Of all the customer-facing assets that companies own, perhaps none are more overlooked and underutilized than websites.
Sure, most websites are refreshed periodically and upgraded when necessary, but too often they are neglected, never reaching their full potential.
And that potential is considerable. A website can be one of the most effective ways to gain a better understanding of your customers. It gives you the opportunity to capture feedback that will reveal exactly how to boost your business.
Developing a process for capturing feedback via your website allows you to discover issues that those within your company may have missed while also giving customers a voice. Through this feedback, you can more effectively manage your website and, ultimately, make better decisions for your business.
Capturing website feedback is a powerful strategy for all types of organizations, both large and small. The NBA’s Golden State Warriors have even used SurveyMonkey’s website survey tools and resources to continuously enhance the fan experience.
The bottom line: Websites should never become stagnant. With the right feedback, you can always find ways to improve.
Customer data is king these days. The more you have, the better you’re going to know and engage your customers. Among the many benefits of consistently capturing feedback via your website is that it can help you collect more customer data to gain clearer insights on their preferences and behaviors. Beyond that, the feedback can help flag issues that might have gone undetected so you can quickly address problems and help prevent them from reoccurring in the future.
The types of data that you can collect via your website fall into 4 buckets:
As the user data you capture via your website accumulates, it can play an increasing role in helping to inform future decisions, both in terms of upgrades to your website itself, as well as broader business decisions related to enhancing products and continually improving the customer experience.
And because data captured via websites is often overlooked by companies, you can gain an edge over your competitors simply by mining, analyzing and acting on the data generated through website customer feedback.
Additionally, once you collected some good feedback, you can assess how you stack up to other websites with website feedback survey benchmarks.
Ever visit a website that features content that is outdated, stale, short on relevant details, or just flat-out boring? It was probably memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Companies will often update a website and then let it languish, rarely refreshing content and paying little attention to whether the existing content still resonates with customers or reflects changes in the industry.
It’s essential to make a commitment to keep content current, relevant and engaging. Yet that can be challenging if you don’t have a mechanism to consistently gain insight into what your customers want to know. By capturing website feedback you can make data-driven decisions to ensure your content is optimized, both in how it is visually presented as well as the quality of what is being communicated.
You may face a situation in which those within your company think that content is being presented effectively, but your customers could have a radically different view. By capturing their feedback, you can unearth any appearance and presentation issues that could be undetected barriers to engagement, such as content size and length, choice and placement of images, and ease of access.
An obvious example is an instance in which stock art or customer images lack diversity—something that might go unnoticed by an internal team, but is glaringly obvious to a large swath of your customers. Consumers want to feel a connection to the companies they do business with. If they don’t see people they can relate to, they could take their business elsewhere without you ever knowing why. Similarly, if it appears that a company is either not taking diversity into consideration or not valuing it, consumers could choose to support a competitor who more closely aligns with their own values. Consistently capturing feedback on appearance can help flag any issues before they have a significant negative impact on your business.
Bad content is bad for business. Many companies learn this lesson the hard way. Scrimping on content may save some time or money initially, but it can cost you in the long run. Consumers have become increasingly savvy about how companies communicate with them, and whether the content featured on websites is relatable, relevant and providing information that helps them address specific challenges, gain greater understanding of issues, or make the most of the products and services offered.
Website feedback focused on content adds fresh eyes that can help guide future content decisions around what type of information your customers deem most valuable, and how they like to consume it. This helps ensure that your content is connecting with your audience, while also guiding more strategic decisions so you get the most value from your marketing and design spend.
Of all the metrics your company tracks, conversion rate should be near the top of your list. You can have scores of consumers visiting your website, but if only a small fraction of them end up taking buying actions—or at least engaging beyond a quick pit stop at your site—then you aren’t making a meaningful impact on your business’s bottom line and future prospects. In fact, one could argue that if your conversion rate is low despite having heavy traffic on your website, it can be even more damaging because the trusty maxim that “you only have one chance to make a first impression” definitely holds true in the digital world.
Fortunately, if you consistently gather and track website feedback, you can generate the insights necessary to course correct toward an increasingly improving conversion rate.
Website feedback provides some ongoing detective legwork for you that is often the most efficient way to determine what is holding people back from buying. The issues that arise are frequently triggered by a technology glitch that may call for a relatively simple fix. For instance, maybe customers are putting items in a shopping cart only to abandon it without completing the transaction. Their failure to close the deal could be the result of a buggy purchase button or a coupon code that doesn’t work. Impatient or impulse buyers who run into those types of problems may bail out on a purchase, never to return—and worse yet, might share their frustration with your company via social media or word of mouth.
Other issues identified may be related to your content, such as instances when potential customers have trouble fully understanding how your product or services work, or when they are not convinced that what you’re offering will address their challenges in the most cost-effective way. Gathering this feedback can ripple back to your content creation and presentation efforts, and help guide you in making changes that increase clarity and, in turn, increase conversion rates.
