By Silvana Gragossian
September 9, 2020
One of the benefits of A/B testing your digital channels is that you can rely on customer behavior rather than just customer feedback to understand what components of your site work well and which don’t. However, direct customer feedback can still be immensely valuable — it provides qualitative data that can illuminate the findings from your A/B tests. While most A/B testing advice focuses directly on improving customer behavior toward conversion, any part of the customer journey, including opportunities for direct customer feedback are important to optimize. In this blog, I’ll walk through several ideas for optimizing your customer feedback mechanisms.
Timing Your Prompt for Feedback
One of the biggest roadblocks to getting customer feedback for many brands is that the feedback process happens outside of the regular customer journey. Once a customer has left the site, it usually takes an extreme experience for that customer to provide feedback. While, of course, you want to know about that experience, it’s probably not representative of how most users experience your site.
One way to rectify this imbalance is by building your customer feedback options into the customer journey. So as users interact with your site they can give input in the moment. This requires less effort on the part of the user, and also results in real time feedback. But, you’ll need to A/B test to figure out the best place to ask for feedback on your sites. It’s important to consider the value of the feedback against the possible friction it can cause your customer. For example, you may try implementing a feedback module after a user clicks “Add to Cart.” You’ll want to watch for both whether more users provide feedback, and also whether that impacts conversions. On the other hand, if you present your customer feedback option after checkout, customers may be less likely to submit. Depending on the type of feedback or how valuable it is for your brand, you may introduce a temporary feedback campaign, or perhaps only show it to customers who demonstrate certain behaviors, such as those who abandon the site before checkout or who make it to a certain featured page.
Asking for the Right Kind of Customer Feedback
What does your customer feedback form look like? Do you ask for a numerical rating, multiple choice questions, or short answers? The type of feedback you solicit could make the difference in the amount and quality of feedback you receive — you need to find the balance between getting the information you need and not annoying your customer or causing unnecessary friction.
Our client Corendon implemented a tiered approach to collecting feedback. The brand wanted customer feedback on the room selection step in the booking process. So, immediately below the room selection step they implemented a customer feedback module. The first step was a simple yes / no question, was the selection process clear? If the customer clicks yes, they simply continue on to the rest of the process. If they click no, a short answer block appears for the customer to elaborate. This worked well for Corendon, and increased their response rate. However, it’s important to A/B test what works for your site.
Customer Feedback Vs. Customer Behavior
The benefit of combining A/B testing with customer feedback is that you can combine descriptions of the customer experience with how people actually behave on your site. Both are important. For example, let’s say you implement a new payment process and you set up a customer feedback form about it. You see that conversions with the new process are steady, however most of the feedback you’re getting is negative. This brings up additional questions: Is the experience bad, but something else is pushing conversions over the edge? Are other circumstances causing an uptick in conversions, such as a holiday or sale? Or, does the negative experience not impact conversions but perhaps correlate with a drop in repeat customers? All of this information together gives you a clearer picture of the customer experience.
Like anything else on your site, customer feedback isn’t a one-size-fits-all feature. And, it can fit into your overall optimization strategy.
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