Good or bad — customer feedback promises to make its mark on your top line.
Rave reviews can help attract new customers and even keep existing ones coming back for more. Nearly 90% of Americans trust online reviews to help them choose between local businesses. Meanwhile, negative reviews help highlight ways to improve the customer shopping experience. Or, at least they should.
When it comes to online reviews, separating fact from fiction isn’t always easy. Approximately eight out of 10 consumers have read a fake review in the past year, but 84% can’t always spot them. And even if a review turns out to be authentic, it may not tell the whole story.
According to the well-established “90-9-1” rule, which we’ve translated in the retail sense, 90% of customers never leave feedback, 9% occasionally provide reviews in the extreme and only 1% are serial feedback givers. Encouraging this “silent majority” to speak up can generate insights that improve the shopping experience along with customer engagement. Explore what to do — and not do — when going after valuable customer feedback.
Time To Think Twice
Regardless of whether customers are checking out in-store or online, time likely isn’t on your side. Most shoppers aren’t looking to spend more precious time filling out a lengthy survey — even after they’ve made a satisfactory purchase. Although 47% of consumers view receipt surveys as a completely acceptable way to solicit feedback, that doesn’t always mean responses will follow. Dwindling attention spans, coupled with tightening schedules, could reduce your chances of hearing from the silent majority.
Thinking about offering prizes in exchange for feedback? Think again. Survey incentives have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years. From discounts to loyalty points, retailers are now dishing out almost every incentive in the book. Doing the same could actually cause your survey to go unnoticed.
This incentive overload has already made its way toward the fast food industry, where 46% of consumers never even notice a reward offer on the back of their receipt. Avoid the same fate by pulling back on incentive-laden surveys. In addition to having a tough time grabbing consumer attention, such surveys might also call the validity of consumer responses into question. After all, customers could simply speed through a survey to obtain the prize. If you’re looking for thoughtful responses that can drive consumer engagement, it may be time to try something new.
Taking The Fuss Out Of Feedback
Why wait to gather feedback or send out lengthy surveys when a quick question can get the job done? Strike while the iron is hot to ensure customer responses are both timely and accurate. The response rate for questions asked in real time at the point-of-sale (POS) in store hovers just under 90%. Better yet, feedback is 40% more accuratewhen it’s collected at the point of purchase versus later on.
During the checkout process, less is more. Instead of bombarding customers with an endless list of questions, choose one that they can answer in just seconds. Not only will customers enjoy getting on with their day, but you’ll also see a spike in response rates.
Pose questions while customers are still at the payment terminal or immediately after an online payment is completed. And remember to keep things simple. Not many customers will devote more than a few seconds of their time toward providing feedback. Make the most of your opportunity by getting straight to the point with each question. As feedback begins to roll in, you’ll learn which questions produce the most actionable data.
Perhaps even more importantly, real-time questions can help calm concerns surrounding the legitimacy of customer responses. With online review sites, it’s often tough to tell if the user actually made a purchase or set foot in your store. And when it comes to customer feedback surveys that are included on the back of receipts or emailed days later, response rates might not match expectations. Real-time feedback is the best of both worlds. Guarantee that each review is authentic while also gathering enough feedback to draw meaningful insights.
Set yourself up for success by reaching out to a technology provider that can align both online and in-store feedback. No matter where it’s collected, customer feedback can help take your shopping experience to the next level. Partner with a provider that has the tools to create a simple yet effective feedback collection process.
Georgina Nelson is the CEO and founder of TruRating, a customer feedback solution. Headquartered in the UK, TruRating has operations across Australia, Canada and the U.S. With a background in law and an eye for the consumer, Nelson saw the need for reliable, validated customer reviews that would better serve businesses, thus launching TruRating in 2014.