Ideas are said to be worthless – only the execution matters. While this statement has some truth, it leaves a lot to be desired. How do you know if you’re executing properly and which direction should you go in if you need to change course?
You could answer those questions by carrying out a lot of experiments but there’s an easier way – customer feedback. When utilized well, you can find out exactly what your target market wants and give it to them. The right customer feedback can impact everything from your marketing strategy to the products you develop. In this guide, you’ll learn multiple ways to get useful customer feedback and build your brand the right way.
CSAT (customer satisfaction) surveys are one of the most common methods used to get customer feedback. They’re used so much because they’re inexpensive and versatile. Many tools allow you to set up a survey for free and send it to customers. For example, you can use a tool like Typeform to create the survey then embed it on a page of your Wix website or whatever website builder you’re using.
The type of survey you use and when you send it to customers has a big impact on the quality of information you gather. For example, if you send a feedback survey related to a month old purchase made, the experience may not be fresh in the mind of your customer and the responses they provide will be vague. If you send it the same day, they may not have had enough time to use your product. Below are a few CSAT surveys to consider using.
- Post-purchase surveys
A post-purchase feedback survey helps you understand two things. You can find out about the purchase experience. Was it easy to buy, was the product page clear, is there any information you couldn’t find, were your expectations of the purchase different from the reality? These questions will help you improve your marketing and website copy.
You can also understand how they feel about the product. Were they able to use it to solve the problem they had? Was it easy to use and if not, what was the challenge? Do you think the quality is adequate? The answers to these questions will help you improve the product.
- NPS surveys
Net promoter score (NPS) surveys were developed by Bain & Company to measure customer loyalty. It can help you understand how initiatives or policies are impacting your customers over time. With the insight you gain, you can make informed decisions about whether or not to make changes.
Most NPS surveys have the main question and a variable follow-up question depending on how respondents answer. The question is: how likely are you to recommend X product/X company to your friends/family/colleagues? Respondents have presented a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being the most likely to recommend. If they answer positively then the follow-up question asks what you’re doing right. If they answer negatively the follow-up question asks how you can improve.
- Paper feedback cards
Paper feedback cards are less common but often have a higher response rate. If you manage a physical location, these can be ideal to catch shoppers in the moment. Create two separate surveys. One for people who purchased and one for people who didn’t purchase. The goal is to understand why they made their decision.
Customer interviews are a step above feedback surveys because they allow you to dive deep into what the interviewee mentions. That kind of versatility isn’t possible with a normal feedback survey because it’s not interactive. The challenge with customer interviews is that they’re more expensive and time-consuming to carry out. You have to hire or assign someone to do it, coordinate times with customers, and ensure you’re making the most of the process. If you choose to go this route, there are two major types of customer interviews.
If possible, schedule in-person interviews because you can see their facial expressions and hear their voice. This will help you better assess their true feelings and determine if something they say is worth pursuing further. You also have the opportunity to create an environment that helps them relax and encourages them to speak candidly.
- Over the phone
Phone interviews are useful but not as versatile as in-person interviews. You don’t have as much control over the environment and an interviewee may get distracted. Be sure to give your interviewees instructions and set expectations before the call. If possible, give them an incentive related to your business. They’re more likely to take the interview seriously. Focus on the way they answer your questions. Do you notice any hesitation, do they keep repeating something, or does their inflection change? These signs could point to topics you should explore further.
Product or website usability testing is a different type of feedback and its goal is to improve customer retention or conversions. For example, if you have a product that is used often, you want to make it as simple as possible. If you’re successful, it’ll improve customer retention. Conversely, after using a website builder like Squarespace, you’d want to make sure the website is easy to navigate and users can find what they’re looking for. If you notice any flaws and correct them then this can have a positive impact on your conversion rates.
You can recruit usability testers on your own through your professional network or friends. This isn’t the ideal route because they may not be in your target market or they may avoid giving you honest feedback to spare your feelings. Instead, go with an inexpensive service that finds testers within your target market. You only need about five usability tests per design to get a clear idea of what’s working and what isn’t.
Social media polls
Social media polls are surprisingly useful for customer feedback because your questions can be amplified to a wider audience. The downside is that not everyone who answers is within your target audience so the data may be skewed slightly. Use social media polls to compare the data you get from your CSAT surveys. It’ll serve as a useful counterbalance to understand if your products have broad appeal and how to tweak them if you’ve inadvertently made your focus too narrow.
For example, if a brand has a product that helps people choose the right movie, they could use a poll that asks “how long does it take you to find a good movie on Netflix?” or “How good do you think the Netflix recommendations are?” Both questions help the brand understand, in a general sense, how acute potential customers feel the pain point.
When you go this route, ask general questions related to your niche to prevent the wrong people from answering. For example, if you ask “what’s your favorite website builder” people who’ve never used one will ignore the question because they don’t have relevant experience.
Your analytics data could be a great way to get a better understanding of your customers but it also requires a lot of inference. This is indirect feedback so the way you interpret it determines whether or not the information is useful.
For example, if you see that the dwell time on specific pages is much lower than the site average, the first assumption may be that the content isn’t useful for visitors so you change it. When that has no impact on the dwell time you look at the data in more detail and realize that it’s only mobile visitors that have short dwell times which leads you to redesign the mobile version of the website. As you can see, the way the same data was interpreted led to different corrective actions.
Customer feedback is an important ingredient that’s required to grow your brand the right way. It’ll help you create better marketing campaigns and products that meet the needs of your target audience. There are many ways to go about collecting feedback so it’s up to you to choose the one that works best for your specific situation. If you have a choice, choose in-person interviews because you can ask clarifying questions but if that’s not possible, focus on using the different types of CSAT surveys and assess how feedback is trending over time.