Sabre Thinking

19 Sep / Creative ways to collect customer feedback (and not get turned down)

You know you need customer feedback to improve your products and services, but you also know what it feels like as a customer to get that generic request to fill out a survey. So what’s a savvy business to do when it comes to this necessary but often dreaded process? There are plenty of lackluster surveys out there, so we want to remind you that there are many methods of requesting feedback that are more enjoyable for your customers.

First, let’s take a look at why customer and consumer feedback is so essential to your business’ overall growth and marketing strategy. By collecting information, your company can:

  • Get a clear picture of the actual needs in the marketplace, rather than assuming what’s needed
  • Determine the tastes of consumers and customers, like what elements of a product or service feel most important, look the best, etc.
  • See how your particular products and services stack up against competitors
  • Improve the quality of your offerings by understanding what may have gone wrong or was less favorable to customers

However, we then come back to the question of how to collect this information in a way that feels enticing to customers and consumers alike? While it’s unlikely to get everyone on board, we’d like to share a few ways in which your company can more creatively, or more consciously, collect feedback.

Surveys

If you’re requesting feedback through a survey, send the survey at a time that a customer would not expect. On so many occasions, surveys are sent after an event has taken place and while this seems natural to ask for feedback when the event is over, it’s also when people have started to disconnect from the event and lost the connection to the experience. Instead, your company could ask for surveys at off-guard times, maybe right in the middle of an experience, when the customer is most immersed and open to feedback.

Incentives

Offer an incentive that entices the customer to provide feedback. This is especially important if your customer is paying for a service or experience with your company. You will want something to entice them because otherwise, there’s not much incentive for them to spend the time providing feedback or filling out a survey. A few ideas could be sending them a gift card or a small gift that they would actually appreciate…read: no mindless freebies! Alternatively, you could flip it around and donate to a well-loved charity as an incentive to respondents who will feel like they’ve really upped their karma points. Think about your customer base and what would be favorable to that demographic.

Creativity

Avoid “what everyone else is doing” whenever possible. This may seem obvious, but it’s oh so hard to avoid the trap of following the masses, especially if you’re seeing big brands follow a similar standard of sending surveys. We recommend taking a look at what other companies are doing to gather feedback and then finding a way to make it yours. A few creative ideas to collect feedback include:

1. Ask your social media followers to take a poll – This is a quick and easy way to get feedback using platforms like Facebook on which your customers are already engaged. Make sure to read the comments as well as the actual poll answers because you will likely find some hidden gems in the thread of comments below your poll. Keep in mind a poll is ideal for quick answers to get information on people’s tastes and preferences. This isn’t going to be the way to collect more in-depth information from customers and consumers alike. Click here to learn how to create a poll on your Facebook page.

2. Observe social media behaviors and use that information – Did you know that you could be silently observing and collecting information without even polling your customers and followers? By following industry-related conversations on Twitter, or checking comments on Facebook or Instagram threads, you can observe a lot of interesting feedback including opinions, praises, favorite features, errors, glitches, you name it. Social media tends to be a space with little filtering of opinion, so if you’re regularly checking the conversations on your profile and the profiles of similar and competing brands, it can be great insight for your own company to use.

3. Send a personal email to your customers – By sending a personalized email to your customers asking for feedback, it feels far less generic and you’ll likely see more responses. Keep in mind, this needs to be a two-way street. You can’t just blast off emails, collect the information, and be done. You’ll want to reply and thank them for their feedback and time so that they feel appreciated.

Feeling inspired to re-work your current methods of collecting customer feedback? We sure hope so! Don’t forget to contact our creative marketing strategy team if you’re feeling stuck on new ideas or tripped up on the tech side of setting up your feedback system. We’re here to help.

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