12 Most Effective Ways to Collect
Feedback & Reviews
What if we told you there's a better way to sell your brand than just marketing it? All you need are two things: feedback and reviews.
Why is it important?
The growth of a brand depends on what your customer thinks about your service or product and your willingness to act on that feedback. Numerous studies have revealed that personal recommendations (Word of Mouth Marketing) are often preferred over advertisements. This means it's an absolute necessity to satisfy your customers, because there's no marketing tool as powerful and effective as a satisfied customer.
Have a plan in mind
To gain insightful feedback, it's important to ask the right questions at the right time. The first step to create a set of objectives as your focal point is crucial. Objectives are a set of goals you are looking to achieve towards the result.
The question to start with is, how willing are you to make changes to your products or services? This is important because feedback without change can negatively impact your brand. Encountering the same problems over and over, even after sharing their feedback, can leave your customers feeling unheard and unimportant.
What are the best ways to collect feedback?
There are many ways to collect feedback and reviews—the challenge is to do it without being too intrusive. The last thing you want is to be pushy and drive customers away. However, you don't need to worry about that, because we've done the work for you.
Here is a comprehensive list of different ways you can collect feedback. Bonus: Keep reading to find the right method for you and see pro-tips for each method.`
- Pop-up feedback surveys
- Social media platforms
- Customer interviews
- Rewarded feedbacks
- Review live chat transcripts
- Review sales calls records
- Survey through mobile beacons
- Usability tests
- Post-purchase feedback
- Survey kiosk
The most common and practical way to get customer insights is through email. When it comes to interaction with customers, email has stood the test of time. That means they're the most promising medium to gather customer feedback about your product or service.
Remember to keep your emails sleek and streamlined. Distractions like too many images or unnecessary jargon are a strict no-no. Stick to a format that is simple and focused on the information you want to gather. We suggest the ‘inverted pyramid’ style of writing, where you mention the purpose of the email and the outcome you're expecting from this interaction, followed by information about why you need the feedback. Towards the end, you can mention more general information about your company, products, or services, followed by a simple call-for-action button. All of the information should be directly related to the purpose of the email.
Pro-tip: Simple and effective writing goes a long way. Too much information can make your customer lose interest in the content. Address your customers by name, as personalized emails are more effective in grabbing the attention of your customers.
2. Pop-up feedback surveys
Another way to get feedback without being too aggressive is through a pop-up survey. The best way to create this type of survey is by embedding it to your website. A survey on specific, targeted pages on your website can help you gain information that would be otherwise easy to miss. Especially if you run an ecommerce business, this can help you better understand how your customer interacts with your website.
For example, targeted surveys related to your customer's website experience will indicate how you can improve your website's navigation and more effectively display your products. You can also conduct surveys based on the browsing history of a customer, with specific questions based on the same.
Pro-tip: Keep in mind, that surveys have to be short and precise. Complicated questions and irrelevant options can make your customer drop out before completing the survey.
A mobile phone is one of the most powerful mediums of communication, with SMS as an effective tool. With everything just a click away, it is a foolproof way to request customer feedback and receive a valuable response. With 98% of the world’s population owning a mobile phone, an SMS is hard to miss. Often an underestimated medium, SMSes are a highly effective way to conduct surveys.
To ease you into it, there are many SMS survey tools available online to help you collect feedback and interact with the customer. With a higher response rate than email medium, you're sure to get a treasure trove of information related to how well you're doing and what can you do to improve your customer’s experience.
Pro-tip: Being consistent and timely in sending surveys can help you identify behavioural trends and how your product is doing among customers.
4. Social media platforms
One of the most efficient ways to connect with your target audience is through social media. We're living in the golden age of social media, with millions of people using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. With the help of tools like Zoho Social, you can create an online presence for your business, track your social media mentions, and interact with your customers on these platforms.
Speaking of social media mentions, it's essential for you to know what people think about your brand, especially on social media. Tracking social media mentions about your company can help you gather feedback without having to ask for it. There are various tracking tools, like Zoho Social available to help you track the mentions of your brand name across platforms. This data is gathered using non-intrusive methods and can help you understand customer sentiments and behaviour towards your product or service.
Establishing a social relationship with your customer encourages them to provide honest feedback. These platforms also give you a way to address your customer’s reviews and concerns immediately.
Pro-tip: Creating short polls on social media will help you get a quick idea of how your business is doing. Actively using feedback monitoring sites can help you understand the conversations around your brand.
