10 Reasons You Should Ask For Customer Feedback
Customer-Centricity | Industry Savvy

10 Reasons You Should Ask For Customer Feedback

on / by Roel Jansen

We all know that optimizing customer experience is vital for long-term business success, especially in the eCommerce industry where competition is fierce.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ten examples of why and how eCommerce players benefit from listening to their customers.

  1. Combat shopping cart abandonment
  2. Save money by focusing on customer retention
  3. Gain comprehensive insight by enlisting experts for A/B-testing
  4. Catch blind spots before launching
  5. Save time by not reinventing the wheel yourself
  6. Create tailored content based on visitors’ needs
  7. Measure the power of loyalty using NPS
  8. Streamline the redesign process
  9. Prioritize improvement backlog
  10. Optimize for happiness! Being friendly helps.

 

  1. Combat shopping cart abandonment 

The question that keeps every eCommerce director awake at night: shopping cart abandonment. With analytics software platforms like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, you see drop-off rates on a daily basis.

Dozens of visitors make it to the shopping cart, but when they need to pay with their credit card or other online payment solutions, analytic reports show that instead of ordering, they leave your site.

Gain insights into why your customers are abandoning their shopping carts by simply asking them. Wolters Kluwer, for instance, is proactively asking website visitors why they are about to leave just as they are about to exit their shopping carts.

In this way, you find out how to improve the payment methods you offer and the checkout-flow itself.

  1. Save money by focusing on customer retention

It costs 5 to 25 times more money to acquire a new customer than to keep existing ones happy, according to Harvard Business Review. While you are undoubtedly focusing on optimizing your online sales funnel to attract new customers, you shouldn’t forget about the ones you already have.

It’s vital to keep them happy, especially in their ‘log-in environment’. If your site is clearly structured after login and the information is well organized and accessible, your customer is more likely to be satisfied and stay with you.

T-Mobile Netherlands is constantly reviewing feedback their customers submit on ‘My T-Mobile.’ With suggestions and requests for better communication regarding contract renewals, bundle rates and special offers for existing customers, T-Mobile collects constructive, actionable feedback that helps to improve the customer experience.

Besides that, the online team also gets appraisals on a regular basis for their work and how they listen to their customers. Kudos come in for design changes as well as for creative customer loyalty programs that help them stand out from competition.

“T-Mobile experiences increased customer satisfaction due to streamlined handling of feedback,” Margot van Pelt, Web Analyst & Optimization Specialist at T-Mobile.

3. Gain comprehensive insight by enlisting experts for A/B-testing

Usability and conversion optimization go hand-in-hand. The better the user experience is on your landing page at check-out, the more likely users are to convert. While this isn’t new information, it remains crucially important.

With A/B-testing solutions such as Optimizely, you can easily run multiple tests to find out which version performs better. A design variant of a CTA-button (i.e. different color) or adding a simple signup form to a landing page can take a matter of minutes. The statistical results will then provide you with the evidence for which variant to continue using.

Why is customer feedback such a good marriage with A/B-testing? For one, you don’t need to be incredibly creative, constantly coming up with new ideas. Instead, let your customers do it for you. Thanks to free-form text fields on feedback forms, they can provide you with the suggestions that you can then test out.

Another great thing about A/B-testing is that feedback collected can easily be attributed to the different A and B versions. In this way, the statistical evidence not only tells you which is the better strategy, but it also depicts why that is the case.

Build.com, the US’s largest online-only home improvement website, makes use of this great synergy, “Feedback helps me know for certain if I’m identifying the correct problem so I don’t have to take stabs in the dark. I know what the problem is so I can just tackle it and make changes and immediately measure those changes to see if we were able to move the needle — that saves a lot of time,” Chrystal Jaeger, UX/UI Designer & Researcher at Build.com.

