According to Vince Lombardi, it takes months to find a customer but seconds to lose one. Hence, customer satisfaction at every point of the customer journey should be the number one priority for any organization.
Customer feedback is one of the easiest ways to understand customer satisfaction. Are they happy with your products and services? Are they satisfied with your customer service? Will they purchase from you again? And more.
Customer feedback surveys are the go-to tool of every business to understand their customer needs and sentiments. The advantages of surveys lie in their simplicity, ease of creation, quick feedback collection, and so on.
But, there are also some disadvantages of online surveys like the presence of survey bias, survey fatigue, sampling errors, and more.
In this blog, let’s explore both the advantages and disadvantages of customer feedback surveys in detail.
What is Customer Feedback?
Customer feedback refers to the opinion of your customers regarding your products, services, customer support, website, and your brand in general. Collecting customer feedback is essential to create a good customer experience and increase the chances of business growth.
When your customers are satisfied with your brand, they keep purchasing from you and become your loyal customers. These loyal customers are a great source of referral marketing revenue for your brand in the future.
There are several customer feedback methods to understand the real sentiments of your customers. Let’s understand them in the next section.
Best Way to Gather Customer Feedback Data
You can collect feedback from your customers using different methods like using surveys, creating focus groups, monitoring social media, and much more. Here are the best and the most effective ways to collect relevant feedback:
1. Ask Them Directly
This is one of the traditional ways to collect customer feedback. You can either conduct a one-to-one interview with your customers or initiate a phone call with your customers to understand their sentiments.
The benefits of these techniques lay in collecting real-time and quick feedback. You can easily gauge their sentiments from their body language, gestures, eye expressions, and tone.
But, the downside of this feedback collection method is that the process is lengthy and time-consuming. Also, it can be challenging to analyze a massive amount of data manually.
2. Use Questionnaires and Surveys
Did you know that 73% of companies are increasingly making use of real-time feedback collection tools like surveys and questionnaires to collect feedback?
There are many advantages of customer surveys and online questionnaire software that range from ease of creation to interesting personalizations. Let’s understand with the help of a powerful survey tool like ProProfs Survey Maker.
This tool has more than 100,00+ customized templates to create surveys and questionnaires. All you need to do is to edit the questions based on your business requirements. In addition, you can add custom images and logos to your surveys to give them a personalized touch. Once you have created the survey, you can share it via multiple ways like social media, email, website, and more to collect customer feedback in a hassle-free manner.
3. Create Focus Groups
A Focus group is a group of people with similar demographic traits. Many times, you may end up collecting feedback from the wrong audience. This puts a huge toll on your time and resources. But, with a focus group, you increase the chances of asking customer feedback questions that are more targeted and reliable. You have a smaller audience, but they are aware of your survey objectives and give a fair response to your questions.
4. Analyze Sales Calls
When you analyze the sales record of your organization, you get a rough idea of the number of leads generated and the rate of lead conversions. By knowing the difference between these two variables, you can analyze what aspect of your product appealed the most to your target audience. If there is a drop in lead conversion, maybe you need to modify some aspects of your products or services. Hence, this is an indirect way to come out with customer feedback solutions.
5. Intercept Surveys
This type of offline survey is conducted in public places like malls, parks, exhibitions, and more. Here, you conduct a survey about people’s experience in purchasing a product. Since the experience is recent and fresh in their memory, they might be able to provide more genuine feedback.
6. Monitor Social Media Platforms
Did you know that 49% of consumers get influenced by social media recommendations? Hence, it is important to watch out for what people are speaking about your brand on social media platforms. More positive word of mouth, better your brand image, and the chances of acquiring more customers.
Also, spot the customers who are unhappy with your offerings. Try reaching out to them personally to understand their challenges and create a smooth customer experience.
7. Ask for Online Reviews
This is another best way to get customer feedback. Encourage your existing customers to drop a review of your products or services online. You could guide them to a third-party website like Techradar, Crozdesk, Trustradius, and more. Thousands of consumers visit these websites every day to review products before making a purchase. Hence, a positive review acts as free advertising for your brand and can get you more customers.
