A guest-post by blogger Eran Savir, vice president of products at Kampyle.
Companies spend a lot of time and resources collecting customer feedback, but many approaches make it difficult to act upon the responses. Linear-based surveys require a lot of statistical data to be relevant, and customers often see these tools---particularly those that pop-up unexpectedly and frequently---as nuisances rather than resources. So how can a business easily and quickly elicit customer feedback that is actionable?
Here are five approaches:
Let customers drive the discussion.
Provide customers with an authentic, real-time, two-way communications channel in which they direct the conversation. Rather than answering pre-set questions that fail to address true pain points, customer-driven communication enables your website visitors to raise relevant, pressing issues with you.
Integrate customer feedback with complimentary business applications.
Web analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) tools give you “who, what, when and where” data. When you integrate this information with the more complex “why” provided directly by customers, you gain a far more complete view of website visitors that can inform myriad areas of your business. Disseminate integrated feedback-CRM-analytics reports to marketing, sales, customer service and shipping staff for quick, targeted action.
Make it easy for customers to talk to you.
Customers and prospects are far more likely to tell you what they think about a particular product, service or website function in the moment when they are considering those items. Give them an easy-access feedback button on every website page you wish to monitor. This will provide you with process-level and Website-level actionable data. When visitors or customers come across an issue, they can simply click on a feedback icon. Customers might then rate their overall impressions of your site from a selection of emoticons, select their issue category from a graphical menu, or type in a brief synopsis, giving you insight into their behavior in that instance.
Use the power of pop-up for good, not evil.
Incessant survey pop-ups offer little value to the customer and are therefore of limited use to businesses trying to solicit authentic and actionable feedback. However, carefully targeted pop-up mechanisms---say, in your shopping cart process---can gently remind customers they have the option to open a conversation with you regarding questions or concerns they have in the most critical areas of your site. Carefully choose the location and frequency of your pop-ups to make this a non-intrusive experience for users.
Stop. Listen. Respond.
Customer feedback is most successful for companies that illustrate to customers that they read and act on comments. Beyond integrating feedback into your business processes, disseminating reports to stakeholders and analyzing trends to make business decisions, customer feedback gives you the means to connect to your users in a personal way. When it’s warranted, respond to customers directly. Elicit more details from them. Solve their problems. Offer them incentives to return to your website. You’ll put a human face on your business and secure customer loyalty in a way not possible with surveys or lesser tools.
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Eran Savir is vice president of products at Kampyle