Customer Service

10 ways to collect customer feedback.

Ibukun Omotesho
April 14, 2024

Feedback serves as a crucial tool for continual improvement. While gathering feedback from customers is essential, it provides valuable insights necessary to enhance the quality of service they receive.

Even if you have 1000 good reviews, just one bad review can discourage new customers from wanting to make a purchase. The real issue here is: Customers are always going to speak, are you going to listen?

Feedback plays a pivotal role in any successful business by offering insights into customer sentiments, needs, preferences, and pain points.

Armed with this valuable information, businesses can make informed decisions aimed at improving customer service and enhancing the overall customer experience.

However, collecting customer feedback can be a challenging task, especially if you're unsure of how to start the process. In this article, we will take you through 10 practical and cost-effective ways to collect customer feedback

1. Surveys.

Surveys or feedback forms are a vital customer feedback strategy used by companies that understand that their values are more than getting five-star ratings but want to ensure their customers feel heard and have a wonderful experience.

In whatever industry you are in, having a feedback loop system is important. For example, a fashion brand needs to hear their customers' opinions on whether their clothes are out of trend just as much as a food business needs people’s feedback on the taste of their food. This continuous feedback loop enables businesses to pay attention to evolving customer needs and preferences.

When designing your survey there are 4 things you must keep in mind to ensure it is effective enough:

  • Purpose of the survey. 

It's essential to have a clear understanding of why you're collecting customer feedback. Clearly defined objectives and goals ensure that your feedback collection efforts are purposeful and effective.

Ask yourself important questions such as, 'Am I collecting this feedback to identify areas for improvement?' Additionally, setting realistic and achievable goals for your survey helps you to track progress and make informed decisions based on the feedback gotten.

Moreover, surveys can also be used to collect demographic and behavioral data, providing businesses with a deeper understanding of their target audience and market segments. This information can be invaluable for refining marketing strategies, developing new products or services, and tailoring offerings to better meet customer needs.

For instance, an online retailer might use surveys to gather insights into the shopping preferences and habits of different customer demographics, enabling them to personalize marketing campaigns and product recommendations accordingly. Overall, the purpose of surveys is to facilitate data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement across all aspects of the business.

  • Survey questions and length.

When creating questions for your customer survey, clarity and brevity are key. Clear and concise questions ensure they are easy for customers to understand and answer. Consider using a mix of closed-ended questions, such as multiple-choice or rating scales, and open-ended questions to gather comprehensive feedback. By striking this balance, you can ensure your survey effectively captures valuable information to inform strategic decisions and improve customer service experience.

  • Timing.

When sending out a survey, timing is crucial. For instance, an e-commerce enterprise may choose to send a survey once customers have emptied their carts, gauging their satisfaction with the shopping experience. It's pivotal to solicit feedback while the memory of using your service is still vivid in their minds, ensuring the survey responses accurately reflect their recent interactions.

2. Website analytics.

“Website feedback widgets are an easy way to be constantly listening, and I think they are the ultimate empathy tool.”, David Darmanin, CEO of Hotjar. 

Website analytics provide valuable customer insights into their behaviors and it is a unique avenue to get customer feedback. Businesses gain valuable feedback from website visitors to help them understand various user behaviors - like why a customer abandoned their cart or why a customer has been inactive for a long time.

These insights help you to understand customer interactions and preferences, enabling them to optimize their website and enhance the overall user experience.

You can gather feedback on your website using the following ways: 

  • Heatmaps.

A heatmap visually represents the areas of your website that receive the highest visitor engagement. It showcases user interactions such as clicks, scrolls, and time spent on specific sections. By analyzing these heatmaps, you can identify which elements capture user attention effectively and pinpoint any areas that may lead to confusion.

Utilizing heatmaps guides your feedback and analysis, enabling you to optimize your website for enhanced user experience.               

  • Conversion funnel analysis.

Conversion funnel analysis helps you monitor your customers as they progress through each stage of their journey on your website. You can pinpoint problems that prevent them from completing any actions, and get deeper insights into their behavior throughout their entire customer journey. 

For instance, if a significant number of users abandon their shopping carts before completing a purchase, you may want to check if they have issues with the checkout process. To gather feedback and address such issues, businesses can use targeted messaging strategies at various stages of the funnel, such as  "Are you sure?" aimed at re-engaging potential customers.

  • Exit surveys.

