Gathering customer feedback is an essential step in the process of improving your business. To create a positive user experience and improve customer satisfaction, businesses must have an effective means of learning what their customers like and don’t like about their product or service.
In this article, we explore why you should be collecting customer feedback, how to ask for feedback with emails and how to use that feedback to optimize the customer experience.
What is customer feedback?
Customer feedback is insight people provide about their experience with a product or service. This information helps businesses understand their user experience from the customers’ perspective and identify where they can improve.
Whether customer feedback responses are negative or positive, any feedback is good. Positive feedback shows what your clients like and what you should do more of, whereas negative feedback gives you the opportunity to improve and optimize your product or service.
Why should you ask for customer feedback?
Here are some of the main reasons you should ask for customer feedback.
To show your customers they are valued
When you ask your customer base for feedback, you show that you value their opinion and care about their experience with your product or service. This direct communication makes customers feel important and improves customer loyalty.
To understand what your customer needs
Successful businesses eliminate pain points for their customers and solve their problems. The most direct way to determine customer pain points is to ask. Collecting customer feedback allows businesses to manage these valuable insights at scale.
For example, if many clients reply that they are pleased with a product but feel the pricing is too high, you’ll see that there is an opportunity to boost sales by better aligning the price point with the target market.
To shape your strategy
Once you have this valuable feedback, you can create a strategy to improve your product, service or customer experience.
Based on positive feedback, you can understand which aspects of your business to promote, as you know they are relevant, desirable and beneficial to your target audience.
Any negative feedback provided by unhappy customers can be considered “actionable feedback”, or feedback you can act on to improve your product or service.
To collect marketing material
Detailed feedback tells you how customers would describe their experience with your business in their own words.
The language and phrases your customers can then help you to describe and promote your product in a way that resonates with them..
For example, if you have a new product launch you’re ready to promote, you can explicitly state that your new product solves the exact issue your last round of feedback identified, with the words your customers used.
To collect genuine testimonials
Feedback provided in customer surveys can come across as more natural than quotes provided when the customer is asked for a testimonial directly.
That’s because, when asked for a testimonial, customers might tell you what they think you want to hear, whereas feedback is usually focused on a particular part of the user experience and speaks to a specific pain point solved by the product. You can take these snippets from your feedback and highlight them as outstanding examples of your product or service.
How to ask for feedback in emails
There are various methods, listed here, for collecting customer feedback and you can expect different results from each.
Giving star ratings after engaging with a website or digital product
Rating customer support services and team member performance
Writing online reviews on websites such as Trustpilot, Yelp, Google or Tripadvisor
Reviewing a product or service for a website as part of a follow-up after purchase
Reviewing a product or service on social media channels, such as Facebook or LinkedIn
Providing feedback via email
If you decide to ask for feedback via email, (which is one of the most wide-reaching customer feedback collection methods), keep these five tips in mind:
1. Target the right customers
Sending feedback surveys to all of your subscribers at once will result in a low response rate. Newer email subscribers who haven’t yet experienced your business offering aren’t able to give useful feedback. You need to use behavioral segmentation to target your recent customers or your regular, loyal customer base.
2. Ask at the right time
Asking for feedback too early in an email campaign can lead potential customers to unsubscribe, as you’re asking for something without first giving them something.
Start by sending informational emails, promotional emails and newsletters emails to develop a relationship with your audience. After some time has passed (e.g. a few months), send a review survey to get feedback.
Another great time to ask for customer feedback is after a customer has engaged with your support team, as they are engaged and thinking about your product.
The first scenario leverages Net Promoter Score (NPS) campaigns, while the latter leverages Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT). NPS gauges relationship sentiment from a high-level, and CSAT gauges specific experiences on a day-to-day basis.
3. Ask the right questions
When writing your feedback request emails, try to ask specific questions and phrase them as if you are having a face-to-face conversation. Here are some examples you might use if you’re gathering feedback on your email marketing.
What encouraged you to sign up for this newsletter?
Have you experienced any problems you think we should work on?
Do you like the new structure of our newsletter? If not, why?
The key to getting quality answers is to ask short and insightful questions that get to the point quickly.
4. Make it easy to respond
If you need detailed feedback and real experiences, you might want to ask your email subscribers to respond with a long email in their own words. However, you’re unlikely to receive as many responses as you need with this type of email.
Survey emails have a higher response rate so you’ll be able to collect feedback in higher volumes. That’s because a survey email is far easier and quicker for customers to engage with. You’ll gather a lot more metrics and quantitative data (as well as short qualitative replies) in a shorter period of time with this feedback process.
5. Optimize your email format and content
To get enough useful feedback, you need plenty of people to open your email and engage with it. To increase your email open rates, use a feedback email template that makes it easy for your customers to provide good feedback.
Keep these guidelines in mind:
Create clickable email subject lines and personalize them using the customer’s name
Use a feedback email template with a simple design and a clear call to action (CTA)
Ask both specific (closed) and open-ended questions
Have a defined purpose behind each question you ask
Tell your customers why their input is important
Explain to them how you intend to make use of their answers
Running a successful business, Shopify online store or ecommerce brand requires a robust customer feedback collection system. In most cases, this will involve using customer feedback emails to ask your target audience about their user experience.
Strive to be genuine in your feedback collection efforts and prove to your customers that you value their insight by making changes according to their feedback.