Every e-commerce business knows the relevance of customer feedback—and how hard it can be to obtain it. Not to mention, once you get it, how do you make it useful for overall business strategies?
According to our own internal data, 50 percent of our Feedback clients send more than 1,900 review requests a month—in some cases to customers across multiple marketplaces. Want to know how to craft the perfect feedback messaging to fit all consumer types? Here’s what you’ll learn from this post:
#1. The importance of customer feedback
Customer experience is the most exciting business opportunity in 2018. Millennials are willing to pay the price for a good experience—and they’ll talk about it too.
This has led online sellers to change the way they think and act in terms of prioritizing customer feedback to promote their businesses. At a glance, we know that it:
- Improves overall business strategies
- Measures customer satisfaction
- Shows that opinions are valuable
- Improves customer retention
- Provides useful information to potential customers
#2. Best practices for sending feedback requests
While a number of factors can affect the response rate of customer feedback, you could see a rate of as low as 2 percent or as high as 85 percent. However, there are a couple of best practices that can impact whether a customer chooses to respond to your request. Let’s take a look:
1) Consider consumer type: To create a request that results in a review, you need to understand who your customers are. Moz wrote about four different personas that can be used by online sellers to classify their customers:
- Logical: For example, a logical persona will carefully read the details of an email before clicking a CTA, so it’s best to use clear, concise language and avoid fluff.
- Caring: This type of person is thoughtful and would prefer to hear how the business will benefit from their contribution.
- Impulsive: This persona is impulsive and risk-oriented, so be creative and use powerful words to draw them in.
- Aggressive: An aggressive persona will focus on self-improvement and is very rational. In your feedback request, consider explaining how contributing a review will benefit them in the long run.
2) Keep it snappy: As we recently discovered, the average attention span is 8 seconds. While you want to explain your intentions to your customers, you also want to get to the point. When drafting up your feedback request, try a maximum of three sentences with a CTA. Do a bit of A/B testing and send it to a subset of one of your lists to see if it’s successful. If it’s not, mix and match copy to see what works.
3) Use a suitable subject line: Apart from the fact that going into the spam folder is every business’ worst nightmare, it’s important to write subject lines that get your email opened. Try to sound like a human in the subject line of your feedback email. Here’s some food for thought:
- Got feedback for us?
- What can we do better
- We need YOUR feedback
- Your opinion is valuable
- You’re important to us, let’s talk
- We need your help
- We would hate to see you leave
Remember that emojis never go astray if it suits your online store’s tone of voice. Further to this, if you’re using the right software, you should try to add the customer’s name to the subject line to personalize the request. This will no doubt catch their attention.
4) Simple design: Don’t confuse your customers with a fussy format. Be simple. Here’s an example from Airbnb:
The main focus is the logo and CTA which is extremely effective for branding and engagement.
5) Include call-to-action: remember that a call-to-action will be the most engaging. As you can see in the Airbnb example above, it should be the most visual part of the email apart from the logo to entice the customer to click through to the survey or feedback request form.
6) Have a set goal: Whatever way you decide to segment your customers, you should determine what outcome you are looking for when you send feedback requests. Are you looking to improve product quality, shipping, website navigation etc? Steer the messaging that way. It won’t guarantee that you will get what you want but you can pose the question in the copy.
7) Ask honestly, don’t pressurize: Whether you’re managing your own online store or selling on marketplaces, it’s always good practice to avoid compensating customers for giving you good reviews. That’s why Amazon banned incentivizing good reviews a few years ago. Simply just ask for the feedback and nothing more.
8) Timing is everything: If a customer has had a particularly bad episode with your online store, be tactical and avoid contacting them immediately. On the other hand, if you have a happy customer, make sure you capture their thoughts on the service almost straight away while they still remember what they enjoyed.
#3. How to craft the perfect customer feedback template
No matter what the consumer type is, online businesses must be prepared to have the right message, sent out at the right time, to the right customer. Here are four templates to inspire you for common scenarios in the e-commerce world.
The joys of a satisfied customer, right? But make sure you get them to talk about their experience too! Online sellers could easily get preoccupied dealing with negative feedback for unhappy customers. However, good reviews are what can push potential customers over the edge to shop on your online store.
Let’s not beat around the bush. At any stage of an online business, there will always be dissatisfied customers for whatever reason—it’s close to impossible to make everyone happy. The main thing is to craft the messaging delicately. Negative feedback will always be extremely valuable, no matter what. Here’s an idea of what to say:
Imagine that there’s a subset of your customers who’ve had a relatively standard experience with your online store but never responded to your original feedback request email. The best way to tackle this is checking in after one month as a light reminder:
Directly after first purchase
Why not try to catch your new customers immediately after their package has made it successfully to them with no issue? They’re new to your business and therefore have fresh opinions.
#4. Capitalizing on customer feedback
Even if you create the perfect feedback request template for each customer, it won’t be effective unless you follow through. In other words, that some of the results of the feedback requests are taken on board and put into effect. Once you’ve invested time with the tactics above, here’s how you can articulate it to your team and to your customers.
Use your feedback as testimonials on the website. As we mentioned earlier, good reviews are as valuable as negative reviews, especially when it comes to pushing potential customers to purchase. Take the example of this xSellco customer:
They wrote us a good review so we got permission and now use their logo on our website. It’s a win-win for both sides.
For smaller e-commerce brands, it’s important to realize your niche as a company and sometimes reviews do just that. If you start to see that there are certain products that perform well on your site, you can maybe become an online site to specialize in that. But it works both ways: you can find what products need to be removed from the site.
For example, if you’re an online store selling activewear, you might determine after a period of time that your leggings are the best sellers and become a specialized brand for this.
Discover brand ambassadors or advocates from reviews. Are there customers from all different demographics that you could bring forward to represent your brand? Aside from getting the messaging right, this would be the best possible follow up.
For instance, social media influencers who take a shining to certain brands could find themselves as official brand ambassadors for some online stores. Online fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing has an affiliate program for its influential customers. This is a good way to encourage customer acquisition but also get your current customers involved in the business.
Make feedback No. 1
Just remember that feedback should be an integral part of your customer experience and marketing strategy, not an afterthought. It keeps everything transparent for both your own employees and customers. Understanding your customers and applying the best practices will optimize your chances of getting a return.
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