Some key questions for you:
- Do you know what your customers really think about your products and services?
- Any ideas about collecting customer expectations or customer insights?
- Can you measure feedback from customer experiences in real time?
- Does your business obtain ratings from the customer journey?
- Can you confirm a process to deal with unhappy customers?
- Is there a system in place to help you hear those thoughts, analyze them, and use that feedback to create better experiences for your customers in the future?
If any of these are a ‘no’, it’s time to get started.
Customer feedback is essential to improving a company’s product offerings and user experience. When you have effective customer feedback systems in place, you’re automating the intake of customer suggestions and comments. Moreover taking these and turning them into actionable insight.
Obtaining customer feedback relies on having an effective system in place that promotes responses, making it important to consider our 10 tips for building effective customer feedback systems.
An effective system looks like this – with at least 10 tips to make it effective.
Make the Process Simple
Customers don’t want to jump through hoops to give you their honest feedback. Instead, they want a simple process and simple questions that only takes a matter of minutes. Even a simple star rating might be the preferred channel – and is better than nothing. So think about the work it takes from your customers – the ‘customer effort score’ – and always try to reduce it. Customers that perceive a complicated process are less likely to respond, so simplifying your customer feedback system is vital to increase the number of respondents and understanding the voice of the customer.
Keep the Questions Short
How often do you skip a feedback survey at a restaurant because it looks too long and complicated? When feedback questionnaires are long with too many questions, this decreases potential responses. In fact we recommend the entire feedback collection taking no more than two minutes. Any offline customer survey taking longer incurs higher drop off rates.
Remember – having unlimited questions is just a dumb idea.
Think of the most valuable questions you want to ask to get to the heart of customer issues. This might include asking about the service of the employees, the functionality of your product, feature requests or even to some business processes.. There should only be a few questions listed on the form, each that gives valuable insight into areas of change.
Allow Anonymous Submittals
Customers don’t want negative feedback to be traced back to them. This is why so many customers forego answering follow-up questions. When there is the ability to leave anonymous suggestions, you will see a higher response rate.
On your feedback form, don’t require personal information to be submitted. Instead, have a line that gives the option in case the customer wants someone to follow up. Not only does anonymity promote feedback, but it can also lead to more honest responses.
Give Customers Access At Any Time
Putting customers on the spot to complete the feedback form right away is not effective. Sometimes customers want to go home and think about their responses or follow up a few days later. Giving customers access at any time to incoming feedback leads to building a stronger feedback system. One option here is to enable unsolicited feedback, specifically customer feedback tools enabling feedback at any time, and always with an anonymous option.
Offline feedback was traditionally completed through paper forms. This is no longer necessary, and in fact downright dangerous. In fact we recommend that this must be replaced by a digital comment card.
Ask the Right Types of Questions
The questions you ask do matter. You don’t want to overwhelm the customer with too many questions, making it vital to ask the right ones. If your goal is to learn about where customers are coming from, you would ask where they heard about your business. Likewise if you want to review sales, then sales feedback questions would be needed.
To assess quality, you would ask how the customer likes your product or service or why they chose your business. Think of the types of customer feedback and insight you want to derive then build your question list from there.
Incorporate Different Question Types
Incorporate different question types to deliver better customer insights. Multiple choice, short answer, and yes or no questions should all be available. This means you must incorporate a wide variety of questions to elicit the right type of survey response. Customer service experience might use the NPS score, whereas product feedback is going to use a different approach. Sometimes customers won’t take the time to write out responses, which is when multiple choice questions are beneficial.
Once responses start flowing in, check to see which questions are answered. You may need to rework your question structure to gain more valuable insight from customers.
Offer Multiple Feedback Channels
Multiple feedback channels can also promote a successful system. This could be a mail-in form or a quick survey at the end of their visit. Pay attention to the avenues that customers are submitting their feedback through. This gives you insight into the preferences of your customers.
Organize Data into a Central Location
Once you receive customer feedback, how is it processed? Do customer cards sit in a box or is each response gone through and categorized according to the information left? Organizing feedback in a central location allows your business to keep track of all responses.
This may mean scanning in customer feedback to your computer drive or manually ranking each response on a scale. Find the methods that work best for your business to effectively and efficiently organize data received from respondents, but we recommend a survey platform for all user feedback – see below.
Use a tool to analyze data
Your feedback system needs to use analytical techniques, tracking data, multi-channel support and a single dashboard. The best way to do this is by using a tool that doesn’t require you to enter the data manually. You can also analyze the information in a variety of ways, including mapping out trends, plotting charts, perhaps heat maps and more.
Apply Feedback from Customers
Hint – THIS ‘actionable feedback’ IS THE MOST IMPORTANT tip of piece of feedback for you.
One of the top tips when building effective customer feedback systems is to actually implement the suggestions. Customers who see you are taking a proactive approach to fixing issues will be more likely to leave you feedback. We have posted before on the twelve rules for getting actionable insight – so please check these out as well.
When you implement changes, be sure you let customers know through additional signs or advertisements geared towards highlighting your commitment to your customers. When your business gives off the feeling that customer responses aren’t valued, they will not waste their time giving you thoughtful feedback.
Building effective customer feedback systems are vital to the long-term success of your business. After all, you need customer demand to keep the business running. Take the time to revisit your current customer feedback system.
- Online reviews by themselves, are not sufficient.
- Surveys via email are too late
- Digital channels are insufficient
- Qualitative feedback by itself is very problematic
- And digital customer reviews on social media are too late
Use an on location, point of experience feedback tool as part of your customer feedback strategy and follow these ten tips.