You’re not using your website to tread water.

What’s the point? You have a visible, visual representation of your brand on the internet that can be an effective sales arm for your products and services.

All you need are the right marketing tactics for your site to get the most from it and make it work for you.

Do it right and your website could be huge, helping to improve your sales performance and spread word of who you are and what you do.

As I’ve said before gathering the right types of data is crucial for further growth. Using the right information and data relevant to your needs not only benefits the service you offer but also the service customers expect from you.

But there’s one form of data that I think’s more important than anything else out there. Customer feedback.

There’s one form of data that I think’s more important than anything else out there. Customer feedback.

The (online) customer is always right

One of the best ways to be successful in business is to listen to your customers and show you’ve taken their comments on board.

You may have marginally lower prices than your nearest competitor, for instance, but your customers might be thrown off by your high delivery fees and prefer a service that offers free delivery.

What I’m talking about here is different from providing great customer service. This is all about listening to feedback from real people and putting changes into practice. If any are needed, of course…

But traffic is faceless. People at times may visit your site once, not like what they see, and disappear.

How are you supposed to cultivate their thoughts and experiences, and determine why your site turned them off?

How do you communicate with visitors to your site? What’s your favourite way to get feedback? Let me know in the comments section below!

Open your communication channels

If you own a store as well as a site then you’ll appreciate how drastically different methods of communication can be.

It’s easy to talk to somebody browsing in your shop, for example, and asking them upfront for their tuppence worth.

And while communicating with people on social media is one way to collect visitors’ thoughts and perceptions the ideal scenario would be to ask as many people as many questions as possible without irritating them and being known as a pushy website.

There are ways to collect customer feedback – social media being the easiest and most obvious, if you have the time to dedicate to a live Q&A or similar.

It can be a tough balancing act. Luckily there are some great tools out there exactly for your needs.

1. Existing email lists

SurveyMonkey and Snap Surveys are particularly good services and are affordable for smaller businesses.

Got a list of newsletter subscribers that you regularly make use of? Why not create a one-off HTML email with a few of your most important questions contained.

Plan ahead and make a list of the most crucial questions that you want answers to, but be polite. Start your email with a note of how appreciative you are that people are taking the time to answer your questions and thank them in advance.

2. Surveys

It’s a common conception that people today don’t have as much time as they used to, are busier than ever, skim their eyes over everything and speedread, and generally drive themselves into the ground.

Let’s agree with that thought for the sake of argument. If people’s time is indeed tight and they don’t have the time to fill out an email then the next best option is to create a multiple-choice survey for them to fill out.

List your common questions and provide a range of multiple-choice answers for people to choose from. Also include comment boxes in case people want to expand on their thoughts and better explain themselves.

SurveyMonkey and Snap Surveys are particularly good services and are affordable for smaller businesses.

3. On-site forms

For those that want to spend a bit of money to really get to the bottom of what their customers really think about their brand KISSmetrics offers a brilliant range of unobtrusive tools that can be used on-site.

KISSmetrics offers a fantastic bridge between analytic data offered by Google and the habits of real people visiting your site, and is well worth the expense in my eyes.

Other good customer feedback software includes UseResponse, CustomerSure, UserVoice, Your Impressions, and many others designed to provide easy-to-digest customer feedback.

What programmes and services do you find useful for cultivating customer feedback? What combinations are affordable and easy to use? Let me know in the comments below!

4. Incentivise feedback

You’re more likely to get a reply via email or through social media if you incentivise the request. If people are filling out an email or a form on your site, thank them for giving up their time by entering their name into a competition you’ve set up to win a prize, or offer them a discount code upon completion.

The benefits, especially over social media, is that the incentive will be shared amongst their family and friends, leading to more people casting a critical eye on your site and offering a constructive opinion.

Have confidence in creativity

 

Let your creativity flow and let it blossom online.

 

Gathering customer feedback has never been more critical after Google’s algorithm updates this year.

Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird have wreaked havoc on traditional search habits making this year the toughest the industry has ever faced.

Which is good news – site owners now should focus on providing a flowing, easy-to-navigate web structure that loads quickly, is easy to purchase from, and packed with interesting content.

But selling your products and services online isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. There isn’t a standard template out there that will increase your ROI and let you retire early.

Let your creativity flow and let it blossom online. Better yet, refine your online visibility with quality customer feedback that takes their thoughts and concerns into account, and lets you improve your presence for their benefit as well as their own.

If you’d like to know more about how to communicate with your site visitors to improve your brand and more contact Webpresence today!