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How to get your customers to speak up

Here’s an interesting fact: Customers are much more likely to contact you when they don’t like your product than when they do. “Praise” emails are not that common nowadays.

And this has nothing to do with your product being of not such good quality. It’s just the way humans are set up. When we enjoy something, most of the time we like to enjoy it in silence. But when we don’t enjoy something, we want everyone to know.

So how to encourage your customers to speak up, and not only when they have a problem? Here are 5 tips you can use today.

1. Templates for testimonials

Testimonials are great for generating some proof that your products or services work, and that people enjoy using them.

However, most customers will find it hard to write a testimonial on their own. It always requires a while, and everyone wants their testimonial to sound smart, so they need to find a couple of minutes to craft a proper one.

You can make it a lot easier by creating a template and sending it to your customers. Start by writing your own testimonial, and then remove all the facts from it, leaving just the surrounding words, so everyone can fill it with whatever they want to say.

2. Feedback apps

website feedback icon

Sample icon requesting feedback

These are quite popular these days. Some sites have chosen to display a small icon on the left or right-hand side of their sites (see image – User Voice). The icon usually says something like “Send us your opinion,” or “Suggest a ______,” or whatever else feels suitable for the site.

This is run by an external app so you – the website owner – don’t have to focus on managing all the suggestions, you can simply use the provided interface and be done with it in no time.

3. Feedback section on your forum

If you have a forum that goes along with your site, consider creating a feedback section there.

Create some main threads asking some questions that seem the most important to you. Like for example: “What do you enjoy the most about our products?” Of course, I’m sure you can come up with something more creative.

People are really used to forums online, and they understand the way they work. That’s why your customers are very likely to take part in any discussion you start.

4. Email support reminders

Support via email is one of the most common ways of handling customer support. So here’s an idea. Whenever you solve a support ticket send another email asking your customer about their experience. Make the questions concrete, preferably in a form of a survey, so they can easily (and quickly) respond.

Plus, if you also include an open question, you might just be able to receive some great testimonials that way.

5. Incentives

Here’s the main question: Why would anyone even want to contact you? When customers don’t like something about your product they are contacting you to get the thing fixed. But when it’s already working, then there’s really no reason…

This is why you should consider offering some form of an incentive just for submitting some feedback (not just for positive feedback).

Things that work great are bonuses, discount codes, extra features for no charge, some additional content … it all depends on the kind of product or service you’re offering.

No matter which of these ideas you end up implementing you should remember that customer feedback is essential to every business’s development. How else would you be able to provide your customers with exactly what they want if you never asked?

 

Guest blogger details: Karol K. is a writer, and online businessman. You can connect with him at ThemeFuse.com where he publishes weekly articles – also a great place to go for top-notch WordPress themes.

6 Responses to How to get your customers to speak up

  • tashword says:

    Thanks for sharing those ideas with us, Karol. I like your suggestions of making it easier for clients – whether it is asking questions or using a template – as that is just another part of good service for them, as well as icnreasing the odds of getting valuable feedback.

  • probono says:

    Very useful tips, Karol. Thank you for sharing here. An idea, to go along with your first suggestion of using a template – use questions to get what you need. By asking them specific questions, you can get comments on exactly what you want. Most testimonials tend to be far too vague. Specific details are much more convincing as social proof.

    • tashword says:

      Thanks for adding that suggestion, pronbono. Specific questions help you get what you need and give your client some direction which makes it easier for them.

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  • KennyK says:

    Excellent ideas to get customers to give you their opinion. I think feedback apps nowadays are very good to use. One should use multiple methods, and the more information you can gather about your products/service and their experience as a client/user, the better for your future. It can help you make changes where needed.

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