Halloween is almost here. The skies are growing darker. Leaves are covering the sidewalks. Pumpkins are sprouting up on nearly every front porch. And shops are dressing up their front windows with decorations of spiders, skeletons and scary masks! One thing is for sure, here in the Netherlands Halloween is definitely gaining ground. But while all the scaring and getting scared continues to become more popular and celebrated, this theme isn’t exactly something you want reflected in your business.
I’m talking about ‘scaring off’ your customers, which seems to be a common occurrence in many Voice of the Customer (VoC) programmes. The hard part is, sometimes you don’t even know you’re doing it. So where are you going wrong?
In this article, we’ll provide you with 5 tips that will help you avoid scaring off your customers with feedback forms! After all, no one wants to scare their customers away and yet it happens all too often in practice.
But before we get started, let’s tackle the basics. What is it that you need to be thinking about before deploying feedback forms on your website or mobile app? You can start by identifying your target group and determining what you actually want to achieve with online customer feedback. Do you want to evaluate the overall user experience of your website? Do you want to see why customers are dropping off within certain funnels? Or maybe you want to measure the loyalty of your customers? It’s important to keep these goals in mind when creating and deploying your online feedback forms. For tips on how to create feedback forms catered to your specific goals, check out this article.
All set? Great, now let’s take a look at what NOT to do…
1. DON’T just ‘wing it’ on your feedback strategy
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that customer feedback isn’t just a feedback button on your website. It’s a strategy which takes some time and critical thinking. This is a strategy that involves knowing who you want to target for feedback, what you would like to achieve and most importantly, how you’re going to do it!
A lot of times we see companies just ‘tacking’ feedback buttons on their website that appear to have no real strategy behind them. This can feel very illogical and unclear for your customers, especially when you’re asking them a question that is not exactly relevant to their stage in the journey.
So keep in mind what it is to want to achieve with each feedback form.
Suppose you want to measure customer loyalty. You can do this using the metric Net Promoter Score (NPS) in your form. This metric shows how much your customers value your brand, products or services and how willing they are to recommend you to friends / family. With this particular metric, many companies make the same mistake of asking for NPS too early.
A customer can only give a well-founded opinion if he/she has actual experience with a product or service from your company. If you place this form at the beginning of a sales funnel (in other words a visitor who has just been acquainted with your brand), you likely won’t get very useful or relevant feedback. Want more tips on how to measure NPS on your website? Check out this article.
2. DON’T ask too many questions in a feedback form
Behind all the creepy Halloween masks are usually very friendly people, who are just looking for a party! Do you know the true faces of your customers?
That is, of course, the goal of any feedback form: to better understand your customers and learn about their needs. But this is also where some companies go overboard. We’ve seen it countless times. The customer clicks on your feedback form and enthusiastically starts answering the questions. Then they click, ‘Next’ and come across another page of questions, and another, and another. There is no end! And poof, they’re gone.
Once you have made the decision to use feedback forms to optimise the online journey, you naturally want to know as much as possible about your customers in order to get the complete picture. But asking too much of your customers isn’t always wise. Including too many questions (let’s say 10-15 questions) in your feedback forms will scare off or discourage customers from completing the form. Try to keep the level of effort to a minimum and ask max 2-5 questions and keep the language simple and easy to understand. This will give you the best results!
3. DON’T go overboard using ‘mandatory’ fields in your feedback forms
There’s nothing more annoying that HAVING to do something. Halloween, for example, isn’t a mandatory celebration (unless you happen to be in the middle of Rotterdam during the zombie walk that is). It’s just a party for those who choose to celebrate it. And it is precisely that casualness that attracts people. Well, the same goes for feedback forms. Too many ‘musts’ can rub customers the wrong way…
I’m talking about mandatory fields in your feedback forms. While these are great for obtaining some of the information that you truly need from the customer such as contact details (so that you can assist them with an issue), sometimes companies have a tendency to go overboard.
Picture this. A visitor is filling in a feedback form on your website. You’ve made all questions mandatory, including a phone number. The visitor doesn’t want to provide you with their phone number as they would prefer to be contacted by email. They cannot submit the form until they’ve added their phone number or just any phone number so they either leave the form (feedback lost!) or submit a fake number. Can you see where this might go wrong? It can not only cause frustration for your visitor but also force them to supply you with incorrect information for the sake of just submitting the form.
Try to limit your mandatory question fields to only the most important questions in your form. Keep it as simple as possible (especially seeing as online feedback forms are always filled in voluntarily). This will have a huge effect on your response rates too.
Don’t believe me? According to SurveyMonkey, research has shown that 27% of participants will leave a feedback form if they cannot skip a question. On top of that, 25% will give a random answer to question that they do not or cannot answer, in order to continue answering questions. In other words, all reliability goes out the window!
4. DON’T limit yourself to one question type
During Halloween, children are out on the streets dressed up in their costumes going from door to door saying ‘Trick or Treat’! Trick or Treat, those are their only two options. But what if, in the case of online feedback, the customer’s feedback doesn’t fall under one of the two options you’ve given them. What then?
There are plenty of questions you can think of that just have a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer, but you’re going to need more context and more of an explanation as to their answer(s). That’s why it’s important to apply a variety of different question types in a feedback form, such as for example, open answer fields.
Open answer fields
Try adding an open answer field to your feedback form. But be warned! Avoid asking ONLY open answer questions as this can scare off your customers. Adding an open comment area at the end of feedback form is a great opportunity for the visitor to provide you with an explanation in their own words. This additional explanation clarifies the feedback and can be matched up with their other feedback to give you a full picture.
5. DON’T let technical errors prevent customers from their goals
If your visitor takes the time and effort to fill in and complete a feedback form, then of course you’ll want the process to go smoothly (so as not to scare them off!). There are a few technical errors organisations can experience with their feedback forms if they’re not careful. Slow loading feedback forms, forms that do not load at all or pull-downs that refuse to pull-down…these are a few examples. As soon as these things happen, your customer will quickly get frustrated and lose any motivation they might’ve had to fill in your form.
Our advice? Always regularly test your feedback forms yourself to make sure they are working optimally. Don’t want to have this problem at all? Then be careful when choosing your feedback tool. At Mopinion we have combined a highly scalable cloud solution with the latest technologies to deliver fast loads and response times. And, most important: valuable insights to improve your online business.
Let’s try to keep the ‘scaring’ to a minimum this holiday season!
Now that you know how NOT to scare your customers off with online feedback forms, it’s time to get started setting up your surveys. Need help getting started? Try any of these survey templates today.
And remember, once you’ve started collecting feedback, don’t stop there. In fact, one of the most important parts of any feedback programme is the analysis and taking action. You should continuously analyse your feedback, discover points of improvement and make the appropriate adjustments. Do that and you’ll be well on your way to a great customer experience!
Happy Halloween, everyone!
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