a little shot of inspiration

Engaging consumers to give feedback

Engaging consumers to give feedback

2nd February 2017

More than ever before we are used to parting with our opinion and through numerous avenues, from social media to blog sites to the reviews we leave. Whatever the platform, as consumers we no longer deliberate about what we say or how we come across as at the end of the day, the digital realm is adversely anonymous and therefore, have become a more confident vocal nation because of it. And more and more we find ourselves indulging in the more controversial a statement, as after all, good or bad publicity, both are equally getting our opinion heard and embracing our own human right to have one and secretly we love to give it. But how do we cash in and use this consumer behaviour to our advantage?

As we all know, data is an enormous currency as it reveals to us everything about our audience, from where they are, what they want, dislike etc and we are constantly trying to explore more ways to gather further detail and insight. Feedback, comments and reviews, whether positive or negative are invaluable to a company’s progression and growth, as essentially it is data that has been voluntarily provided and what we do with this data can influence how audiences see our brand. This makes it even more priceless as we have not directly requested it and our customers have gone out of their way to provide us with further insight into our customer journeys, products, flaws and positives.

However all this aside, ask yourself a question as a consumer, when was the last time you gave your opinion on say a product you bought online or a service? Are you an avid reviewer when asked by companies or do you delete the endless feedback forms we receive exhaustingly each day to our email accounts? The majority of us would hit the delete button and the main reason for this and of what influences almost every buying decision in our lives is one fact, our time is precious. So how do we persuade such a busy world to take 5 minutes out to give us this invaluable feedback?

From being very young, naturally we don’t like being told what to do, we all in our minds are the leader even if reality suggests otherwise. However, the way most companies go about asking for feedback essentially comes across almost like spam via our email accounts. But what if we could bait our customers? Limit the review they need to give us and shorten the time needed? Even incentivise the process altogether where we reward them for their time?

Top 5 ways to entice customers to give feedback

1. You’ve been published!

We are all delicate creatures when it comes to our egos and what better way to nurture your consumers than by publishing their opinions for all to see. TripAdvisor are a great example of this. Their whole site and business plan is based purely on consumer feedback, making it even more important to stroke those egos. Publishing consumers reviews is a great way to make your consumers feel like their opinion is valid and also that they have made a difference. And again whether this is a negative or positive you are helping other people make decisions from your opinion.

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2. Say thank you!

It seems obvious but acknowledge the feedback left. Show your consumers you appreciate their time with a thank you email, make it colourful and fun and short and sweet and although they may delete it instantly you will have planted the seed that you value their time.

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3. Give something back!

We all like to get something for free, so why not give your consumers a discount on their next purchase as a thank you for their feedback? This way you thank them as well as securing their next order. Emphasising reward and equally creating a list of returning customers.

4. Make it collectable

How do you create a repetitive reviewer? Make it into a game, something to collect and catch the consumer’s “got to have them all” nature. Compare the Market do this brilliantly. Although there business model is on completion of using their quote, the idea of creating an extremely collectable and addictive incentive is used here. The meerkat toys with back stories and updates of where they are in transit. The consumer buys into the world Compare the Meerkat create and are more inclined to return so they can complete their collection.

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NatWest also did it with the Piggy banks many years ago on opening a bank account. Why not use the same collectable nature for reviewing? Incentivise by giving away something after so many reviews, or create a badge member for each level they’re at. After all status and the way people see us is just as important to us as getting something for free. Trip Advisor and eBay do this well, offering their reviewers badge status, e.g. as a bronze reviewer after so many reviews on Trip Advisor or a star member on eBay. Cleverly eBay’s feedback system also builds up your reputation especially if you are a seller, the more positive feedback and number of feedback left can create trust and be a decider on whether a buyer deals with you or not. It may be opinion left as feedback, but we value this more so than company promises and statements as it is reality, these are real people, buying real things and giving their real opinion.

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5. It’s about time

No matter who you are at the end of the day most things come down to time. Basically how long will this survey or feedback form take? Is there a way we can ask them a question on the email in two clicks? Simply click a button, direct the user to a landing page and present a simple multiple choice question. As after all, we are already used to this two click action on emails through the unsubscribe process.

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Also, pre filling forms in on entrance to this screen with browser and cookie help could also be a way of compressing the time this takes. If we then further incentivise our emails reassuring consumers that the next two clicks will ensure discount off the next order, then we are more likely to take the time to offer our opinion.

In summary…

All in all, customer feedback is an integral part to a brand’s longevity, not only from keeping consumers happy but also from learning and developing with our ever changing audiences. To ignore this important part of a business is to be left behind. However, we’re sure as the years go on and the technology and audiences change, this specific almost ‘after thought’ for most companies, will become a compulsory part of every website, email, media that goes out.