There’s a saying that for every customer who actually bothers to complain about an unpleasant experience with a brand, there are at least 20 more customers who say nothing. Instead of leaving customer feedback, they simply defect to another brand.
The only way for your brand to improve and for you to reduce customer churn is to discover what your customers are displeased with, which means taking action and getting those silent customers to open up and tell you what their problems are. Here are a few methods that will help you do just that.
1. Live Chat
Surveys show that many people find live chat on websites extremely useful. With a live chat system in place, you can address a wide range of issues, including things like helping customers find what they are looking for, answering their various questions and even solving immediate issues they are having with your product or service.
The main advantage of live chat is the real-time connection with a customer, which is powerful when attempting to build a relationship. When you are trying to help customers via live chat, you are obtaining feedback in real time.
Remember to address all your customer’s concerns and to do so with helpful information. The faster you solve their problems, the more likely you are to turn a poor experience into a good once.
2. Dedicated Feedback Channels
One of the most effective ways of getting customer feedback is to have a dedicated feedback channel. A survey says that 54% of customers prefer a dedicated email address where they can air their grievances. Remember, not everyone is comfortable airing their personal laundry in public. So, by providing them with a direct communication channel, you encourage them to send you their feedback.
Make sure the form or email address is displayed prominently on your website. If you are using a form, make sure it isn’t too long. The longer it is, the less likely your customers are to spend their time filling it out.
3. Pick up the Telephone
There’s nothing more effective than actually talking to your customers to get customer feedback. This proactive approach tends to result in a better response rate. Furthermore, you are getting direct feedback from the customer and can gauge more about their state of mind and feelings towards your product from the tone of their voice, which is difficult to do through online feedback.
Keep in mind that if you take this approach, the person making the calls needs to sound genuinely interested to help the customer. You don’t want your customers to feel as if you are just going through the motions. They need to sense your brand cares and that needs to happen right away.
4. Customer Surveys
Surveys are an excellent way to start the customer feedback ball rolling because they are something most customers will be familiar with.
One of the advantages of surveys is that people are more likely to reveal any underlying issues they have with your brand because they don’t feel like they’re insulting you, which is one of the main roadblocks to customers not sharing their honest feedback when, say you are collecting feedback through phone.
Customer surveys tend to generate highly accurate results and, if done right, have great response rates. To maximize response rates further, choose the channel most appropriate for your customers, whether it’s mobile, online or even with a paper form.
A good way of getting detailed customer feedback is by sending out personalized email. Most people will find it refreshing to receive an email that sounds like it came from a person rather than an automated system and are more likely to click on the action point in the mail.
The email can either ask the questions directly (don’t go overboard) or you can invite them for a chat. Set a soft deadline by intimating when you’d like to receive a response by and then follow up if you haven’t received an answer within a week.
6. Display Positive Customer Feedback
Humans often act like sheep, as in if we see someone doing something, we’re more likely to do it ourselves. By displaying customer feedback in a prominent place on your website, you are indirectly encouraging others to leave feedback as well.
However, don’t fall into the trap of posting fake reviews because most people can tell genuine feedback from fakes and it will end up backfiring on you.
7. Follow Up on the Feedback You Receive
One of the most effective ways to collect more customer feedback is by showing you act on the feedback you receive. There are plenty of brands out there collecting feedback but then doing nothing with it. This will irritate even your best customers because there’s nothing worse than making someone feel as if you don’t respect their time.
So, make sure to act on the feedback you receive quickly and effectively. Word will spread and more and more of your customers will be open to leaving feedback instead of defecting to another brand because they will know they aren’t wasting their time, which will not only increase customer retention rates but customer acquisition rates too.