Exit surveys are used on websites to gather feedback from visitors who are about to leave.  This analysis helps prioritize optimization efforts in content, navigation, and functionality. Ultimately, exit surveys provide a valuable opportunity for businesses to engage with visitors, gather feedback, and make informed decisions on how to optimize their online presence.

3. Social media listening. 

According to Statista, over 4.59 billion people around the world make use of social media platforms. Technology has made us more connected than ever and that is why, people no longer have to leave their homes to make a purchase, they can do that through social media. 

As a business, you must understand that your customers will always have feedback to give, the question is are you listening?

Social media listening tools are a simple and effective method that can be used to gather customer feedback from business owners. It involves monitoring and analyzing conversations, mentions, and sentiments about your business, products, or services across various social media platforms. 

Here's how to effectively collect feedback using social media listening.

  • Set up monitoring tools.

Monitoring tools offer businesses an easy way to follow conversations and obtain real-time feedback about their brand across various social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. These tools provide invaluable insights into customer sentiments, emerging trends, and competitor activities.

When selecting a monitoring tool, cost-effectiveness is a key consideration. Opt for a tool that offers important features at a reasonable price and allows you to maximize your investment in social media analytics without exceeding your budget.

  •  Monitor mentions and conversations. 

Monitoring mentions and conversations related to your brand helps you stay informed about how your customers perceive your products or services. By utilizing relevant keywords on social media platforms, you can track both direct mentions and indirect references to your brand or products across various channels.

This allows you to stay proactive in engaging with customers, addressing concerns, and leveraging positive feedback to enhance your brand reputation. 

  • Engage with your customers.

Interacting with customers who mention your brand or share feedback on social media is an effective method for fostering positive relationships and reinforcing brand loyalty. Promptly responding to both positive and negative comments showcases your dedication improve customer service and responsiveness to customer needs.  Ultimately strengthening trust and loyalty toward your brand.

  • Collect feedback directly from social media.

Social media platforms help businesses to engage directly with their audience customers and gather valuable customer feedback. Through features such as polls, surveys, and interactive content, as well as by monitoring social media comments, businesses can actively involve their audience in shaping their products, and services.

This real-time interaction gives a sense of community and inclusivity, allowing customers to feel heard and valued by the brand. It also provides businesses with immediate insights into customer preferences, pain points, and emerging trends.

4. Customer support interactions. 

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”, Bill Gates.

Using a customer service platform is an effective method for gathering customer feedback and promptly addressing any dissatisfaction with your services. Whether through issue resolution tickets managed by your support team or customer satisfaction surveys, this platform enables customers to provide valuable feedback about their experiences, allowing you to identify areas for improvement and enhance overall customer satisfaction.

  Here's how customer support interactions can be leveraged to gather feedback:

  • Issue resolution feedback. 

After resolving a customer issue or inquiry, customer service agents can ask for feedback from customers regarding the resolution process and the service received, they don’t have to do it on the call, they can send dissatisfaction surveys via email or integrate them within the support ticketing system to gather immediate feedback. These surveys are valuable tools for assessing customer satisfaction levels and identifying areas for improvement in the support process.

By including questions about the customer's overall satisfaction with the support received, the responsiveness and helpfulness of the agent, and any specific areas for improvement, businesses can gain actionable insights into the customer experience. 

  • Integration with feedback management systems.

Integrating customer support platforms with feedback management systems offers businesses a powerful solution for collecting and analyzing customer feedback. By connecting support interactions with feedback channels, businesses can gain comprehensive insights into the customer experience and identify areas for improvement more effectively.

At Simpu, we recognize the importance of enhancing customer satisfaction. Our CSAT review system simplifies the process of gathering customer feedback regarding their service experiences. Through the customer satisfaction score, you can easily collect and analyze feedback, gaining valuable insights into customer perceptions and preferences. 

CSAT score rating

5. Customer interviews.

Customer interviews help you gain direct feedback and a deeper understanding of the experiences of your customers. Direct conversations with customers can help build a relationship with the customers and show that their opinions are valued. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and satisfaction, as well as improved products and services.

Here are 4 ways you can use customer interviews to collect feedback from customers through interviews:

  • Prepare thoroughly.

Preparation is good for building a rapport and conducting engaging discussions. Before conducting customer interviews, make sure you understand the background and needs of the customers you will be speaking with. 

  • Focus on specific feedback. 

When you stay focused on gathering specific feedback that aligns with your goals for improvement, you get valuable insights that drive meaningful changes and enhancements to products, services, and the overall customer experience. This targeted approach ensures that feedback efforts are purposeful and yield actionable outcomes.

