s the best way to attain this information, and companies have several ways to connect with their customers.
Follow-up emails are a great way to connect with buyers, allowing brands to maintain a personal connection and collect feedback after a purchase. Email is ubiquitous among enterprise customers, and people are typically comfortable engaging through this medium.
Collectively, email marketing revenue approaches $8.5 billion annually, demonstrating the medium’s salience as a customer engagement tool. Of course, the average worker receives more than 120 emails every day, so companies will need to invest in their communications strategy to break through the noise.
Soliciting customer feedback through SMS can help brands more effectively reach their target audiences. According to one survey, “62 percent of consumers subscribed to receive texts from at least one brand in the last year.”
Since the average person picks up their phone 344 times a day, customer experience surveys sent through SMS help companies meet people where they are. SMS often feels more personal than an email or other digital communications, so companies should tailor their experience accordingly, developing personalized welcome messages with their name or company name to meet people’s expectations.
Social media is ubiquitous. Eighty-two percent of people have a social media profile, and the average person spends more than two hours each day on a social media platform. When people pick up their phones, they often head for their favorite social media accounts, where they engage with friends, strangers, and brands they love.
Therefore, businesses that want high-quality feedback will monitor social media channels and invest in their online community where the customer service experience, feature requests, and other customer feedback are often posted for everyone to read, making it easy to monitor feedback and promote customer success.
Whether sharing customer experience surveys to their social media following or reviewing the comments to assess customer sentiment, social media can be a powerful conduit for measuring customer loyalty, gathering feedback, connecting buyers to your support team, and enhancing customer retention.
A company’s website is often its best opportunity to make a first impression. One survey found that 76 percent of consumers will search a company’s website, and 71 percent of B2B buyers read a company’s blog post during the buying journey. This often happens before visiting a store or physical location. It can also be an important platform to gather customer feedback.
For instance, companies can harness their website to distribute customer feedback questions to site visitors, or they can develop a dedicated feedback page where visitors can complete a customer satisfaction survey, share their experiences, or express their frustrations.
In addition, passive customer feedback online can provide valuable insights into a website’s effectiveness. Use heatmaps to analyze visitors’ activity, understanding the paths they travel to enhance website performance moving forward.
To be sure, digital-first methods aren’t the only way to receive valuable feedback. A variety of in-person methods – from focus groups to a feedback box – can engage buyers and provide valuable insights.
However, people may be more transparent and honest online, and digital information is easier to aggregate and analyze, making it the natural next step for most companies.
Customer Feedback Survey Best Practices
When collecting customer feedback online, there are several customer feedback best practices that help guarantee you get the right insights at the right time.
#1 Use Customer Feedback to Create Change
Customer feedback should empower change and cultivate innovation. Unfortunately, many companies invest in customer feedback strategies that provide critical insights that fail to inform company decisions.
That’s why companies must share customer feedback with the right people who can understand the metrics and empower people to take action moving forward. When brands receive and respond to customer feedback, they are best positioned to foster brand loyalty, boost sales, and enhance growth.
Consider updating customers with a blog post, feature requests opportunity, or other candid feedback platform.
#2 Respond to Customer Concerns
People love a good buying experience. In fact, 86 percent of people are willing to pay more for an excellent customer experience, and many are sharing their positive experiences online. This is excellent news when customers have a compelling customer experience, but it can undermine brand reputation when buyers have a bad experience.
Companies can address these concerns by responding to negative experiences, harnessing customer insights to create a feedback loop that facilitates continued improvement and customer loyalty.
What’s more, collecting customer feedback can be a conduit for connecting buyers to a support team.
#3 Optimize Customer Feedback for Everyone
Feedback from your customers is a gift, so businesses should do everything they can to make it as approachable and attainable as possible. Therefore, keep the tone conversational, make the scope manageable, and prioritize outcomes above all else.
Whether you’re running a small or mid-sized company or leading an extravagant enterprise, developing effective methods to collect customer feedback can feel overwhelming.
Checkbox is here is here to help. We enable teams to create beautifully branded, intelligent surveys in minutes while empowering in-depth analysis through custom reports and dashboards for actionable results. With Checkbox, anyone can build enterprise-grade customer satisfaction surveys without the enterprise price tag.
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