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How To Collect and Use Customer Feedback To Improve Your E-commerce Business

The word “FEEDBACK” spelled out in scrabble tiles

As a business, you should always aim to grow and improve, and there is nothing more helpful to know what changes to make than customer feedback. Satisfied customers are loyal ones, so take the time to listen to their feedback and implement real changes to continue to build a solid customer base. 

Here, we will discuss our top 7 ways of collecting customer feedback and address how to use this feedback to make fundamental changes to your business to see gains and a boost in sales. 

Table of Contents
Why is customer feedback important?
7 ways to collect customer feedback
Using customer feedback to make improvements
Final thoughts

Why is customer feedback important?

Customer feedback is paramount to e-commerce businesses; it is a valuable source of information that helps businesses understand their customers, improve their products and services, and ultimately enhance the overall customer experience. 

7 ways to collect customer feedback

1. Surveys and questionnaires

Digital character filling out an online survey

At the heart of any successful customer feedback strategy lies the survey. Surveys and questionnaires serve as a direct line of communication between businesses and their customers. Businesses can send the following surveys via email, embed them on their websites, or distribute them through other channels:

  • Post-purchase surveys: After a customer completes a purchase, send them a survey to gather insights into their shopping experience.
  • Product satisfaction survey: A product satisfaction survey differs from a post-purchase survey as it aims to understand customers’ feelings about the products they purchased as opposed to the shopping experience itself. Ask about the quality, features, and overall satisfaction with the items received.

It’s easy to implement surveys with free tools like:

One downside of surveys is that customers may feel it is tedious to take the time to complete them; therefore, only a small number may actually take the time. When creating surveys, ensure to keep them short and only ask the questions you need to answer (tip: consider telling people how long it will take to complete the survey). Additionally, when sending surveys via email, ensure to segment your list and only send the survey to the people it applies to the most. 

2. In-app or on-site feedback forms

Consider implementing feedback forms directly on your website or mobile app to capture feedback in the moment. This real-time feedback can provide valuable insights into the user experience.

Collecting feedback as customers navigate your site allows you to understand their experience at different touchpoints, helping identify areas for improvement.

Ensure the feedback forms are unobtrusive so they don’t interfere with the user experience, and use pop-ups or banners strategically to encourage user participation.

3. Social media listening

Digital characters searching through hashtags

Social media platforms offer a gold mine of customer opinions, reviews, and mentions. Actively monitoring these channels can provide businesses with immediate feedback and an opportunity to engage with customers.

Utilize tools to track brand-specific hashtags and mentions; this helps gather feedback and understand how your brand is perceived in the digital landscape.

Additionally, respond promptly to comments and reviews on social media. Positive interactions can strengthen brand loyalty, while addressing concerns publicly demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction.

On top of just listening to what people are saying about your business on social media, you can interact with your customers or potential customers there too. Try using polls on social media to get feedback and keep people engaged. 

4. Customer reviews

Person holding out their hands with floating reviews above them

Customer reviews and ratings are a great source of information for your company. Take the time to read negative reviews and determine if there are things that can be improved from the feedback. 

Reviews are also influential factors in the purchasing decisions of potential buyers. Encourage customers to share their experiences and opinions on your product pages. 

Additionally, always showcase both positive and negative reviews. Addressing negative feedback transparently demonstrates a commitment to improvement and customer satisfaction.

5. Customer support interactions

The interactions between customers and your support team can be a rich source of feedback. Analyze these interactions to identify recurring issues or areas for improvement.

  • Post-interaction surveys: Implement brief surveys at the end of customer support interactions to gather immediate feedback on the support experience.

Use feedback from customer support interactions to identify training needs for support agents. Well-trained agents contribute to positive customer experiences.

6. Feedback through analytics

Website analytics open on a laptop

Web analytics tools can uncover valuable data regarding user behavior, navigation patterns, and conversion funnels. Analyzing this data provides a deeper understanding of customer interactions.

  • Conversion funnel analysis: Identify stages where users drop off and investigate potential issues. This data can guide website optimization efforts.
  • Page-specific insights: Analyze user engagement on specific pages, such as product or checkout pages, to understand which areas need improvement.

7. Feedback from returns and refunds

Speech bubbles that say ‘We Want Your Feedback’

Analyzing the reasons behind product returns and customer refunds can offer insights into product quality, customer expectations, and areas where improvements are needed. Identify the root causes of returns and refunds. Are there common issues with product quality, sizing, or fulfillment processes?

Use the feedback from returns to proactively address product descriptions, sizing charts, and other factors contributing to returns.

Using customer feedback to make improvements

Once the feedback has been collected, it’s time to make improvements, which can seem daunting. Here are the steps to take to ensure effective use of customer feedback to make improvements to your business:

  1. Organize, analyze, and prioritize:
    • Gather all the collected feedback and organize it systematically. Categorize responses based on common themes like product issues, website usability, or customer service concerns.
    • Utilize quantitative data (from surveys and ratings) and qualitative insights (from open-ended responses) for a comprehensive understanding.
    • Prioritize feedback based on its impact on customer satisfaction and business objectives. Identify high-priority issues that have a significant influence on the overall customer experience.
  2. Identify root causes:
    • Dig deeper to identify the root causes of the problems highlighted in the feedback; this may involve additional research, data analysis, or collaboration with relevant departments to get to the core of the problem.
  3. Develop actionable plans:
    • Develop specific and actionable plans for improvement. Clearly define the steps that need to be taken to address each issue and set realistic timelines for implementation.
  4. Communication strategy:
    • Plan how to communicate changes to both internal teams and customers. Transparency is crucial, especially when changes directly affect customers. Be proactive in informing customers about upcoming improvements and the reasons behind them.
  5. Implement changes:
    • Roll out the planned changes in a phased manner. Test modifications in controlled environments, if possible, to mitigate risks. For example, this could involve updating website features, refining product designs, or optimizing customer service processes.
  6. Monitor and measure:
    • Implement tracking mechanisms to monitor the impact of changes. This may involve using analytics tools, tracking customer satisfaction scores, and monitoring customer support interactions closely.
    • Continuously measure the success of implemented changes and adjust strategies if necessary.
  7. Iterate based on feedback:
    • The feedback loop is ongoing. Even after changes are implemented, continue collecting customer feedback. Use this ongoing input to iterate and make further refinements to continually enhance the customer experience.

Final thoughts

Customer feedback is not just a luxury, but a necessity. The best e-commerce businesses recognize the value of customer opinions and actively seek ways to collect, analyze, and act upon this feedback. 

Whether through surveys, social media, reviews, or analytics, the insights gained from customer feedback are instrumental in making informed decisions and driving continuous improvement. By implementing a robust customer feedback strategy, e-commerce businesses can enhance customer satisfaction, build loyalty, and stay ahead in a dynamic and ever-changing market.

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