Once you get a customer, you want them to be happy. And ideally you want that happiness to continue to grow and flourish over time.
While this may seem like Customer Experience 101, knowing this truth and making it a consistent reality for your business are two starkly different things.
Maintaining a good relationship with your customers requires that you listen to them, and take actions that show that you care about what they are saying.
In many instances, your website—as the primary way the majority of your users interact with your company—is where customer satisfaction begins and, unfortunately, where it sometimes ends. Yet through capturing website feedback, you can learn if there are issues creating problems for your customers, both within your website itself, as well as other aspects of your business, such as customer support, product quality, shipping and delivery, and more.
Every successful business understands that your best customer is the one you already have, so customer satisfaction should be a shared focus of everyone in your organization. You can always amplify the power of your website feedback survey by viewing the results alongside other relevant customer experience data you collect. A customer service survey, for example, is a great way to gather feedback on whether your customer survey team is hitting the mark as well as whether there are other areas for improvement. It can also shed light on the feedback you collect about your website, like whether content gaps on your website are impacting customer service.
Fostering customer loyalty is critical for a business. Not only are loyal customers typically your best advocates, their good will has been built over time, so they are more apt to stick with you if at some point they face a challenge or difficulty when interacting with your company.
When you’re aiming to nurture customer loyalty, collecting website feedback can do double duty for you. First, it helps you keep your finger on the pulse of how loyal your customers are to your brand, and see if that loyalty is waxing or waning. Second, you can bolster loyalty every time you ask for feedback on your website, as customers will feel like their opinions are important to the company. By providing feedback, users will have the satisfaction that their concerns or problems are being heard.
Trust goes hand in hand with loyalty and, similarly, it is built over time. A lot goes into building trust with your customers, but when it comes to your website you can solidify that trust by showing them that you’re actively listening and working to improve issues that matter to them. Additionally, the feedback you receive about other aspects of your business can be shared with colleagues across your company to help fuel their interactions with customers.
Once you convert a customer you want to keep them. Maintaining high retention rates is cost efficient and helps build greater brand loyalty. By prioritizing customer satisfaction through website feedback, a business can prevent customers from leaving to go to a competitor. And in those inevitable instances in which customers do leave, you can gather insights into what drove their decision so you can make adjustments to help ensure more of your customers stick with you for the long haul.
Ideally, when your customers or prospects visit your website, their experience should be simple and seamless. They should immediately get a clear understanding of your company, how you can help them, and what differentiates you from your competitors. And when they want to take action, everything should work quickly and smoothly.
Users enjoy and expect optimal experiences when they interact with websites. If navigating a website is difficult or frequent problems occur, customers take notice.
Capturing website feedback can help a business better understand any issues with their user experience, such as bugs that cause poor site navigation or usability/accessibility problems. By gaining this insight you can provide a quick fix to issues and address specific concerns, while also improving the experience for all users of your website.
Website bugs are annoying, and you want the ability to swat them as soon as they emerge to prevent a full-blown infestation. Fortunately, if you have established a process to consistently capture website feedback, customers are typically quick to notify you about bugs that got in the way of them doing business with your company. Make sure that you maintain strong communications with your web and IT teams so you can address issues quickly and, if necessary, let customers know that the problem has been addressed and that you appreciate their feedback.
Often those within your company get so accustomed to your website—or in some instances don’t spend much time on it—that usability issues can go undetected. Yet if customers are experiencing problems navigating your website and don’t have a way to easily share the experience, they may go elsewhere. Through ongoing feedback you can continually enhance the user experience, not only addressing problems but taking proactive steps to ensure that your website keeps pace with the latest and greatest usability features.
Clearly, website feedback is important. But how do you go about asking for it in a way that is courteous but also effective?
The best approach is to use a website feedback survey that will efficiently collect the feedback you need to make better decisions for your website and your business as a whole.
Surveys are ideal for gathering measurable data and giving you an overall sense of the effectiveness of your site. Beyond that, they also allow you to dig deeper into specific aspects of the website experience and gain greater understanding about usability, content effectiveness, and reactions to specific web pages that are critical to the success of your business.
Website feedback surveys allow you to collect both quantitative and qualitative feedback on your site. Quantitative feedback includes key numerical data that can be analyzed and acted upon, while qualitative data provides insights into how your customers are thinking and feeling about your company.
In short, website feedback surveys are the most efficient and effective way to understand how and why people use your website, get to know their needs, and uncover whether those needs are being fully met.
So don’t let your website stagnate in cyberspace—put it to work! Help it achieve its full potential by consistently capturing website feedback. The results will deepen engagement with your customers and provide the direction you need to keep your website, and your business, going strong.