How to Obtain Customer Feedback?

Sep 27, 2022 - 9 min read
How to Obtain Customer Feedback?

Now that you’ve created the perfect product and built the ideal customer journey, you may think that all is said and done. But, the job is not finished yet. In practice, business and marketing strategies don’t always play out the way hoped they would when you planned them during a team brainstorming session. And, the best way to tell if things are going according to your plan or not is by listening to customer feedback.

You can use design thinking, conduct A/B or usability testing, and perform competitive analysis in order to build a brand. But once you’ve established your business, the insight you can gain from these research methods pale in comparison to the ones you can acquire through a robust customer feedback analysis strategy. You may  also want to read more about the definition of customer feedback and how you can analyze it or why customer feedback is so important. While every customer interaction is essentially an opportunity to gain insight, there are two main types of customer feedback: direct & indirect.

As the name suggests; direct feedback is the input you gain from customers directly; it is intentional and calculated in the way it is sought and obtained. Indirect feedback, on the other hand, is the information you gain from customers when the customers are not even aware of the fact that they are informing you. 

Now, let’s take a closer look at some fundamental customer feedback methods and customer feedback analysis techniques what each type of feedback entails. 

Direct Feedback 

Direct feedback is traditional: it is any reaction you get from customers when they are prompted by your business to share their thoughts. The upside to the direct feedback is that you will not only acquire well thought out opinions, but also engage with customers in a way that shows you care about their experiences. Eventually, when you apply their constructive criticism to your business plan, you will be generating customer loyalty by proving that you are, in fact, listening.

The downside to direct feedback is that it may be too deliberate to reflect the true feelings and motivations behind customer behavior. There really was no way around this limitation until very recently when web analytics and other research technologies began to extract insights from online data in the form of indirect feedback—which we will get to in a minute.

Surveys

Surveys are the ultimate go-to source for gathering customer feedback for many reasons. They are almost infinitely customizable. You can design exit-intent pop-up surveys with multiple-choice options or long-form surveys with open-ended questions. There are also traditional surveys like the Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), or Customer Effort Score (CES). 

Secondly, you can target whatever topic or segment of your customer base you want in order to gain the information you need. You can decide what questions to ask, who to ask, and when. All these factors can impact the outcome of your survey. Therefore, this lenient form of gathering customer feedback also comes with some drawbacks. As any researcher will tell you, you must take self-reported data with a grain of salt since this type of information is often given affectedly and based on recollections. 

You also must be very careful to pick the right questions and timing. A leading question may skew the results, an ill-timed survey may lead to frustrated customers, or a survey with one too many inquiries may cause respondents to speed through the questions.

Interviews and Focus Groups

Another traditional way of gathering customer feedback is the good old face-to-face, in-person chat. This method might help the interviewer or mediator to gauge more clues regarding customer feedback since it allows real-time reactions and follow-up questions. 

Here, once again, what, who, and when you ask questions take precedence. Much like you’d do for a survey, you can design your own set of questions to focus on a particular topic or select customers to target a specific segment of your customer base. You can also time your request for an interview or a focus group to optimize the results. 

Contact Forms

Today, many customers are willing to share their contact information with businesses to subscribe to a promising benefits system with discounts, coupons, and so on. While they are already filling out a contact form, you might as well ask one or two additional questions to pick up on some valuable information regarding how and for what the customers want to be contacted. The responses to these questions can help you determine a beneficial newsletter or a convenient rewards system.

But, be careful! Too many questions may seem time-consuming and not worth the benefits you offer in the first place, so make sure to keep it brief.

Emails

Reaching out to current and prospective customers via email is a classic. Whether it’s a cold email, follow-up, or order confirmation, emails can contain various forms of questions that can lead to useful feedback. You can embed questionnaires as a post-script or directly inquire about a particular topic within the body of the email. Of course, getting a response to emails can be tricky as most people prefer to skip over them, finding them tedious or thinking they’re sent out to hundreds and thousands of people already, so one response won’t matter. To improve the open, click-through, and response rates, you need to construct compelling emails from start to finish. For instance, people love to talk about their distinctive know-how, and people will respond to customer feedback questions if they know or think the question is unique to their expertise. 

