In the age of big data, incredible predictive analytics and personalization algorithms, there’s still one old school strategy for brand improvement that still reigns supreme: customer feedback. That’s right, no matter how much you track where customers are clicking, their loyalty rate or their demographics, there’s still nothing that comes close to actually hearing what they think of your brand, and how they wish it was different. But how do you go about asking them in a way that encourages them to actually give you truthful, thoughtful answers?
Here are the top five most effective ways that brands get customer feedback:
Reach Out Directly
That’s right – sometimes the best way to get feedback is to just ask. But make no mistake, an email blast is not going to really cut it in 2017.
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Personalize your outreach, and you’ll see a massive increase in responses. This can be as simple as an email with their name in it, mention of their last purchase (or something that’s in their shopping cart), and a few specific questions about their experience. Make sure to acknowledge if they’ve had a bad one recently – there are few mistakes that are worse than a brand sending out a satisfaction survey to a customer who has recently complained!
Provide Proactive Live Chat Support
You’ve seen those chat popups on other sites – ever wonder why they’re so popular? In addition to helping drive up sales by avoiding abandoned carts, they’re also a great way to get customer feedback!
After your representative has resolved an issue, have them ask – in a human way, not as a robotic popup – if they could have a little feedback about the customer’s’ experience. You’ll be much more likely to get an honest, in-the-moment response!
Offer Fun Surveys That Subtly Collect Feedback
It’s important that you collect feedback from customers that are happy, and from those who may become customers in the future, but aren’t yet. So how do you do this? With fun surveys – the kind that Buzzfeed has made so popular, and are now ubiquitous around the web.
These surveys won’t work as well for complaints, but they’ll give you a much better idea of what your customers think about themselves, and their relationship with your products. For example, check out this hair personality quiz – as you scroll through, if you look at it from a marketing perspective, it’s basically a do-it-yourself customer profile builder!
Engage on Social Media
There’s no lack of professionals and experts singing the praises of highly engaged brand social accounts, but really – there are few things more effective.
The best ways to do this are:
● Update your status with leading prompts that ask customers for feedback
● Seek out customers who are posting pictures of your products and ask them directly
● Run mini-sweepstakes through social that offer coupons for answered questions
● Post a dedicated feedback form that is pinned in a visible location on your profile
Engaging users on social media is as close as many brands get to engaging in “real life,” from the customer’s point of view. If your profile acts human – jokes, asks questions, comments on relevant events and listens – then your customers will treat it as human.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many brands fail to check their comments inbox for their blog and products on a regular basis. One of the best ways to control your brand is to respond directly to reviews and comments on content that your brand owns or is included in – and it will make your customers feel listened to.
Create blogs and articles that specifically request customer feedback on a regular basis, publish news about upcoming product releases and site changes, and remember – if they talk, make sure to listen!
When you’re looking for customer feedback, the most important step you can take is making it clear that a real human is actually listening. Nobody likes filling out a survey and then never hearing anything back – which is why so many companies pay to get customers to complete them. You don’t need to pay anything except attention for real results.