This article was written by Sabina Idler, community manager UXer @ Usabilla. While her education and interests are broad, Sabina is passionate about improving interactive media for all ages. For more UX insights, visit the Usabilla blog or follow Sabina on Twitter.
User feedback is important if you want to create something users will love. This holds true for any product - offline and online. However, sometimes, user feedback is not only important - it’s essential. Maybe even crucial for the success of a whole business.
Ecommerce is all about getting your visitors to spend money in your webshop. Obviously, there are many aspects that are important here. You need to have your marketing in place, you must sell the right kind of products for a reasonable price, and your visitors have to trust your site before they even consider to whip out their credit card.
How could you possibly get all of this right if not by carefully communing with your customers? Go out there and find out what they need, what their desires are, what they like and dislike... Because what happens if you get it wrong? Exactly, people will leave your site. They will keep looking until they find someone, who listens to them - someone who offers exactly what they want. Don’t you want to be that one?
Here are 10 things you can do to get valuable feedback from your customers:
1. Social Media - What are people saying about you?
Are your customers on social media? If yes, which platforms are they using the most? Once you know where they spend their free time, and where they discuss their lives with friends and family, don’t waste any time. That’s exactly where you need to go as well! Social media is a great source of information if you want to find out what your customers say about you.
Let’s imagine they were extremely happy with their last purchase on your site, chances are they want to share this experience with others. At the same time, if they had a bad experience, they are also likely to mention that. Either way, this kind of information should be priceless for you. Compliments will boost your ego, while pain points should be investigated and fixed asap. And don’t forget to reply, be it with appreciation, apologies, or information to explain yourself.
2. Social Media - Getting in touch with customers
Social media is also a great way to get in touch with your customers. Keep your followers up to date and share with them the latest news about your business. With relevant content you can steadily grow your social network and increase your reach for important announcements.
At the same time, social media allows for a two-way communication. This means your customers can easily reach out to you, too. And really, that’s what makes the medium so powerful. Don’t pretend to be active on social media and then deny your customers that interaction. Instead, be open for feedback and questions and respond to them in a timely manner.
3. Contact details - Be available
Contact details on your website are important for several reasons. Obviously, they are essential if you want your customers to contact you for whatever reason. At the same time, they build trust, because your customers know they are dealing with a real organization. If you offer different contact details, such as an email address, phone number, and a physical address, you leave it up to your customers which one they prefer.
Besides allowing your customers to get in touch, contact details also do something very different - maybe even more important. They communicate that you are available. People will not contact you just because they can. However, they will appreciate the fact that they could, in case something important came up - or if they want to give feedback on your site.
4. Personality - Be real, be human
Adding some personality to your website can be key to more interaction with your customers. When visiting a website, we know that we sit behind a screen and there is a web browser that translates different code to a visual interface. We don’t expect the same interpersonal experience than when talking to someone face to face. At the same time, that’s exactly what we secretly hope for.
There are many things you can do to add personality to your design. Make your site more human and show your customers that, even though the content is mediated, there are real and trustworthy people behind it. We wouldn’t tell a machine to improve, but we do know how to give feedback to other people.
5. Tone of voice - Show interest in your customers
In line with a more personal design is a personal tone of voice. The way you present yourself and the words you use to communicate with your customers have a direct effect on how people see you as a person or company.
Be professional and show your expertise, but not in a egocentric and cocky way. It is important that you focus your content around your customers and their needs and desires. Address your visitors directly and help them reach their goals - not yours. If you show hoest interest in your visitors, they are much more likely to help you in return.
6. Encourage customers to give feedback by showing that others do, too
Most of us have a hard time making decisions. This applies to all situations in our lives, including the internet. When asking your visitors for feedback, provide them with a couple of reasons why they should do so. One of these reasons can be that others have also provided you with feedback.
Social proof is a very effective tool to help people make decisions. Just show some testimonials, the most recent support questions, or social media activity. When people see others engage with your site, they feel more comfortable to do so was well.
7. Listen to feedback - and act upon it
User feedback is not a collectors’ item. It’s not about gathering as much feedback as possible and putting it in a shadowbox to keep off the dust. Rather, if you ask for feedback, you should also act upon it. Then, write up all changes you made and publish them in a case study. Your customers will love to see that you take them seriously.
Bugs should be fixed instantly. Compliments can be shared with the team to boost your ego. Suggestions should be discussed and considered for implementation. Imagine ten of your customers suggest the same feature. Chances are that this one feature will significantly improve your product - maybe even set it apart from your competitors.
8. Analytics - Do your customers do what you want them to do?
Analytical tools can also be a great source of information. Name it passive feedback if you will. Your customers come from different sources, they visit different pages, they spend a certain amount of time on your site, and at one point, they leave your site.
All of this can tell you what people do on your site and if that’s what you want them to do. If not, you should dig deeper to find out why.
9. Conversion - How do changes affect your conversion?
Another way of gathering feedback by the numbers is to keep an eye on your most important conversions. When making changes to your site - be it to the design, content, or your information structure - they might have an effect on your conversion.
You can also use A/B testing to see whether changes in- or decrease your conversion before implementing them in your site for good.
10. A new standard in user feedback - Usabilla Live
It is quite easy and a common habit to track our visitors’ behaviour and see whether - or not - they convert. However, especially when looking at statistical data, it seems difficult to get down to the root of the trouble - the WHY? Why do people visit my site? Why do customers act the way they do? And why do they decide to leave your site in the middle of the checkout process?
Here is the good news: It doesn’t have to be difficult!
With the online feedback technology Usabilla Live, you can simply ask them! Ask your customers anything you want and collect valuable visual feedback on your live website. Give your visitors an intuitive tool to give feedback and continuously improve your website to meet their needs and desires. Ultimately, your customers will be more happy, more loyal, and more likely to convert.
Usabilla Live is now available in the SEOshop Store under Services.