Customer Feedback: Why It’s Important and How to Collect It

Do you collect customer feedback? Because if there’s one thing that will take your business to the next level, that’s giving your customers the best experiences. It starts with knowing what they want. That’s what this blog post is all about.

Unless you know what your audience thinks about you, you won’t be able to hone in on their needs. According to a Forbes article, 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue.

Read until the end to discover ways to gather feedback. But first, let’s get into the definition and learn why customer feedback matters.

What Is Customer Feedback?

Customer feedback refers to the thoughts, opinions, and feelings that your audience shares based on their experience with your brand. Feedback can be verbal or written. It can take the form of a social media post, video recording, comment on a product page, or an answered survey.

The Importance of Customer Feedback

Image attribution: Freepik

More often than not, businesses make assumptions about what customers want only to find that they were wrong. While you have the best intentions, you might just come off as uncaring and your message won’t be well-received.

Don’t fit your audience into your mold. If you want your brand to succeed, see their feedback. As leadership expert Ken Blanchard said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

Here’s why customer feedback is so important to your business:

1. Improves your product or service.

When you’ve first introduced your product or service, you’ve probably based it on your initial understanding of your audience.

But over time, their behaviors and preferences may change. Adapting your offer to their current expectations helps your business to stay relevant.

2. Builds stronger customer relationships.

By collecting their feedback, you show that you value their opinions. As a result, they’re more likely to stay loyal to your brand.

3. Improves your support team’s performance.

Feedback gives you a deeper insight into your support team. You may have the best product or service, but if current or potential customers feel ignored or unheard, you lose conversions. Or your lifetime value drops.

7 Strategies to Collect Customer Feedback

There are a ton of great ways to ask for customer feedback. As for the specific questions to ask, that depends on your business goals. Let’s explore the 7 techniques below.

1. Social listening

Social listening is when you tune into the conversations happening around your business. You’ll want to look for the following:

  • Your brand mentions
  • Mentions about your competitors
  • Latest trends in your industry
  • Hashtags

By keeping tabs on these conversations, you’ll get a good grasp of how your fans and customers feel about you and your competition. Use social listening tools like Hootsuite, Keyhole, Sprout Social, and Talkwalker.

You can think about these tools as your extra pair of ears and eyes. You’ll know how well your campaigns and product/service are resonating with your audience.

And if you’re holding an event and using a specific hashtag for it, track that specific hashtag to know people’s reactions towards that event.

2. Feedback widget

With a feedback widget that’s embedded on your website or app, you can conveniently garner feedback from customers.

There’s no need to reach out to them. They can share their thoughts or leave ratings right away while they’re on your pages. Here’s an example of a feedback widget from Usersnap.com:

You can also run polls and surveys that pop up without being intrusive.

3. Contests or giveaways

It’s no secret that free incentives motivate your audience to convert. This is why online competitions always work.

If you’re going to run a social media contest anyway to generate new leads, take advantage of the opportunity to collect customer feedback. Our UpViral user Eline van Maanen used this strategy in her evergreen campaign.

Here’s what she did:

Eline offered a free weekend stay at one of her newly built chalets for dog owners and their dogs. She required the winners to provide extensive video feedback about their stay so she can share that on her Facebook business page. You can read the full case study here.

Pro Tip: At UpViral, we make it easy to garner feedback while your contest is still running. It’s simple. Using our Custom Actions feature, assign higher points for completing your customer feedback form or questionnaire. That will motivate people to act to increase their chances of winning.

4. Instagram polls

Have you ever used Instagram polls? It’s an awesome feature that allows you to capture people’s opinions about your products within Stories.

Here’s how it’s done – Click your Instagram profile picture to create a new story. Next, click the sticker icon at the top center of the screen. This will open up different sticker options but make sure to select “POLL”. See the screenshot below:

Next, upload the right photo of your product/s and write your poll choices. You can write “yes” or “no” as answers or put something more specific for your audience to choose from. Here’s an example of what a poll looks like:

5. Survey emails

Email is for more than sending promotional and value-based messages to your audience. You should also use it to gather feedback. When doing so, tell them the reason why you need their input. This will more likely result in a positive response.

In Robert Cialdini’s book on persuasion, “Influence”, he mentions a study in which a person was able to cut in front of a line at a photocopier because he provided a reason. That person asked, “Can I use the copier because I need to make copies?” Notice the use of the word “because”.

How can you apply this principle when asking for feedback? Take a look at this survey email sent by Healthline:

They kept their message short while adding a relevant image. Below the message is a call-to-action button that says, “TAKE SURVEY” which takes you to a separate survey form.

Alternatively, you can embed the survey in your email itself so that they answer your customer feedback questions right away.

6. Usability testing

When you’re working on a product or feature, usability tests will help you refine that before releasing it into the market. Usability testing is when you test your product with users in order to evaluate its efficiency and user-friendliness.

For instance, imagine that you’re creating a food delivery app that lets people order food regardless of their location. If inviting test participants to try your app, you’ll know whether your app is easy to use or has problems that should be addressed.

In fact, it would be best to implement usability tests throughout your product’s lifecycle. That would minimize the risk of product failures and losing your customers.

7. Enable product reviews on your ecommerce site

When you’re running an ecommerce business, enabling reviews can actually help you in a lot of ways. Product reviews don’t just offer insight, but they also create social proof, inspire trust, and increase conversions.

Here’s a screenshot of Skullcandy’s reviews on its product page:

There are several plugins that collect reviews. Some of these allow you to ask specific questions about your product for more detailed feedback.

What to Do With The Feedback You’ve Collected

Customer feedback won’t change your business for the better unless you act on it. Here’s what to do once you get it:

  • Share it with your teams. Involve teams that will directly benefit from that feedback. For example, your product team, customer service team, and marketing team.
  • Mend the situation. If it’s a real pain point or problem about your product or service, do something about it. You don’t have to make a complete change, especially with your current resources. Small tweaks can go a long way.
  • Follow-up with your customers. Let them know that you’re listening and that you appreciate their opinions, positive or negative. Send them a “thank you” note via email, give an incentive, or respond to a comment proactively.
  • Ask for referrals from happy customers. Got positive customer feedback? Take the opportunity to ask for referrals. Provide them with a template that they can share with others. Invite them to your next refer-a-friend giveaway.

Final Thoughts

Think about your business goals and how real audience feedback can actually help you reach them. Customers are great teachers – and if you aren’t paying attention, you’re leaving growth opportunities on the table.

We hope that this post helps you obtain valuable information from them starting today. If you’re interested in using contests or giveaways as a strategy, you can start using UpViral for only $1.