10 Tips for Effectively Collecting feedback in online ordering funnels

I often talk about the ‘Three Pillars’ of online customer feedback (collecting, analysing and taking action) and undoubtedly without the initial stage of collecting the right feedback on your websites and apps the whole exercise is futile. Collecting the right customer feedback in your online ordering funnel takes careful planning and a firm understanding of the journey your clients take when buying a product on your website or app.

The ‘right feedback’ is better described as ‘qualitative information’, the data which is relevant and most helpful to guiding your business and its sales funnel towards growth and customer retention. Overall, it is vital that feedback requests are relevant to the customer and your business drivers, whilst being timely so as not to hassle and alienate the very people you are trying to keep engaged and interested!

Here are my top 10 tips for collecting feedback in your online ordering funnels and ensuring it gives your organisation the maximum amount of assistance whilst keeping your customers happy:

1: Identify where visitors are leaving

This is the first step and is where feedback can add the most value. When you have your web analytics in place you will know how visitors are behaving and which pages have the highest exit rates. Feedback will tell you exactly why customers are leaving – for instance, with Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics (formerly known as Omniture) you can pin point exactly the spot where your visitors are not reaching their online goals.

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2: Use the right framework

It is vital to capture feedback in the moment (when the problems may be occurring), not via an email after the interaction. However, it can be difficult to decide what to ask and when, so a framework will provide a structure to collect the feedback you need and keep it consistent for every funnel or product. It is also vital to remember each step in the funnel has its own goal and best way to collect feedback.

There are three basic stages to cover in your framework:

The Beginning of the funnel: You need to capture and analyse feedback to understand the quality of your product content and offer relevant product information so more visitors will enter your sales funnel.

The actual purchase within the funnel: You should capture ‘exit insights’ from visitors that didn’t complete the order and ascertain why visitors do not proceed in the ordering funnel. For example, are there technical issues or is information missing?

The confirmation page at the end of the funnel: You want to gain insights into areas of improvement across the ordering process and the effort it took customers to reach their goal to ensure buying from you is an easy and efficient process.

3: Keep it short

Let’s be honest, not many people want to spend 30 minutes to provide you with feedback! So limit the number of questions (a maximum of say 3/4), keep them short and simple, with a facility to leave comments, which can be invaluable.

4: Be relevant

Don’t just ask for general feedback, you need to tune it around what you want to achieve. The more relevant your question is and the more it fits with what the customer is trying to achieve through your website or app, the more useful the feedback will be.

It is also important not to be intrusive and to be careful with the use of automated triggers (popping up when visitors are still busy could have a negative effect).

5: Pick one funnel

It makes sense to choose a funnel that has volume (number of visitors) and can directly establish an ROI. An ordering process lends itself well for a first feedback encounter as there are a lot of visitors and the problem is clear: Why are they not buying?

By concentrating on a specific area you can gain knowledge and feeling from the insights you obtain relatively quickly. Make small improvements and monitor the impact on the customer metrics that you have chosen; to really get a feel for how these can make big improvements to your customers and therefore your business.

6: Think in trends

Trends are far more useful than individual statistics and it is helpful to use metrics that can be reported over time. Ideally you should use relevant metrics such as Goal Completion Rate (GCR) and Customer Effort Scores (CES).

Equally this allows you to measure the effectiveness of your services and any improvements you make – for example, is it less effort for web visitors to buy from you than before? It is also very helpful to be able to relate trends to specific parts of your sales funnel, this helps to ensure your ‘fine tuning’ is getting the desired effects where its needed.

7: Capture those leads

Closing the loop is a popular concept within customer experience management, with good reason. It ensures that all your hard efforts lead to a profitable conclusion – which is equally the case for digital channels.

If a visitor is trying to order but gets stuck in the process, you want to know why, but also to convert this lead into a buying customer. Many times I have seen feedback forms on websites without the facility to leave contact details. Sadly, sometimes the feedback tool is treated as a toy for a marketer who wants to capture some insights, but does not want to get stuck in all kinds of service and support related questions.

This is a real under-use of resources, especially in sales and service funnels where this really is a missed opportunity. Feedback can offer a great chance to convert an interested visitor into a customer. So within sales funnels, always give the visitor the opportunity to leave their contact details.

8: Provide the right incentives

You are asking customers to make the effort and provide feedback, so why not stimulate and reward them for it? You could offer a discount, free usage, or a gift/prize for every 100th or 1000th feedback that is submitted. This shows your customers and visitors that you value their input and are prepared to give something in return for their efforts.

9: Prioritise and connect

If you have other apps in place on your website like direct VOIP connections (Call me now / call me later) or Chat, then it is useful to use those channels too. For example, if somebody notifies you that they want to order, but don’t reach this goal, it is a good idea to directly trigger a chat session with a sales assistant to help them.

10: Think mobile

Mobile devices have transformed e-commerce in recent years, with apps for buying clothes, handling insurance claims, or banking being increasingly popular – so these channels should be a key part of your business’ feedback strategy.

From a customer tracking perspective, a mobile screen does not offer the ability to track mouse events like you have on a desktop browser, for example to detect exit behaviour. However, within an app (or on a mobile website) you can always present a passive feedback form that can be triggered by a button (i.e. with text “Help us improve” or “Feedback”).

When you use a framework (as mentioned above) the confirmation page can be a great step to ask for feedback within your mobile app. I have seen many apps with feedback forms hidden away in a settings page for example – it is unlikely a user will go there when they are irritated that an ordering funnel isn’t working for them. Feedback on an app needs to be equally relevant and easy to use as any other platform.

Stop guessing, start knowing

There is no point trying to guess what your customers require; you need to find out from them directly! Capturing the right insights, in the right way, is crucial for optimising online sales, but do not make it too complex to start with.

Once feedback flows in you can tweak your setup and optimise it further, to see what works best for your specific situation. Often it will be a process of trial and error, but the secret to success lies in collecting feedback effectively. Want to know more about feedback analysis and taking action? Read my previous blog about the ‘Three Pillars’ of online customer feedback (collecting, analysing and taking action).

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