Customer Feedback Tools: A Battle against Absurd Communication
A world where customer feedback and customer feedback tools do not exist is a world of absurd noncommunication. Just like the pupil and the professor in Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano, we would fumble and crumble around meaning, unable to grasp it and create genuine relationships with our customers.
Imagine the following dialogue applied in the context of an eCommerce business. Imagine the pupil is a customer and the professor is a Customer Support specialist.
“PUPIL: Are the roots of words square?
PROFESSOR: Square or cube. That depends.
PUPIL: I’ve got a toothache.”
Absurd dialogues can be funny, entertaining, and even deeply meaningful, yes. However, when they happen around your business, you should see this as a red flag because somewhere along the way, your bridge of communication with your customers has been broken.
Client feedback can help you maintain that bridge of communication in its pristine state and it can even help you mend back broken connections.
There are two main components to proper feedback management: the way you build your customer feedback survey per se and the feedback tool kit you use. For the purpose of this article, we will only touch upon the customer service survey part and the types of surveys out there. Then, we will focus more on the specific types of customer service feedback tools you should consider.
Why Customer Feedback Management Is Important
A customer feedback strategy is not about feedback collection only. Of course, collecting consumer feedback is absolutely crucial – without this stage, you simply don’t have enough data to work with.
Like it or not, how you organize customer feedback and customer feedback management tactics you use can be complete game changers. Collecting all the data in the world from thousands and thousands of users means nothing if your customer feedback analysis methods and tools are sketchy.
There are some rules all customer feedback endeavors should follow. Obviously, a good chunk of them are all about data security and hygiene. Others are simply about ways in which you can ensure the quality of the conclusions you draw from your surveys.
And then there are the rules related to the specific strategy and the specific type of feedback you are looking for. Of course, we all want positive feedback for good customer service – but accuracy and truthfulness is a lot better because it will actually help you improve those areas of your product that may not be top-notch.
Types of Customer Feedback
Depending on the specific type of survey you have chosen to run and the specific type of questions, you will have to employ different analysis methodologies. For instance, you analyze NPS feedback differently than you analyze traditional customer feedback, precisely because their foundation is structured in different ways.
There are multiple customer feedback categories, grouped according to different verticals. For instance, according to its purpose, a survey feedback can aim for:
- Product and brand health feedback
- Customer satisfaction feedback
- Customer loyalty feedback
… And so on.
Likewise, according to the medium and the data sources used for customer feedback, you can have:
- An online survey (pop-up, email, etc.)
- Face to face customer interviews
- Complaint box
… And so on.
Finally, there are also different types of customer feedback methods. Depending on the specific methodology used for the collection of feedback, there are two major categories: qualitative research (such as customer interviews) and quantitative research (such as surveys).
Why is all this important for the purpose of our article?
Well, you wouldn’t know what to do with your customer feedback or even exactly how to ask for feedback from customers if you didn’t know exactly what type of feedback you are looking for. As a result, you wouldn’t know what type of tools you need to use either.
Customer Feedback Tools 101
Let’s face it: customer feedback that shows up out of nowhere can be quite annoying. We have established, however, that there are certain things you can do to make your surveys a piece of cake for customers and visitors.
Luckily, we’re not savages anymore. So, you don’t have to collect, monitor, and analyze feedback by using endless paper forms collectively taking over whatever little space you have left on your desk.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do the math behind customer feedback.
And you don’t have to be a tech whiz to build a simple feedback questionnaire form online.
That is what customer feedback tools are for, actually.
Of course, there are about one thousand and one feedback tools available out there in the wilderness of the digital world – so it is perfectly understandable why you might feel slightly overwhelmed by the range of possibilities.
Ultimately, it all comes down to five main categories of feedback tools:
1. Employee feedback tools
This category is slightly out of our article’s scope, but it is more than worth mentioning it because these tools function similarly to most of the other Customer Feedback Management tools. The main difference between employee feedback tools and customer feedback tools is that the first are used internally, to measure engagement, loyalty, and satisfaction among employees.
And not that we’re bragging here, but you can do pretty much the same using our form builder too. Just sayin’. 🙂
2. Surveying tools
When it comes to surveying tools and customer feedback tools, an important distinction has to be made. In essence, surveys and feedback forms are very similar at a superficial level. However, not all surveys are feedback.
The most notable difference between the two categories is that surveys are most often perceived as a one-time deal. You go in, you ask your customers if they can answer some questions, you collect their opinions, and then you work out the data to draw your conclusions.
On the other hand, feedback is recurrent in nature and it will be usually collected at regular intervals of time. As such, they measure the way customer satisfaction changes across a given amount of time.
