Collecting customer feedback is a valuable business strategy. It means you can find out what customers need from you, prioritise suggestions, and identify development priorities.
In this article we’ll look at 3 ways you can encourage customers to give you valuable feedback.
1. Redirect suggestions from other support channels to an online customer feedback tool
You probably already receive suggestions from your customers through different support channels, such as social media, email, and your help desk.
Instead of trying to collect these in one place manually, which is time consuming and ineffective, simply ask customers to add their suggestion to your feedback management tool (a simple feedback board can be better than something more complex).
We use a short note like this:
Thanks for the suggestion. You should add this suggestion to our feedback board. This allows other customers the chance to comment on it and vote it up. Or you might see that someone has already made this suggestion and we are working on it.
Instead of seeing their suggestion disappear into the email ether, they visibly see that you take customer requests seriously and are working hard to improve your product.
This should increase customer satisfaction at a point when customers generally are feeling a bit cross with your product.
Just make sure it is easy for customers to add a suggestion or vote on one: don’t ask them to log in, for example, or create an account. Your feature request board provider should reduce fraud and vote rigging through ‘under the hood’ technical measures instead.
Also, make it easy to add images, which can help explain a problem. At Feature Upvote, we provide a form like this to encourage customers to give feedback:
Once customers have added their feedback to your online board, or upvoted identical feedback, then you’ll be able to see which ideas and suggestions are the most popular. This way you build-in a sense of priority to your customer feedback, without having to make value judgements.
2. Ask your customers directly for feedback
Asking for feature requests via your existing promotion channels is also an effective way of inviting feedback.
Even if customers aren’t stuck at that precise moment, you’ll reassure them that you are there when they need you, and that you are committed to improving your product. These are all good qualities and will help convert trial customers and retain existing customers.
- Post a request for suggestions on your social media channels, such as Facebook, and Twitter. Create a post announcing your suggestions page and repost it regularly.
- In your email newsletter, inform your customers that you’ve got an easy way for them to suggest and upvote improvements to your product.
- Consider using this text in the footer of each email you send customers: “Got suggestions for making [your product] better? Let us know!”
- Send an automated email at the end of the trial period. This email should inform would-be customers that you want feedback. Here is some text we’ve used with success: “If [your product] hasn’t met your expectations over the last 30 days, here is your chance to tell us why. We’d love to hear your feedback so that we can continue improving [your product].”
Ask for feedback via social media
3. Have ‘send a suggestion’ links directly on your website and in your product
Customers need to be able to see these links as soon as they get stuck and want to give you feedback. So, for example:
- On a mobile app, add a ‘Send your suggestions’ link immediately above your ‘Contact Support’ link
- On desktop apps, add a ‘Suggest an Improvement’ link to your ‘Help’ menu
- On your website support page, include a link to your suggestions page
For more ideas about how to get customers to give you feedback see our article: How do I get customers to add suggestions?.
As well as following our advice above, there are three important things to remember when seeking feedback:
- Asking once is usually not enough. Frequently remind customers that you are open to suggestions for improvements. This will increase the likelihood of catching a customer at the time they want to give feedback.
- Asking via one channel is usually not enough. Different people consume content in different ways. Using a number of channels means you’ll capture the attention of more customers.
- Make it easy for customers to give feedback at the time it comes to their mind. Customers shouldn’t have to search for ways to offer feedback.
Ready to give Feature Upvote a try?
Getting direct feedback from customers at the time they are thinking about a pain point, or a new feature is invaluable and Feature Upvote facilitates this for us easily.
The product works well, support has been fantastic, value for money is spot on, and I’m hooked. I’d be lost without my customer input from Feature Upvote. I look at it every day.
— Heather Paunet, Untangle’s VP of Product Management