Gathering feedback is an inevitable result of running a business. Whether it’s through social media channels, comment forms, support tickets, or simple emails, your actions will attract praise or criticism from your customers regardless of whether you welcome it. You should welcome it, of course: you can use it to steer your business in the right direction, slowly tweaking it to better meet the desires and requirements of your target audience.
The difficulty, though, lies in getting consistent and high-quality feedback. If you don’t make it clear that you actually value the feedback you receive, you’ll stop hearing from people who have positive or constructive things to say — and the only feedback you’ll receive will be from your harshest critics, many of whom will simply want to express their frustration.
In this post, we’re going to look at three great tips for showing that you genuinely welcome customer feedback and want to exceed customer expectations. If you can action one or more of these suggestions, it should help you establish a reliable feedback pipeline. Let’s begin.
Offer meaningful rewards for detailed comments
Coming up with incentives to motivate people to provide feedback is a great option for two simple reasons. Firstly, it can attract useful comments from those who otherwise wouldn’t think to spend their time explaining their views of your brand. Secondly, it can show that you’re actually invested in getting feedback: if you weren’t going to do anything with customer comments, there would be no sense in paying for them.
Note that meaningful is not the same as expensive, so you don’t need to rack up the costs. Rather, think about providing incentives that suit specific customers (Voucherify has some good tips concerning this). You could, for instance, provide a discount for a customer’s most frequently-purchased item. A general 5%-off voucher can work fine, but playing to a customer’s purchase history will show that you pay attention to that sort of thing, further showing that you’re detail-oriented.
Create content about why you need feedback
What motivates you to collect feedback? At a basic level, you obviously want to make more sales, but there’s more to it than that. Dig deeper. What do you want to improve about your business? If you can tell a larger story about your objectives, it can resonate with people and further push them to help you out.
Accessibility is a great example of an issue with a lot of support. People are now more aware of the needs of those with disabilities than ever before, and there are various companies out there looking for ways in which they can make the internet easier for them to use (this Marketing Speak episode with Shir Ekerling from accessiBe is well worth listening to).
If you just ask people about whether they have issues making out certain colors, they might not understand what the point of that questioning is. But if you write about the difficulties of online accessibility, they’ll know why it matters, and they’ll be more eager to support you. In the end, you can pursue two goals at once: improving your sales, and improving customer experiences.
Take action to address highlighted issues
Lastly, it isn’t enough to show that you appreciate feedback. You need to act on it. If people keep complaining about a certain issue but nothing ever changes, no number of thankful emails will be enough to convince them that their feedback actually matters. So make it matter by implementing changes, then talk about those changes so people know about them.
If you make an effort to produce a blog post once or twice each year to talk about the feedback you’ve received and what you’ve done to make things better, it’ll reassure your customers that you’re committed to building a better business. You can even set out an update schedule (along the lines of a customer-facing development roadmap). They’ll then know that if they raise an issue, you will make an attempt to resolve it instead of simply ignoring it.
Rodney Laws is an online entrepreneur who has been building online businesses for over a decade. He knows what it’s like to see websites both succeed and fail – even the best business ideas can fall short. Find out how he can help you by visiting EcommercePlatforms.io or heading over to @EcomPlatformsio.