  • Maintain a conversational tone.

When engaging in conversations, avoid sounding robotic. Instead, encourage customers to share their product-related issues and ask for suggestions on improvement. Keep the discussion conversational rather than interrogative to create a relaxed and supportive atmosphere, fostering encouragement and open communication with your customers.

6. Focus groups.

Focus groups are mostly used in traditional market research to gather target audience opinions and attitudes about the launching of a mobile app, certain products or services, or concepts. As a business owner, you can use focus groups to get interesting insights about your mobile app or website. Whether it is easy to use or engaging enough for your ideal target audience. 

 Before planning a focus group session, you work on the following:

  • Selecting focus group members: The participants in the focus group should reflect your target audience for the product or service being evaluated. A facilitator should lead the discussion, most times, the product manager does this or the owner of the business can also be the facilitator. As a facilitator you will guide participants through the conversation and ensure that all opinions are heard.
  • Facilitating discussion: During the focus group session, it's important to create a conducive environment that will encourage customers and make them feel comfortable about expressing their opinions. The facilitator should encourage open dialogue and ensure that everyone has an opportunity to share their thoughts and insights.

By leveraging focus groups in this manner, businesses can gather insights from their audience, allowing them to make changes to their offerings and improve the overall customer experience. 

7. In-app surveys. 

In-app surveys are a unique way to collect customer feedback. They offer a wide approach to understanding user behavior, preferences, and satisfaction levels across various segments, including active users, app abandoners, and those engaged in specific usage scenarios.

When implementing in-app surveys, it's important to prioritize user experience by keeping the surveys concise, user-friendly, and seamlessly integrated into the app interface. You can offer incentives such as discounts, exclusive offers, or rewards for completing the survey.

Target specific user segments and tailor your survey questions to address the unique needs, behaviors, and pain points of each group. This allows for more targeted insights and actionable feedback that can drive informed decision-making and strategic improvement.

8. Net promoter score (NPS).

This is a metric used by businesses to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction based on a single question. If you’ve answered questions like "How likely are you to recommend our fashion brand to a friend or colleague?" and you had to provide a rating on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being "Not at all likely" and 10 being "Extremely likely". You have given consumer feedback.

You can collect feedback from your customers using this system to weigh their loyalty and enthusiasm about your brand. 

The NPS is divided into three groups based on their rating:

  • Promoters (Score 9-10): When a question is asked about a service and the customer selects a score 9-10, it means they are highly satisfied and loyal customers who are likely to promote your product/service to others. 
  • Passives (Score 7-8): These customers might enjoy your product or are just indifferent about it. Passives are satisfied customers, but they are not as enthusiastic as promoters.
  • Detractors (Score 0-6): Detractors are unhappy customers who are unlikely to recommend your product/service and are not very happy with the brand. They may share negative feedback with others and discourage them from patronizing.

To gather Net Promoter Score (NPS) data effectively, you can use various methods such as surveys, SMS surveys, and in-app surveys. These channels offer flexibility in reaching different segments of the customer base and collecting feedback across multiple touchpoints.

Surveys conducted via email or SMS enable businesses to engage with customers directly and gather their opinions on the overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending the brand.  Once the feedback is collected, businesses can calculate the Net Promoter Score by subtracting the percentage of detractors (those unlikely to recommend) from the percentage of promoters (those highly likely to recommend).

9. SMS surveys. 

According to mobile marketing statistics, 70% of consumers find SMS messages from businesses to be valuable, and it has an open rate of 98%. SMS surveys can also be an effective way to gather feedback from customers who may not have access to other channels or prefer communication via text messages. Based on stats, If you are trying to reach a millennial, the best way to reach them is through SMS.

What are the things to consider before using SMS surveys to collect feedback?

  • Use a reliable SMS platform.

Opt for a reliable platform equipped with features for gathering valuable feedback effectively. Look out for features such as automation and customization capabilities to streamline the survey process and enhance the overall experience for both you and the customers. 

  •  Keep it short and easy to understand.

Survey questions should be clear, short, and easy to understand. Identify your goals when you want to collect these feedbacks so you can focus on gathering specific feedback. If you are looking to get feedback on either a product or customer satisfaction, don’t put it together in one SMS message, send it separately, at different times. 

  • Personalize the message.

