Editor's note: This is a translation of the original German guest post published on TrekkSoft Deutsch.
When you’re in the eCommerce business, customer feedback should be the backbone of your marketing and sales strategy. Today, you have the power of the internet behind you. In the tourism sector, this is great news, especially with the multiple channels available to you today.
You may be wondering why it's necessary to utilize multiple channels to collect customer satisfaction data.
- A typical business only hears from about 4% of their dissatisfied customers.
- 78% of customers have bailed on a transaction because of a bad service experience.
- Your chances of selling to a new prospect are as low as 5% while your chances of selling to an existing customer are as high as 70%.
So, if you’re not actively requesting feedback from your customers, you may miss out on what they want and need, and ultimately lose sales and/or current customers. Here are four ways you can collect useful feedback from your customers to ensure you’re getting a diverse array of feedback while making sure your policies are on par with what they expect.
1. Send them an email
When done correctly, email works well for gathering customer feedback. In order to execute this strategy successfully, you must provide purpose and context. Your customers are more likely to respond to your request if they know why you care about their answers. So, be mindful of how you elicit feedback via email.
Personalization can increase the click-through-rate of an email by 14% and the conversion by 10%. So, try to use the recipient's name in the messages you send. When you have more information (the city they live in, the company they work for, etc) use that as well.
Segmentation will allow you to personalize your messaging even more fully, ensuring every message is on target for each recipient. If you’re selling art products, for example, you want the language to be different for hobbyists compared to professors and seasoned gallery artists. By segmenting your list, you can use a similar feedback request with minor edits for each group.
Optimize your mobile testing because 53% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. So, before you send out requests to your customers, check that your links, feedback forms, and surveys are easy to access and navigate from mobile devices.
2. Leverage online review sites
Online review sites are an excellent way to find out what people think of your brand. Customers will leave feedback about your tours, activities, and products for the world to see. You want to leverage this to your advantage.
Encourage feedback on your website, both on the booking pages, and in your customer service page. Customer reviews are nearly 12 times more trusted than a manufacturer’s product descriptions.
Furthermore, 90% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase. This applies to retail, dining, and travel. So, make it as easy as possible for customers to share their experience using your products and services.
Respond to both negative reviews and questions promptly.This goes for both public and private feedback. This lets everyone know that their grievances will be heard. Once an issue is resolved, make sure to update the customer on its progress.
3. Consider text messaging
You may think that text message marketing is reserved for promotions. This couldn’t be further from the truth. One important statistic: about 90% of text messages are opened within three minutes of recieving them, and the response rate is about 30%.
These numbers show that text messaging is arguably the more effective way to reach your customers. So, texting should definitely be part of your customer feedback collection strategy.
Opting-in is critical for text message recipients, just as it is for email. Though you already have your customers’ phone numbers from their account information, you must have permission to send text messages. Otherwise, you could be looking at hefty fines. So, make sure you have a text message list that customers have subscribed to before you start texting everyone who has ordered something from you.
Only send text messages during normal business hours. You can send emails any time of day. But, you don’t want to wake customers up at midnight, so be mindful of where in the world people are and schedule text messages accordingly.
Craft your messages in one of two ways:
- Send one or two questions the recipient can respond directly to.
- Include a link to a more in-depth survey (use a URL shortener to save space when sending text messages).
4. Start a supportive conversation on social media
Social media platforms are set up in such a way that you can both “listen” and respond to customer feedback in a conversational way.
Monitor your brand to stay updated on what people are saying, respond to positive and negative feedback for public and private posts, and initiate discussions to find out what people think. This will help you know what you need to change and keep people informed and ultimately satisfied, with the work you do.
Social listening is valuable in customer feedback. Here are some tips to help you gain the most from your listening:
- Conduct frequent searches for your brand, your competition, and industry buzzwords.
- Note what people are saying about you and your products.
- Implement changes to your policies, based on what people want in combination with what your internal data suggests.
Use social monitoring tools to make the most of your efforts. When there is a lot of information to sift through and you can’t feasibly respond to every single request coming in, technology can help you identify trends. Based on these trends, you can brainstorm strategies to respond to these concerns.
Respond to customer feedback in a calculated way. On social media, the information you share is never going away. Even if you choose to move the conversation to a private platform, parts of the conversation can become public if a customer screenshots your conversation and shows the rest of the world.
Customer feedback can serve as a launching pad for your business’ growth. Source feedback through email, online review sites, text messaging, and social media. If you use these tips, you could expand your business in a way that leads to happy customers, retention, and higher sales.