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How to get better responses on your customer feedback forms

Collecting customer feedback can be challenging, especially when your response rate isn’t as high as you’d like. While analytics and metric scores are hugely helpful for understanding general customer sentiment, sometimes you need to know exactly how customers feel, why, and how to influence them.

If you’re wanting to get valuable feedback from your customers, you need to tap into customer behaviour and the motivations behind them, not just the quantifiable data. Fortunately, there are 5 ways to do this that you can start today, so let’s jump right into it. 

Optimise your surveys

Surveys are the backbone of feedback gathering since they're easy to set up, send, analyse, and scale. The two main ways to design surveys are long-form surveys distributed with a link and short-form surveys, which are usually in the form of website or in-app popups.

If you want to improve your customer feedback strategy and results, here’s what you need to work on: 

Keep your surveys short 

Customers don’t want to spend 20 tedious minutes filling out responses to a survey so if you can create surveys with concise, clear questions you’re more likely to hook them in. In fact, fewer shorter questions tend to get more insightful responses too. So while your response rate rises, the insights that come with that will increase as well. 

As a general rule, we recommend surveys of around 5 questions. Any more than that will overwhelm customers and make them lose interest. 

Only ask about relevant topics 

If you aren’t being specific and relevant with your questions, customers will feel like the whole thing is a waste of their time. Every question you ask them should allow them to share valuable insights, not just any vague statement. You need to show that the responses customers give will lead to the specific changes they want. That way, they see that taking the time to answer will benefit them too. You'll also have less irrelevant information to sift through and more meaningful insights to take advantage of. 

Proactively apply the information you gather

If you don’t act on the information customers share, they’ll see that their input is ignored and their time was wasted. Instead, put workflows in place to use the data proactively so that customers see their input is valued. 

Incorporate on-page feedback 

Even if your surveys are top-notch and you’re gathering plenty of quality data, there’s always more you could be missing. Your customers have insights that you can only get through them, so you need to give them the space and opportunity to share them. This is especially important for smaller issues like technological glitches because without providing a way for them to communicate about it, chances are they’ll just turn to another brand and the problem will continue. 

Surveys can help to catch these problems but only if you happen to ask the right question at the right time, so it’s better to use free text feedback boxes on each page of your website or app. These boxes are commonly found at the bottom of a page and give users the ability to type anything they think is relevant to that page. For example, it will typically ask “How can we make this page better for you?” The purpose of these free-text boxes is to give customers a quick, easy, and immediately relevant way to share their thoughts. 

Key factors of on-page feedback include: 

  • The box must be accessible on every page.
  • Should not hinder the primary function of the page. 
  • Responses must be sent to the appropriate employee for follow-up action.
  • It should collect the account name, URL, and browser region. 

Reach out directly

One of the most underrated forms of feedback is reaching out and asking customers directly. You can’t understand your customers based on market research and assumptions of your broader target audience because each customer is unique. That’s why talking to them one-on-one can open up a whole range of new information. 

Surveys and forms are incredibly helpful, but nothing will give you the insights and depth of understanding that a personal conversation will. By contacting people in person or over the phone, you can really get to know what motivates them and what their pain points are. 

Understanding individual user behaviour

There are web analytics products that will give you a sense of what the total usage of your webpage is but wouldn’t it be helpful to see what individual users are doing? Fortunately, you can use customer analytics, you can identify why certain things are happening and why they are coming across particular problems. This is far more efficient than making assumptions based on overall website analytics. Depending on the analytics tool, you can track what a customer’s behaviour is and the motivations behind them, as well as predict future behaviours. This way, you can ensure your webpage and products are meeting their expectations throughout the buyer’s journey.  

Objective testing for usability

One of the best things you can do to improve your website or app is to have it tested by an objective third party. This ensures that anything that isn’t working is caught before it becomes a common issue and can be quickly resolved. 

You can seek out user testers who act like a customer, and flag anything that catches their attention or causes confusion. These insights give a strong indication of what your real customers would experience in that same scenario. User testing is an efficient way to highlight problems immediately before your customers come across them for themselves. In turn, this improves the Customer Experience (CX) and your retention rate.  

Or, even better than that, ask someone from your ideal target audience to try your website. This bootstrap approach to user testing is simple, affordable, relevant, and incredibly effective because it gets straight to the core of how your particular users behave.

Turn customer feedback into growth

Once you start to get more insightful responses from your customers, you can leverage that feedback for growth. The happier your customers, the higher your retention rate will be and the more likely they are to advocate for your brand. By tuning into what your customers have to say, you can encourage more online reviews, reward them for their loyalty, and continue improving the Customer Experience.  

For more advice on how to improve your feedback strategy, Review Tui has a comprehensive guide designed for you. You’ll find practical tips and help to encourage more in-depth responses to level up your customer feedback.  

Download our free customer feedback strategy guide