Rather than getting upset or retreating, your businesses should be taking the time to listen and understand where things went wrong.
The customer feedback you receive could be the key to improving your performance, reducing churn, and growing your business long term.
PwC surveyed 15,000 consumers for its Future of CX report and found that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, while 92% would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions.
Don't let this be your fate.
Get ahead of negative experiences by understanding where your customers' heads are now.
Worried you'd be annoying your customers by asking for feedback?
According to Microsoft, “77% of customers have a more favorable view of brands that ask for and accept customer feedback.” People love brands that care what they think and take their feedback seriously. So don't wait.
Here are 8 effective and smart ways to collect customer feedback
1. Live Chat
Live chat is a great way to get real-time, unfiltered feedback from your customer.
This can be an automated poll or chatbot asking visitors to rate their experience or share feedback, or if you have the bandwidth, a live representative asking specifics.
You can trigger a live chat when they’re simply scrolling through your website or send it after another chat conversation ends to see how it went. This is common after customer service conversations.
Collecting feedback can be extremely simple. For example, you can use smiley face buttons to survey your visitors, prospects, and customers as they are exploring your site to get a quick pulse on how they’re feeling.
A green smile means they had a positive experience. A yellow straight face means they had a neutral experience or there’s room for improvement. A red frown means they had a negative experience.
You’ve probably seen a real-life example of these in restrooms or other public venues.
The benefit of the online versions is you can still request customers add written feedback to give you more context to why they chose the reaction they did.
HubSpot is a big fan of these types of surveys:
4. Follow-up emails
This is one of the most common forms of collecting customer feedback in digital marketing.
After an interaction with a customer, send them a follow-up email with a survey or requesting feedback. This is great for once a support ticket is closed or service is provided.
5. Monitor social media channels
Sometimes when you request feedback, customers are afraid to tell you the truth.
Good or bad, however, people love to share their experiences on social media.
Searching your name or products on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Instagram, and even LinkedIn among others is a great way to gather honest feedback from active customers and respond to it in real-time.
6. Customer interviews
What’s my favorite way to know what customers are thinking? Just asking them!
You’ll find most customers are willing to give feedback if you just take the time to talk to them.
Personal, customer interviews allow you to dig into the details of any issue, concern, or friction a customer brings up and get the complete picture of the situation in more depth than a written survey can.
7. Heat maps
Heat maps are a unique way to collect feedback as they are a method where you’re gathering information without your customers knowing.
Heat maps like those offered by LuckyOrange or Hotjar track and record user visits on your website to identify “hot spots” — where users are spending most of their time, which buttons they click on, and what they avoid.
This kind of information can help you identify where your web experience can be improved.
8. User testing
Like a heat map, user testing helps you gather customer feedback on your digital experiences like your website or app.
With user testing, you actually get to see recordings or even witness how a customer interacts with what you've created. This means you get to see their facial expressions and hear any reactions in addition to their clicks and navigation behaviors.
All of this helps give you a more complete vision of the kind of experience you are creating for your customers and gives you real-time feedback to help improve.
Struggling to get people to give you feedback through any of these methods?
Offer an incentive.
Offering something of value like a gift card or discount in exchange for providing feedback is a highly effective way to get your customers to participate.
Happy customers, happy business
Whether you’re offering a product, service, or even both, knowing how your customers feel about you is essential.
Customer feedback — be it offered explicitly or gathered through data and behavior tracking tools — can help you understand where you’re struggling and succeeding and course-correct problems to improve your offering and retain customers.