  1. Catch blind-spots before launching

We get it. You simply don’t have enough time to test everything. One Dutch insurance company, Centraal Beheer, even makes the bold statement that excellent customer experience is as important as revenue. For them, improving CX is part of everyone’s daily job and it is taken into account all the way from product design (MVP) to customer support and service.

They ensure that as each piece of feedback comes in, it’s directed to the appropriate team so changes happen in the here and now. By integrating customers at each point of the journey, they ensure their needs are heard from the start and avoid costly adjustments down the road. Implementing changes early on avoids unnecessary development spend and catches problems before they’re too costly to implement.

As Thomas van den Berg, UX & CRO Specialist at Centraal Beheer puts it: “Next to the online feedback that we gather through Usabilla, we also gather feedback from our other channels, for example from our usability lab, to make sure that our omnichannel experience is excellent.”

  1. Save time by not reinventing the wheel yourself

So you are constantly trying to optimize your website and make it better. In order to do so, you base your improvements on industry standards, recommendations from UX specialists, blogs, your own experience, and the problematic gut-feeling. Why not listen to what your own users actually want and don’t want to see on your site?

Make your life easier by listening to them and making decisions based on the feedback they give. That’s exactly what car auction website Autotrack.nl does. Users give concrete suggestions for additions to AutoTrack’s search engine (a specific selection of criteria such as transmission or energy label) or for general website improvements.

The same can be said for sustainable transport supplier Scania, who uses our Voice of Customer solution to help them continuously improve customer experience on their digital channels, “Usabilla has enabled us to communicate directly with our users in a much more efficient way than before,” Jonatan Lidström, UX Designer, Scania.

6. Create tailored content based on visitors’ needs

Obviously, as a website owner you have a certain vision about what you want to communicate via your website. You have a team of marketers and product owners at your disposal, but is your website visitor really looking for this type of communication? Or are they visiting to find quick store locations, company return policies or simply checking office opening hours?

For a large international bank like Rabobank, it is important to find that out as well. That’s why Rabobank asks its visitors in different ways what their background is, what the reasons are for their visit and whether they found what they were looking for. Based on the survey outcomes, content is adjusted in a continuous flow.

“At Rabobank we are always looking for better customer engagement. This starts by knowing how our clients are experiencing the products that we deliver. We are constantly looking to improve that interaction,” Fatih Agirman, Business Analyst at Rabobank.

  1. Measure the power of loyalty using NPS

As we nowadays all know, research shows that in most industries there is a strong correlation between a company’s growth rate and the percentage of its customers that are ‘promoters’ – that is, those who say they are extremely likely to recommend the company to a friend or colleague.

Why then wouldn’t you also measure your website’s NPS by simply asking your website visitors what they think? That is what consumer electronics producer Philips does on its corporate website and web shop.

By targeting specific sets of website visitors, the Philips Digital Analytics team is able to measure and analyze the NPS of different target audiences in various stages of the customer experience.

“At Philips we have 55 language market combinations globally, across 27 different languages. Managing customer feedback can easily become lengthy and cumbersome. Therefore it is of key importance to quickly identify the root cause of what needs to be fixed or changed. At Philips we start that process with measuring the web NPS,” Peter Ciepela, former Digital Optimization Lead at Philips.

  1. Streamline the redesign process

Where do you start improving your website when you have around 7 million unique visitors per month? Involve them in the redesign process!

French railway company Voyages SNCF, for instance, allowed its website visitors to test the new prototype website and leave their comments on the design, navigation and personal booking pages. In three months, they collected around 18 thousand feedback items that were then analyzed and used for improvements, making the new experience more connected to the way customers actually want to book their train travel online

  1. Prioritize improvement backlog

We all have this issue: the list of improvements and UX issues seems never-ending. The IT department created its own priority list and your requests for changes are postponed again and again until the next release. How can you overcome this issue and turn the development roadmap into your own hands?

Let your customers speak and come with an evidence-based list of priorities for development. Based on user feedback you can – and should – give certain issues priority. A thorough analysis of user feedback will help you fight for your cause with your IT colleagues.

