Customer Feedback: Your E-Commerce Business Needs It and Here’s How to Get It

Posted on November 20, 2018

Customer feedback has become an essential part of the e-commerce experience. Receiving the opinions of your consumers is obviously important in that it allows your businesses to understand how it must improve to create the optimal experience for your customers. But it’s also important because the potential distribution of the feedback to other customers can go a long way toward making or breaking your business. Research has revealed 91 percent of people regularly read online reviews and 85 percent trust them as if they were receiving the information from a friend.

So, you want to know what your customers think and so do your potential customers. This all makes obtaining customer feedback a necessity for success. The feedback isn’t like to magically appear, though. As is the case with many aspects of your e-commerce business in general, you have to encourage action from consumers.

In order to find out different strategies for obtaining customer feedback, we asked the opinion of those who have first-hand experience doing so. Here’s what they had to say:

Robb Hecht, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Baruch College

Robb Hecht serves as an adjunct professor of marketing at New York City’s Baruch College where he focuses on preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow that may not yet exist today. He encourages millennial and Generation Z students to build direct-to-consumer startups leveraging the power of data, A.I., Amazon, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. His career has included stops at R/GA, FCB, Havas, Omnicom, and Google, places that have allowed him to work with clients such as AT&T, Pfizer, Owens Corning, Cigna, Johnson & Johnson, GSK, and Pepsi. Here’s what Robb had to say about how to obtain customer feedback:

Engagement today is a must-have in social media. A brand’s posts must provide information, entertainment, etc., but most importantly they must call the customer to action to DO something. And so it is with generating customer feedback. The days of thinking about customer feedback as a negative thing are way over; today customer feedback is a treasure trove of gifts to improve your business. The best ways to solicit customer feedback reactively is to place feedback tools on your website. There are also many more proactive tactics to increase customer feedback, such as the following:

  • Reach out to your customers (in social posts, email CRM newsletters, ask your customers for feedback). The key is to keep your questions short and simple.
  • You have to ask the right questions. Ask questions which are specific rather than open-ended and vague.
  • You have to add color and humor to your queries.
  • Ideally, you have a chatbot placed on your Facebook fan page or on your website that proactively greets your customer and asks them questions. “Hey you, what can I help you with today?” … “How are we doing?” … “Finding what you’re looking for?”
  • The key in 2019 will be to develop the most personalized customer experience. When they are taken seriously and addressed in a personalized way, your customers will increase their feedback.

Zach Hendrix, GreenPal Co-Founder 

Zach Hendrix is the co-founder of GreenPal, an innovative online marketplace empowering users to source, schedule, and pay for quality, pre-screened lawn care providers. It is best described as Uber for lawn care. Here’s what he had to say about obtaining customer feedback:

We have Intercom installed in our mobile apps and websites to offer live chat support to our hundred thousand active users. Believe it or not, Intercom helps us with our SEO strategy. You wouldn’t think a live chat product would help with SEO, but it does for us.

Let me explain …  you see, part of Google’s local search rank depends on how many local reviews your business has. Our platform has 13 offices throughout the country and as such we have to drive reviews into each local office’s Google business page. Well, this can be a daunting task because how do you know what link to send to which users?

Intercom makes all this super easy for us because we send review and feedback emails to our users based on their city and then we send them an automated email asking them how their experience was after their third transaction and they get the specific city solicitation to send a review to their city.

This is a scalable way for us to calculate the net promoter score while asking for reviews on a city-by-city basis. It would not be possible with any other tour other than Intercom.

Nate Masterson, CMO at Maple Holistics

Maple Holistics is a small business dedicated to cruelty-free, natural, and sustainable personal care products. Nate Masterson serves as its CMO after having prior experience in marketing, human relations, finance, and business management. He’s using his experience in each of those areas to manage the day-to-day challenges of running an e-commerce company. Here’s what Nate had to say about how to get customer feedback:

We are always looking for feedback, and you can’t get it unless you ask for it. Staying active on social media and asking our customers for feedback regularly is something we try to make sure we’re doing. We also send out customer surveys, gather the data and take it into consideration for the future. We also offer product promotions for feedback received. Our customers believe in our mission and our company and therefore are usually excited to give us feedback.      

WordPress forms are one of the simplest and most effective ways to turn your good site into a great one. These user-friendly plugins are integral for establishing customer relationship management integrations and can also help make your website appear more legitimate. Between comments, newsletter sign-ups, and donation forms, there’s no limit to what WordPress forms can do. Likewise, many of these forms have proven to be invaluable resources for successful email campaigns. WordPress forms are often the first step in email marketing automation since they can efficiently build your mailing lists, send surveys, and gather crucial feedback for your marketing team.

Note: The views expressed in this article are strictly those of the contributors and independent of Engine.