Customer Feedback is a valuable source of data and a perfect method to improve your customer satisfaction – it has already been established. (Not yet convinced? Check out this article on ux testing to see for yourself.)
However, the questions that probably lodged itself in the backs of many minds are “How do I start? How actually can I benefit from it? How can I use it?”
Well, I’ve heard the answer „do what you feel is right”, but for some that doesn’t lead anywhere. Sometimes you just lack inspiration or simple ideas to push you forward and to actually apply the knowledge you have gathered from your customers’ feedback in order to increase the customer satisfaction. One of the other problems is the fact that managing the data coming from voice of customer can be rather difficult, and if that data is mismanaged, it often is simply wasted.
Well that is one heap of problems, but worry not, because we are coming to aid you in this process. With our article, we will show you how to use and properly operate your customer feedback. Go make some tea or coffee and sit down with us to listen to some good tips.
First of all, simply deciding that you want to conduct a VoC study is not enough. This can lead to the process where you just collect data and do not act upon it in anyway.
To successfully begin with your customer feedback you need to find your focus. Ask yourself “what exactly do I want to achieve?” and then put the answer to this question as your main theme. Maybe you want to improve the customer experience, maybe you want to find out what trends are currently present on the market, just decide on and follow that principle. Once you find your focus, you will be able to correctly apply the data you’ve gathered.
Sending surveys and feedback request to everyone might be your go-to idea at first, but you should consider what results that practice will actually bring. Random people mean random answers.
Do not ask regular users who are just browsing how your shopping cart is working for them when they never used it. Firstly, they will feel that they are being bugged about an issue they have no connection with, secondly if they do decide to provide an answer, it simply won’t be relevant to you. Narrow your groups which will be questioned or surveyed.
Another tip is to actually ask for feedback people you have some connection with. Our practice at UserPeek is to always to talk to our clients about their experiences with our tool, because our customer’s satisfaction is most important. We use the gathered knowledge to improve our service. Not only are contacts a reliable source, but they also have a higher chance to provide you with valuable insights and will be more inclined to actually provide an answer at all.
Be brief and clear
Once you’ve found your focus, this should be a rather easy thing to do. You need to make yourself clear to your study participants, or else you will find yourself with data that actually does not correspond to the problems you and your users are facing.
When asking questions remember to be clear and straight to the point (and do not over complicate it with language). “What do you not like about our website?” makes people think about a variety of things, but none of them could be urgent. Try to ask “What do you find problematic about our shopping cart?” – It narrows the area and asks about specifics, which are easier to answer. To educate yourself more on that matter, read this article and see example questions for surveys.
One other tip is to limit the amount of open-ended questions. People are lazy and coming up with an answer on their own, even if it describes their problems is actually an arduous task. Try to provide some sample answers and make them choose from it – that makes the process quicker and therefore less problematic for your users.
Be quick to act
The worst thing you could do is getting the data and leaving it to rot. If your customers and users are signaling you problems, you need to address them immediately – otherwise they will stay like an open wound for anyone to see. If the problem persist, the returning users might be dissatisfied with your negligence – do not let that happen.
An extra tip is to try to automate the gathering process by engaging your people right after their interactions (but don’t attack them with a huge pop-up right into their faces, try for example e-mail). If they enter the shopping cart, but leave without any purchase whatsoever, ask them right away about the specifics of the process, whether it was confusing or problematic in any way. This displays your engagement and actually might incline people to provide their feedback immediately, as the matter is fresh and still in their memory. Any delays will only decrease the customer satisfaction, so keep that in mind.
Know the data
Not only do you need to read the data, but you also need to understand it and consider many surrounding factors. Your customers might be influenced by different factors outside your website or service – from bad mood to specifics like certain technical or situational issues.
Either their personal computer could be at fault because of outdated hardware (“Why are my fonts flickering!?” – “Well, your GeForce 256 is about to die”) or they could be offended by a picture on the website. Causes vary, so be wary to always put them into context. If you decide on performing a very large study, you might be surprised how bigger data can actually provide incredible insight into your users’ experiences. UxBooth provides you with cool info about big data and what results it can yield once in context – it might be a good source of inspiration for you.
Make their life easier
This is the most crucial point of VoC studies. How many times have you stumbled upon a website that made you go “am I back to 1995?” Your users could feel the same with your website. The purpose of VoC is that you can simply find out where you made a mistake.
Ask your customers directly where are they lost and what is the “pain point” they are facing. Thanks to their responses you will quickly pinpoint the area which needs your attention, and in result you will be able to make your customers’ lives easier, thus improving their experiences with your site and increasing customer satisfaction.
I know what you are thinking after reading the previous points: “I’ll just ask them what they want!”
Unfortunately, the most obvious procedure is the worst, because of one simple reason.
“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” – Steve Jobs
The example of Henry Ford, one of the automotive fathers underlines this best. If he were to ask people what they wanted, they would say “faster horses”. The difficulty of achieving that made him think about the problem itself. The transport methods available were not fast enough. Therefore, that is why Ford created the first automobile and solved the problem.
The tip is: Use customer feedback to find out what your customers’ problems are. Innovate on the basis of the problems and do everything to solve them. Trusting that people give you the solution right away is a wrong thing to do – you are the one who should come up with it (or your R&D team, actually). HBR provides a more elaborate explanation on that, so if you want to read more, check them out.
The final word
There it is – a collection of tips for increasing your customer satisfaction with feedback. Try to keep them in mind, as they have been tried out and led to good results. If you get a feeling that getting customer feedback is an actually too much of a hassle, think of the benefits. You get great insight into the minds of your customers and users, in other words people you created your service for. Brace yourself for some unwelcoming words, it happens all the time. But take them to heart and do everything to fix your mistakes. Your customers will surely appreciate that.