Author: Lesley Vos is a professional copywriter and guest contributor. Specializing in data research, narrative writing, and content promotion, she is in love with words, non-fiction literature, and jazz. Visit her Twitter @LesleyVos to say hi and see more works.
First, a quick question:
Are your customers happy?
Don’t hurry up to answer. Given that only one out of 25 customers complain while others just leave your website disappointed, your answer may be at variance with reality. And while your analytics tools tell what is happening at your website (e.g., 70% of visitors quit before they complete an order form), you miss the information about why they do so.
And that’s where website feedback from customers rules:
- It helps to understand those why’s and eliminate problems for better user experience and conversion.
- It helps to understand what customers want from you and work on business development accordingly.
- It helps to turn customers into your brand advocates. And given that one happy customer tells 11 more, it’s a good chance to multiply marketing efforts by far.
Yes, you know many ways to ask for website feedback. But big chances are you use only the most popular ones such as adding a feedback button on the website, offering customers a lead magnet in exchange for their review, or asking them to complete a short survey with questions about your product or service.
That’s all well and good, but what about any non-conventional methods? It’s catch-as-catch-can on the way toward customer satisfaction and loyalty, right?
Here go your seven alternative ways to get website feedback from customers.
1) Share Polls, Tests, and Games
You know that the easiest way to get website feedback from customers is to display a survey. Embedded as a popup, it grabs attention; when short (up to 3-5 questions), it’s more likely to be filled out; structured with open-ended questions, it helps you get more detailed responses.
More than that, it’s not that difficult to create and customize, especially if your website platform is WordPress.
But what about the alternative such as creative polls and tests? The element of gamification makes them more user-friendly and attractive for customers to complete.
This method of getting website feedback kills two birds with one stone:
- It covers the “give before asking” approach to help customers learn more about the service before joining it, which captures the interest and builds trust.
- It gives you feedback on what people think about your product or service.
It allows you to see the gaps in customer knowledge about the kind of services you provide and decide what steps to take to handle their objections for better marketing. Also, polls and tests help you identify trends for further business decisions. For e-commerce campaigns, for example, it’s a great way to reveal trends on what customers will be more likely to buy during the holiday season.
Based on the info from polls and tests, you’ll understand what steps to take to increase customer loyalty and trust: landing page redesign, a different tone of voice, revised content strategy, working with their pain points, and more.
2) Ask Them “Either Or” Question
Give your customers an option to choose the most interesting and relevant information from that given at your website. This is an alternative type of feedback that might be as important as the one you’ve got from surveys.
Here’s the example from Neil Patel’s blog where he asks what visitors want to find there:
Such website feedback can help you learn what most of your customers like. It allows targeting all promotions accordingly.
Also, you’ll create more detailed buyer personas with that data. It allows planning a more purposeful content marketing strategy.
More than that, it will work for better customer personalization in email marketing campaigns. Once you’ve segmented customers by interests, you can send them offers that match their needs and collect even more website feedback from them.
3) Call Them or Talk to Them
Analytics, bright popups, and website survey questions of all types are well and good, but they don’t give any contextual information. Customers answer yes/no or say they need more time or money, for example. But how to dig deeper? How to know why they ask you to change a website design or better customize an order form? What to customize exactly?
So why not call your customers and ask them directly?
It allows you to get firsthand feedback and sense the customer satisfaction from the tone of their voice. More than that, this alternative method generates the best responses if a customer sees you genuinely want to help rather than conduct a mere sales call.
According to studies, the best time to contact customers by phone is between 8am-10am and 4pm-5pm. The worst time is between 1pm and 2pm, a lunchtime; unless you want to invite a customer to lunch. Yes, this method is time- and effort-intensive, but it can help you get more value than you will have from hundreds of surveys.
Sure enough, you can’t call every customer and ask for website feedback. Reserve this method for long-standing or high-potential customers, who’ll be able to give you detailed information and outspoken criticism.
Another option: having a customer’s email address, send them a personal email with a single question. It may be a question about your website features or challenges and problems a customer might face using it.
Keep it short, avoid marketing buzzwords, and make sure your email is personal. Draw a customer into the conversation, reply to their feedback with follow-up questions to get more details and understand the problem better.
It leads us to the next level: interview your customers to get website feedback.
4) Follow Up (Interview) Them
Organize a follow-up campaign: send your customers emails asking to answer your questions or give website feedback in reply. Consider the best time to send your emails. But there’s one problem: it’s time- and energy-consuming to analyze the results; if you get tons of emails with customer feedback, you’ll spend countless hours reading and sorting them out.
