Customer feedback methods can be downright confusing when you have no idea where to start and what to do. How to collect feedback, what is the best way to get customer feedback, what are the most efficient customer feedback tools?
So many questions.
So little time.
Sometimes, it’s quite easy to understand why we might want to have something or someone just to read our customers’ minds and give us real insights to drive our next steps.
Well, if you were on the Internet about two decades ago, you probably stumbled upon Guru Joe at least once.
If you didn’t, or if you don’t remember it, let me refresh your memory a bit. It was a game. You found yourself virtually sat down at a table with Guru Joe and his magic globe and you got to ask him a question. After some thinking time, he would reply with “Yes,” “No,” “Maybe,” and variations on these answers.
That’s how you made essential decisions in life when you were 14 while starting to discover the Internet.
Fortunately, Guru Joe is but a memory for most of us now, and we make decisions as proper adults do.
It would be nice to have a permanent (and realistic) Guru Joe in your life to tell you what your customers think of your products and services.
Unfortunately, you don’t, and real, Skynet-level Artificial Intelligence is pretty far away. So the next best thing is to go out and collect customer feedback.
What are the main ways to do this? What are some of the most popular customer feedback examples and methods you could apply in your search for answers?
Read on and find out.
Top Customer Feedback Methods
Last week, we discussed the main mistakes you could make when running a customer feedback survey – and we were also mentioning that, indeed, surveys can be one of the most efficient ways to collect opinions about your products and/or campaigns.
Customer feedback goes beyond traditional surveys, though.
In fact, customer feedback questions can be asked in many other ways.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular customer feedback methods and analysis solutions.
1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS can be a single-question survey or an entire method of collecting feedback from your customers.
We won’t dwell too much on NPS and what it is (we’re prepping a whole piece about that). However, you should know that the Net Promoter Score is a customer satisfaction benchmark that measures how satisfied your customers are based on how likely they are to recommend you.
These days, NPS is one of the most popular methods of feedback collection – but, as mentioned above, we will prepare a separate piece on Net Promoter Score, why it is so popular, and how to use it.
Until then, here’s a Net Promoter Score Survey Template you might want to check out:
2. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Same as NPS, the Customer Satisfaction Score measures the level of satisfaction your customers have after using your products.
Unlike NPS, CSAT is commonly used to measure short-term satisfaction. It also tends to be better at measuring particular areas you might want to improve (e.g., if you are an eCommerce business and you want to measure how satisfied customers are with your shipping method, you will most likely use CSAT).
It is also worth mentioning that both CSAT and NPS can be considered to be both methods of feedback collection (mainly when applied to single-question surveys) and analysis methodologies per se (since each of them uses a different way to calculate the overall score).
More on CSAT, though, in yet another future piece.
To give you an example of how a Customer Satisfaction Score form would look like, here is our template (but do keep in mind it can be edited and customized as you please):
3. Social Media Feedback
Asking for feedback on social media is perfectly OK. Some of the social media channels even include their own rating systems – Facebook, for example, where users can rate a business using the 5-star system.
Since we have reached this point in the discussion, please allow me to add that we would love it if we kept in touch through Facebook. Your 5-star rating would also be much appreciated. 🙂
You can also ask for feedback in a more direct way – such as in a post, where you ask people to hit the “Like” button if they like a specific feature your business offers, and hit the “Sad” button if they don’t.
Polls can be an excellent way to ask for people’s opinions as well, and they might even provide you with a bit more insight into particular points of view. As a business page, you can’t create polls, but there are other ways to use forms on your Facebook channel, for example – and you can use those to create a short, one-question survey for your customers.
Aside from providing you with the feedback you need, social media polls and rating systems can also help future customers gain trust in your business. For instance, did you know that, according to G2, approximately 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase?
4. Email Feedback
Despite what many might believe, email is not dead. Not at all. In fact, email marketing is expected to return $32 for every $1 spent on campaigns. That is a mighty impressive return on investment!
