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Enticing Customers to Provide Feedback

Efforts to Seek Customers’ Opinions Should Be Well-Timed and Clear About What Customers Can Gain

Customer feedback

According to a 2021 report from McKinsey & Co., 93% of CX leaders surveyed in 2019 and 2020 relied mostly on customer satisfaction scores and other survey-based feedback to evaluate and assess their companies’ CX strategies. That survey also found that 85% were not happy with their evaluation method, and just 6% expressed confidence that their measurement system enabled both strategic and tactical decision making. Further, low response rates, data lags, ambiguity about performance drivers, and the lack of a clear link to financial value were noted as critical shortcomings.

That is why organizations of all types, but particularly those that interact with the public both in the real-world and through digital channels (such as telecommunications, retail, financial services, and healthcare) need to get more creative, in terms of collecting customer feedback.

While each of the approaches listed below can be effective when used in isolation, the most successful feedback strategies often incorporate multiple methods, to increase response rates, identify and analyze blind spots, and link insights coming from different touchpoints and spots along the customer journey.

Use product development and product updates as a hook

Customers often jump at the opportunity to provide insight and opinions that will help shape or refine the products or services they use. Particularly in high-value markets, such as telecommunications, automotive, and other sectors where an item is used regularly over a period of time, customers care about the fine details related to a product’s features and usability, or terms of service. Consider notifying customers that you are updating a product, and want their input, through a text, survey, or social media post, to elicit responses. If you are able to capture specific user demographic data, it can also provide even more insight into your customers and the features they desire.

This is the right time and place for asking people to share their feedback, because it demonstrates that the company truly cares about the customer, and that their opinions are valued.

Capture feedback at a predetermined time, after a customer has “lived” with a product or service

Many companies will text customers after a sales transaction, which allows the company to capture feedback in real time, as well as the opportunity to respond immediately to any guest who is unsatisfied with their experience so a remedy can be provided quickly.

However, this approach does not account for issues or challenges that may arise as a customer delves more deeply into a product or service. It often makes sense to schedule customer check-ins at a pre-determined time after a sale or interaction, which accomplishes two goals:

  • It allows the customer to provide feedback after the initial honeymoon period, which can mask underlying issues that impact the overall experience with a product or service. For example, many customers may not have investigated all the features of their new smartphone in the two hours or so after they take it home from the store. By scheduling a feedback survey a week or two later, product designers and marketers can capture deeper, more meaningful insights from customers that have truly experienced the product.
  • It demonstrates to the customer that the company is not simply trying to capture feedback to satisfy internal feedback metrics, and that the company really cares about the customer’s long-term experience with the product.

Related Article: Alchemer, Content Guru, Medallia, Others Launch New Products, Enhancements

Provide higher value incentives for feedback collection participation

Many companies provide some sort of nominal reward for completing a customer experience feedback survey. However, organizations should consider the value of providing higher-value incentives to capture deeper feedback from users to gain insights that generally are not elicited by surveys that take 30 seconds to complete.

Consider providing higher-value incentives (e.g. cash, gift card, etc.) to customers in exchange for completion of a more in-depth survey. While the survey should not be overly onerous, in terms of time to complete, it should embed logic to ensure that key survey questions are answered. Furthermore, the survey should be framed so that providing specific answers will help the development of a product or service that will benefit the customer, rather than simply helping the company address internal issues that the customer does not really care about.

Solicit feedback via live chat functions

Utilizing a chat feature on a website can be a cost-effective way to gather consumer feedback. In addition to checking in with the customer to see if they need assistance finding a product or retrieving information, a chat feature can be used to collect quick feedback about the product or brand. The key is to keep the question short and focused, to help drive responsiveness. It’s also useful to consider having the feedback mechanism simply be a response to a chat question, instead of sending customers to a separate survey link, which may feel too formal and may interrupt what the customer is trying to accomplish on the site.

Related Article: Evaluating Chatbots for Customer Support Applications

Speak with customers face-to-face

Despite the prevalence of digital channels, there is a lost art to speaking with customers to ask their feedback. Particularly in retail locations, it is appropriate to have a staff member ask people what their impression of the product or service is, particularly if they are waiting to be helped by an associate, or are at a lull during a transaction (such as waiting for a smartphone to be activated). This old-school approach to capturing feedback may yield interesting insights, and also demonstrates that a company is interested in hearing from the customer without the formal boundaries of electronic surveys.

Related Article: Taming Customer Feedback Data into Insights and Action

Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek,, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.


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