“Successfully utilizing customer feedback is a must for any business looking to provide users with the products they need now and in the future”.
Topics: Why? How? Email, Contact Forms, Responsive, Customer Feedback Surveys, Usability Tests
Why? Feedback guides and informs your decision-making and influences your product roadmap. It’s also essential for determining Customer Focus by measuring customer satisfaction among your current customers. Getting a handle on how customers view your product, support, & company is invaluable. Today we’re going to look at the best ways you can gather insights from current & prospective customers who visit your site to assure Customer Focus.
How? Before you begin collecting feedback from customers, you need to make sure you have clearly defined “why” you are seeking feedback. Outlining the process as well as the desired outcomes, is essential for gathering feedback the smart way for focus; otherwise, you may be blindly asking for feedback that will only muddy your understanding of your customers. [Not Focused] Before you start, consider:
- What part of the user experience do you want to improve?
- Which channel works best for your goals?
We will be addressing this last question in the rest of this post—a complete breakdown of the most effective ways to gather feedback from current & prospective customers.
1. Email & Customer Contact forms.
There is no question that Email is one of the most valuable ways to gather candid customer feedback for focus. However, there are a few ways you can improve the way customers reach out to you via Email to maximize this channel’s effectiveness, and all of these changes will create a better experience for customers, too. The three main elements you should focus on for soliciting feedback via Email are:
- Assuring customers of a speedy response.
- Creating an organized customer feedback system.
- Sending “candid” follow-up Emails.
A. The importance of a rapid Responsiveness.
Recent research published by a UK -based customer experience group reveals two very startling statistics about customer feedback.
- 43% of those surveyed stated that they don’t complain/leave (+) feedback, because they don’t think the business cares. Is it any wonder that most companies don’t hear from unhappy customers?
- Of those same customers, 81 % said they would be willing to leave feedback, if they knew they would get a fast response.
As shown by these statistics, if you want to ensure that you’re hearing candid feedback from customers, the simple addition in your Email of “We’ll get back to you within 1/2 or 1 day, will go a long way.
B. Keeping Email feedback organized
In an earlier post covering our workflow for managing feedback, I discussed how to use tools like Trello to create “boards” that your whole team can access and contribute to, ensuring that no good feedback slips through the cracks. The takeaways are:
- Create boards within Trello titled “Product Ideas” (feature requests), “Up Next” (what’s being worked on) and “Roadmap” (what you plan to work on).
- Create individual cards within each board to categorize requests. For our Product Ideas board, we use sections like “Inbox” (new ideas), “Rejected” (discarded ideas), “Someday/Maybe” (good ideas, but not urgent), and “Apps” (integration requests).
- Add Email addresses within cards for the people who requested the idea. For instance, anyone who asked us for Reports upgrades will be added to a list within a card so that they can be notified when the upgrade is complete. Here’s an example card (with Emails blocked out for privacy):
This system lets you keep tabs on what’s being requested and by whom, as well as tracking ideas you’ve already passed on. This also gives employees a clear roadmap for future customer interactions.
C. The value of a “personal” Email
Sometimes the best way to get a candid response from a customer is to simply ask for one. When customers sign up via Email to access information on the site, you have the opportunity to send out an auto-responder Email that asks a single question. You can inquire about what customers are struggling with, what feature they’d like to see the most, or simply ask why they signed up. At the end of the Email, you should ask them to reply to you, and many will, + their responses will be candid. Since this channel is not public (like Social Media) and because the method is personal (unlike a Survey), it can allow you to start some in-depth conversations with customers. Just make sure you reply rapidly to these Emails, or you’ll be letting people down and they won’t want to Email you again.
2. Customer Feedback Surveys
Crafting a useful Customer Survey is no easy task. There are so many potential questions you could be asking customers, but you have to be careful in your approach. One way the web has made collecting surveys easier is to let you test a longer, more traditional survey versus a shorter, “slider” survey that appears on-screen as a customer browses your site:
For these short surveys, you can use tools like Qualaroo, to ask a simple question or conduct a brief Poll – with the goal of generating responses from customers who are active on your website.
The most popular platform for conducting traditional, full-length surveys is Survey Monkey, which can be customized to host any question type. Remember that if you want to create a Customer survey that works—as in, one that customers will actually complete—you need to make sure your survey follows these proven guidelines:
- Ask only questions that fulfill your end goal
- Construct smart, open-ended questions
- Ask one question at a time
- Make rating scales easy, consistent
- Avoid leading or loaded questions
3. Usability Tests . . .
require more upfront planning, but – far & away – deliver more insights than any of the methods listed here. It uncovers things customers sometimes don’t know they’re thinking about or struggling with, and usually provides you with a clear path to make the experience better.
At Help Scout, we regularly turn to Usability Testing to get the design details for a specific process or feature just right. It may be 90% finished, but well-run tests guarantee that we get the final (most important) 10% right. We’ve been working for months on a new feature that will launch in the coming weeks, and did extensive Usability Testing with customers – in order to get the details perfect. It went so well that we re-designed the whole thing to better focus on customer expectations. User Testing is common for websites and web-based products, but the fundamentals are applicable in any business. To get started with Usability Testing, we highly recommend Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug. For web-based testing with people that are unfamiliar with your business, UserTesting.com does an outstanding job.
Comments: Continued in Customer Feedback, part II
from Help Out.net 16 May 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
For more Info, click on Customer Focus.