Timing is everything. Even the best ideas executed at the wrong time can mess everything up. Feedback is one of the things where you need to get the timing right. Read on to know the right time to approach for customer feedback, different ways to reach out to them and what you should do next to improve customer experience.
Horses are majestic creatures. If trained well, they can do wonders. But to communicate to a horse well, one needs to apply different pressures at different times that help them realize what pace and direction they should take. If the timing is off (you apply more pressure or remove it) the horse gets confused and the communication gets jumbled. The horse has no idea what to do and you won't receive a response you desire. In the end, you will end up where you began.
Similarly, to evoke the right response from your customers you need to approach them at the right time. Imagine asking for feedback after a month of purchase. They might not even remember what they brought from you! Nudges at the right time are what makes all the difference.
But First, Are You Collecting The Right Data?
You already know that gathering data is an important part of pushing your e-commerce brand forward, but are you collecting the right data?
If not, you could be wasting precious time, energy, and resources on information that isn’t going to help your business or improve the customer experience (which, by the way, is becoming an increasingly important aspect of any business).
And, when it comes to collecting data, timing is everything.
Knowing when to ask your customers for their much-valued feedback on their experience with you can mean the difference between getting an amazing response and none at all.
Why You Should Ask Customer Feedback
Asking for feedback straight from the horse’s mouth can open up a goldmine of information and ideas.
Not only can implementing strategies based on the results help you improve customer satisfaction levels and reduce churn rates, but it can also be a great way to generate new product and service ideas.
On top of that, engaging with your customers and actively asking them to share their experience with your brand can help build and strengthen relationships (plus returning customers that have a good experience with you spend more year on year).
Today, customer expectations are higher than ever before and, as an e-commerce brand, it’s your job to create a stress-free and positive experience for your buyers to tempt them away from your soaring number of competitors.
First Things First…
Before you dive into asking for customer feedback, you need to consider two things:
What will you do with the customer feedback? It’s all well and good collecting this kind of qualitative data, but if you don’t do anything with it, it’s completely pointless, so it’s important that you have a vision and a why.
How will you respond to customer feedback? Encouraging customers to share their experiences is key to building relationships and opening up a two-way dialog, so it’s important that you have a plan of action in place for responding: will you send out an automated response? A personal response? Offer a reward or discount?
The Best Times to Ask for Customer Feedback
1. Right After An Interaction Or Transaction
Strike while the iron is hot.
You want to catch your customers when their experience with you is fresh in their minds. This means following up almost immediately after any interaction a customer has with your brand, whether that’s a conversation with a customer support rep or after they’ve bought a product.
Not only does asking for feedback right away mean you’ll get a more honest and open review from your customers, but it also helps avoid churn.
According to research, an estimated 67% of customer churn is actually preventable if an issue a customer has is dealt with when it happens. But, the tricky part is that most customers won’t share their bad experience and will just leave in silence to go and buy from someone else.
By encouraging them to share their experience right away, you have the opportunity to fix the problem and turn them into a returning customer.
2. When Customers Leave
We just mentioned that customers are more likely to leave quietly and go with a competing e-commerce brand if they have a bad experience rather than provide feedback. In fact, around 4% of dissatisfied customers will complain, while 91% will simply never come back.
Catching a customer when they leave or decide to stop buying from you is a great way to explore the areas you need to improve.
Creating an enjoyable customer experience is a process that requires tweaking, testing, and more tweaking until you have something that’s consistently attracting loyal buyers.
Knowing why customers have dropped you like a hot potato can help you implement strategies in the future to ensure other customers don’t want to leave.
3. When A Customer Abandons Their Cart
Did you know that 67% of online shoppers abandon their cart?
That’s a large number to contend with: think about all the lost customers and the possible sales you’re missing out on by not finding out why your customers are abandoning their carts.
By asking customers why they decided not to buy, you’ll figure out the key things that are holding them back; things which you can address so future customers don’t end up doing the same.
How To Ask For Customer Feedback?
Now you know the 3 best times to ask for customer feedback so you can learn more about the experience your customers have with you, let’s take a look at the ways you can actually do the asking.
Surveys are perhaps the most popular way e-commerce brands get feedback from their customers. They’ll send out an email to a buyer asking them for a few minutes of their time to fill out a questionnaire, which will consist of a couple of questions.
The results of the survey can then be quantified to find out the most common ideas which can then be implemented to avoid future churn.
You can also use social surveys to capture the thoughts and feedback of customers on social media.
Alternatively, you can make the feedback experience native by incorporating a pop-up or on-site form that’s activated when a customer interacts with you or goes to leave the site.
This example has just two fields for the customer to fill out, making it a really simple process for them to go through.
There are three distinct “scores” you can get from customers using this method:
Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is the likelihood that someone would recommend your business out of 10
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), which measures how satisfied a customer was with the service you provided
Customer Effort Score (CES), which measures how much effort was required for a customer to get their problem solved with you
Web Push Notifications
Get the attention of your customers while they’re on your site by serving them web push notifications to ask for feedback.
Push notifications have an open rate of 90%, and around 40% of people interact with a push notification within one hour of receiving it. This is the perfect way to target customers who have just interacted with you or made a transaction, as their experience is fresh in their mind and they’re more likely to respond to your push notification.
Use a tool like iZooto to easily add push notifications to your site to encourage customers to provide feedback.
Live chat not only helps sales (38% of customers made a purchase because they were able to talk to someone), but it is also a great way to find out about your customers’ experience.
In fact, live chat is now the preferred communication method for consumers.
The best part about it is you can automate the process so that a live chat feedback request pops up when a customer takes a certain action on your site.
The Customer Experience Is Crucial For E-commerce Brands
Your e-commerce company relies on customers. And, because repeat customers are more likely to spend more money with you than new customers, it’s important that you provide an enjoyable experience that keeps people coming back for more.
This doesn’t have to be guesswork, though.
By directly asking for customer feedback, you can find out what they like and dislike about your business and implement changes based on those results to lower churn rates in the future.
With more e-commerce brands emerging by the day, it’s never been more important for companies to cater to their customers’ needs and build a base of loyal fans.
This is a guest post by Scott of Elevation Marketing.