For your business to sprout wings and fly, customer satisfaction is very important. One way to measure this is  by understanding how your customers view your products, services and company. We’ve shared before that {relevant reference from first article} businesses only hear from 4% of their unhappy customers. You are generally going to get the wrong picture if you sit back and wait for feedback so actively seek it out!  Get good customer feedback. 

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The big question then becomes, how and where we should you obtain this feedback? Let’s look at some of the ways:

Email

If you already have an email list of your customers, use a tool like mailchimp to send them emails.  Using a tool beats plain old email because it allows you to track how many opened the emails, try out different versions of the email to see which one gets better responses, make the email pretty using a template…among a host of other cool things. We’ve gradually built our own email list using an in-app subscription form and the form below this article (you haven’t signed up yet? You need to! Do it now. Don’t worry, we’ll wait….). You can build your own list using the most appropriate means for your product/service. It could be sign-up sheets at a presentation you are giving, or a form on your landing page, or even an embedded form on your Facebook page.

To ensure that this channel remains effective, ensure that you send your  customers a speedy response even if it is an initial automated response which is then followed up by personal response that addresses the customer’s issue to its logical conclusion. [A Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Aspect Software found that 45% of US consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly.] Move fast.

Online feedback surveys

Surveys are usually effective when they are short, easy to fill out and friendly on all devices, including mobile. There are many questions that you could ask your customers but your objectives should be clear and your questions should stick to them.

There are a number of ways you could conduct surveys but one of the most popular are Survey Monkey and  Qualaroo. We’ve used Survey Monkey before for our product pre-building questionnaire. Some quick pointers on framing the survey questions:

  1. Ask questions that fulfil your end goal. Be clear on why you are doing the survey. Don’t stray from that
  2. Use open-ended questions. (How did you feel about your last interaction with our support staff?)
  3. Ask one question at a time. Don’t bundle several questions in one (Did you come to our presentation? If you will, will you stay to the end? If you will, would you like an autograph?)
  4. Avoid asking leading questions. (Is it true that our product is the best thing since sliced bread?)

Contact Forms

Make it super simple to find the contact form on your website and even simpler to fill it in (Shout out to that site with the super hard CAPTCHA that you need to squint to understand).

For minor annoyances and issues, your customers may just give up and walk away frustrated. Online feedback surveys might pick-up the problem if you ask a related question at the right time but counting on this is  risky.

When minor issues occur frequently, customers will start shopping around for a better solution. For a sales prospect, something like this can be a deal-breaker.

Your contact form should be readily-available when someone needs it yet out of the way when they don’t; positioning is also a critical thing.

We use a contact us page and on select pages, a ‘contact support’ form. Both are built to be super easy to fill in and we’ve been receiving some really useful feedback on our products and services.

Talk to customers

This is a fairly undervalued method of getting feedback. All other methods of getting feedback are very useful but they lack the ability to dig deeper to understand the context of the customer’s pain points. A personal conversation with them can help to identify what they REALLY feel about your products / services, what other pain points it should address etc.

Find an appropriate way to set this up for your business. Here, we schedule quick calls with customers using either Skype or a phone call. An average call’s less than 10 minutes but the feedback we’ve received so far has been invaluable in our positioning and deciding general direction.  

These discussions will not only give you valuable information but will potentially earn you greater loyalty from them for reaching out and acting on their feedback.

Listening to social media activity

Your customer has a great voice on social media. This voice can transcend over many boundaries in a very short space of time; it is very important to employ tools or practices that will ensure that you are listening to what is being said about your products almost in real-time.

With the recent improvements in the social media sphere, one can even add surveys/polls to gauge what customers or potential customers think of your brand. This particular option is one we are still exploring and will have more insights on in due course. If you’ve made some strides in it, please share in the comments.

Analytics

Are there things that your customers are telling you indirectly? Good feedback can be obtained from your customers when they are using your products or from your website analytics.

What pages are visited the most? Where’s this traffic coming from? How long were these pages viewed? How many people leave after seeing just one page? For that page that explains how a product/service works, how long do people stay on it? Long enough to read the content or are they off in seconds? What search queries brought them to your site? Are there page errors?  In some instances, you might want to track how users who did not sign up for your products behaved. It is sometimes necessary to see how people view your website and product when they don’t know anyone is watching. The right metrics to look at really depend on your product/service but start somewhere and find ways to validate the assumptions you make based on this channel.


These are the some of the important methods of obtaining customer feedback which can be used to improve their experience with you and boost your growth. However, this feedback has be to put into use effectively by your team to ensure that the real benefits are realized.

@TODO – Your action items

  1. Send personal emails to your customers and act upon their queries in a timely manner.
  2. Use short and precise online surveys to get customers to give you quick feedback
  3. Provide easy-to-find contact forms on your website to allow visitors send you quick feedback
  4. Talk to your customers directly to get deeper insights into their pain points and what they love about your product
  5. Listen to what people are saying about your brand on social media
  6. Analyse the behavior of the visitors to your website to get an understanding of where the gaps may lie.

Eric Kimunyu leads marketing here. He has a passion for technology and its ability to transform lives.