If you’re running a retail business, one of the worst things you can do is to work in a vacuum. While there’s certainly value in keeping your head down, following your instincts and working on your own ideas, you need customer feedback to continuously grow and improve.
When used correctly, comments, suggestions and even angry reactions from your customers provide invaluable insights to use toward improving and developing your products.
Need help on how to do just that? Keep reading.
In this post, you’ll learn how to leverage customer feedback to drive your business forward.
How to Collect Customer Feedback
The first step to getting the most out of customer feedback is to start collecting it. Establish systems and processes for gathering input and make it easy for shoppers to tell you what they think.
Consider the following avenues to collect more authentic customer feedback:
1. Simply Ask for Product Ratings & Reviews
In retail, ratings and reviews are the most straightforward way to get product insights because they tell you exactly what shoppers think about specific items. So how can you get more reviews?
Ask for them.
Research from BrightLocal found 70% of consumers will leave a product review when prompted to do so. For this reason, you might want to set up a process (ideally using an email sequence) that automatically invites shoppers to review their recent purchase.
Macy’s is one example of a retailer that does exactly that. A couple of weeks or so after a customer makes a purchase, Macy’s sends a quick post-purchase email asking the shopper to rate their item(s). The email is easy to read, straight to the point and has clear calls-to-action.
Even better, Macy’s invites the customer to upload a photo of the product, which helps the company rake in user-generated content. PowerReviews’ Review Collection features allows brands to collect product visuals and user-generated content straight from the review form.
This makes collecting visual reviews even easier, especially with features that allow users to upload product review images from their social networks. Create a path of least resistance when collecting valuable customer feedback.
2. Incentivize Customer Feedback
If you’re not seeing results with your current efforts to generate product reviews, you may want to throw in an incentive. By providing a little carrot at the end of the stick, you get more folks willing to leave authentic and real customer feedback.
Zazzle, for instance, offers up a $5 off coupon in exchange for an honest review. Customers will always ask “what’s in it for me,” and by offering rewards, you increase the overall customer experience.
3. Make the Process Easy for Customers
You’ve worked hard to get people to click on your emails, the last thing you want is to lose them while they’re on the review page. Prevent that by making the task quick and easy for your customers.
Give your customers the ability to give a star-rating with just a few clicks (or taps if they’re on mobile) and don’t overwhelm them with too many required fields. Another important tip?
Make your review page mobile-friendly. With the majority of emails read on mobile devices, you lose a huge chunk of potential reviews if your recipients are taken to a page that isn’t optimized for the small screen.
For inspiration on how to execute both of the aforementioned tips, check out what Nordstrom is doing. Aside from being mobile-friendly, the page is also highly intuitive and doesn’t ask for too much information. As a bonus, Nordstrom even includes helpful tips on how to write a good review.
4. Moderate Your Review Content
Collecting a lot of reviews is a great way to provide shoppers with more trust in your products and to gather insights from customer feedback. However, it’s equally important to moderate the review content to prevent inauthentic and unhelpful reviews from coming through to your product pages.
By no means should you ever delete low-ratings or even negative reviews. In fact, the PowerReviews How to Beat Amazon study found 82% of shoppers actually seek out negative reviews of a product before making a purchase!
This means your positive and negative reviews help drive purchasing decisions. However, it’s still important to know what to moderate and prevent fraudulent reviews on your site.
With the help of PowerReviews review moderation features, we offer industry-leading human moderation, paired up with fraud-detecting software, to prevent dishonest reviews from appearing on your site. Our moderation team constantly authenticates our clients reviews to ensure real content displays across the web.
Want to learn more? Contact our team today to see why PowerReviews leads the industry in review collection features and advanced moderation capabilities!
5. Use Your Support Team to Gather Questions & Concerns
Aside from ratings and reviews, the customer feedback questions and concerns fielded by your support team also provides product research and development teams much needed information. While the majority of customer support tickets deal with order tracking and site issues, this team still sees a lot of feature requests or questions around your products.
This team is a gold mine of valuable customer feedback so you can take the right steps to fix reoccurring issues or even know what people like the most about you. To that end, create processes to enable your customer service team to easily route useful insights over to your product team.
Luckily, there are a couple ways to do this:
- Use a Project Management Tool: One option is to give your customer support reps the ability to log relevant product feedback into a shared repository. This is as simple as using a Trello board to house customer feedback and ideas. In fact, Trello has a public board for feature requests you can use as a guide.
- Create Automated Funnels for Feedback: Another option is to automate the way you send customer feedback to your product team. Use strategic form fields on your website to help create funnels for different types of feedback. Set up your form that lets customer submits a support ticket, provide input and if it’s product related, route the feedback to the right team or your repository. This is a perfect example from ASOS as they asks users to specify the nature of their question.
6. Don’t Forget to Use Social Media for Customer Feedback
Much like support tickets, social media posts are also an amazing source of product insights. Consumers constantly post about what they wish products or companies would do.
Customers like to provide their feedback and many use social media as a source to learn more about products or get critical information to help them make purchasing decisions. In fact, the 2018 Sprout Social Index discovered the No. 1 request of content types from consumers to brands on social media is access to more information.
