Before we start talking about the power of customer feedback and interaction, we must remember that any business is dependent on customers. Customers play the main role in any business model. Business success is directly linked to satisfaction level of its customers, but measuring customer satisfaction level on the internet based businesses can give you a headache.
You see, in the real world with real restaurants or clothing stores it’s not a problem. Real people serve you and you are able to praise or complaint about service or product issues just by saying a few words. However, internet business is absolutely different. Usually customer is alone, dealing with a machine that has specific software and there is no real person in direct contact with him in real time. Yes, the main problem is the absence of real communication: nobody hears you, nobody cares about your opinion, nobody listens to your complaints or praises. And it’s a problem of your business, and not a customer.
You see, you can sell hundreds of various products per day on your online shop without realising that you could actually sell thousands of them, if you make some changes to your products or services, or even website that you use as your online store. And it’s just because you don’t know what you’re doing wrong.
A different approach
First of all, you need to change your approach to the feedback collection on your website. You should be engaged to collect more feedback from your visitors. Stop waiting until they finally reach your contact form or find any time to wait in a chat queue. Start acting, make a first step, make them leave those feedbacks more easily and you’ll be rewarded with priceless information. Information that allows you to increase your sales, improve your services and enrich your products.
A lot of online store owners rely on contact forms, some of them try to get closer to their customers with online chat systems. But there are some issues with these methods. Contact form on your website needs more actions from your visitor. He needs to go to the contacts page, to fill down the contact form, sometimes even to solve a CAPTCHA or other anti-spam protection quiz which takes too much of your website visitor’s time. Time is too expensive nowadays to waste it on filling the contact forms in order to praise or complain. Same situation with chat systems. Yes, they can give your visitors some real communication feeling, but in most cases it’s a complete time wasting. Most visitors will quit your website as soon as they see messages telling that they need to wait for 5 or more minutes to start a chat because there is queue. Also there is a big chance that nobody will be online to chat with you and chat system will suggest you to send message, the same message as you can send from the contact form usually located in the contacts page. So nor contact form, neither online chat is attractive due to time consumption.
To understand why I’m paying so much attention to the time that is needed for user to leave a feedback you should remember why you’re making your website faster. People just hate slow websites, even if the website is fast, they hate processes that make their browsing experience slow.
To get better results of feedback harvesting from your website or online store, you need to make the process of leaving feedback as simple as possible and, if possible, more attractive or even motivating. You should show your website visitors that you care about their opinion and you really want to get their feedback.
The easiest way to make it is to integrate simple yet powerful feedback fields accessible, for example, on any WooCommerce product page, if you’re running online store. If you’re selling services, this feedback form should be accessible at least on any page that is directly linked to your services. Do not include feedback forms to pages like “About us”. Adding feedback form to contact page also will be irrational. Feedback form itself should be very simple. Only a few most necessary fields. Name, email, and feedback fields, that’s enough data for the following communication. I would recommend to show only text line “Leave your feedback” and hide feedback form itself until visitor makes a mouse click on this text. Make it simple and minimal.
The gentle provocation to act
Moreover, there is one trick to harvest those feedbacks even more efficiently. You can draw attention of your website visitors with simple rating field, for example, five star rating field. The essence of the trick is to give instant reward for interaction. If your website visitor wants to complain or praise your product or service, he will definitely click on the rating form because it’s easy to do. Now you should hold this visitor and do not let go. You should show feedback form instantly after rating action was made. Just allow this visitor to make another step. It’s more likely that he will fill that feedback form because he will feel that he must complete what he’s started.
You may ask why I’m thinking that it should work? Well, first of all, we have developed Rating Manager plugin for WordPress that allows to do such trick and we have some feedback from our customers about pros and cons of this plugin. Also, the same trick is used by a lot of websites with registration forms. They provide simple registration forms with only a few fields like name and email and when you fill them and make one step further they give you full registration form to fulfill. And in most cases you will do it because you will feel that you’ve gone too far to give up and leave it alone.
Please keep in mind that some websites should use different approach. Everything depends on the principles of how you want to deal with your clients. For example, Elementous website has no feedback forms. Instead we have support forum where all registered visitors can share their thoughts. We want feedback from whole community and we want whole community to talk about our products and services. But this approach is more suitable for such products like software or services and not for ordinary stores. Every update, every bug fix must be part of communication between us as developers and clients or registered users.
So, to conclude with, you must find the way to get more feedbacks. It doesn’t matter what kind of feedback you will receive. Remember that every bad feedback could make your products and services even better. And the fact that you try to get those feedbacks will show your website visitors that you really care and you want to improve your business, your products and services. Let your visitors speak to you, let them feel real communication and react quickly to those feedbacks. Sooner or later you will notice how powerfully those feedbacks can affect your online business.