So, you can make use of some basic information you’ve gathered from the contact forms about the topics of interest or industries your customers are involved in to customize emails according to the main segments of your audiences.

Indirect Feedback

In contrast to direct feedback, indirect feedback is any unprompted input you gain from your customers. This type of feedback can range from a voluntary exposition in the comments section to the seemingly omniscient web analytics. There are several upsides to this type of feedback. Above all, the amount of indirect feedback you receive identifies your level of customer engagement. Why, when, and how are customers interacting with your business? Are they praising your business or complaining about their customer experience? In which step of their customer journey are they abandoning a purchase? From which social media account are they clicking through to your website? And, which products and services are they preferring? The answers to all these questions and many more can help you amplify your strengths and diagnose your weaknesses. The downside is that there the amount of raw data obtained through indirect feedback channels and tools are unmanageable without the help of customer feedback analysis tools. 

If you are overwhelmed with the amount of online feedback you are receiving, Kimola Cognitive, the no-code machine learning platform for customer review analysis, is here to help! You can start your free trial right away for free customer review analysis.

Scrape Reviews and Comments from E-Commerce Platforms

These days, people are willing to give feedback if they find it convenient to relay their insights. The comments sections on e-commerce platforms or review and comparison websites are practical ways to collect customer feedback. The best part about this form of customer feedback is that these insights are unprompted and organic. So, customers are giving out free information about your business, product, and service of their own volition—some customers might even mention weak points you haven’t even thought of!

If you'd like to scrape Amazon reviews, Yelp Reviews or scrape reviews from various sites, you can use Kimola Cognitive's Airset Generator Chrome Extension and analyze the reviews with Kimola Cognitive. 

User Testing

This one is quite scientific. You can utilize free-trial periods as test runs. In other words, let your customer use your product or service for free for a certain period in exchange for extensive feedback. A great practice to measure the results would be to ask for feedback before, during, and after the free trial to assess their entire experience. You can conduct this experiment with new customers as an introduction and onboarding to your product or service. Or, you can test out changes and updates to your product with your existing customer base to see if the improvements are beneficial. You can also launch an entirely new product and offer free trials to your current customers in return for feedback. 

Web Analytics

Web Analytics is an especially noteworthy method because it presents the least biased form of data. While every other feedback on the list is self-reported to a certain degree, the input from web analytics may quantify behaviors that even the customers themselves are unaware of. Web analytics metrics like traffic sources, page reviews, exit pages, and conversion rates can reveal more information about customers than any other tool and in the most efficient way. Plus, the broad range of information can be used by sales, marketing, growth, and product teams, as well as UX and CX experts, to improve their strategies.

Social Media Listening

Nowadays, much like review sites and comment sections, many people offer their opinions about businesses for free on social media. People choose to share their experiences with products and services on social media for various reasons. Reviews on social media platforms have become so popular that many businesses send their products or give free trials to social media influencers and reviewers, who can make a living by generating conversations about the products and services they promote. This is one form of utilizing social media for marketing. Most people realize how important social media appearances are for businesses. Therefore they know that their issues and inquiries may garner more immediate attention and thorough responses if posted on social media platforms. So, you better be listening. Social listening tools can follow your brand’s mentions over numerous platforms and report to you for better or worse. Many companies utilize this feedback for regular maintenance and crisis management. 

Kimola offers a free Social Listening Tool, Kimola Analytics for free. You can gather brand mentions, track keywords and listen your customers.

To Sum Up 

Listening to feedback from customers has always been vital for a business. However, after all that’s been mentioned above, it goes without saying that it is the responsibility of any business to keep up with the demanding feedback habits of an increasingly digitalizing world. 

As one of the best customer feedback software, Kimola Cognitive gathers online reviews, comments, and posts about your business from various social media platforms—such as Twitter and Instagram— to categorize and analyze what your customers are saying about you!

Social Listening

 

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