Imagine this: you enter to a small retail store, looking for a gift for a friend, and you’re greeted by a kind, lovely sales clerk.
As you browse through their store, the nice sales clerk helps you find what you’re looking for, while at the same time she starts a nice conversation with you.
While you decide which product to buy, the clerk starts a friendly conversation with you. At first, you feel reticent as you know she’s a sales clerk after all, and her work is to make sales to people like you.
However, she makes you feel at ease, and you open up. She tells you about the story of the shop, which she didn’t start, but still liked a lot, and also all the different things the store has to offer.
After searching for a while you finally decide the product you want to buy to your friend. At this point, the sales clerk seems to be more like a friend than a salesperson; not only she was nice and friendly, she even helped you choose the product for your friend.
Once you finish making the purchase, and just before you grab your bag and leave the store, she gives you a $20 gift card for your next purchase.
If you want to give your customers a bad customer experience, go ahead and do it. But then if you’re surprised that nobody buys from your store again, and people talk bad about you, you’ll know why it happens.
As you can imagine, it’s better to ask for your customer’s feedback as soon as possible and give them a great experience.
How to Ask for Customer Feedback
There are many ways you can get feedback from your customers.
The most usual ways for online businesses to get their customer’s feedback is by doing surveys, usability tests, or by analyzing your customer support emails.
Surveys allow you to ask your customers about their feedback in a straightforward way. You simply send them a link to a survey with questions that will allow them to tell you about their experience with you, and that’s pretty much it. Even though this is easier said than done, the process is very simple.
The first two tools allow you to get a bigger amount of customer feedback, which will give you a deeper knowledge of their problems and challenges. However, because they’ll receive the survey in their emails, which means they will have to click on the link on it, and then answer all the questions (which can range from 5 to 20, or even more in some cases), the response rate is usually lower.
The last one, Qualaroo, is what’s called an “in-app” survey tool. That means your customers will see the survey while they’re browsing in your site, as you can see in the image below.
Even though you’ll ask fewer questions, and therefore you’ll get a lower amount of feedback, you’ll probably get a much bigger number of responses.
Have you ever thought “I wish I could have my customers next to me to actually see what they do in my site?“. Well, that’s what usability tests do. In an usability test, you actually see your customers interact with your store.
The classic usability test are run in a laboratory, where a person sits next to an user, and sees her interact with the website. Even though this is really nice, it can get really expensive and hard to execute. However, nowadays there are a lot of online usability tests tools that record the user experience and let you see it. Altough online usability tests aren’t the same as a 1-on-1 usability test, they’re still pretty close to the “classic” ones.
One of the tools that allow you to carry one an online usability test is UsabilityHub.
This whole idea probably sounds really well and much more effective than a survey, or any other feedback recollection option. As said before, the main problem with an usability test is its cost and time to execution. Still, if you focus on the online ones, and plan accordingly, you can get high-quality feedback from your customers.
Customer Support Emails
One very simple yet effective way of getting highly-relevant feedback from your customers is by analyzing your customer support emails. Just think about it: people have problems with your company. They ask for your help. You help them. All that data, which is already saved in your company’s customer support tool is invaluable as it shows the most common problems they have with your company.
All this data can help you figure out how you can help them even better in their next shopping experience. For instance, you could develop a better FAQs, or you could fix those problems before they come up, or you could be better prepared for certain problem to happen.
Whatever you end up doing with that feedback, the key is you already have that data. Use it wisely.
How Can Conversio (previously Receiptful) Can Help You
All of the methods just explained have one thing in common: they are carried out after a few days or weeks after the customer had the interaction with the your company.
Even though that’s not bad per se, think for a second: do you remember what was your experience last week when you went to the supermarket? Do you actually remember that exact experience?
If you’re anything like me, you don’t. It’s easy to average out your experiences, but it’s hard to remember each individual experience after a few days.
However, what if you could get your customer’s feedback as soon as their purchased from you? Instead of having to wait a few days to really know if their experience was good or not, you could know right away.
This is what Conversio does.
In Conversio we let online merchants know more about their customer’s experience by putting a free feedback module inside their email receipt.
Even though you can’t specifically tell the merchant what you liked or what you didn’t like about their store and the shopping experience, you can let them know whether your experience was good or not. That’s cheaper, faster and easier than having to send surveys, usability tests, or analyzing the customer support emails.
Asking for customers for their feedback has two big benefits:
You get the information right away, and most importantly;
Your customers don’t forget about you.
As you can see, everybody wins. The best part of all, is that you’re letting your customers know that you care about them. And that will make them happier than you could imagine.
To use the feedback module with Conversio, you just need to drag and drop their feedback module, and that’s it.
2. Give Them a Gift
People love receiving gifts for a reason: they’re unexpected, they’re free, and they make you happy.
Imagine if you gave gifts to every customer that shopped with you? That’d be great, wouldn’t it? They’d love you for doing it, and you’d have more and happier customers thanks to it.
I know you must be thinking, “But Ivan, giving gifts is expensive! Also, how would I know what to give them?” Well, fortunately, there’s one easy way of doing this: give your customers a coupon.
No, I’m not talking about those lousy coupons your grandma used to take out from the newspaper. I’m talking about useful and valuable coupons you give your customers, so they can come back and buy again from you.
I know you probably think that a coupon isn’t the same as a gift, as they still have to buy from you. However, think about it: you’re giving them a discount in the next purchase with you, for no reason than to make them happier. The coupon could go from 5% up to 100%, if you really wanted to give them a gift. Also, the coupon could be applied in the next order purchase, or to the shipping of the order. It’s up to you what you want to flatter your customers on.
The good news is that everybody wins. Your customers will love you for doing it, and you’ll get loyal, and most importantly, profitable customers.