So why not pay attention to what your customers are asking for on social media and provide them with avenues to learn more, but also ways to provide important customer feedback. By doing so, you gain valuable product feedback that your customers collectively face when using your product or service, while allowing potential customers a chance to learn more.
The key to surfacing the right comments is to monitor and route the information correctly. Consider using social media tools that allow you to track certain keywords. Use this to better other aspects of your business on social like your Instagram marketing strategy.
One thing you could do is monitor your product names or categories so you can get notified when someone mentions specific terms on social. From there, your team can look into the posts and log the comments if they’re relevant to your product. It’s all about creating better experiences to get higher customer satisfaction.
How to Organize Your Customer Feedback
Receiving customer feedback from a variety of sources (i.e, reviews, customer support or social media) is great. However, extracting useful information is extremely difficult if the data is all over the place.
You need to syndicate your customer feedback and product questions and reactions in one place where they can be accessed and analyzed. To organize this content, again we recommend using a project management tool.
Tools like Airtable’s workflow board is a great option to collect and display large amounts of feedback in a single place. Users easily add rich elements into tables (e.g, attachments, checkboxes, etc.), which allow teams to work smarter with the feedback.
This tool also lets you switch between different views so your customer support team can work within a kanban, calendar or table view. Versatility is key toward organizing your customer feedback so you process and automate content faster.
Organize to Make Sense of the Data
Once you’ve collected and organized customer feedback, it’s time to analyze all the information. The goal at this stage is to spot trends that would enable you and your product team to determine your priorities and deliverables.
The traditional way of going about this process is having team discussions about the feedback that you’ve received (ideally, input from different departments). While such discussions is helpful and productive, there are a number of pitfalls.
For starters, as human beings, you and your team members will likely have preconceived notions and biases that could prevent you from objectively analyzing customer feedback. It’s important to be mindful of these tendencies. And to ensure your assumptions don’t get in the way, always back up your points with data. That’s why we recommend using Product Pulse.
This feature in PowerReviews’ Intelligence Suite allows brands and retailers to easily collect and dissect critical product information across all review content in a single platform and at the product level. The insights from review data let companies enhance messaging, physical packaging and address customer feedback, which all help drive traffic and sales.
Your feedback is often coming at you at an extremely fast pace. The challenge is to pick a part the details that will help you achieve your most important product updates.
Want to see Product Pulse in action with one of your products? Request a demo today to get started!
Why You Must Prioritize & Act on Feedback
Figuring out what your customers want is one thing. Deciding how to implement the changes and when is a whole new challenge. To tackle it, product teams typically determine their priorities based on the following factors:
- Feasibility: Is a task technically doable given your current resources? Do you have the time and manpower?
- Desirability: Is there a real desire for a particular feature or product? Has it been asked for before?
- Viability: Is the product feature in line with your strategy? Does it support your business goals?
The answers to these questions validate what customer feedback to address. For example, Dollar Shave Club interacts with its followers on social and quickly responds to specific feedback. When a customer asked if the brand will ever create it’s own deodorant line, the company fired back with it’s product.
Check it: https://t.co/BipNKk4Nnn
— Dollar Shave Club (@DollarShaveClub) March 12, 2019
Another exercise is plotting different product or improvement requests on an Impact-Effort Matrix, a graph that looks like a 2×2 grid with 4 sections. The vertical axis shows the impact level of an item. So, the higher a product or feature request is on the grid, the more impact it has on the the business.
The horizontal axis represents the amount of effort required to implement an action step. Low effort items would sit toward the left side of the grid and high effort ones are on the right.
This tool allows your team to visually prioritize solutions based on their business impact and ease of implementation. This is an easier way to decide which items to add to your product roadmap and once you’re clear on your product roadmap, it’s time to implement. The right course of action depends on the business.
Close to the Loop
You’ve listened to your customer feedback and implemented changes for their requests—great! Now it’s time to close the loop and let them know. Here are some ideas and examples of how you can approach this:
- Send an Announcement via Email: Email continues to be the most effective online channel for retailers when making announcements. So craft a message or two informing people that you’ve listened to their feedback and taken action. When Satya Jewelry released their highly requested rose gold line, the company sent out an email announcing the new pieces, while also including clear CTAs to getting people to click.
- Notify Specific Customers: If you keep track of the customers making feature or product requests, reach out to them specifically to let them know that you’ve implemented their feedback. This makes shoppers feel more valued and strengthens the relationship and brand loyalty from your best customers.
- Reach Out on Social: Cover your bases and keep your fans and followers in the loop by posting an announcement of feedback-inspired actions on social media. Just like with email, you’ll want to have a clear call to action, so be sure to include a link leading to the right product page. Disney Family does a great job making customer feedback announcements on social media. Get your customers excited with messages geared toward being proactive.
Mining customer feedback for product insights can be a challenge, as it requires you to collect, organize and analyze shoppers’ input before taking action. With the right tools, the process becomes immensely easier.
If you’re looking to improve your customer feedback strategy, start by evaluating your procedures and systems to ensure that you’re making it easy for your team to manage the questions, comments and concerns from your customers.
And if you need help making sense out of all your customer feedback data, learn ho PowerReviews enables brands and retailers to process review content to gain deeper product insights.