14 January 2015
As a business, you would probably jump through hoops, read tea leaves, and do all sorts of other metaphors just to find out what your customers want. Everything from your marketing to your customer experience to your product offering is based on identifying what your customer wants and how to fulfill their desires. But without consulting a psychic, how do you know what your customer is looking for?
Analytics give you an excellent source of quantitative data, but for more qualitative data it’s best to go straight to the source: the customers themselves!
Customer feedback is a great way to find out how your customers perceive you, so you have the ability to thrive or even change if necessary.
One overlooked way to start a dialogue is the feedback form. Most often found in the “Contact Us” section, this simple form is an easy way to ask for customer feedback. If your customer has a comment or question for you, they don’t even have to leave your site when you offer them an embedded form. Without the form, your customer may be left to decide between email addresses of different employees when trying to figure out who is best to answer their question.
Feedback forms also give you a way to parse different subjects of customer feedback for your own use. If you want to organize the queries on the backend, include a dropdown menu on the feedback form itself for a customer to categorize their own query. Such a menu might ask, “What is your feedback about?” Then the customer selects between a number of different options. And when you want to look up all the feedback on “Products”, that information is available at your fingertips.
Another way to get your customers talking to you is to ask them. It sounds too easy, but it’s true. Surveys are a time-tested way to get customer feedback. If your customer feedback shows a misunderstanding of your product offerings, then it’s time to shift your marketing strategy. On the other hand, if your customers are more forward-thinking about what they want for the future, you may choose to incorporate their ideas into your product line.
Customers like product reviews. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that customers trust people just like themselves more than they trust a sales pitch. Product reviews provide a social support network and spur conversions. But that’s not all product reviews are good for! Reviews are also a source of valuable customer feedback.
For a qualitative analysis of your products, we recommend regularly scouring your reviews. Customers are not shy. They do let you know what you’re doing wrong, and, contrary to some beliefs, they also let you know when you’re doing something right. This customer feedback extends beyond the products themselves as well. Customers leave all sorts of notes in the product reviews. They might love the product, but complain about the customer service experience or the shipping process.
The Importance of Qualitative Feedback.
However you choose to ask for it, customer feedback gives you a golden opportunity to improve and refine your marketing. Additionally, understanding the wants and needs of your customers is a large part of delivering the right products at the right time with optimal customer service. The signposts on the path to sales do not have to read “One Way.” So if you’re looking to increase conversions, have a dialogue with your customers. It helps to get to know them.