Crafting personalized messages for your surveys elevates participant engagement, enriching their overall experience. Tailoring messages to individual recipients not only boosts response rates but also fosters deeper trust and loyalty among customers. This personalized approach facilitates the gathering of more meaningful insights and strengthens the bond between customers and your brand.

  • Automate Survey.

The automation capabilities offered by SMS survey platforms have revolutionized feedback collection. Businesses can now seamlessly schedule surveys at optimal times and days, maximizing convenience. Simpu's SMS marketing feature elevates this convenience further by enabling personalized messages and robust metric monitoring.

With Simpu, scheduling surveys for ideal timing and creating unique tracking links become effortless tasks, empowering businesses to track campaign success and delve into valuable insights into customer behavior.

9. Email surveys.

Using emails to collect feedback is a convenient and effective feedback method used to gather valuable insights from customers. You can craft personalized emails addressed to each recipient with an engaging subject line like “Your Opinion Matters!" to gather sufficient feedback from customers.

Simpu's email marketing platform helps businesses gather sufficient feedback from customers, the email marketing platform has analytics tools that businesses to track a wide range of metrics. Including open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and more. Aimed at measuring the success of your email campaigns.

 10. Review sites and forums.

Did you know that according to Trustpulse, over 99% of customers read online reviews and when they shop online 96% of customers specifically look for negative reviews

Even if a product has 1000  online reviews, I make sure I read every single one before proceeding with your product. As a business owner, it's important not to overlook feedback from review sites, as they can make or break your business.

To effectively collect customer feedback from these sites, it's important to constantly monitor third-party review sites like Google. When engaging with feedback, be sure to address both positive and negative comments, showing all customers that their opinions are valued.

Most importantly, analyze all the feedback from review sites and forums to identify recurring themes, trends, or patterns. Look for common issues and suggestions for improvement, as well as potential features that could enhance your service. By actively listening to customer feedback and implementing necessary changes, you can demonstrate that your customers' voices are heard and understood, ultimately improving your business's reputation and success.

Why is customer satisfaction important?

According to Rovaha, A dissatisfied customer decreases revenue at a rate equal to 1.8 times what a totally satisfied customer contributes to a business.

Customer satisfaction is important for businesses because it reflects how well they meet customer expectations and needs. When your customers are satisfied they are more likely to remain loyal, make repeat purchases, and recommend the business to others. When your customers are satisfied you enjoy:

  • Increased revenue.

When your customers are satisfied with the product and your services they don’t bother to look for other brands offering the same services. Satisfied customers spend more money over time on your brand and this contributes to increased revenue and profitability for the business.

  • Boosting brand popularity.

When a business meets my expectations, I become its ambassador and I share my positive experiences with others. Satisfied customers, like myself, are natural advocates. A satisfied customer will promote your brand through word-of-mouth and this not only amplifies brand awareness but also drives new customer acquisition. 

  • Reduced customer churn.

When your customers are satisfied, managing your churn rate becomes easier. By fostering satisfaction, you not only retain customers but also save valuable time and resources previously spent on addressing churn. Customer feedback helps you identify people’s problem with your brand and how you can fix it.

  • Customer feedback and insights.

Satisfied customers will be happy to give feedback about your business either through surveys or word of mouth. When customer satisfaction is not, the first reaction of customers towards giving feedback will be anger and reluctance.  

  • Employee satisfaction.

Happy customers are not only beneficial for the bottom line; they also play a role in a positive work environment for employees. When customers are satisfied with the products or services they receive, it reduces the time spent resolving issues and allows them to focus on other tasks. This, in turn, can have a significant impact on employee morale and achieve customer success.

In such an environment, where customers consistently express satisfaction with a business. Their customer service team is more likely to encounter fewer complaints and negative feedback, leading to reduced stress levels and a more enjoyable work atmosphere. 

In conclusion, customer feedback helps you promote a customer-centric culture and is an important criterion for any successful business. It provides invaluable insights into customer behaviors,  experiences, preferences, and pain points that guide you in making decisions for your business to make informed decisions that enhance customer satisfaction while also driving customer retention.

Through the various types of customer feedback methods listed, you can effectively collect direct and indirect feedback at a simple and low cost rate. While gaining a deeper understanding of your customers whether it is unsolicited feedback or not customer opinions matter and help you understand how customers feel about your service.

At Simpu, we understand the importance of obtaining feedback and we have developed tools that will ease the process of gathering this feedback. You can enjoy all these tools and benefits on Simpu by signing up now!

Ibukun Omotesho

Content Writer
I write and enjoy watching indian movies.

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