Just because you run an online business does not mean you cannot actively engage with visitors or customers who “step inside” your store to find out what they are thinking or how they feel about their interactions with your brand.
In fact, getting that one-on-one time with your online customers may be a game changer for your business. There’s a lot to be gained from feedback in general, be it positive or negative, related to your product or the quality of your website, and so on.
You may never really know what it is that is turning visitors off from converting to paying customers. Sure, you can use your site’s analytics or your CRM’s sales conversion statistics to gain some insights, but that is not enough. You need to have an honest conversation with your visitors to know what is truly going on.
This is why on-site customer feedback tools are an absolute necessity for e-commerce sites.
Here are some of the more common ways online stores can engage with consumers during that critical decision-making and post-purchase time period.
1. Online Polls
Online polls can take place anywhere your audience can be found: your website, social media, email newsletters, and more. The focus of these online polls should be on gathering information that helps build a consensus related to your brand, product, customer service, website performance, or anything else that will contribute to improving the user experience.
2. Pop-up Surveys
Surveys are great as they are usually sent out directly after an experience so that customers’ thoughts are still fresh when they respond. With the proliferation of pop-ups on websites, e-commerce companies can use these to ping visitors after the shopping experience to get feedback on how they felt about a certain aspect of it.
3. Live Chat
Live chat, on the other hand, can be trickier. While it is an excellent way to get in front of visitors in real time to answer questions or help them through the shopping experience, it also requires that you have a real person available to help 24/7 (or at least during regular online business hours).
4. Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews systems really shouldn’t be optional for e-commerce sites. With nearly a quarter of Americans sharing their opinions in online reviews, e-commerce companies cannot afford to miss out on this opportunity for feedback. There are two reasons why: 1) you get to learn how customers feel about your products or services, and 2) your consumers can use the social proof to help them make better buying decisions.
5. Community Forums
Community Q&A forums are another on-site tool you can use to actively converse with customers. Or, if you have an avid fan base, you can rely on your loyal customers to provide useful and relevant responses to questions and comments posted by other forum users.
6. Email Follow-up
Cart abandonment emails give online businesses a great way to reach out to customers and ask, “Hey, what’s going on? Is there anything we can do to make you come back?” Post-purchase emails are also great as they allow businesses to demonstrate that you care about the shoppers’ experience.
7. Social Media
Did you know that over half of online consumers who have shared feedback or service requests on social media go unanswered? Social media is one of the best ways to have a conversation with customers, both before and after they know who you are. With so many tools available to help you manage multiple social media profiles, the process of monitoring social for customer feedback and then engaging with them is easy.
When it comes to e-commerce, having a multi-channel customer feedback solution in place is key. While not every customer feedback channel will make sense for your site, having at least a few of the above on your side will bring incredible improvements to your e-commerce site’s offerings and the customer experience.
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