Gathering user feedback is one of the most straight-forward and effective tactics for improving your product or service. And the best way to get honest, insightful feedback is with a form that makes it easy for customers to answer meaningful questions.
I covered how to build a better feedback form in a previous post; however, creating the form is only half of the equation. You also need people to find your form and fill it out. Here are three ways to draw attention to your feedback form and get more users to participate.
1. Front and center
On-page feedback forms exponentially increase the form’s visibility. However, a sensitive, user-focused design is extra important when a form is offered right on the pages. If the form disrupts the user experience, you run the risk of frustrating users and losing valuable participation.
There are two methods of on-page feedback forms: passive (user-initiated) and active (company-initiated). In user-initiated forms, the user seeks out interaction with the feedback system. They are generally designed as a tab or icon in the visitor’s peripheral vision, usually on the side or edge of the page.
In an active feedback form, the user is prompted by an interruption on the page. Usually these are designed as a pop up or overlay, which is triggered after the user has been on the page for a certain amount of time, reaches a particular point in the content, or clicks to leave the page (known as an exit overlay).
Either approach can work—it simply depends on your philosophy and what you know about your users’ preferences. According to iPerceptions, in their own feedback solutions, “Visitor-initiated feedback garners a significantly lower response rate, averaging 0.1% of website traffic, versus active solutions which boast a 2-5% response rate.” Although iPerceptions reports higher response rates with pops up, it’s important to note that they could also create a negative experience for the 95-98% of people who are forced to click to close them. Thinking holistically about the user experience will help determine the appropriate balance between providing a visible feedback channel and being disruptive.
2. You’ve got mail
Emailing users for feedback can be a winning approach for gathering responses—it’s a private channel and convenient for the user, who can respond on their own time. But not all emails will deliver the same results. In fact according to Experian’s Transactional Email Report (PDF), “Customers engage with transactional emails such as order, shipping and return/exchange notifications at a much higher rate than they do with promotional and branding-focused campaigns.”
If this is the case at your company, instead of creating a separate email campaign to solicit feedback, try including a feedback prompt in the emails you send to users when confirming purchases or order changes.
As for when to send the emails, Survey Monkey found that Fridays get the highest survey response rates. Although, your own experience could prove differently based on the user group. Do research to determine when you have the best email open rates.
Tip: Remember your whole mailing list. It can pay to get feedback from ex-customers or users who are leaving your service. Ask if you can arrange an exit interview or send them a feedback form.
3. What’s in it for them?
Another way to increase responses is to offer a perk. Think about it from the user’s perspective. Responding to you about ways to improve your service is an effort on their part. Make sure there’s something in it for them and that they see the benefit of giving feedback.
Think about what might encourage your users to provide feedback, such as:
- Feeling involved: Your users feel important and valued when you thank them for being part of the team.
- A better product or service: Help your users understand how you’ll use the information to improve your product or service. "Customers are more likely to give feedback to someone they believe is empowered to act," says Whitney Wood, managing director of The Phelon Group.
- Saving money: A credit or money-off deal is always a great motivator.
Putting it all together
Each website and audience is different. To ensure that you have the best plan in place, A/B test your ideas to decide which approach will get you the most valuable results.
In general, increasing the visibility of your feedback forms and the level at which you promote them should result in a higher response rate. Put this together with improved form design and well-written questions, and you’ll soon have lots of useful feedback data and a greater idea of how to improve your customer experience.
Today’s guest post features the wisdom of Hazel Bolton, content manager at Zendesk partner Formisimo, which measures how visitors interact with the forms on your website.