How To Collect Customer Feedback: 5 Effective Methods

Marketing 20 minute read 4th June 2024

While most businesses want to become customer-centric, they often ignore the most critical piece of the puzzle: collecting feedback. They might even know how to collect customer feedback, but the abundance of collection methods overwhelms them.

Besides, customers only respond well to some of those methods. So, it can be hard to create a feedback collection strategy by choosing the right techniques. If you can relate to these businesses, you’ve reached the right place. This article will guide you through the benefits and methods of customer feedback collection.

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5 Benefits of Collecting Customer Feedback

Lyfe Marketing says only 4% of customers voice their negative experiences. The remaining 96% simply leave without an explanation or complaint.

If these statistics indicate anything, you must actively work on customer feedback collection. Otherwise, you might lose out on a lot of insights and advantages.

Knowing these benefits before learning how to collect feedback from customers is a wise step. It serves as the perfect motivation while preparing you for the process. Therefore, here are the top five benefits you can enjoy with customer opinions.

1. It Helps You Learn More About Your Customers

Successful businesses don’t sell the product. They sell the product’s benefits. They promote their offerings by telling customers what they’ll gain from them. They also ensure that the benefits and offerings meet customers’ demands. That’s what sets them apart and drives their success. If you want the same results for your business, you must follow in their footsteps.

But how do you know what your customers demand? That’s where customer feedback comes in. You can learn who your audience is by paying close attention to customer feedback. Their preferences, expectations, and behaviors will become apparent to you.

Moreover, consistent feedback collection processes will always give you new customer data to work with. Using this data to create and update customer profiles will never run out of ideas for effective promotions.

Besides, customers want you to understand their needs. For that, they willingly share their thoughts on your products and their overall experience. This makes your work easier.

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2. It Helps You Improve Your Products and Services

Understanding your customers at a deeper level also helps you identify what works and doesn’t work for them. Sometimes, customers share negative reviews about their experience with your business. Your first reaction when coming across such reviews might be anger or denial.

But in reality, customers who leave genuine negative feedback are doing you a favor. And if not, answering fake bad reviews can boost your brand’s authority.

Let’s say you own a SaaS company. Since you’re selling technical products, you must provide detailed usage demonstrations.

Even then, some customers might need clarification while using your products. If so, they’ll let you know what confused them. Some might even provide suggestions to improve user experience.

These actionable insights allow you to improve your products and services. As a result, customers will feel listened to, encouraging them to leave more helpful feedback. Moreover, it will make them feel like you care about their needs and problems, promoting customer loyalty.

3. You Can Increase Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Increased customer satisfaction and retention is the third benefit of collecting customer feedback.

As a continuation of the point above, improving your business using feedback will help customers resonate with your offerings. They’ll find that those changes align with their needs, and as a result, they will be more satisfied when using your products or services.

Let’s say a hotel’s customers provided feedback about the indoor pool’s water temperature. The hotel takes their suggestions and makes it hotter or colder according to customer preferences. Imagine guests’ comfort and satisfaction when they visit the pool during their next stay. Plus, these guests won’t be staying at another hotel anytime soon.

Moreover, actively collecting feedback helps you manage negative situations. Dealing with unhappy customers becomes easier when you have others’ feedback to back your claims.

Plus, if the unsatisfied customer has left positive feedback in the past, you can identify what went wrong. This and the customer’s history will help you make amends and win the guest back.

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4. Businesses That Collect Feedback Have a Better Online Reputation

As mentioned, acting on customer feedback makes customers feel like you care. It shows your commitment to customer satisfaction. You can make customers feel like they’re a part of your brand.

Seeing this, more customers will want to join the bandwagon. As a result, more people might leave reviews on social media or review websites. Besides, the more positive feedback you have, the better your online reputation is. If you display these online reviews on your website or social media, they will serve as positive user-generated content.

Remember, asking your customers for feedback is the first step to managing your online reputation. Whether positive or negative, responding to your reviews makes a good impression. With positive reviews, your gratitude will portray you as a welcoming business. On the other hand, responding to negative reviews will help resolve issues.

5. It Helps You Attract the Right Customers

Lastly, collecting customer feedback allows you to attract the right customer base. You’ll know what type of customers use your products and services. Attracting people with similar tastes will make your business more successful. Besides, customers sometimes come up with unique ways to use your products.

For example, if you own a skincare company, many customers may add your essential oil to another product. This combination may allow them to gain results specific to their skin type.

Promoting this will help you attract more people of the same group. Here, the argument isn’t just about getting new customers but customers who actually buy from you.

Getting information on age, gender, demographics, and behavior will help you create marketing materials that resonate with the right people.

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How To Collect Customer Feedback With 5 Effective Methods

Now that you know what your customer feedback strategy can do for you, why not explore some of the methods? Whether you conduct interviews, focus groups, or simply add a survey form to your website, you must have a plan.

For example, you can’t cram every question into one survey and call it a day. You need to plan which information you need and which method will work best for each piece of information. In short, there’s a lot to plan. So, let’s see how to collect customer feedback using five effective methods.

