How to Solicit Meaningful Feedback from Customers

August 28, 2019

The question “How are you?” will elicit a very different response than, “What is one thing you would change about how your morning went today?” Similarly, if you ask a customer, “How would you rate your ecommerce experience?” you may not get the answer you were looking for. But if you asked them, “What is one thing you would change about the checkout experience?” you might just be gifted with actionable insights.

Collecting customer feedback is an important and powerful tool for enterprises. It allows a business to put their customers’ challenges at the forefront, and create solutions that meet a market need.

As a business, profitability completely depends on your ability to deliver what the customer wants. Getting feedback directly from your customers allows you to take the guesswork out of product and service innovation and focus on past, present, and future customer challenges.

But there is a difference between feedback and meaningful feedback. How do you implement a feedback system that can actually improve the customer experience?

Omnichannel Feedback Process
If you take a look at any organization that does a great job of soliciting customer feedback, you’ll notice that their feedback system is omnichannel. This allows customers to voice their opinion across any medium (online, offline) and at any time.

Although omnichannel refers to unifying multi-mediums, which can be a complex exercise, the result is a simplified experience for customers. It is important that customers can easily share candid thoughts with the business.

Align Feedback to the Customer Lifecycle
Asking a customer for thoughts about their onboarding experience months after they’ve been onboarded is not an effective process at all. To ensure feedback is fresh and can be most impactful, ask customers for their opinions in a timely manner.

The first step here, of course, is to accurately map the customer journey. There are many online tools to guide you in mapping your customer lifecycle. Alternatively, and depending on the complexity of your business, you may wish to enlist support from a digital advisory. A digital advisory can unbiasedly map your existing and aspirational customer lifecycles through internal and external interviews, research, and industry-at-large best practices.

With a customer lifecycle complete, you can pose thoughtful and relevant questions – which are likely to capture more and better responses from your customer base. I recommend that you either segment sections of the customer lifecycle (example: prospect, customer, post-customer) or identify milestones and build out questions around these stages.

Be Specific
Like I said in the beginning, the quality of your questions impacts the quality of your responses. Specific questions elicit specific answers – and the more detailed the feedback, the better your business can improve upon its customer experience.

Guide customers in how they give feedback by pointing out specific parts of their experience. If you’re posing open-ended and subjective questions, follow it up with “Why?” or “How?”

What questions can I ask our customers?
Your questions should be specific and completely tailored to your business and customer lifecycle. As an example and in its most simplistic form, let’s look at the questions an eCommerce business may ask a transacting customer.

> How easy was it to find what you were looking to buy?
> Did you have all of the information you needed to make a purchasing decision?
> Did you have reservations about making this purchase?

Purchasing Experience
> Was there anything you wanted to purchase but were unable to? Why?
> How easy was it to check out the item(s) you were purchasing?
> Did you trust our business when making this purchase?

> How likely are you to recommend us to a friend? (NPS 0-10)
> If you were unable to purchase from our site in the future, what would you miss?
> What almost stopped you from buying from us?

Getting Started
A customer feedback process is evolutionary. Even if you’re in the habit of collecting customer opinions today, think about how that process can be enhanced to make it even easier for customers to share feedback. Need help getting started? Contact a digital advisory to help you build out a feedback process that will improve both your business offering and the customer experience.

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