Customer feedback – how to use it to grow your business
Have you ever bought an item online and received an email a few days later asking you to rate your purchase? This feedback is invaluable to businesses and can help future customers make the right choices. Find out more about the benefits of customer feedback, and how you can use it to scale your eCommerce store.
- Why is customer feedback so important?
- The different types of customer feedback
- Our top tips when it comes to getting customer feedback
Why is customer feedback so important?
The main reason brands ask for feedback is that it’s fantastic at generating social proof. This is when people follow other people’s actions when it comes to understanding how to behave.
When prospective customers read comments and feedback saying how great your business and the products you sell are, they’re more likely to buy from you as a result.
With the sheer number of intrusive and spammy ads on the internet, people are becoming increasingly sceptical about online advertising. Only 29% of people trust ads they see on search engines, with 10% of people trusting ads they see on social media.
Reviews, ratings, and customer feedback provide an honest alternative to what companies have to say.
Here are some other benefits of customer feedback for your business:
- It helps you understand your customers better, identifying their pain points and what makes them choose your store over other options
- It lets you see what you’re doing well, and where you need to improve, as well as manage your brand’s reputation
- It can boost your search engine presence, meaning increased brand awareness and more organic traffic to your website
- It helps you see what you do differently from your competitors
- It gives you a way to see which products and services are most popular
- It lets you build relationships with customers, leading to increased trust and loyalty
- It acts as a trust signal that shows website visitors that you’re reliable, authentic, and credible
The different types of customer feedback
The brilliant thing about customer feedback is that you can gather it in many different ways. Even if you don’t sell products on your website, you can still ask customers for their opinions.
Here are some of the various types of customer feedback you can ask for:
Reviews and ratings
Whether on Google, social media, eCommerce websites, or specialist review platforms like Trustpilot and Feefo, it’s easier to rank a business out of five than ever before.
Giving customers the opportunity to rate the products you sell, as well as your business, can make you appear more trustworthy, and encourage people to talk about your brand. One in two shoppers say they trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations from friends and family.
Where should you use reviews and ratings? A good starting point is on your website, so shoppers can read product reviews before buying. Most eCommerce platforms have review functionality you can implement.
Another option is Google Business Profile – formerly known as Google My Business. Three out of four online reviews are given using this platform. Most online visits start with a Google search, which makes Google Business Profile a great place to showcase your positive reviews and respond to your negative ones.
Speaking of negative reviews, don’t panic if you don’t get a five-star review every time. Research shows that 3.3 stars out of 5 is the lowest rating a shopper will consider when buying from an eCommerce store.
In fact, many people are cynical about businesses with nothing but glowing reviews, as it can make them think they have something to hide. Many people have complained to marketplaces like Amazon and eBay after being asked to write five-star reviews in exchange for money or gift vouchers.
A testimonial is a statement from a previous or current customer, explaining why they use your product or service, and how they have benefited from doing so.
You can receive testimonials for your business in different ways. A customer may proactively get in touch with their feedback by email or social media, or you might reach out to a specific customer and ask for their thoughts.
You may even decide to extend a testimonial into a case study – a long-form piece of content explaining how you solved a specific problem for a customer.
Here’s a top tip: why not add a testimonial video to your website? Nearly four out of five people have watched a video testimonial to learn more about a brand, with 77% saying the video played an active part in them making a purchase.
Surveys and feedback forms
While some customers will give reviews and testimonials freely, others need a bit of a nudge. A survey or feedback form can be an easy way to gather information and gain valuable insights.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to get feedback through a survey is by email. You can request feedback on products that people have purchased, ask what they think of your website, and even ask them why they no longer use your services.
The average response rate for email surveys is 24.8%, although this response rate can increase with a well-worded and personalised email sent at the right time.
As well as sending surveys by email, you can include them on your site too. For example, let’s say that someone puts an item in their shopping cart, changes their mind, and then goes to leave your website. You can launch a pop-up asking them why they decided not to buy this time around.
Our top tips when it comes to getting customer feedback
The more feedback you can get for your business, the better.
As an example, having over 50 reviews for your business can boost your search engine ranking by 50% and improve click-through rates to your website by 266%. 43% of customers also say they would like to see at least 100 reviews for a product.
Here are some of the ways you can maximise the amount of feedback you get, as well as the benefit you receive from it:
Remove as many barriers as possible
Your customers are busy people and probably won’t have time to complete long surveys about what they think about your brand. The easier you make the process, the more likely they are to respond.
As you might expect, shorter surveys lead to higher response and completion rates. However, people may be willing to complete longer forms if there is value in doing so, for example, if they like your brand or if they will receive an incentive.
Sometimes you can get away with just asking one carefully chosen question. The Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is frequently used by brands to measure levels of customer satisfaction. The survey consists of just one statement: ‘On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend?’.
Be proactive and work quickly
While it’s great when people specifically contact you with feedback, sometimes you have to do a little digging. Searching through your CRM system, chat logs, and social media platforms can be a great way to find positive and negative feedback.
Did you know you can use Google Alerts to get a notification when someone mentions you online? Set up alerts for specific words and phrases, and Google will let you know if you appear in a news article or a blog. This is a great way to be proactive and handle feedback as soon as possible.
It’s also essential to be proactive when responding to feedback. 53% of customers expect a company to respond to a negative review within a week, with 33% expecting a response in less than three days.
Act on the feedback you receive
It’s important to use the feedback you receive to drive your company forward. If you get constructive or negative feedback, take the time to action it, and let the person who provided the information know how you’re using it to improve.
Take Dominos for example. Several years ago, they received negative feedback about how their pizzas tasted. Rather than ignoring customers or trying to implement a positive PR campaign to hide the comments, the CEO admitted there was a problem.
He invited some of the most vocal critics to attend a focus group. As a result, Dominos reviewed how it made its pizzas, from changing the recipes to transforming the entire supply chain. In the end, Domino’s head chefs went to the critics’ houses to personally deliver a new pizza and see what they thought.
The campaign was a success. Not only did the hard work pay off, but it helped turn some of the brand’s harshest critics into advocates of the brand.
Look for patterns and trends
Individual pieces of feedback are great, but it’s also important to look at the overall patterns and trends to see if there are any recurring themes. For example, one piece of feedback about the usability of your website may indicate an issue on the user’s end, but twenty pieces of feedback may mean a UX issue you need to resolve.
How can you identify patterns and trends in feedback? One of the cost-effective and low-tech ways to do this is by exporting all your feedback into Excel or Google Sheets. You can then categorise your feedback. For example, you may decide to organise by product, issue, or whether the feedback is good or bad. You can then measure these categories and how they fluctuate over time.
Alternatively, there are analytics and business intelligence packages that can do the hard work for you. Some packages even use artificial intelligence to analyse language and identify the key points you need to focus on.
Improve the online experience you offer with Xigen
Gathering and acting on customer feedback doesn’t just entice shoppers into your online store; it transforms people into loyal advocates for your business.
If you’re looking for ways to get customer ratings, reviews, and testimonials, we’re here to help. We specialise in helping eCommerce stores provide a fantastic customer experience, building brand loyalty and boosting lifetime customer value.
Want to see how we can help drive your business forward? Get in touch with our team today.