1. Live Feedback and Customer Interviews

One of the most straightforward ways to collect customer feedback is to talk to them simply. Real-time interactions allow you to gather customer insights while the experience is still fresh in their minds.

Moreover, physical interactions let you decipher more than just the customers’ words. Body language and hand gestures also matter when collecting customer feedback. Especially for unhappy customers, you can judge the severity of the situation better with live interactions.

Therefore, hold customer interviews and focus groups at your venue. Connect with your customers during their visit. Start meaningful conversations and ask them about their experience. If you don’t have a physical location, consider adding live chats and chatbots to your website.

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2. Website Analytics and Social Listening

If you want to collect feedback without asking questions, track your website and social media analytics.

How long do customers stay on your website, what do they do there, and what pages are the most popular? Such questions can provide quantitative feedback that helps you improve your website’s user experience. For example, higher bounce rates might indicate a problem with the content or navigation.

Besides, you can track customer searches to identify gaps and customer demands. Social media channels also tell you a lot about your customer base. It’s a place where people freely share their experiences with different brands. This unfiltered information can help you more than interviews.

Therefore, see how people mention your brand and track their engagement metrics. Likes, follows, and comments are also great ways to collect feedback.

3. Free-Text Feedback

Customers provide free-text feedback whenever they respond in their own words, without limitations of pre-defined options. It’s a way for them to express their thoughts, opinions, and experiences openly.

Open-ended conversations are an example of how to get customer feedback through free text feedback. When you ask customers what they think about your brand, you aren’t asking them a limited-scope question. You’re giving them free rein to discuss whatever they liked or disliked about your business.

Other options for free-text feedback include comment boxes, social media comments, and review sections.

4. Surveys and Email Marketing

When businesses want to collect feedback from customers, the first method that comes to their minds is using customer surveys. This is justifiable since customers are familiar with this method.

When surveys appear on websites or after purchasing a product, they don’t find it strange or intrusive. However, it can be problematic if the survey is too long or asks personal questions. Therefore, plan your survey questions and consider how to distribute them.

The idea is to focus on one topic per question. For example, if you’re asking about needs, don’t add purchase history to this question.

Make it easier for them to provide the answer. Open-ended questions give you more information but might also frustrate the customer. Therefore, analyze your audience and see what type of survey will suit them the best.

Apart from surveys, you can also use email marketing to collect feedback. But for that, you have to choose the correct time. Sending an email right after the purchase is great for feedback on the buying experience. Send them the order details and ask how their buying journey went.

Alternatively, ask them about their past experience when they buy a product twice. You can even automate this process by using email marketing automation software systems. These systems also give you helpful insights about your campaigns’ performance, such as response rates, open rates, etc.

However, ensure you embed these surveys inside the email so your customer doesn’t have to leave the app.

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5. Review Websites

This last method isn’t something you’ll initiate; rather, you’ll monitor it. Consistently monitoring what people say about your business on review websites gives you unfiltered and valuable insights.

These are real people who have had real experiences with your business. Plus, they’re reviewing your business without you having to ask them. Such circumstances make for honest opinions that come directly from the customer.

Therefore, find the review websites that fit your target audience. For example, Yelp is for restaurants, TripAdvisor is for hotels, and Google My Business is for retail.

Many platforms offer notification tools that alert you when you get new reviews. Turn these on so you never miss an opinion. Using these websites, identify patterns in demand and gaps to drive your decisions.

Collecting Customer Feedback Manually vs. With Technological Tools

The best way to collect customer feedback is to combine manual expertise with technological tools. That’s because both methods have their own pros and cons. To guide your approach, let’s discuss each separately, starting with manual methods.

Manual feedback collection techniques, such as interviews, focus groups, monitoring review websites, etc., give you deeper insights. You can tweak the questions or areas of focus depending on the customer. In short, you have more control over the information you gather.

However, manual feedback methods can be time-consuming. Plus, you can only reach a small sample size compared to technological tools.

On the other hand, things like website exit-intent surveys, email surveys, and website analytics make your work easier. They reach a larger audience quickly and effectively. Yet, they might not provide the whole picture since people sometimes ignore automated feedback requests.

Even then, there’s one method that never fails to impress. That method is WiFi marketing. When you offer free internet in your venue, you can leverage WiFi marketing. To use this, implement a WiFi marketing solution and automate reviews. When a customer disconnects from your WiFi, the solution will send them a survey about their experience.

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Gain a Competitive Advantage by Collecting Customer Feedback

Collecting customer feedback is a great way to identify loopholes in your services. However, not acting on this information can negate all your efforts. Therefore, use customer feedback to improve your products and increase customer satisfaction and retention.

As a recap on how to collect customer feedback, conduct customer interviews and focus groups. Moreover, pay attention to website and social media analytics.

Don’t forget to leverage WiFi marketing for that competitive edge. Beambox allows you to receive analytic insights into your customer base.

Additionally, it helps you get reviews with automated prompts. Start your thirty-day free trial and gain a competitive advantage!

Grow your business and customer loyalty with guest WiFi!

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