Make customer feedback work for your business

Customer feedback is at the heart of any business that is serious about keeping customers happy and attracting new ones. Knowing how customers react and tapping into ideas they have for new or existing products and services hands a huge amount of power to those involved in all areas of business strategy.
April 22, 2021
Customer feedback is at the heart of any business that is serious about keeping customers happy and attracting new ones. Knowing how customers react and tapping into ideas they have for new or existing products and services hands a huge amount of power to those involved in all areas of business strategy.
The question is, what’s the best way to find out what customers think? In recent years there has been an explosion of new and inventive ways to get into the customer’s psyche. Many of these are online, reflecting the way people buy these days – and in these contactless times, they will become ever more valuable to businesses. The trick to choosing the right method is to ask yourself two questions:
What is your feedback goal (which issue do to answer?). This will help you determine whether you need a quick one-question poll, an in-depth survey, or something in between.
Where would be the best place and time to findyour respondents? Do you want to catch them when your product, business area orwebsite is top of mind for them – perhaps when they are researching or making apurchase – or do you want to give them a bit more time to ruminate on theiranswers before giving their response?
Bearing those questions in mind, here are a few of theoptions out there that you might want to think about using.

Social media

A biggie in gathering consumer attitudes, social media has understandably gained traction in recent years as a place to keep a finger on the business pulse. With users who follow your brand, you know already that they are interested in you – and for those who don’t follow you, algorithm-based advertising means it’s easy to reach users who may well be future customers. Your posts can overtly ask for feedback (via tools like quickpolls or ‘ask me a question’ on Instagram), or you can post an image, business update or new idea to encourage comments that indicate which way the wind is blowing on a trend.

Video surveys

Perfect for either a quick one-question or a more in-depth multi-question study, online video surveys are a flexible and engaging way ofhearing from customers. Open-ended questions encourage unbiased feedback, with the advantage of being able to see the person giving the feedback and interpreting from their tone, gestures and facial expressions how they really feel. You can even pose your questions in video form, creating rapport between yourself and respondents. Should you choose this method, Plotto’s expertise will help you every step of the way, from creating the survey to posting it and analysing feedback. The versatility of video surveys means you can either catch customers when they are visiting your website, app or social media page, or you can pre-recruit a sample of people you are interested in and email them a link to the survey.

SMS and email surveys

The ubiquity of smartphones now means that 60% of emails are opened on a mobile device, while 98%of all SMS messages are opened, making them an effective way to get consumers’ attention. With their built-in camera, they present a great opportunity for asking people to answer a video survey, and they are even more successful if you link the request with a recent encounter your customer has had with your company. For example, up to 70% of people open order confirmation emails – so while they’re looking at their order details, ask them what they think of your company.
SMS Survey


Pop-up windows asking people to rate the website they are visiting or some other aspect of the brand can be useful for gathering in-the-moment responses, although they need to be used with care. If they appear as soon as somebody lands on a website, they can be annoying and disrupt the visit. However, they can be useful if they appear at a certain point – for example when the user intends to leave the website (why are they leaving?) or have scrolled to a certain depth/visited a certain number of pages (what do they think of the website so far?) As with all unsolicited requests for feedback, ease and speed of response is paramount – so make questions short and to the point – but you could also think about including an option to link to a video survey for more in-depth feedback.
Pop-up survey

Live Chat

The instant and informal nature of live chat means that people are more likely to use it than phone a company (53% of people, according to Harris Research). The nature of people’s queries on live chat means that feedback might lean towards the negative or confused (a problem with a service,or difficulties finding information on the website), but this in itself constitutes a useful insight into how the company can improve.
Live Chat Survey

Feedback boxes or buttons

Great for website evaluation – or for feedback on any other issue that occurs to customers when they’re visiting your site – this device allows people to comment quickly by typing their thoughts into a box. They’re often found at the bottom of a website or on the right hand side of the page. As with other methods that appear on websites, they work best if questions are focused and kept to a minimum.
Feedback button survey

Net promoter score

Arguably the quickest way to collect feedback online is by asking people how likely they are to recommend your company. The beauty of this is that the score indicates how widespread positive word of mouth might be, as well as how likely that customer will be to buy again from you. In conjunction with this, asking for a reason for their score shines a light on what you are doing well and what you need to improve.

Touchscreens at point of experience

An ultra-quick gauge of consumer satisfaction, emotion faces on buttons and touchscreens have been popping up everywhere, from airports and hospitals to retailers and public toilets. At a basic level they indicate whether customers are happy or not, and the touchscreen version allows for more detailed questioning to understand the reasons behind levels of satisfaction. Perfect for capturing reactions on the ground.
These are a few of the main ways you can get closer to your customers, keeping on top of satisfaction levels, needs and evolving trends. Choose the right one and you’ll be rewarded with insights that can be applie practically to your business, ensuring your offer is relevant, meaningful and attractive.