As product marketers, Sujan and I spend a lot of time searching for and testing the best strategies, tips, tactics, and tools that others have used to get useful feedback from customers—feedback that can help boost growth. As you’ve probably found out for yourself, there is a TON of information out there on the subject of customer feedback. Each month hundreds of new blog posts, articles, and case studies are being published by people all around the world on the topic. That seems like a good thing, right? There’s a lot you can soak up and learn. But here’s the problem: how do you know who to trust, where to start, what actually works, and how to apply what you learn to your own business? We wanted to make it easier for people by compiling and sharing a few customer feedback methods that we’ve personally tested and used to move the needle.
Here are 7 great methods for getting feedback from customers:
Method 1: The Quick Feedback Request
Unfortunately, when it comes to doing business with people online, you just don’t get the same level of interaction that you would if you were selling them your products or service face-to-face—at least not automatically. When you interact with someone in person, you can easily sense or observe things like confusion, hesitation, or excitement. If you sense that a person is unwilling to buy from you, you can engage with them and ask them why they feel the way they do. That level of interaction is an important part of business growth, and it needs to happen online too. One great way to start interacting with people and learning from them online is by implementing tools that encourage and invite your website visitors to provide feedback with you.
Method 2: The Live Chat
You can learn a lot about your business by talking to your customers. It seems like such a simple concept, but you’d be surprised to know how many business owners fail to actually take the time to have honest, open conversations with their customers. It’s true! As a result, they end up making decisions based on assumptions— assumptions that aren’t always correct. If you want to grow your business and gain a better understanding of your customers, their pain points, their objections, and their needs, you need to take the time to actually talk to them. Unless you see your customers in person on a regular basis, you need to be more proactive when it comes to communicating with them. Putting live chat on your website is one great way to get started.
Method 3: The Online Reviews Request
Like testimonials, reviews are also great tools to use when you need to combat any fears or objections your prospects might think of when deciding whether or not to do business with you. If you own a local brick-and- mortar business, reviews can really help bring new traffic through your doors. If you own a SaaS business or some other type of business that operates primary online, reviews are also important. One mistake a lot of business owners make is that they don’t ever think to actually ask people to write reviews—they just assume it will happen naturally. And sometimes it does. But smart business owners don’t wait for people to leave reviews. They ask them.
Method 4: The Rare CEO/Owner/Founder Email
When your startup was brand new, it probably made a lot of sense to communicate with prospects and clients directly—especially if you were your only employee at the time. But as your business continues to grow and you hire more people to help you with all the tasks you used to manage on your own, you should consider phasing yourself out of most of the direct communication that happens with clients. There are, of course, exceptions that should be made from time to time—like when your biggest client is waiting on the other line—but if possible, try your hardest to only communicate with customers and prospects when you really want specific feedback from them.
Method 5: The Visible Phone Number Hack
With so many other great ways to communicate with customers these days, it can be tempting to hide your company’s phone number from prospects and customers, or even get rid of your office phones altogether. But you’d be surprised to learn how many SaaS and online companies are putting phone numbers back on their websites. Why? Because as it turns out, talking to people on the phone can be a pretty effective way to get feedback and boost conversions. If your numbers weren’t where they needed to be last quarter and you’re looking for a much-needed boost, give the Visible Phone Number Hack a try.
Method 6: The Net Promoter Score
You might not have realized it at the time, but you’ve probably answered a Net Promoter Score (NPS) Survey before. The Net Promoter Score is a simple way to find out how loyal your customers are, and how willing they are to recommend your company to one of their friends. Based on their answers, the people who answer NPS surveys are put into one of three buckets: the Promoters, the Passives, and the Detractors. The test is meant to teach you more about your customers and your company. It’s a simple tool for fueling future growth.
Method 7: The Exit Interview
Seeing a customer leave is never a fun experience. When unhappy customers leave, you have to be able to put aside any personal feelings you might have and recognize the situation as an opportunity to learn. If you want to improve customer experience and retention over time at your business, you should make a habit of conducting exit interviews with customers who have made the decision to walk away.
What other methods would you add to this list? Leave your suggestions below as a comment!