From table top surveys to follow-up emails in your inbox following a purchase, businesses are always looking for customer feedback. From the glowingly-positive to the downright disparaging, honest reviews from your customers are worth their weight in gold if you’re trying to fine-tune certain aspects of your business.
There is one major challenge involved with customer feedback. It’s simply getting people respond without offering an incentive that would cause them to report information dishonestly. Though this obstacle isn’t going away any time soon, digital solutions are making it easier to reach consumers and give them an opportunity to share their experiences. In this article, I’ll go over a few tools business can use to increase consumer engagement and feedback.
1. Email Follow-Ups
In a digital space that’s often distracted by memes, the latest TikTok dance, or whatever is trending on Twitter, it’s easy to forget about the tried-and-true digital tools that have carried us to this point. Email has remained a highly-effective method of communicating with customers both new and old, and shouldn’t be discounted as the anachronistic tool in your marketing box. In fact, it’s one of the leading ways for businesses to get feedback from customers.
For those who are running an ecommerce business, an email address should be readily-available for each and every customer who has made a purchase. Simply add their information to a database and utilize an email feedback platform. Obviously you won’t receive a 100% response rate, but since you have the addresses of all your customers, your results should be reliable.
Get creative with your messages and see if you’re able to draw additional information that goes beyond the typical “How was your experience, rate it on a 1-10 scale” verbiage that has become typical of response surveys. Offer incentives for more detailed information. For example, have a box for customers to type their own message, and provide a 10% off coupon if they write a response that’s more than 100 words. You might start to notice a trend where one minor aspect of your business is frustrating customers, and being aware of it allows you to fix the issue.
2. Social Media
One of the benefits of social media for businesses is that a two-way channel of communication exists in a way that was unheard of even just 10 years ago. This isn’t just a benefit for businesses, either. Customers are able to voice their opinion about the experience they had with a business in a public or private manner.
Here’s the issue with social media feedback: it tends to skew negative for the same reason as survey data – people with bad experiences will always be more inclined to make sure their critiques are heard. Unfortunately, this is human nature. Don’t worry if a few unhappy customers paint the wrong picture about your brand – there’s a silver lining. Businesses who respond positively and empathetically to negative feedback can often come out a winner in the end. Other customers will recognize that if someone isn’t satisfied, you genuinely care and are actively work to make the situation better.
It’s easy to become complacent in managing your social media accounts. It’s important to at least check in daily to make sure you aren’t missing anything that could be considered valuable feedback from your audience.
3. SMS Feedback Surveys
In the same way that email surveys aren’t sexy, text messages may also feel a bit dated. But also like email, they’re still highly-effective. It turns out you just can’t beat sending your message straight to someone’s inbox.
When you dig into the specifics of SMS feedback programs, it’s easy to see why they’ve become a friction-less way to get people to share their thoughts. First and foremost, it’s as friction-less as you want to make it. In many cases, automated messages can ask for a ranking on a scale of your choosing, and all a customer must do is respond with that number. If you word the initial message properly (thanking them for their business, making it known that feedback is highly-valuable, etc.) you’re going to have a great response rate.
There’s even an added benefit to text message surveys – they can serve as future marketing material. When someone opens up their text inbox, your message will be right there…talk about instant brand awareness!
At some point, all businesses are going to offer products or services that customers are simply not interested in paying for. Even the world’s biggest brands have had their share of flops. Obviously, the market will let you know what’s sell-able, but perhaps there’s a better way to learn before you stock up on inventory that’s just going to sit on the shelves.
Nearly every social media site has a poll feature that lets you ask the audience to share their opinion. Once again, this is a minimal-friction way to get feedback as just one click is all you need to get the information you’re hoping to obtain. Promote a post with the poll feature engaged and see if your audience can lend a hand in helping you figure out what to offer.
5. Your Website
Because Google My Business has become such a prominent place for reviews to live, web designers often neglect to even include a feedback section on a website. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that your website is the first place someone will go to report back on their experience, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the option!
Simply including a ‘Feedback Form’ on a web page can be a great way to get customers to tell you more about their experiences. Don’t think people will actually go to those lengths? If there internet has taught us anything, it’s that some individuals will share their opinion every time they have the option to do so.
If you’re a small business owner, chances are you’re so focused on making sure your customers have a good experience that you don’t exactly have the time to solicit their feedback. That’s where we come in.
Think your business could benefit from a partnership with digital professionals? Get in touch today and we’ll help you develop a strategy that’s effective and affordable, regardless of your budget.