German Airline Lufthansa is taking customer feedback handling to the next level. Within Lufthansa’s team, feedback is channeled and handled by the relevant department.

Labels filter feedback for dedicated team members, while automated emails alert them that new feedback has come in. This synergy ensures that teams resolve issues quickly – keeping customer satisfaction high.

“We have a truly ‘customer-first’ approach,” Corinna Birkhofer, Online Sales & Analysis at Lufthansa.

  1. Optimize for happiness! Being friendly helps.

Customer service, customer satisfaction, customer-centric approach…these are all phrases that we can’t escape at the moment and most annual reports of large corporations start with them. So what better way to improve customer satisfaction than to ask for feedback from your customers i.e. the actual users of your service or product?

Just like in real life, it takes courage to request feedback and the impact of asking is greater than you likely expect. A common false assumption is that once you start collecting feedback, it will only result in a shout-box of negative feedback. This however, is very untrue; the only way to discover your strengths is through feedback analysis.

Feedback is too often viewed through a frame of evaluation and judgment: good/bad, right/wrong, top ten-percent, etc. These frames of thinking raise resistance to feedback to begin with. When you instead frame feedback as an essential part of learning, it becomes less about your deficiencies and more about your opportunities. Asking for feedback shows that you actually care about your customers. Being friendly helps!

“We want to deliver the highest service possible and we can only do that if we know exactly what the customer needs, wants and expects from a premium brand like Nespresso. And we want to offer that!”  – Lot Mulder, former Digital Operations Specialist at Nespresso.

 

Which of these would be most important to your business? Or do you have examples of who you improved with customer feedback? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or tweet us @usabilla.

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Article by

Roel Jansen

Roel is the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Usabilla and he helps major brands in Europe and USA listen better to their customers. Roel is currently leading the Usabilla office in New York, after having contributed to the company’s triple digit growth in Amsterdam.

Share your thoughts

  • Anton Bies

    Interesting article, useful tips.
    Your explanation of NPS is intriguing and in my opinion an argument NOT to use it (although I see some use for NPS, especially to build a service culture within a company).
    As you mention NPS correlates with growth rate, so NPS can tell you that you’re growing when you’re growing at best (in Reichheld’s original article he reported higher NPS scores for companies that had previously been growing). That you could simply see by measuring market share. As we nowadays all should know, NPS has no predictive power.

    https://byronsharp.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/net-promoter-score-nps-does-not-predict-growth-its-fake-science/

    For further reading I highly recommend Byron Sharp’s book How Brands Grow (and How Brands Grow 2).

    • Roel Jansen

      Thank you for reviewing the article Anton. With a description of 10 reasons why companies should ask for user feedback, there was no intention to question the validity of the metric NPS as such. Multiple scholars have written essays about whether NPS is the right KPI for companies and websites to measure and improve upon; other alternatives could be Customer Effort Score, Customer Satisfaction Index, Net Value Score etc. When using NPS, one should take cultural differences into account (American respondents will answer the question different from Dutch or Japanese respondents, while they might be equally satisfied: cultural skewing). Furthermore, you could question if NPS measures motivation. The idea that someone ‘would recommend the service’ is not necessarily equal to his/hers ‘motivation’ to actually do so.
      Having said the above, it was not meant to be a reasoning in favor of NPS. However, if NPS is a performance indicator for a company or website, asking for user feedback is the right way of collecting it. To go even further: measuring only NPS is a waste, every NPS question should be followed by an (open) question on how to improve on this score. Just a rating will not help you any further, but simply asking your users will.

  • We agree! User experience is a very important factor in creating websites, but it’s important to remember that its subjective. What one user might find easy to use another might find confusing. The only way to really measure your website’s impact to the visitors is to ask for their feedback. Your blog has said it all. Great job!

  • Thanks.
    If you need good user feedback widget you should deffinately try bugrem

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