5. Customer interviews
This is a highly personalized method of collecting information. A customer who is loyal to your brand will likely be happy to give feedback about your product or services, especially when they know their input will be taken seriously. They'll feel that the money and time invested in your product is worth it, when they see how much you care. This method is very consumer centric and encourages the ‘interviewees’ to get candid and give you valuable feedback.
Pro-tip: Try narrowing down the topics you want to discuss and profile your customers accordingly.
6. Rewarded feedbacks
Offering incentives to customers for providing feedback can help you get more detailed information on their thoughts about your business. Especially if your survey is going to be an extensive one which requires a good chunk of the customer’s time, offering rewards can keep them going.
Keep in mind that sometimes rewarded feedback can go off track and not deliver the expected outcome. This can skew the results because the customer may be more interested in receiving the reward than offering valuable feedback, and might write in filler answers just to finish the survey.
Pro-tip: A reward doesn't have to be limited to cash. It can be anything from a free trial, to credit or a discount towards a future purchase with you, to free product training. However, the best reward is to provide a better product or service based on customer feedback.
7. Review live chat transcripts
There is so much you can learn about a person or a thing just by reading in between the lines and quite literally so with this method of collecting customer feedback. A customer can reveal a lot to you about their experience with your brand, especially during the casual flow of conversation. With multiple live chat tools available, it's easy to start collecting this type of feedback. You can integrate a live chat tool to your website, review the chat transcripts and categorize the feedback accordingly. Though chat transcripts can get long, it's definitely worth the effort to get more insight into your customer.
Pro-tip: It helps to create different verticals that you'd like to work on to categorize the feedback and reviews while sifting through chat transcripts.
8. Review sales calls records
If you have a sales team and record your calls, reviewing those calls can give you insights into customer opinions and help you improve your business. However this method requires an outbound sales team, with skilled representatives who are empathetic towards your customers. These call logs can contain exclusive information on first impressions of your product.
Though this data is based on leads who haven't experienced your products or services, it can give you insights into what's driving potential customers away. You can then use that information to give you a better shot at lead conversion.
Pro-tip: Recorded calls give you a good chance to convert your lead to an active customer, if you missed it in the first shot.
9. Survey through mobile beacons
Mobile beacons detect the proximity of a customer's device and sends a push notification to them. You can use this technology to send automated surveys asking the customer to review your service or product, helping you understand your customer’s in-store experience.
Pro-tip: Digital payments can be made through mobile beacons, giving the customer the opportunity to respond to a survey in-store immediately after a purchase.
10. Usability tests
There is nothing more raw, detailed, and direct than feedback from a customer after they've tried and tested your product. It's a good idea to gather a set of beta participants, and let them use your products for a limited period. You can periodically conduct surveys about the usability of your product and get input that can help you improve the core design of your product. This method of collecting reviews can help you polish the product before entering the market. Though usability tests are predominantly used for software, apps, and websites, the fundamental principle can be applied to any business.
Pro-tip: Testing in the early stages helps you define and build a better product. First, find beta participants that are a close match to your target market. Then, build a good rapport with your participants to help them engage better.
11. Post-purchase feedback
The two most important aspects of collecting feedback are asking the right questions, and when you're asking those questions. Post-purchase feedback concentrates on the purchasing experience of a customer, making it more relevant to online delivery apps and online shopping.
Some good follow-up questions are:
How well did their purchase go?
Feedback on delivery of a product purchased
How easy was it to navigate through your website or app?
What can be done to improve the user experience ?
Collecting post-purchase feedback will help you catch glitches in your purchasing process and assess the efficiency of your website or app.
Pro-tip: A star rating pop-up is a relatively fast and easy way for customers to rate their experience. Including an open-ended question at the end can help identify specific concerns.
12. Survey kiosk
A digital survey kiosk is an efficient way of collecting feedback and reviews without pressuring the customer. Let’s be honest here, not everyone will want to interact with an overly eager employee waiting for their opinion. The customer may cut back on their feedback for fear of seeming rude, or give shorter answers because they want to leave. The kiosk method is more effective because the customer approaches your survey willingly.
Pro-tip: Placing the kiosk in a public or private event will get you more responses. Include open-ended questions in your survey so the customer can explain themselves better.
Collecting and acting upon feedback and reviews is the most cost-effective, efficient and responsible way to build your business, keep your customers happy, and develop a loyal customer base. After all, just one satisfied customer can lead you to multiple customers in the future. If you haven’t already explored options to tap into this gold mine of information, it’s time to do so.
Waheeda QaiyumContent Writer - Zoho Survey
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