What to do?
Find the right type of customers to interview. The worst thing would be to send the same outreach email to everyone in your customer mailing lists: those who signed up to your service yesterday will hardly give you as in-depth feedback as long-term, passionate customers will do. So focus on a small group of users for better results.
Such exploratory customer interviews can help to fill in the gaps in your website work. Consider user attitudes and ask them to recall specific instances when something worked wrong or well. Also, address to their habits by asking how they use the website: if a customer takes four steps to find a menu while he could do that with a shortcut, it’s a signal you have something to fix.
So, segment customers by their experience with your website, from search to purchase, and send out a few relevant questions by email. It can help you get customer feedback on the following aspects:
- Why they’ve chosen your website.
- How they’ve found it.
- What they think of your product/service.
- Their overall experience: website navigation, availability, communication, suggestions for improvement, etc.
Tip: To make your email sound more persuasive and encourage customers to reply, try oldy-moldy content tricks such as urgency creation or promising a prize/gift for their feedback.
Another tip: a PS in your email can influence its conversion by far. Given that most people read a PS before the email itself, it’s your chance to grab customer attention and encourage them to share feedback with you.
5) Social Media and Online Community
Sure thing, you can’t miss social media networks when looking for website feedback from customers. Tons of tools for “social listening” are available to monitor mentions and comments online, allowing you to quickly respond to negative issues and gather reviews about your brand.
Also, you can use the brand pages on Facebook or Instagram for asking feedback from followers. Let’s take such a feature as Facebook reactions by way of example: it’s a chance to engage customers and get fast feedback about your website or product. More than that, users will go to comments and give you a more detailed review there.
Plus, you can organize some Q&A sessions with the audience on Facebook or Instagram. Create Instagram stories with questions, invite customers to share stories telling how their experience with your website or store was, ask them to tag you and tell what you should improve.
A question sticker is a tool that will help you here. Ask what customers think of your new product, logo change, new features at your website, etc. A poll sticker will come in handy too.
You can go further: create a forum at your website or your brand community on a social network. It’s a perfect platform to generate feedback from customers, increase engagement, and build relations with them. Ask them to share experiences, create pictures or videos about the experience with your website or product, share ideas on its improvement, etc.
Yes, you’ll need a full-time moderator who’ll communicate with the audience and analyze their feedback. But you’ll also get tons of loyal customers and user-generated content to use for your social media ads. Just make sure to avoid the most common mistakes most brands make when working with UGC for promotional purposes.
6) Catch Them Right After Abandoning
If you work in e-commerce, you probably faced the sad statistics about an average abandonment rate. This is that particular stage where customer feedback plays a key role, as it can help you improve the website and service in general.
Most websites use exit-intent popups with a text box asking a visitor to explain why they don’t want to proceed.
Make sure to try them out: they outperform traditional popups by 5%, are more engaging, and can influence your bounce rate greatly.
Also, you can go further and give a multiple-choice option for customers to share the reason why they leave your website. And provide them with an email or a phone number to contact your customer service.
Or, if a customer leaves your website after adding products to a shopping cart, you can show them a popup with a reminder or send them an abandoned cart email to invite them back and ask why they left.
7) Use Chatbots
The problem: Your customers are bombarded with feedback requests, which may be frustrating. Plus, a new generation of customers (we know them as Gen Z) is just fed up with answering static questions.
The solution: Flexibility and fun is what hooks and involves into the conversation, so why not consider chatbots for getting website feedback from customers?
Numbers have it, 69% of customers prefer communicating with chatbots for simple queries. This automation tool can help you create a better customer experience: chatbot surveys remind a live conversation, and they are fun to complete, engaging users to “talk” to a bot persona.
Use chatbots on the website, in your application, or in the company’s Messenger. They can answer questions, solve problems, help users to make a purchase, ask them for a review, engage into play, etc.
A personality of your chatbot and its scenario will vary, depending on your business goals and the audience.
With so many methods of getting website feedback from customers, you have tons of options for what to do next. But first, analyze and categorize all the answers and share the results with others at your company to decide what changes to make and how to implement them.
Customer feedback can help you with website and product development; you can use it as social proof to turn visitors into clients; you can network with the most loyal customers and turn them into your brand advocates.
And last but not least:
Don’t ignore negative feedback but use it to your advantage. It’s your free advice on how to improve your service. It can give you new business ideas. And it’s your chance to turn haters into fans.