Customer feedback can offer significant insight. It allows you to identify what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. It’s how you see what you need to change about your products, services, and processes to better serve your customers and clients. And, it gives you a glimpse into your target audience’s mind so you can create new offerings that meet their needs, wants, and expectations.
Customer feedback is essential to establishing quality assurance. It can help a company increase customer retention and build lasting consumer relationships. But there is only one problem – customer feedback isn’t always easy to acquire, with survey fatigue being a real issue. Still, our study finds that audiences aren’t always eager to provide their opinions about a business, product, or service. You need to employ strategic methods to collect valuable feedback about your business.
To gain insight into how to solicit useful feedback from customers, we surveyed 1,000 customers to discover what works best when trying to get clientele to share their opinions and thoughts.
Who’s Getting Customers to Talk?
Our research showed that some businesses may have a more difficult time collecting customer feedback than others. It may not necessarily have to do with the tactics or strategies used to generate reviews. Some industries simply generate more feedback than others.
The industries with the customers who provide the most feedback are mobile communications (27 percent of customers have provided feedback), retail (26 percent), cable and satellite providers (25 percent), and consumer electronics (19 percent).
Industries receiving the least feedback were household and personal products (6 percent), insurance carriers (10 percent), and drug stores (10 percent).
Industry may have more of an influence over a consumer’s likelihood to provide feedback than their satisfaction with the industry. Of the industries with the most reviews, half were those with high consumer satisfaction (retail and consumer electronics) and half were industries with low consumer satisfaction (mobile communications and cable and satellite providers).
It’s not necessarily satisfaction or dissatisfaction that drives feedback, however. Some industries simply seem to generate more reviews than others.
Does Sentiment Drive Engagement?
When asked to provide feedback, customers are more likely to respond than not respond. Forty-six percent are willing to offer feedback if it doesn’t take too much time. Another 9 percent are willing to provide feedback even if it is relatively extensive.
One key to getting customers to provide feedback seems to be keeping the questions to a minimum. Responders like short formats. Almost three-quarters of responders (74 percent) prefer providing feedback through a quick online survey. A quick rating, like the Uber star system, is most likely to get responses.
When feedback surveys are too long, it will push away respondents even if they initially intend to complete the form. Sixty-seven percent of respondents have abandoned a customer survey before completing it.
Other feedback formats that can deter respondents include email feedback (preferred by 13 percent), online chat (5 percent), and automated phone calls (3 percent).
The type of feedback request seems to have more of an impact on the probability of a customer providing feedback than their overall sentiment regarding the industry itself.
What Went Wrong?
Our survey highlighted the importance of collecting customer feedback and making necessary adjustments to resolve issues within an organization. We learned that when customers dislike or hate a company, they are fairly likely to take their business elsewhere without offering the brand an explanation for why they are leaving.
Forty percent of men and 33 percent of women said they would take their business elsewhere without providing feedback if they disliked or hated a particular business.
Our survey also uncovered the situations and qualities most likely to lead a customer to turn their nose up at a business.
How Do Customers Prefer to Give Feedback?
When it comes to getting customers to offer feedback, it’s important to consider both timing and survey method. Customers prefer to receive feedback solicitations at certain times and through specific formats.
Customers generally like to provide feedback once a complaint has been resolved. They’re also likely to provide feedback through a survey after a live chat. On the lower end of preferences, consumers don’t typically enjoy leaving feedback directly on a website or in exchange for a contest entry.
When they do provide feedback, customers again show that they want it to be short and sweet. Most respondents prefer a quick poll or a one-question survey.
Customer Feedback Best Practices
With the insights gathered from our survey, we created a few best practices to keep in mind as you create your next customer feedback strategy.
Ask for feedback right away. Customers like to provide feedback shortly after their brand experience. So ask for feedback:
- Right after a live chat experience.
- Immediately after a complaint resolution.
- Shortly after a purchase.
Make it easy for customers to provide feedback. More than half of customers are willing to do so. They are even more likely to offer their opinions when it doesn’t require much work on their part.
Customers overwhelmingly prefer to provide feedback through a quick online survey, so launch a plan that:
- Emails review surveys directly to customers.
- Offers a one-click feedback system.
- Doesn’t ask a lot of open-ended questions.
Set expectations based on industry. It’s important to set proper benchmarks while launching a campaign or strategy. As you set your feedback initiatives in motion, consider your industry and the rate that your customer typically provides feedback to set response rate expectations. Also, if you know customers in your industry don’t typically leave feedback, further simplify the process to increase your chances of getting responses.
Don’t solicit feedback only when you think you’re performing poorly. Industries that have positive customer sentiment receive almost as much feedback as industries that have a negative customer sentiment. So collecting feedback shouldn’t be a priority just for brands that feel they are not meeting customer expectations. Brands with happy customers can also effectively collect and use feedback to continue to refine and improve.
Make collecting customer reviews a part of your ongoing process. Collecting feedback shouldn’t be a one-time strategy or campaign. It should be a perpetual priority. Failing to meet customer expectations can quickly drive away customers, so your business should always be focused on collecting and reflecting on reviews to keep your customers satisfied.
Conscientiously considering customer feedback is essential to the success of your brand. It’s how you retain customers, gain insight into your business, and create plans for the future.
This is where Customer Thermometer comes in with services that stop survey fatigue and make it easy for your customers to tell you how they feel. Visit our Quick Start Guide today to find out more.
We surveyed 1,000 people in the United States to find out about their consumer experiences, survey fatigue and tendencies to provide company feedback.
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