Don’t leave your customer feedback in the hands of Yelp users; actively seek it out and post it on your company’s website. That’s the motto of Adi Bittan, the CEO of OwnerListens.com, which helps businesses boost online feedback.
“Feedback is a powerful thing. It can increase revenue, improve customer satisfaction and help a business make profitable changes,” Bittan says. “Yet, many companies don’t put much effort into getting feedback.”
If your company lacks a way for customers to provide comments, Bittan offers these suggestions to turn your business website into a feedback-friendly zone.
Make it easy
Customers don’t want to jump through hoops to leave comments, Bittan says. She suggests putting a feedback tab on your company’s website so it’s easily accessible. In the name of convenience, Bittan also suggests ditching long comment forms like this one used by a fast food giant.
“A lot of businesses have a ridiculously long comment form hidden on their contact page,” she said. “Customers shouldn’t have to hunt through your site to find the feedback section, and they certainly shouldn’t have to fill out a bunch of boxes on a comment form. Just keep it simple.”
Google offers a feedback link at the bottom of every search results page; Firefox has a page dedicated to complaints. Both options are simplistic, but effective.
Ask for feedback
Don’t assume people will come to you if they have something to say, Bittan says. Let the public know you want feedback. For brick-and-mortar stores, she suggests communicating to customers how and where they leave feedback by hanging signs in areas where people gather, such as waiting areas and bathrooms. You can also put the information at the bottom of a receipt. For online shops, consider sending an email after a purchase, or on an order confirmation message.
“People won’t just walk up to you and give you feedback. But if they know you want it and where to go to leave it, they’re more apt to seek the opportunity out.”
Use the word feedback
When asking for a customer’s opinion, use the word feedback rather than words such as “comments” or “suggestions,” Bittan says.
“Feedback is a broad term and will encourage customers to talk about a variety of experiences,” Bittan said. “You won’t just hear about the bad things. You’ll get all kinds of feedback, from hearing about stellar employees to suggestions about moving furniture to unclutter an area. You’ll get a good mix of topics.”
Allow anonymous comments
Ask for feedback on your site, but tell visitors they don’t have to leave their name if they don’t want to.
“Some people are shy or just don’t want to leave their name, so don’t force them to,” Bittan said. “You can still respond to the comment on your site. And if the customer does leave their email, you can respond that way as well.”
Follow up, no matter what the feedback
Whether it’s a simple thank you or a long rant about something that went wrong, be sure you respond to every comment.
“A lot of businesses fail at this,” Bittan said. “Be polite and use stellar customer service skills to engage with the customer.”
If it’s a glowing review, display it on a testimonial page like Philz Coffee.
If you’re dealing with a negative comment, address it in public and solve it in private. In other words, leave a public message that apologizes for any wrongdoing and then send a private message to the user to clear up the issue.
“People want to feel listened to, so don’t ignore any comments,” Bittan said.
For more feedback tips, check out a previous post, What are People Saying About Your Business?
This post contributed by guest author, Lisa Furgison. Furgison is a media maven with ten years of journalism experience and a passion for creating top-notch content