Article

Udesh Jadnanansing
Udesh Jadnanansing 11 January 2017

5 Common Misconceptions About Online Customer Feedback Debunked

“Nah, I don’t need any feedback forms. I cannot understand how that would increase sales on my website. I don’t even have enough visitors as it is.” Which is what a digital marketer from a media company said to me last week. Then it hit me. Most marketers have preconceived misconceptions about how specific online customer feedback is valuable to their business.

Bill Gates, the wealthiest man in the world once said, “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” It seems that successful leaders still ask feedback from their peers and customers – it is obvious their drive to constantly improve and use the best tools at hand is a big reason why they are so fruitful in their business.

Here I have identified several misconceptions that Digital Marketers assume about online customer feedback used in both B2B AND B2C businesses. Below I will share with you some misconceptions and truths about online feedback to demonstrate why it is so vital to success.

1. Low volume of visitors

An oldie but a goodie. As mentioned earlier, I have experienced many companies who find that because of the lack of visitors on their website, they do not need to spend efforts on finding ways to improve a visitor’s online experience.

This is a misconception:

First off, I am not going to tell you how you can increase your numbers in terms of website visitors other than by optimising your SEO or engaging more on social media. My question is, are you even aware of the reason(s) your current visitors are coming to your website? Do you know whether they achieved their online goals? What made them achieve those goals? What prevented them? Or simply, what can be improved upon?

If you cannot answer even one of these questions, how do you know what’s discouraging your visitors from staying or why do they continue to return? Even information about what brought them to your site is invaluable. Hence by not collecting feedback from these key online visitors, you would be throwing away valuable insights for improving the customer service experience and ultimately, the overall success of your company.

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Debunked – Why collect online feedback

By understanding what your customer is thinking and how/why they particularly feel about your brand, you are also able to align and strategise for these issues in your marketing meetings.

For every customer who leaves feedback, take it as good fortune that the one or two customers noticed a flaw in your business which you can improve upon. Improving the customer experience should be the primary reason you gather customer feedback. The process of winning new business and retaining existing customers is getting harder and harder. Offering an amazing experience that keeps your customers coming back and referring their friends to you is the best indicator of a healthy, successful business. For more insight on improving your website user experience, you can read this blog.

2. Use a Feedback tool but low feedback responses

This is a misconception:

Yes, you know the importance of giving your customers a medium for which to share their thoughts. It’s been over 12 months and you realised that you have only received 5 or 6 feedback responses each month. Maybe the responses you got were either a compliment or an insult. So you’re thinking – why bother even having a feedback form if there is low feedback traffic over a small period. Why worry about analysing data when there is so little to analyse.

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Well that is a huge misconception which can easily be avoided. There are several factors that may be contributing to these low response rates:

You can find a webinar here with tips on how to increase your online sales using online feedback forms.

Debunked – Why collect online feedback

As I mentioned, it is certainly advantageous to collect feedback. However, it is more important to know how you must go about collecting this feedback data. We noticed that asking the right questions and using the right customer metrics at the right time generates significantly increased response rates.

One example which tends to get high feedback responses is by asking a brief Goal Completion Rate feedback form in the ordering funnel triggered by exit behaviour. This tends to have about a 76% higher response rate. If you have a clearly defined goal, ask the right questions and minimise friction to completion, you give your customers no reason to abandon your feedback form. As a result, you should see a high level of completion.
Some more specific reading on how you need to re-evaluate your current usability or feedback tool.

3. Website feedback forms seem intrusive; Rather stick to email surveys

This is a misconception:

We have all been there. You know that situation where you are sitting at your desk typing frustratingly on your keyboard to complete a work assignment when suddenly a customer satisfaction survey is sent to you a week after having shopped on a specific brand’s website. You open the survey out of the goodness of your heart only to find that after clicking page 3, you realise this is a 50-question survey. Why on earth would you ask a customer 50 questions when trying to pinpoint their one issue with your service? In the end, what happens is either nobody fills it out or they fill it out to complain about the questionnaire itself.

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f you prefer this to real-time “in the moment” website feedback, then the data that you are collecting from your visitors is not accurate. What makes a website feedback form intrusive anyways? Is it the pop-up nature of it? Are there too many questions that make it intrusive? Also – this is usually for customers who are in the process of making a purchase and not for customers who likely already forgot most of their experience on your website or who already purchased elsewhere. This needs to be debunked ASAP.

Debunked – Why collect online feedback

Again, it is great you are collecting feedback. But what is more important is how and when you collect feedback. Website feedback forms, if strategically aligned to a customer’s online journey, can generate interesting insights as well as pinpoint issues that are happening in the moment. This also puts you in a better position to respond immediately to your customers or your team if something as simple as a bug issue is affecting your visitor’s experience. One of our blogs touches on how you can get more from your website feedback tool.

4. Online Customer Feedback once a year is enough

This is a misconception:

There are tons of large enterprises that invest once a year in a customer feedback programme. They send out long surveys to their current customers. While the intent is good, carrying out this process on an annual basis alone will not get them to deliver great customer experience. The feedback is no longer fresh in the customer’s mind, which results in very skewed feedback results. Also, this method is directed to current customers and not ‘potential customers’’ on your website. Taking customer feedback and acting upon their issues regularly and consistently is the surest way of improving customer experience.

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Debunked – Why collect online feedback

Whenever my customers run feedback programmes on an ad-hoc basis or just once a year, I ask them specifically what it is that they are trying to achieve by collecting customer feedback. If you are looking to consistently improve customer experience, attempting to collect their feedback once a year is not an effective tool because the information is all from one condensed period, meaning you have little information from other times of the year.

5. Most of our sales come from our physical stores

This is a misconception:

So, what you are trying to say is they have purchased your product and that’s it? You have no idea why they purchased it or whether they will come back and purchase it again? You’re not sure if they even thought their experience at the store was a good one? We had a customer who had a similar saying before they used Mopinion. Nearly 79% of their revenue came directly from the stores while the rest came from their online stores.

In recent years, online shopping has greatly increased and will continue to increase dramatically. So what about those who purchased online? Did they encounter any issues? Are you aware of whether there were more people on the website that did not end up purchasing? Without online feedback, this is all just a guessing game.

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Debunked – Why collect online feedback

Instead of guessing whether you lost potential or current customers, you should always ensure that you have a feedback form in place to gather insights.

Customer feedback is a goldmine of information and you cannot succeed until you successfully exploit this valuable resource. I have advised many clients that obtaining feedback is only half of the job. The other, equally important half is to act upon the feedback and make your customers believe that their voice is always heard and respected. 

Some companies picture online feedback tools as mere vanity objects but this could not be further from the truth. If you use it in conjunction with the right customer metrics and align it to your customer’s journey, online feedback adds a lot of value to your business whether it’s increasing online sales,improving customer experience or retaining customer loyalty.

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