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4 ways that online retailers can gather quality feedback to improve customer experience

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that customer experience is the fundamental driving force behind eCommerce as we know it. Gartner predicted that by this year, more than 50% of organisations would implement significant business model changes in a bid to improve their overall customer experience. So clearly we’re not just talking about the importance of having a picture-perfect online store here. Not even close. Because, in reality there isn’t a single aspect of the eCommerce journey where customer experience isn’t important. From website navigation to the checkout process, to shipping and logistics, to returns – there’s an opportunity at every step of the process to provide your customers with a positive experience or a negative one.

And while you can follow the endless tips and resources available to create an outstanding experience for your customers, there’s no better way to improve your customer experience than gathering quality feedback from your existing customer base.

The great news is that gathering this kind of feedback doesn’t have to be an arduous task – we’re sharing 4 easy ways that you can start to get customer feedback that you can immediately use to dramatically improve your online offering.

Method #1: Social Listening tools

You know the saying ‘What others think about you is none of your business’? Well, that most certainly does NOT apply here! Social listening through any of the available online tools like Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Mention, or IFTTT is arguably the best way to discover what people really think about your brand. Because what you’re getting is completely unbiased (not to mention unfiltered) feedback. And while that might mean having to potentially read some negative posts, it may also teach you some home truths about certain aspects of your business, be it customer service that’s lacking, or product descriptions that don’t match up to reality. But it’s not all bad! Social listening tools will also help you to discover the things that really resonate with your customers, like beautiful packaging, or your marketing messages. Consider it meaningful eavesdropping.

Method #2: Survey your customers

The great thing about surveys is that they are a fantastic way to gather invaluable feedback from your customer base. The not-so-great thing about surveys is that people simply aren’t willing to spend time answering dozens of questions about your business and how make it better. So if you’re going to do customer surveys, you had better do them right! That means making them a subtle and natural part of the customer journey, such as at the end of a live chat with a customer service rep, or on the confirmation page of your site after a user has made a purchase. Ask one or two goal-oriented questions that are specific to that particular touchpoint of the customer journey – e.g. in your shopping cart abandonment pop-up, you should ask the user why they are leaving the store and give multiple choice answers so that all they have to do is select one option and move on.

Method #3: Product page reviews

A whopping 71% of consumers trust online peer reviews and recommendations more than professional content and copy. So although it’s absolutely essential for your product pages to have top notch descriptions, images, and videos, chances are that most shoppers are still going to want to see what other people who bought your product thought about it before they commit to the purchase.

Therefore using a customer review plugin such as Feedaty, ReviewBuddy, or TrustPilot on your product pages not only adds a layer or social proof to your offering and supports the decision-making process from a customer perspective, but it also offers valuable insights into the ‘why’ of your specific product offering. Sales reports will easily show you what your best and worst selling products are, but it is customer reviews that will reveal why customers love or hate them. And that information is seriously powerful when it comes to shaping your future product development.

Method #4: Returns slips 

Approximately one-third of all products that are bought online are returned. And while you can actively take steps to reduce the rate of returns coming from your online store, the reality is that returns are always going to be part and parcel of eCommerce. So why not utilise returns to learn more about your customers?

Your return slips should have several options for the user to choose to indicate the reason why they are returning a purchase. Then, as you log and track this feedback, you’ll be able to discover if there are any chinks in the armour of any specific area of your online store. That might be that customers are by and large sending back items because the fit was wrong – maybe it’s time to take a look at your sizing guides to make sure that they are correct as well as easily accessible on your product pages. Or similarly, it could be that a significant amount of customers are returning items because they arrived damaged. Maybe you should look at your packaging materials to see if they can be improved upon. There isn’t a single online retailer out there that can’t benefit from the feedback they get from returns.

There’s no doubt about it – customer experience is and will for the foreseeable future continue to be what sets online retailers apart in such a competitive market. And while it’s easy to get caught up in the hype around creating a top-notch customer experience by using the latest advancements in technology, the truth is that every retailer has a plethora of resources at their fingertips that will teach them everything they need to know about their audience. And by using this information, you can easily create an experience for your customers that ticks all of the boxes.

About Kooomo: Kooomo’s mission is to truly democratise global online trade by providing brands with access to multiple global sales channels at the click of a button. Named in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant 2017, Kooomo has 17 years experience working with hundreds of international customers on every step of their digital commerce journey.

Find out more about Koomoo here.

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