Both surveys and feedback can be collected and managed through Customer Feedback Management tools (which we will discuss at #3 below) or forms (which we will discuss at #5 below).
3. Customer Feedback Management tools (CFM)
This is the most complex type of feedback management tool. When you want to collect large amounts of data, when you want to segment it, when you want to run multiple types of surveys and feedbacks, you might want to turn to a dedicated customer feedback management tool.
There are advantages to doing this, of course. Our advice, though? Most tools dubbed as “CFM” are, in fact, tools that deal with areas that are, at least apparently, different than those connected to customer feedback and surveys. Some examples here include Hotjar (essentially a Conversion Rate Optimization tool), Monday (essentially a project management tool), and Zendesk (essentially a customer support tool).
There are, of course, tools dedicated entirely to customer feedback management – such as AskNicely, Verint Systems, and Mopinion. These tools are more specialized and they are targeted at enterprises – and yes, they do a nice job.
4. Live chats(used both for customer support and customer feedback)
These are not customer feedback tools per se – they are customer support tools. However, a lot of feedback can be collected during your customer support agents’ interaction with your customers. It is important to make sure that feedback collected this way is properly archived and pulled into your main database – so do check that you can do this with your customer support live chat tool (if not completely, then at least partially automatized).
5. Form builders (to create contact forms, feedback forms, surveys, and so on)
It would be biased of us to point you out to the best option – we obviously believe 123FormBuilder is the best solution when you want to make sure your feedback is collected in a neat, hygienic, and easy way. Every single feedback questionnaire you create with our form builder is extremely easy – both when it comes to the actual building process and when it comes to data collection, data hygiene, and overall ease of use.
You can use forms for pretty much every type of feedback or survey you can imagine. All you have to do is create an account on 123FormBuilder, click on New Form, then on Template gallery, and then simply use the search bar to find “feedback” form templates or “survey” form templates.
Guest Satisfaction Survey Basics You Really Need to Know
Alright, now you know which of the customer feedback tools suits your needs the best (fingers crossed it’s ours!). What now?
Well, creating feedback a guest satisfaction survey or feedback is as much about the tool as it is about the content of the feedback itself. So it is quite important to make sure you create the perfect satisfaction survey/ feedback form from the very beginning.
The “thing” with online feedback of any kind is that it can come off as quite annoying for the end user – if it’s not used correctly, that is. Sometimes, it feels more difficult to convince people to fill in a two-minute survey than to convince them to buy products worth thousands of dollars.
When your survey is correctly built and phrased, however, you automatically boost your odds of receiving as many answers as possible.
Some of the tips you might want to consider when creating any kind of customer feedback survey include the following:
- Short, sweet, and simple. Your customers are very, very nice to give you their feedback. Don’t keep them long and don’t make it any more difficult for them than it is absolutely necessary. Keep the number of questions as low as possible, keep the questions themselves very short, and make sure the entire functionality of the survey and its structure are simple and smooth to follow.
- Multiple types of questions. Make your survey interesting, keep your responders on their toes a little by providing them with different types of questions to answer: open-end, yes or no, multiple choice, etc. Offering your responders multiple types of questions to answer will also give you a better understanding of what they like and what they would improve about their experience with your business.
- Be consistent. Not only should you be consistent in terms of tone of voice and style, but in terms of ratings as well. If one question uses NPS (Net Promoter Score) to grade your services, then all of them should do the same. Otherwise, your data will be inaccurate and quite impossible to trust.
- Avoid biases. It’s easy to phrase your questions in a way that makes it hard for your customers to respond unfavorably. Sometimes, you may not even realize you’re doing it – and this is why it is very important to be fully conscious of any bias you may have towards your product. Be as neutral as possible when asking your questions!
- Give them something in return. Some may call this bribing. Others may call it being grateful. Regardless of where you stand on this, one thing’s for certain: people are far more likely to take two minutes to answer your questions if they are offered something in return. It can be a discount, account credit, an eBook, or anything else that will provide them with value.
Obviously, this is the short version. The long version would most likely look like an anthology of tips with volumes numbered from 1 to 30.
The main idea, however, is that you shouldn’t take your customers’ answers for granted. They take their time to answer your questions – and they are most definitely not obliged to do so. Treat them right by not wasting their time and by making it easy for them to help you.
In the end, customer satisfaction survey best practices are not just about boosting the number of answers you get, but also about making sure this is a smooth, pleasant experience for your respondents.
Without that, you are just tossing out questions into cyberspace – and, in return, receiving answers that are, most likely, unreliable. And when that happens, the whole point of collecting feedback becomes futile – because there’s no point in collecting thousands upon thousands of answers if little of all the data has any kind of value.