Aside from newsletters, onboarding emails, and other types of email campaigns, you might also want to create an email feedback campaign. It can help establish a bridge of communication with your customers, and it might even make them more open to sharing their opinion.
5. Customer Support Feedback
Your Customer Support team can collect a lot of valuable information from your customers! Not only can they collect the most common issues by merely doing their job, but they can also ask for feedback on their part of the entire scheme: how satisfied customers are with the services offered by the customer support team.
Why is this important?
Because people value excellent customer service: more than half of them are ready to spend more with a business that ensures they have a flawless experience from head to finish. And, as such, you want to make sure that your customer support is spot on – so you will want to always ask for customer service feedback.
Keep in mind that there are multiple types of customer service feedback – simple “good”/”bad” feedback customers can leave after a chat or a series of emails or intricate forms that raise more than one question.
6. Usability Tests
This type of customer feedback is critical when you are releasing a new feature on your product, as it will help you determine the main flaws in it.
When you run a usability test, users will perform the activity you ask them to, and then provide you with feedback via a group feedback form. This type of analysis is usually run with target user groups so that you can test the feature across the different types of customers that buy your products.
For instance, here is a New Product Survey form template we created, which you can grab, customize, and use as you please:
7. Customer Interviews
Surveys are not the only way to collect feedback from your customers – they are just one of the multiple types of customer feedback collection methods. In fact, customer interviews are one of the single, most efficient ways to run qualitative research.
Having discussions with your customers (or, more specifically, representative customers) can help you understand their intrinsic and extrinsic motivations (why they buy, why they continue to use your product, what they would like to improve).
Do keep in mind that customer interviews might take some time, especially if you want to interview more than a handful of people. Also, it is crucial to draw the right conclusions as well – so take your time in reading/ listening to your interviews to make sure you are taking the right steps.
8. Site Activity & Analytics Data
Sometimes, you don’t have to ask your customers anything – their behavior on your site might tell you enough.
You need to be quite experienced in the art of making the most out of Google Analytics, but it will be worth it. The data behind your site can be a treasure trove of good insight into how your users land on your website, what they do next, and, eventually, the reason they don’t fall deeper into the Sales Funnel.
Our advice is to not rely on your site’s activity only. It can be a great source of information, sure – but it shouldn’t be your primary source of feedback.
The comments customers leave on your site, your blog, and your social media channels can be a good source of feedback as well. They might not be an organized form of feedback, but they can definitely help you figure out some of the main flaws in your product(s) so that you can fix them.
Don’t forget to reply to excellent customer service comments too – it can make such a huge difference!
10. Contact Forms
A simple contact form can act as a customer feedback form as well. Sometimes, people use these contact forms to send you feedback, rather than questions – and that’s OK.
As long as you collect opinions, your product can grow based not on assumptions of any kind, but on real points of view and data you have received from real customers.
Adapt, React, Refresh
You shouldn’t rely on one customer feedback method only – it would be borderline silly to do so.
Because different types of customers will respond to different types of feedback, and various types of consumer goods will be more suitable for certain types of feedback. For example, if your business focuses on software development, it would make sense to run a usability test and see if the new features are running well.
It probably wouldn’t make that much sense to do the same if you run a pastry shop and you are releasing a new type of pie. You can hand out samples and ask for opinions from your customers. However, that will not be an actual usability test per se, precisely because there are different types of customers in retail than types of customers in software development.
No matter the industry you work in, though, you will find that being agile and flexible is crucial – precisely because it will allow you to be versatile when facing an ever-changing market, ever-changing demands, and ever-changing issues.
Adapt your feedback methods to your target audience and product.
React to their feedback by actually implementing it.
Refresh your customer feedback methods as your needs change, and refresh your product as your customers’ needs change.
How to ask for feedback from customers?
Use all the methods you can. Encourage them to give you their feedback as often as possible and you will be able to build a product that truly responds to their needs!