When you run a successful business, your customers have stories and experiences to share about your company. Their feedback can provide valuable ideas for improvement and reassurance about what you’re doing right. But it can be difficult to access this valuable information without taking an intentional approach to collecting it. How can you ask customers for reviews in a way that’s efficient, effective, and provides the feedback you need?
In our experience, it’s best to do so with a plan, armed with the right questions and tools to gather the data you need. This strategic approach can help your team make the most of customer feedback and that the information you gather does, in fact, help your business grow.
Make a Plan
Before you ask customers for reviews, take some time to develop an intentional plan. The most important piece of this step is determining what you want to gain from gathering customer feedback:
- Are you curious about how a particular product is performing?
- Do you want to know if customers are happy with the service they are receiving?
- Are you ready to take action on a known customer pain point but unsure of where to start?
Additionally, consider why you want to gather customer feedback. Is your goal to see how you stack up against competitors or to make changes to your product or process? In other words, decide what action you will take with the data once you have it. Knowing what data you want to gather will impact how you ask customers for reviews.
Ask the Right Questions
Once you know what information you want, you can determine how you are going to ask for it. Asking the right questions is key to garnering the data you need for positive growth.
For example, if you want to know about a specific product, craft open-ended questions that are specifically about that product rather than about the business as a whole.
“Why did you purchase our nighttime moisturizer?” will get you more precise answers than “Why did you purchase our skincare?” Even “Did you like our skincare?” only yields a “yes” or “no” answer, which closes off the conversation as well as your ability to learn more about the customer’s experience.
Finally, only ask questions that are absolutely necessary. Once you have a customer’s attention, it’s hard not to try and glean as much information as possible. However, you’re more likely to collect actionable data if you keep questions short and clear. Focus on getting the information you truly need instead of all the data you could ever possibly desire. After all, you can and should survey customers multiple times to get a broader sense of their overall experience with your business.
Choose the Best Tools
There are many cost-effective tools you can use to effectively ask customers to share their reviews. The ones that are best for your business will depend on your resources, both human and capital, as well as the demographics of the customers you want to reach.
Sending a follow-up email after a purchase or service is an effective way to engage customers. When soliciting feedback via email, use a strong, enticing subject line and consider offering an incentive for participating. Pay attention to your email signature, too. Sending it from a team member instead of “Customer Service” will yield better results and provide a personal touch.
Sharing polls on social media is an effective, efficient, and even fun way to get your customers involved in sharing feedback. The polls that perform best are short, sweet and to the point.
With higher open rates than email, SMS messaging is one of the most powerful ways to request customer feedback. Many people are never more than a few feet from their phone, meaning they will see your text in real time and may reply just as quickly. Several of our clients use survey platforms such as Loyalty Loop or Delighted to capture customer feedback after a service call or other customer interaction. These platforms also offer the opportunity to track customer satisfaction over time through a Net Promotor Score data point.
Feedback Buttons and Forms
Customers may want to leave reviews on their own terms. To facilitate this, you can add feedback options to your website or blog. On a website, an easily accessible feedback form allows testimonials to be shared at any time. Similarly, placing a “Was this helpful?” button at the bottom of a blog post can tell you if your content is relevant to your audience.
More Pro Tips
Your customers are your most valuable asset; without them, you don’t have a business. With this in mind, be sure to thank them for their feedback. And don’t be overly concerned about negative reviews. Addressing these in a polite and professional manner will demonstrate to other customers that you’re willing to engage when something goes wrong. Simple, effective communication can go a long way in turning an unhappy customer into one that gives you rave reviews.
Get Actionable Customer Feedback That Works
Green Apple Strategy uses responsive, well-designed tools to help our clients gather and analyze essential data points. If you need more insight into your customer experience, our team can provide you with the right data to make key decisions. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you gather customer feedback in a way that positively impacts your business.