8. Analyze Website Usage Statistics
Using analytics tools like Google Analytics, you can monitor the website pages browsed by your online visitors. The timings of their web sessions show the pages of their interest. For example, if they have abruptly dropped out of the pricing page without making a purchase, it means that either they are not happy with the pricing or they have not understood the pricing details.
In such a scenario, you can get in personal touch with the consumers and clarify the different aspects of your offerings. Probably they would turn out to be your future customers.
Now that you have understood the different ways to collect customer feedback, let’s explore some advantages of customer feedback surveys in the next section.
Advantages of Customer Feedback Surveys
Benefits of a customer feedback survey range from ease of survey creation, cost-effectiveness, and a comprehensive review of your products or services.
1. Inexpensive Way to Improve Your Products and Services
For example, you have a coaching business where you teach your customers about how to invest in stocks and how trading platforms work. Since your business success depends on the success of your customers, it is a good option to ask for feedback to improve. You can create quick survey forms to ask for feedback from your customers about lesson quality, teaching method, and what should be improved in their opinion, after every lesson.
With this, you can gradually improve your service and can design a strategic way to satisfy your customers, attract more leads and take your business conversions to the next level.
2. Measure Customer Satisfaction
Watch: How to Measure Customer Satisfaction
There are specific customer satisfaction metrics like Net promoter score (NPS), customer effort score (CES), and CSAT (customer satisfaction) score that give a clear indication of your customer satisfaction.
This process is very simple when you have an automated survey maker tool like ProProfs Survey Maker. There are many customizable survey templates ranging from a customer satisfaction survey, net promoter score survey, and customer effort score survey.
All you need to do is to edit the survey based on your requirements. The advanced reporting mechanism helps you to easily spot your happy and unhappy customers. Further, you can come out with strategies to deal with both these sets of customers.
3. Means of Valuing Your Customer’s Opinion
When you directly ask for customer feedback through surveys, you send out a positive message that you value your customers. When customers feel that their opinions are being valued, they will be more likely to come forward and give feedback. This set of customers can turn out to be the most vocal supporters of your brand in the future.
4. Create Best Customer Experience
When you get quantitative customer feedback through surveys, you can easily create measurable metrics to create a better customer experience. For example, if your customers are unhappy with a product feature, the design team can enhance it based on the feedback. Further, you can track this product feature metric in your subsequent surveys to understand your customers’ sentiments change.
5. Improve Customer Retention and Loyalty Rates
When customers see that you are regularly collecting their opinions, they connect with your brand better. And, when you go one step further to actually implement their suggestions, they feel valued and talk good about you to their friends and family. With a high trust in your brand, they become your loyal customers leading to increased customer retention.
6. Reliable Source of Information About Other Competitors
Using website surveys, you can easily collect information about your competitor brands. This can be achieved by asking questions such as “How many products did you explore before purchasing our product?” or “How do you rate us compared to our competitors?” on website surveys.
With these competitor sentiments, you get to know what works well and what does not with your competitors. Also, you can form a focused strategy to stay strong in the competitive marketplace.
7. Valuable for Making Important Business Decisions
Customer feedback surveys aid you in making important business decisions like launching a new product, marketing investment, product acquisitions, and more. For example, you can launch a quick survey to understand what customers think about your new product. Does it meet their expectations? Is the product UI appealing? Do they find the product affordable? And more.
8. Reduce Cost and Time Constraints
It takes very little time and effort to create and send out a survey. These days automated survey tools come with a lot of customized templates. You can create a variety of surveys from a market research survey to an employee engagement survey in minutes. Further, many of these tools come with a free trial thereby making it cost-effective.
Also, survey tools like ProProfs Survey Maker give you the option to share your survey across multiple platforms like social media, website, email, app, and more. You can also easily take a printout and use it to conduct offline surveys.
8. Easy to Track Changes Over a Period of Time
With repeated surveys over a regular period of time, you can easily track the sentiment change in your customers. In that way, you get to see if product/service enhancements are really yielding good results. Here, your approach towards customer satisfaction takes a focussed and streamlined path.
After understanding the customer feedback benefits, let’s explore the disadvantages of customer feedback surveys in the next section.
