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October 30, 2008

Five Ways to Encourage Customers to Give You Feedback

Sometimes it can feel as though you’re alone in the online business world, just trying to guess at what will make your customers happy. It would be so much easier if customers would simply tell you what they want and what they don’t want from your business – wouldn’t it? This is why you’re seeing more Feedback options on websites than ever before. But the trick is to encourage your customers to actually utilize this option for themselves and for your benefit. Here are five ways to encourage customers to give you the feedback you need.

Make it Quick

When your customers are asked to provide feedback, you shouldn’t necessarily give them a list of hundreds of questions. While this might seem helpful to you, if a customer has to spend more than five minutes on a feedback form, chances are high that they will either lie or they simply won’t fill it out at all. Try to limit your questions to about five to ten questions with short or multiple choice answers. You can always rotate your questions out when you have enough answers and then find out the answers to new questions that come up.

Make it Easy

Feedback forms which are easy to find and easy to use are the ones that will get used more often. Place your feedback form somewhere along the checkout process when people might be waiting for things to happen – the form will pass the time. Or you might want to create a link in the receipt email that you send to them at the end of a transaction. You might also send out a short email after the transaction is over to see what their feedback might be.

Make It Worthwhile

Of course, some people will want to have something in return for their opinions. If this seems to be the case, you may want to offer a discount on their next order or perhaps create a sort of contest in which one of the names is drawn each day for a prize. If you find that your customers aren’t answering your questions, it may just be a matter of giving them something in return for their time – and it doesn’t have to be something substantial either.

Make it Fun

Feedback forms that are fun to use are the ones that will get used more often. Simple multiple choice surveys are bright and colorful and you can see the results of others surveys as well, if they are set up in a certain way. Perhaps when they click on a certain answer, they will see a picture or they might get a response for their opinion. Try to create a feedback form that is interactive to help engage them and make the time they spend pass quickly.

Make it Confidential

Very often, customers are nervous to give feedback for fear they will be identified with a negative response. Make sure that you are not asking for any identifying information, if you can, to show that you simply want feedback and aren’t going to penalize anyone for something that went wrong during a transaction. Of course, this is harder to do when you have a feedback form during the checkout process, so you might want to leave the feedback as a separate transaction.

The value of feedback is difficult to measure. Feedback can help you find a new direction for your business or to choose a new product to sell. On the other hand, you might find out about problems that need to be addressed immediately. In any case, make sure that you are reading the answers and responding to them.

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