There are things you can be sure of in this life. You’re going to eat every Thin Mint in the box moments after opening it (or is that just me?). You’re going to love the latest Chainsmokers single (might just be me there too). And your customers have opinions about your product.
In fact, your users are probably seeing a million ways for you to make your product better. The only question is whether you’re getting the message. If not, it may be because you’re not asking, or asking in the right way.
Here are five tips to get you started on the journey toward getting actionable feedback from your customers.
1. Decide on a method
Customer feedback comes in many forms and there are infinite ways to measure it, which is a blessing and a curse. Luckily for you, there are only three industry-standard formats. Learn more about your options by reading What Are CES, NPS, and CSAT? Understanding When to Use Which.
“Perhaps you will want to use a score like CES, NPS, or CSAT to focus your survey,” Martha Brooke told me. Brooke is Chief CX Analyst & Founder of Interaction Metrics, a customer survey, service evaluation, and customer experience planning firm.
“On the other hand, you may want to consider a score that accounts for multiple elements of the customer experience, weighted by what matters most to each customer and their situation. The one number that Interaction Metrics uses to aggregate the many elements of customer experience is QCI [Quality of Customer Interaction] Score,” Brooke said.
“They’ve monitored QCI for over 12 years, and they find that for most companies a score of 91 is the point of diminishing returns – thus, they refer to a QCI Score of 91 and greater as Platinum Level CX and they celebrate this level of success with certifications and trophies. Bottom line: The centralizing method and metric that you use will depend on how you are using your survey data and how actionable it needs to be.”
2. Start with a template
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. And it’s usually easier to start with something and make changes than to stare at a blank page and try to fill it with something.
Starting with a template helps you identify questions you may not have thought to ask and helps you spend less time on design. It also helps you avoid rookie mistakes, like asking your customers whether they’d like a specific feature. As the Intercom Blog points out, they’ll pretty much always say yes. “They haven’t had to make a trade-off between competing priorities. This leads to customers saying they want stuff that they don’t really want.” Instead, a good survey makes users prioritized their wants, by asking, for example, whether customers would prefer stronger, faster, or lighter.
So where are you going to find a template? It depends on your tech.
3. Choose your tech
If your help desk or customer service software comes with any customer feedback functionality, I’d highly recommend starting there. If you don’t know what your software offers, don’t feel bad. Most people aren’t familiar with every feature of every piece of software they use, how could they be? Developers launch new features every day. Just reach out to your software’s customer support and ask them what they have in the way of customer feedback.
For example, Help Scout and LiveAgent both make it easy to collect feedback from your customers with ready-made (yet also customizable) feedback buttons you can put anywhere on your website (See these two and seven other Zendesk alternatives compared). TeamSupport has built-in tools to help you collect and report on customer feedback as well.
The next best thing is to use a tool that integrates with your customer service or help desk software. For example Intercom.io integrates with Zendesk (If you’re a Zendesk user, check out my list of five other free Zendesk integrations).
If you’re going to use a standalone tool, SurveyMonkey offers paying customers more than 100 survey templates designed by pros that you can customize to fit your brand. But anyone can get ideas from viewing a few of their templates here.
4. Time things right
Timing, as they say, is everything. With customer feedback, it’s important to send the right survey at the right time.
Interactions you may want to get feedback on include a live chat conversation, an experience with your self-help center, or a purchase. Be sure you’re sending out the right survey for each interaction, as the questions will pertain to that interaction.
5. Make your survey one people want to complete
The perfect survey is still useless if no one fills it out. SurveyMonkey has some great tips for making sure people actually take your survey. First, make sure your survey is short and sweet. The less time it takes, the more responses you’ll get. Second, harness the power of incentives. Even a small discount or a chance to win something cool can help get more respondents to the thank-you page. Third, if those tips aren’t enough, you can buy access to a targeted audience through SurveyMonkey Audience or other channels.
The Last Thin Mint
Customer satisfaction is marketing and customer support jargon for whether and to what extent a product or service met, failed to meet, or exceeded a user’s expectations. And it’s really important to measure how your customers feel about you. As Kimberly Powell put it for the GetFeedback blog, “Customer happiness ultimately leads to a brand’s success.”
Opportunities to request feedback abound. Ask for it on every page of your website. Ask for it during every customer service interaction. Ask for it on your contact form.
Looking for Customer Service software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Customer Service software solutions.