Listening to your customers is extremely valuable when you want to improve your business, but a lot of businesses seem to miss the mark or completely ignore their customer base.
Whether you have an established business or are just starting out, there will always be something new to learn. We’ll be going over ways you can reach out to customers to collect their feedback about your products, website, or advertising.
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1. User Testing
User testing is one of the most important methods for collecting customer feedback. User testing provides us with a considerable number of wins within revenue optimization. It involves targeting a certain demographic while getting them to complete tasks on your website.
You create these tasks to find out how your customers navigate your website, what they see first, if they miss anything, what they think about certain products, and other key observations.
You should already have a general idea of who you are targeting for your business. If you don’t, then you can check your Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, or analytics of other advertising platforms to see which demographic is interested in your products.
Don’t be too specific in your tasks. Sometimes you want to see how customers find products or find information about products. Always listen to what they have to say and take notes about what they’re doing. Be careful since they might say one thing but do another.
It’s extremely important to run user-testing sessions on mobile and desktop. According to Statista, around 50% of web traffic is on mobile and the percentage has held fairly steady from 2017 to the present.
There are many platforms that offer user testing, including UserTesting, TryMyUI, and Userbrain. The starting prices for these platforms vary from $19.99 to $99.99 per month. If you’re just starting out, I recommend Userbrain as it is the least costly of the three.
I also recommend having your friends and family help you out.
Note: For more information on doing effective user testing, read User Testing: The Massively Underutilized Holy Grail of Increasing Your Shopify Store’s Conversion Rate (on the BGS blog).
2. Customer Surveys
You might be saying to yourself, “I don’t want to go out and survey a bunch of people.” Well, times have changed—you don’t have to go out! You can now survey customers on any page of your website or through email without having to leave your house. Amazing!
In my opinion, surveys are highly underrated. They’re not only cost effective but can also give you a sense of the general opinion—from the target audience—of your ecommerce business.
One of the best ways to find issues or problems on your website is to create a post-purchase survey. This is offered to customers after they’ve finished purchasing something on your website. Having the survey at the end of the buying process, after the customer has purchases, makes it less intrusive and won’t have a negative impact on customer purchases. Asking simple questions like “What almost stopped you from purchasing?” or “Do you have any unanswered questions?” can provide you with extremely valuable feedback on issues or challenges your customers may have faced.
If you’re going to place a survey before a purchase has been made, I recommend incentivizing it with a percentage discount coupon. Customers with an incentive like this are more likely to fill out this survey and see it as a bonus rather than a distraction.
Another option is to deliver a survey via email. This allows you to contact your existing customer base and see what they have to say. I also recommend incentivizing these emails. Not only will it increase the number of surveys completed, but it could also help you get valuable sales. That’s a win-win in my book.
There are a few platforms that can do this. Klaviyo is great for email marketing and can easily run a survey to your email audience. Lucky Orange is another great platform that allows you to place surveys anywhere on your site.
Creating a poll/survey in Lucky Orange
Reviews (Amazon, Website)
I personally can’t take credit for this one as one of our top revenue optimization experts, Casey Brown, taught me this amazing feedback hack.
Most of the products you’re going to sell can be found in some form or another on Amazon. Whether you’re looking at your own or a competitor’s product listing, the reviews you find there can help you solve issues customers might have with your products. This is also great if you want to enter a market. You can improve upon your competitor’s products by just reading their customer reviews. For example, if a customer is complaining about dropping a watch in a pool (after which it stopped working), you can create a waterproof watch and beat out your competitor.
Take into account the reviews you get on your website as well. Looking at both the good and the bad reviews helps you to better understand your products. You should also be posting some lower-rated reviews on your website, which helps build trust (and be sure to reply to these lower-rated reviews with answers).
Good reviews can be a great way to find out what people love best about your products. It can also help you determine the unique selling propositions of your products and highlight them for use with future customers on your website.
Bad reviews are also great because they can help you improve your product or customer service. Bad reviews can also tell you what issues customers are having so that you can fix them.
Most ecommerce websites have some form of review app. I recommend Judge.me for Shopify.
Good and bad Amazon reviews
This isn’t really customer feedback, but you can also help your business operations a lot by listening to certain experts.
Experts have usually worked in their field and have tested and tried things that can help you improve your business. Their expertise can keep you from making costly mistakes while learning these lessons on your own. That is why getting expert feedback is extremely valuable for anything that you do. Finding a great mentor can also boost your learning pace.
This is why I recommend that, if you already have an established website, you get an expert to review and audit it. This provides valuable feedback on your products, your website, the underlying issues these products could have, and/or possible tests you may want to run in order to boost revenue.
At BGS, we offer an in-depth store audit. We have an expert review your website and provide you with a lengthy document suggesting possible issues and changes to your website based on our years of user data. I recommend that you check it out here.
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The customer service team is there not only to handle customers but also to record any customer issues and pass them along to people who can address them. I can’t say this enough: talking to a customer service representative about the common issues customers are having or questions they regularly ask can provide you with great insight.
This helps you find issues and can also help your customer service reps as well. For example, if a lot of customers are asking if you offer free shipping—and you do, but they just aren’t seeing it—consider revising that messaging to clarify and also moving it where customers can see it. This reduces the number of questions your customer service reps get and, hopefully, will also boost your sales.
If you have an online chat or phone service, you should be recording customers’ questions and problems. Your customer service team should then go through all of them to find common issues and then report them to you or someone else who can address the issues weekly or monthly.
Having great communication and cohesion across all your business teams will help them further improve your business.
Social Media Advertising and Posts
This is quite similar to the points made about customer service. Advertising on social media provides you with quality feedback that comes from the top of your funnel, not from customers who have already purchased.
You can discover why customers aren’t buying, what questions aren’t addressed on your product pages, and other valuable feedback that you might not be able to find within your website.
Whoever is replying to customer comments on social media ads or posts should also be recording common questions, issues, and positive comments. Then they should hand this information to the team that can address these issues and/or they can highlight these value propositions.
Unlike post-purchase surveys, which target customers who’ve already bought, social media comments that you’ve recorded can help you understand the customers who haven’t purchased at all.
Google Your Business
Sometimes the best place to find honest, quality feedback is just to google your business or products. You can use “[your business name] reviews” to see what comes up in your search results.
When feedback about your website or product comes from another website, customers will trust it a lot more because they believe it won’t be biased. If you find negative feedback about your business in the search results, I suggest you respond to those issues and take into consideration the feedback that’s being given.
Obviously, if you’re a new business, this won’t be effective at all. But you can see what customers are saying about potential competitors so that you don’t make the same mistakes they have.
Just Do It!
I highly recommend that, at minimum, you do some user testing and speak to your customer service team about common issues and questions customers have had. That kind of feedback makes it a lot easier to figure out the potential problems your customers are facing on your website.
Having multiple ways to collect customer feedback is also very helpful.
Listening to your customers and providing a seamless experience for them is what separates an amazing business from an average one.
Clement, J. (2020). Share of global mobile website traffic 2015–2020. Statista.