The Best Ways to Gather Customer Feedback in 2018

the best ways to gather customer feedback in 2018

The Top Tools to Gather Real-Time Customer Feedback in 2018

When working in any service industry, customer feedback plays an important role. It provides you with useful information on how to improve your services, how to introduce changes to your offerings and operations, as well as the satisfaction level of your end-customers.

With leveraging real-time feedback in mind, it is essential that you define a clear goal on how to use this feedback once you have it. You need to ask yourself what you will do with the collected data and which part of the end-user experience you are looking to improve. Though how you collect data has everything to do with the quality of the insights you obtain from your customers, and timing is everything. Remember, your ability to act appropriately (and profitably) on real-time feedback is only as strong as the data you receive.

Here are some of the best ways to gather customer feedback based on our experience as a leader in real-time feedback solutions.

Email

Despite the many other forms of digital communication out there, email still remains an important and professional tool. And unsurprisingly, email is great at gathering customer feedback. Nevertheless, because of the somewhat impersonal nature and volume of email received, only about 2% of those who receive it will also fill out the questionnaire. With this in mind, the golden rule of feedback using email is to make it as easy as possible.

Related content: 10 Examples of Feedback Survey Subject Lines That Will Get Your Customers’ Attention

No matter how complex the situation is, design your questionnaire to be brief and to the point. As a general rule of thumb, the fewer questions you ask, the more responses you will get. Likewise, take into account the fact that many people only skim over your questions, so be sure to make it clear what you are asking feedback on and do not leave any room for interpretation. People are also more likely to respond if you mention what this feedback will help improve.

Related content: 15 Questions You Need to Ask on Your Next Customer Feedback Survey

Digital Kiosk Stations

Digital kiosk stations are a great way to receive real-time feedback from your end-customers while they are still present in your facility. In general, these stations are nothing more than mobile tablets fixed to a stand and where passers-by can leave their impressions. Like with email, digital kiosk stations need to provide a ‘frictionless’ experience to the user by keeping the questions short and to the point.

The main advantage of these kiosks is that users provide their feedback while the experience is taking place, giving you some of the most accurate results possible. In order to collect the optimal amounts of feedback, however, you will have to consider where to place the kiosk. You should always try to make it as visible as possible, in an area that is not obstructed by poles or other objects, and where your users are most likely to pass by. In a cafeteria, for example, the best place to put your digital kiosk station is where lines usually form or at the exit door.

SMS

Text message based feedback is effective because most customers own a smart phone that they carry with them at all times. SMS surveys are especially effective to measure customer satisfaction immediately following a transaction.

Whether it’s how a customer feels about a new offering at a dining location or a checkout experience at a coffee bar or bookstore, soliciting feedback immediately and in a way that is easiest for a customer to respond can produce invaluable results. SMS is instant and a tried-and-true tool that doesn’t show any signs of fading into obscurity any time soon.

And with more and more companies offering online app ordering capabilities that essentially allow a customer to conduct their shopping online and limit their human interaction in favor of efficiency, collecting real-time feedback in the form of SMS is only poised to increase.

Related content: Why Universities Need SMS to Enhance CX

Direct Interviews

Sometimes the most direct approach is best. Sit down with your customers and get their opinion. This is an effective method to solicit quality feedback, as well as increase customer engagement and connection. You can conduct these as one-on-one interviews or focus groups. This method will not apply to the majority of your customers, but it will provide you with the most comprehensive answers.

When conducting these interviews, try and focus on the general attitude of the interviewee and understand how they approach each problem. Ask them about what aspects they disliked about your service and get their input on how they would remedy the situation. Likewise, ask about what features they liked and why. Always look for non-verbal cues, as these will show you how uncomfortable they are with the questions.

The downside of direct interviews is they can be more costly than the other methods presented above. Therefore, you will want to reserve this type of feedback collection for when the potential changes you are looking to make based on customer feedback are especially important. Keep in mind that the results of a one-on-one interview can be affected by the professionalism and experience of the interviewer. Nevertheless, the data provided will present you with valuable insights.

Conclusion

Customer feedback will provide you with the necessary information on how to improve your services by giving your users exactly what they wanted. Depending on your business, be it a college auxiliary service, an event planner, or a theme park administrator, knowing what your customers think about your services is information worth having.

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About the author

Johann Leitner is the founder and president of Touchwork, a marketing management software company.