Have you ever read an online newspaper, blog or magazine only to be asked for your feedback as a reader?
Most of us associate customer feedback with, well, customers. But for many businesses in the publishing industry, whose readers are their customers, asking for feedback directly is a way to optimize their product and learn more about user experience.
If you’ve visited a newspaper website in the last year, chances are good that you’ve run into at least one pop-up asking you to complete a reader survey. Did you answer it, or did you close it and go back to reading? If you completed it, did you have any valuable feedback to share?
From eCommerce companies and SaaS services to physical product businesses, customer feedback is extremely valuable. But does the newspaper method of setting up surveys on their website and surveying people before they become customers work? If it does, why? If it doesn’t, why not? Is it an efficient way to gain meaningful feedback?
Let’s start by looking at the pros and cons of surveying your visitors for Net Promoter Score® and direct feedback.
You’ll discover strengths, weaknesses and acquisition opportunities
Retention is one aspect of driving revenue for your business. The other, which takes place long before retention, is customer acquisition.
While post-sale Net Promoter Score surveys help you gain insight into what you can do to improve your onboarding process, raise your retention rate and reduce churn, pre-sale surveys help you discover weaknesses that stop people from becoming your customers in the first place.
By plugging these leaks, you can drive more website visitors to sign up as trial users, bringing in a greater flow of leads that eventually convert into paying customers.
This means your retention efforts, including Net Promoter Score surveying, have much more of an impact.
There are several benefits of adding a website visitor survey to your website:
- You’ll discover which aspects of your website’s content and usability are stopping visitors from becoming paying customers. A short, user-friendly survey gives you an extra layer of useful information that regular analytics do not always provide.
- You can reach a large number of leads and opportunities in an extremely short period of time.
- If you offer multiple products, you’ll discover which products customers are and aren’t interested in and why. This information can be extremely valuable for an eCommerce business.
- You’ll get real feedback from your target customers at the moment of purchase. NPS data collected post-sale is very valuable, but there’s nothing quite like hearing why a visitor bought something (or didn’t buy it) at the moment they made the decision.
- Because you’re surveying a much larger audience (visitors vs. paying customers) you’ll gain a more diverse, varied and statistically significant sample of responses.
- Finally, visitor surveys can be used as an effective lead generation tool. When a customer leaves their name and email address along with useful feedback, your team can follow up to implement their feedback and potentially regain and close the sale.
This data can give you valuable insights into why visitors are and aren’t buying your product or service – insights that can help you improve your conversion rate and gain more customers further on.
When should you survey your website’s visitors?
Depending on the type of business you run and the structure of your website, you might have several opportunities to survey your visitors:
- When they first reach your website and read an article or blog post. Surveying visitors at this point lets you discover what they were looking for when they found your website and can provide insights into the quality of your on-page content.
- After they sign up for your free trial. At this point, users aren’t yet paying customers, but they can still provide useful feedback to help you optimize your visitor-to-user conversion rate and generate more leads.
- When they abandon their shopping cart. About 68% of online customers abandon their shopping carts. Surveying users after an abandoned cart is a great way to discover the obstacles that prevented them from checking out.
Using this data, you can reach out to customers with abandoned carts and unfinished purchases via email to win back their business.
- Finally, by tracking visitors’ cookies, you can survey people on the second or third time they visit your website. This can help you discover why returning visitors are or aren’t converting into paying customers or free trial users.
Website Survey Deployment Best Practice:
- Survey engaged users. Engaged users are interested users, and they’re far more likely to provide meaningful feedback. Instead of surveying users the moment they reach your website, wait a little to give them a chance to engage with your content and offerings first.
- Use a short, simple survey. That’s not why respondents visited the site. Remember the KISS principle: keeping survey short and simple will generate more responses than long, complicated ones. A short NPS with a 0-10 scale will always outperform a long survey with 20+ detailed, confusing questions.
- Ask meaningful questions. The questions you ask will influence the answers visitors provide. Ask meaningful questions, such as “What stopped you from checking out?” or “What’s the #1 thing we can do to improve our product/service for you?”
- Show gratitude. Use it as an opportunity to show your visitors that their opinion matters. Thank them after they complete the survey. Then follow-up with those who were not happy with your product and convert them into paying customers.
Visitors have valuable feedback, but they aren’t paying customers
Listening to the public is a great thing, but it’s paying customers that ultimately have the most valuable feedback on how you can improve your product.
Listen to the opinions of your website’s visitors and you’ll discover opportunities that might get you more conversions and sales. Pay attention to your existing customers and you’ll reach an audience that’s already paying for and using your product.
When you survey your customers, you reach people that have committed to your business in the form of a monthly or one-off payment. They’re invested in the product, and as such the feedback they offer is usually more honest and direct.
With visitor surveys, however, results aren’t always perfect. Visitors that don’t like your product can vent their frustration in survey answers, giving you a biased sample that makes things look worse, from a visitor satisfaction perspective, than they really are.
So, there’s a little downside in surveying and listening to your website’s visitors. But placing a visitor survey on your website remains one of the most effective ways to reach all your users and ensure that every segment of your visitors receive the same chance to respond to the survey.
Thus, we advise to look at what both – your website visitors and customers – are saying in regards to your product or service. To add more clarity to your survey process, divide your paying customers and visitors into two different customer satisfaction campaigns or use segmentation analysis after the campaign.
It’s important to understand where visitor feedback fits in your list of priorities, and not to value it more than an opinion or insight from a paying, long-term customer.
Survey your customers and calculate your Net Promoter Score
Retently offers businesses of all sizes the unique opportunity to automatically measure their Net Promoter Score and therefore reduce churn rates, increase revenue and create happier, more enthusiastic customers.
Sign up for a free trial now to start using Retently to survey your website visitors and improve your conversion rate.