Today’s customer expectations are on the rise as a result of e-commerce transforming the online shopping experience. Data shows that 70% of customers state that winning their business is dependent on an understanding of how they use products and services.
While it is now easier for companies to set up an online store, it has become harder to maximize their online presence and keep their customers loyal. These solutions keep their loyalty and exceed expectations by investing in customer feedback. This is why, Now, More than ever, customer feedback must be included in every digital eCommerce strategy.
What is customer feedback?
Customer feedback is data you get from listening to customers as they tell you whether your product or service continues to meet their needs. Source this data from surveys, feedback forms, as well as analyzing social media and online reviews sentiment.
Businesses who perform well understand that they need to use all these sources to get a better picture of their customer experience. Stay ahead of the competition by
listening to, analyzing and acting on customer’s opinions, whether positive or negative.
Why is customer feedback valuable?
Makes product or service improvements
Customer feedback provides you with what your customers like about your e-commerce product or service as well as what you can do to make the experience better. While your company may have years of professional experience in your industry, this cannot compare to the value that customer insights bring. Their feedback will guarantee that your online store will exceed their expectations and satisfy their needs.
Measures customer satisfaction
Business owners can obtain a larger market share or better revenue when their customers are satisfied with their e-commerce product or service. A ratings-based question tool like the Net Promoter Score (NPS) can help you discover how happy customers are with the online experience you offer. The NPS has a simple goal of identifying how likely your customer would be to recommend your product or service to a friend. This type of question can help you predict the future of your e-commerce business.
Image source – Revuze
It also shows you value their opinions. Customers love nothing more than feeling that their voice has helped shape your online store. Asking them for customer feedback will help them feel more attached to your company. They will start to see the fulfillment of their needs, not their money, as the driver of your e-commerce business.
Creates the best customer experience
Customer feedback allows you to discover how you can give your customers a personalized experience. Every e-commerce business will have a different set of customers who can tell them what they like about the service and what can be improved. There is no one-size-fits-all methodology for customer experience. For instance, customers buy Lush cosmetics as they value equality and fairness.
Image source – Lush
On the other hand, Nike customers’ value being part of the community that goes beyond their comfort zone. Their statement ‘If you have a body, you are an athlete’ makes all their customers feel that they can achieve anything no matter what. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that community?
Image source – Nike
Improves customer retention
Discover what it takes to keep your customers loyal to your brand. If there are a lot of visitors to your site or app, but only 50% of them purchase an item, feedback allows you to find out why your conversation rate isn’t higher. Once you know the problem that’s driving your customers towards your competitors, you can work on the solution. This customer-centric solution can help make your e-commerce store easier to use. It will also improve your conversion rates and ROI.
Instils trust with word of mouth recommendations
Do you read customer reviews before you book a hotel? Or read social media comments on social media before buying a beauty product? Just like you, customers trust the recommendations of others. 74% of customers cite word of mouth recommendations to be a key influence when buying. Most customers trust reviews from other customers as they consider their opinions to be honest. Collect feedback to get more good recommendations about your product or services.
Image source – B2C
Gives you data for business decisions
Customers can provide you with meaningful, real-life data by letting you know what they think of your e-commerce store. Once you consider their feedback, you can find the right area of your business to improve. For example, you might discover that you need to focus on a better omnichannel experience rather than product development in this way, you can make sure that your improvements will lead to a higher ROI.
How to source customer feedback
Live chat support
Live chat can resolve any issues for customers quicker. And while resolution takes place, it is also the right way for an e-commerce business to get a clearer understanding of their customer’s needs. If there are recurring problems, it also means that you can work on a long-term solution.
Technology brand Nikon uses its live chat feature to maintain its customer care. It can offer a quicker way to troubleshoot specific problems in real-time.
Image source – Nikon
Similarly, Canyon Bikes is more pro-active with its live chat function by putting it on the bottom of its homepage. This feature reassures companies that help is available as soon as a customer begins their journey.
Image source – Canyon Bikes
Feedback forms on your website
If customers have not had a great experience on your e-commerce website or app, they might want to let you know immediately. While you can always provide customers with an email address, a feedback form on your site makes it more accessible. This feature makes it easier for customers to leave feedback. They only must click on a suitable option and then just detail a few comments.
Businesses like Goldsmith’s have encouraged customers to fill out their feedback form by offering an incentive, also commonly referred to as incentivized reviews.
Image source – Canyon Bikes
Nordstrom for example makes it easy, their customer feedback form by including it as a section under the customer service header in the footer. Once you click on the link, fill in short, multiple-choice questions.
If a customer receives a personalized call that asks how you can help make their experience better, they are more likely to feel valued. If customers know that you genuinely want to have a conversation with them, they will be happy to voice their opinion, look at video from Zappos who is a company that prides itself on service. While Zappos employee, Steven Weinstein admits that the first half of the call assisted the customer with their order, the rest of the call involved making a connection on a personal level. The customer was happy to talk about vacations and restaurants, and Steve says the customer became a friend, not a purchaser.
Use email marketing to seek personalized customer feedback. You could determine why a customer chooses your store or how you can improve their overall customer experience. As good content can convert subscribers into paying customers, Zapier wants to know how they can help their customers personalize their own experience. They can then use this data to provide you with personalized content and product recommendations.
Image source – Zapier
Retailer Bellroy chose to target its new rather than existing customers by asking how likely they were to recommend them to a friend after 30 days.
Once new customer feedback is received, follow up on it ASAP. Thanking the customer for their feedback will ensure that they feedback again as they know that you will listen to what they say.
