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Three strategies to get better customer feedback

11th Feb 2016
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better customer feedback

Steve Jobs is know to devalue the importance of customer opinions on the product, by saying that consumers don’t know what they want until they’ve seen it. We all know this approach has worked miracles for Apple, however most products cannot be developed in a bubble.

Successful products are the anticipated products.

Without customer input, feedback and suggestions and market research you can hardly launch a viable product.  The audience dictates what they want to purchase.

If you are about to launch a brand new product or at the mid-stage development of your first one, put gathering customer feedback on your to-do list from yesterday.  

Below are three key ways to gain opinions on your product:

Run a Survey

Here we have two scenarios – you already have a few products and plan to launch another one to existing audience.  

In this case, you can pick the brains of your existing customers via email or on-site surveys. Mind the fact that the average external survey response rate is 5-10% and the recommended survey length is 15 questions max.  To increase the answering rate state in advance how long the survey will take e.g. 15 min and offer a sweet perk in the end as a bait e.g coupon code.

Ask only the questions you will use.  Respect your customer’s time and don’t ask things just for the sake of asking. Keep it short and sweet and ask to provide insights that would really help you build a better product.

Start with open-end questions. Let your customer speak out their opinion, rather than trying to squeeze their opinion in the rating or multiple choice questions mold. The thoughts you’ll get can really surprise you.

Scenario Number 2 – you are launching your first product ever and don’t have an audience to test drive your idea.

Considering you have done your market research already and identified the target audience, you can use the online survey tools e.g Pollfish to gain access to an audience of respondents, which fit into your criteria.

Outreach Directly

Sure, surveys are great. However, what they truly miss is a highly personalized and more importantly the reasons behind the feedback.

So, imagine this. You ran a SaaS company offering a visual project management tool for freelancers and small businesses.

Your recent survey or on-site revealed that your users would like to have more collaboration opportunities. There could be several reasons for this:

  • Only registered users can access to the visual project road map, making it hard to share it with the clients.
  • You don’t offer PDF downloads or social sharing.
  • Sharing buttons are hard to find and users don’t know about all options available.

Each of the reasons listed imply a different solution and you’ll never know which one to choose, unless you ask directly. You may fix the symptoms, but not the entire problem.

That’s why direct outreach via email is essential. It offers a more secure and personalized environment for customers to communicate their needs and suggestions.

Utilize the Analytics Data

Your users already tell you a lot about their preferences without actually telling you.

Oftentimes, the best feedback could be received through the existing data via your Google Analytics. So sit down, take a deep breath and tap into the insights you already have.

For instance, you are using your blog to educate your users of the products features, new updates and ways to use your product more efficiently.  However, if you see that the bounce rate is too high and the time spent on page is too low, it means that you are not communicating something clearly enough.

What does your content lack? Do you have a CTA to lead users to your signup page? Do you structure the copy well for quick browsing? Do you listen to the questions asked in the comment section?

Next analyze the user’s behavior and track down who did not sign up your service after visiting numerous pages e.g. pricing, details etc. Try to investigate the reasons behind this further by split testing your landing pages and gathering feedback on the signup process from existing customers.

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