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Problems with customer feedback

You want customer feedback, you know it’s valuable and you need it to better your business. But you’re experiencing problems getting it. You can’t get enough of it, or you don’t know what to do with the feedback you are getting.

Maybe you’ve invested in a new customer feedback platform or you’ve created a great survey yet despite sending it out to dozens or even hundreds of people, no one's biting. This is a common problem that many businesses experience. Despite this, very few are willing to share the solutions to this problem.

As a customer feedback website, we run into this issue very frequently. People invest in the platform, create great surveys and send it out to their customers via their email provider. They wait, and they wait and only a few responses trickle in. So how do you overcome this issue? What is everyone doing wrong and how can we implement a course of action that fixes the issue? In this article, we’ll explore the common issues with gathering customer feedback and the solutions to each.

I have a problem finding people to ask

You might not have a database of customers, a good idea of who buys from you or the transactions are fleeting and you don’t capture their contact information. In these cases it might seem impossible to gather feedback from these people - the good news is that it isn’t.

Instead of you reaching out to them you simply need to make your surveys accessible to them through other means. A prime example of this might be adding a QR code to a receipt, packaging, or a point of sale talker near your till. By making your feedback survey accessible it doesn’t matter that you’re not capturing their details, you’re making it possible for them to still impart their experience to you.

If you have a sales team but their records are in a notebook then consider upgrading to a CRM. There are many free options available, like HubSpot, and you can start to store your customers there. You can even ask your sales team to send feedback links to people when they close a deal. There are several methods you can use to find people to fill out your surveys, you just have to make them accessible.

The real art here is understanding who you want feedback from. You might want to ask your customers and see how they found the buying process. That’s brilliant. You might want to survey people that didn’t buy from you and find out why. You might want to survey staff and ask what they think of working for you, or suppliers to uncover more about your working relationship. Understanding who is fundamental to uncovering what you’re going to ask them, and how.

Download our free customer feedback strategy guide

I have a problem sending surveys out

If you have a list of people, either customers or people that have interacted with you, staff, suppliers, or anyone then the next hurdle might be working out how you’ll get the surveys out to them.

Email is where many people gravitate towards. It’s quick, it can be done en masse, and you can see open rates and click-through rates with ease. Email is also attractive as platforms like Mailchimp enable you to do it for free. You can also BCC your recipients in a standard Gmail or Outlook web account, which can be good as it looks like it’s coming from a real person.

Less common routes for sending out customer feedback surveys include SMS/Text or via Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp. Almost all of these options are free and some can be sent out to many people at once. Text/SMS, for example, can go out to many people in one go. Review Tui makes this easy as you can create a short link in your review Campaign to distribute however you see fit.

It’s good to link your feedback sending with your sales or customer service process in some way. By making the feedback gathering part of your existing process you’re not encouraging people to leave one platform to go to another, you’re providing them with a seamless journey.

I have a problem getting people to take my surveys

This is a really common one and it can be really frustrating for businesses looking to gather customer feedback. The good news is that there are a few common symptoms that cause this, and you can slowly work through them to find out what’s going wrong for you. These include:

  • Using the wrong first question - asking for contact information can put people off.
  • The survey is too long - a few answered questions are better than dozens being ignored!
  • The questions aren’t clear - half the word count, and if you can’t then maybe the question is too complex.
  • Lack of incentive - could a monthly draw or small reward increase your submissions?
  • People forget about you - if you leave it too long after the moment of impact people won’t remember their experience.

The solutions to some of these are clear but one of the key reasons you’re not getting enough feedback is because you’re asking for it at the wrong time.

You need to ensure you’re requesting feedback when someone has their experience in mind and that they want to give you feedback. In most cases, people will give feedback only if they’re very happy with their experience, or very unhappy. Both are very valuable, but it would also be good to find out why someone thought your service or product was not exemplary.

I don’t know what questions to ask

Analysis paralysis is a real thing. And you might only have one opportunity to ask that customer about their experience with you so you want to make sure you ask all the questions you want answers to.

The actual problem is being overwhelmed with choices. With all of the questions in your head screaming to be asked, how do you pick one or two as the main ones? The real way to overcome this is to just ask one. What’s the one most important question you need to know as a business to improve? This might be a simple rating question - “On a scale of 1 to 5 how would you rate your experience with us?”. Or it might be more specific - “What is one thing we could do to make your experience with us better?”

Asking one question is better than asking none and if you ask too many you might get no response at all.

I have a problem responding to feedback

Responding to negative and positive feedback is difficult. When you get good feedback you might want to say more than ‘thanks’ but the words escape you. When you get negative feedback you might not know how to address it in a constructive way.

Because responding constructively to negative feedback is tricky we decided to take a more focused look at it. As a result, we’ve written a blog focused on how to respond to negative feedback constructively and without creating more of an issue for you to deal with.

In terms of dealing with positive feedback, it’s important to thank the individual for taking the time to give you the insights they’ve provided. If they only leave a score and no text to work on you should still thank them for the effort they’ve put in. One thing you shouldn’t do is ignore feedback or reviews.

I don’t know what to do with our feedback

This is more common than you would think! Many businesses tick the box when they get feedback but don’t have a process in place for assessing it and acting upon it.

It seems unusual to work so hard to get feedback and not use it when it arrives but many organisations simply don’t know how to. Are one person’s comments an indication of a wider sentiment or just one person’s opinion? If you’re already doing something right then how do you improve upon it? Positive feedback can seem less valuable than negative feedback because it doesn’t give you a place to improve upon.

This is true, to an extent, but what it does do is reinforce what you’re doing well.

When someone mentions what they like they reinforce that it was something that surprised them, or it’s something they value in their interaction with you. You can use this feature in your sales material, marketing, or to highlight as a key expectation of your team in staff training.

In summary, there are several problems with customer feedback. From not knowing the right questions to ask to not wanting to feel like you’re pestering your clients. However, by overcoming these problems and working to get more customer feedback you can unlock future growth in your business.

To begin gathering more customer feedback, why not try Review Tui? To sign up for updates and be notified of our public launch simply click on the button below.

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