Revolution Tea goes further than a thank you with this email as it offers a surprise discount for customers who told them what they thought. They’ve also listed some examples of the positive customer feedback they received so to increase trust in the brand further.
With 63% of customers expecting businesses to offer customer service through social media channels, you cannot ignore any negative or positive feedback from social media. For example, an Adobe customer care representative responded to a customer promptly in a respectable way. It isn’t
Similarly, Starbucks uses Instagram to answer product questions that customers ask in response to a new product, usually within a matter of minutes.
Image source – Instagram
Order confirmation survey
One of your customers has made their first purchase. So, it’s all going to get smooth from this point on the right? No business should presume that a customer’s journey to purchase was comfortable. If you don’t ask them whether they had any difficulty navigating your online store, there might not be a second purchase. Short multiple-choice questions are best and can be requested through the order confirmation page or by email.
Warby Parker does this beautifully by thanking its customers and giving them a voice at the same time. This new customer is also encouraged to fill in this quick survey as they might win a $100 Amazon gift card.
Polls are a quick way of sourcing customer feedback. For example, before Christmas, you could use a pop-up survey to find out what customers want to buy during this season. The responses will help you stock up accordingly so that customers don’t miss out. Set up polls through your website, newsletter, or social media.
For instance, Food Corps, a non-profit based in the US, greets all its website visitors with the question ‘what did you come to (do) today?’. This type of poll will help businesses understand what brings people to their site and what they hope to achieve by coming to your website or app.
Following this initial question, Food Corps also asks how easy it was to complete a task or goal on their website.
Lastly, customers can also leave their email address should they want a follow-up answer. You can also use a poll-up when customers are due to abandon a basket or leave your online store.
Alternatively, you could also use polls as part of a quiz on Instagram. Dunkin Donuts humorously does this to discover what its customers knew about its history. Brands can also adopt polls to ask about a customer’s favorite product options or a new
Image source – Dunkin Donuts
Build and maintain an online community
Strengthen the power of your customer’s voice by facilitating discussions online between customers. Create a society that rewards customers for sharing their experiences, pictures and videos. Cadbury seamlessly builds a community over multiple channels. Its Snapchat ‘Friday Feeling’ social media campaign encouraged customers to share the feeling of fun and joy.
In addition to this fun aspect of the brand, Cadbury also releases thought-provoking campaigns on YouTube that help spark conversations. This video titled ‘The Other Half’ focuses on how a husband and wife focus on the little pleasures of life such as a crème egg, as they get older.
Monitor customer sentiment online
It is difficult to track all opinions and reactions to your product manually. A sentiment analysis tool can help you automatically analyze online product reviews, forums and social media feedback to improve your customer experience. Monitor customer sentiment before releasing a new product or simply monitor a customer’s reaction to reputation management. This automated process analyses the sentiment present in a sentence and then classes them as negative or positive feedback. If some comments are more positive or enthusiastic than others, it will receive a higher score. In this way, you know what customers love about your e-commerce business so you can capitalize on it. On the other hand, if an opinion has a high negative score, then you know that this comment was one of the worst ones.
Burger King’s creative video campaigns are a great example of monitoring what customers are saying and then using it to increase positive sentiment around the brand. In October 2017, to commemorate National Bullying Prevention Month, they filmed a social experiment that tested who customers would react more; a high school junior or a Whopper junior being bullied. It’s uncomfortable viewing but this campaign was very well received and received a lot of positive sentiment on Twitter.
While showing that more individuals need to do more about bullying, it also showed Burger King in a positive light as a brand who doesn’t just care about selling their product.
Encourage more feedback through displays of positive feedback
Every individual might hate to admit it, but we are like sheep. If we see people acting in a certain way, we are encouraged to follow suit. Displaying customer feedback on your e-commerce website not only values what the customer has said but encourages others to have their say too.
Booker, a Spa & Salon management platform, makes customer feedback more interactive as it has video testimonials to showcase its value. Shopify also has its ‘success stories’ section, which has a variety of businesses who all in their unique way, detail how Shopify gave them more time to focus on growing their business.
And when customers post positive reviews on your e-commerce website or a review site, why not show gratitude like Google? This email goes further than a simple thank you as it encourages a customer to contribute more ideas or become a local guide. This type of thank you will make the customer feel that they have a personal stake in your brand. You want them to feel and be more loyal to your product or service.
After a customer has familiarised themselves with your e-commerce app, send them to push notifications to get to know them better. If used well, push notifications can be used to reach out to customers on a first-name basis about specific actions taken within your app.
Note-taking app Evernote tracks how their product is performing through its short in-app surveys. Customers can rate their experience based on the ease of use, features, speed, and reliability.
As well as showcasing how transparent an organization is product roadmaps are a quick way for customers to give feedback on ideas that you are thinking of implementing. If you consider making a customer idea a reality, customers can also see how you’ve implemented their feedback. You can make them feel valued and be encouraged to provide you with more feedback. While Buffer’s product road map is simple, it helps the customer find and comment on ideas easily. The first column also contains a key to show how the boards are organized. There is also an explanation of how this board works.
Their ‘send us a feature request’ is gold as the user can easily submit ideas. And this isn’t the best part. Moving a card to the ‘Done’ board indicates that a consideration of the customer’s views for the topic in that card took place.
Sourcing honest, meaningful feedback from your customers is the best way to ensure that your e-commerce product or service is moving in the right direction. To build a customer-centric store, you need to ask for and assess the feedback you source customer feedback. Feedback can be sourced through a variety of ways whether through social media, reviews, surveys, product roadmaps, or live chat. Then, show customers that you appreciate their feedback by showing how you’ve implemented the feedback. In this way, you can convert a visitor into a customer who continues buying from your brand.