As much as we might wish it to be otherwise, some research is required when it comes to getting the most benefit from consumer feedback online.
One of the most important parts of your research efforts should be serious consideration of who your target audience really is. Of course you will want to know things about them such as their ages, gender, income ranges, and level of education. What you really need to find out however, is what kind of information regarding your target market can help you to improve your business.
Video: Exceptional Thinking – How to use customer information?
Making the Most Out of Your Online Feedback
In order to get maximum benefit from the feedback your customers and prospects give you, here are a few things you can do:
- Collect as much information as you can “behind the scenes” – This is to say, without requiring your customer / prospect to fill out any forms, for example. Data such as what browser someone is using, where they came from before arriving at your website (i.e. search results, a link on another website, a social profile, etc), how long they stayed on your page, etc are all examples of the kind of “behind the scenes” information you can collect that can be very useful to harnessing the full power of online feedback.
- Just come right out and ask for feedback – In direct opposition to our first bit of advice is the idea of just coming right out and asking for what you want. Using social media channels for this sort of information gathering is one of the most popular methods. You can also post to your brand’s blog asking for feedback in general, or on a specific product or service that your brand offers.
- Provide a way for users to leave feedback for you on your website – A common example of this technique would be a comment area or feedback form on your website. Many brands set up a “Contact Us” page for general feedback, or create separate pages for different types of feedback. How your brand does this will depend on your needs and volume of traffic.
- Ask customers / prospects to fill out a survey – Tread carefully in this area; do everything you can not to be repetitive or to ask too many questions at once. Keep things as straightforward and brief as possible. The easier and shorter a survey is, the more likely a visitor to your website is to complete it.
If at all possible, collect your data with minimal user involvement. You can do this through using a variety of online tools that are designed to help collect and organize your target audience and web traffic data.
On the less fun and sleuthy side of things, you will need to organize the data that you collect. This might not the the most entertaining thing in the world, but it is absolutely necessary if you want to be able to make use of this data later on!
If you would like to get more insider information on getting the most out of your brand’s online feedback, check out these great posts!
- How to extract actionable insight from online customer feedback – by Geoff Galat
- Using customer feedback to give location-specific, actionable insight – by Ashish Gambhir
- Seven Keys to Effective Feedback - by Grant Wiggins
- The Real Opportunity with Customers Reviews Online – by Ashish Gambhir
- Social Intelligence Trends for 2013 – by Kristin Muhlner
- 7 Ways To Get Actionable Insights From Social Data – by Eric Savitz
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How do you collect data from your customers / prospects?