Disadvantages of Customer Feedback Surveys
Customer feedback surveys come with disadvantages like sampling errors, dishonest answers, privacy issues, and more.
1. Sampling Errors Can Exclude Your Most Valuable Customers
When you target a random audience to conduct your surveys, you might miss out on your most valuable customers. These are the customers who provide in-depth and frank feedback. Their feedback is very important to improve your products or services in the most inexpensive way.
The solution to this disadvantage lies in planning your survey process better. Have a clear survey objective before narrowing down your right audience. With clear objectives in place, you can better determine your audience and reduce sampling errors.
2. Chances of Customer Dissatisfaction
There are some customers who feel offended if their survey feedback is not actually implemented. They may lose trust in your brand and stop responding to your future surveys. Further, they might stop purchasing your product altogether leading to customer churn.
Here, while conducting a survey, make it clear that feedback would be implemented based on the highest number of votes or demands. If not now, it would be considered at a later stage.
3. Concerns About Privacy
Many customers are concerned about giving their personal information like phone number and location via online surveys. Because of this they either end up not completing a survey, skipping questions, and abandoning a survey altogether.
You can either make surveys that collect a lot of sensitive questions anonymous or explicitly make it clear that the survey data won’t be shared with anyone.
4. Probability of Survey Fatigue
Repeated surveying can become tiresome for your customers to answer. Either they might stop responding to your survey or give half-hearted answers. Unreliable responses do not help you to make good decisions for your business.
To avoid survey fatigue, you can set a predefined survey frequency. For example, if you survey your customers 3-6 months after purchasing your product, they will be more likely to answer your survey. But, if conducted on a weekly or biweekly basis, you might have fewer respondents. Also, keep your surveys short, precise, and to the point. This reduces the survey completion time and your audience feels more comfortable responding to the survey.
5. Technical and Non-Technical Glitches
Aside from external technical glitches, it’s also important to consider the technical literacy of your respondents. While Gen Z and Millenials will have no problems navigating surveys on cutting-edge platforms, the older market may find them complicated and limiting. A younger audience would feel comfortable typing out their opinions and experiences extensively. You can expect to find detailed and insightful results if you engage them well enough.
When you’re working with baby boomers, however, a purely online platform might restrict them from expressing themselves. Consider conducting your surveys over phone calls or in person, instead. This way, they can express themselves and you’ll get to solicit more reliable information to improve your business.
6. Presence of Survey Biases
You could face both personal as well as non-personal biases while conducting surveys. Personal biases arise out of a person’s beliefs, education, culture, and more. This forces them to give an undesired and unreliable answer on sensitive issues.
In contrast, non-personal biases could be a result of not understanding the survey questions properly. Survey questions become hard to follow when they are filled with industry jargon and use a complex language. Sometimes, the answer options may not be relevant to your target audience and they can end up picking the wrong answer.
In the next section, let us understand how to make effective use of customer feedback.
Effective Use of Customer Feedback
Once you have collected feedback from your customers, it is time to devise strategies to provide your customers with a good experience.
Firstly, categorize your feedback into positive and negative. Negative feedback shows concerns regarding your products or services. This needs to be prioritized to enhance your customer satisfaction level and brand image.
Secondly, communicate the feedback to the respective design, customer service, marketing, or sales teams. Each feedback needs to be analyzed by the respective team members to understand the depth of challenge or satisfaction.
Thirdly, come out with corrective measures corresponding to the challenges and implement the same in a time-bound manner.
Lastly, keep surveying your customers on a regular basis to see the effectiveness of your corrective measures. If there is no major improvement, it is time to completely rethink your business strategy.
Make Customer Feedback Surveys Your Best Ally
Watch: How to Collect Customer Feedback
Customer feedback surveys are one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to collect feedback from your target audience. Surveys could be conducted online, through telephonic calls, intercept surveys, and more. Also, you can ask your customers to drop in their reviews on a third-party website to boost your brand image.
From understanding your customer loyalty to boosting customer retention, feedback surveys are an inexpensive way to improve your products and services. By conducting recurring surveys, you can understand the pulse of your target audience on a regular basis..
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