How You Can Add Coupons
There are a two ways you go to start giving away coupons, one manual and one automatic.
In the manual way, you’d have to:
Define the discount for the coupon
Develop the coupon design
Create the coupon’s tracking code
Grab the list of your past customers
Send the coupon
This could totally work, although I’d take you some time to do it. If you have a small or medium-sized store, I’d recommend you go the automatic way.
In the automatic way, you’d simply install an app, and you let it do its work. Most apps are integrated directly with your Ecommerce platform.
For instance, if you use Shopify, you can use any of the following apps:
On the other hand, if you use WooCommerce as your platform of choice, you could their Smart Coupons extension.
Also, you can use a platform-agnostic tool, such as Coupon Tools.
How Conversio (previously Receiptful) Can Help You
Remember the story I told you at the beginning of this article, in which the nice sales clerk gave you the gift card after making the purchase so you came back?
Well, imagine if you did something similar everytime someone purchased from you?
That’s what we do at Conversio.
Just by dragging and dropping the “Order Discount” or “Shipping Discount” upsell, you can give your customers a nice gift right away after their purchase.
And obviously, you can choose the percentage of the discount, the expiry date, the coloring and even the copy of the coupon.
3. Show Who You Are
Consumers, especially millennials, want to do business with companies that are honest and transparent.
According to a Cohn & Wolfe study, just 3% of Americans, Brits, Italians, Swedes, Spanish, and French people say they believe “big businesses are very honest and transparent.” That means that 97% of people in those countries think that big businesses aren’t very honest and transparent.
Yet, those companies wonder why they can’t retain their customers for a long time.
It’s very simple: if you’re honest and transparent, you’ll create a trust bond with your customers. And if they trust you, they’ll want to make business with you.
Some of them will even adore you, and will speak about you with their friends and family. What’s not to love?
One great case of a company that decided to be transparent with their customers is Buffer, the social scheduling tool. From the day it was founded, Leo and Joel decided to make transparency a part of their culture values. Among the things they decided to be open about, it’s pretty much everything:
You may don’t have to be so extreme to show your authenticity. However, by opening your company up with your customers you’re making yourself stand out from out of the competition, and creating a long-lasting bond with your customers.
Next, I’m going to show you some of the tactics you can apply to be more authentic with your customers.
How You Can Show Who You Are
1. Show a human face
I know this may sound kinda awkward given that companies are run by, well, people. However, don’t forget that if you have an online business, it’s hard to relate with your customers as you would if you had an offline (aka. a “real”) company.
In an offline company, you can go to the store and talk with someone, see their face, and even shake their hands. In an online company, this isn’t possible.
You could talk with someone, but it’s still not the same. Also, your company may be run by people, but it’s powered by software.
Finally, many times the customers forget there’s a human being at the other end of their screens. This leads to disloyal customers, customers that don’t come back after purchasing with a company, or that do it because they have no other way.
That’s why more and more companies are trying to show who’s behind the company, who makes the software they use, who attends their emails and phone calls.
One of the companies that do that is American Apparel.
In their “About Us” page, American Apparel shows a picture of all their employees posing happily together.
That’s nice. However, what makes this picture great, it’s that they’re not just any employees, they’re the ones that manufacture their clothes.
You wouldn’t expect to see a picture of the workers that make the clothes for Zara, H&M or Gap, because they’re all sweatshop workers from poor countries. That contrasting effect is what makes this picture so powerful.
What’s more, in an industry plagued by low-waged slave workers, American Apparel stands out by saying “Our Garment Workers Are Paid Up To 50 Times More Than The Competition”.
That tells you American Apparel is a brand that cares, that has values of transparency and respect for its employees.
2. Show a compelling vision
People don’t want to know what you do, they want to know why you do it. That’s the basic idea of Simon Sinek’s outstanding book Start With Why. In words of Sinek:
“The why (ie. the vision) is your purpose, your cause, your beliefs, why does your organization exist, why do you get out of bed in the morning, and why should anyone care.”
Developing a vision can help you align yourself with your customers in a very special and unique level.
3. Make a video
Everyone is unique. Some people enjoy reading, whereas some others prefer listening, or viewing images and videos. That’s why making a video with your story and your vision is a great idea. Many companies do it because it creates a special bond between the viewer and the company. And this does nothing but tighten the relationship between both parties.
Strand Books, my favorite New York library, does this really well. Even though their video is not the best edited video on earth, it stills shows who they are, and what they stand for. The owner, the son of the founder of Strand Books, tell the story of his library, some interesting facts, and tells how proud he is of his company. Besides being an awesome library, this video highlights how unique and special this place is. It makes me realize this isn’t just another library, but a unique library, one that is passionate about what they do.
This can be expressed in words, or even with pictures, but there’s no better way than having someone explain you to make the biggest impact in the viewer. Even if it’s expensive, it’s a great idea you should consider to delight your customer even more.
How Conversio Can Help You
If you want to show who you are to your customers, you can do it with Conversio. Simply go to your template, and add a text module, like in the video below:
Then put a small text (I recommend 2-3 sentences max.) explaining your vision and put a link to your “About Us” page. You can also feature one of your employees by putting their face and a quote from them.
Whatever you do, remember that what matters is opening yourself to your customers. As long as you’re being honest and transparent, your customers will appreciate it.
The 3 ways I showed you on this article will help you to delight your customers, and create a relationship with them.
I know these may seem like a lot of work, but as always, start slowly, and build up from there. As long as you keep going and don’t lose momentum, you’ll be able to do it.
At the end of the day, your customers will love you for doing it, and they will show it by coming back again and again.
Have you ever tried any of these 3 ways to delight your customers? If so, what was your experience?
Let me know in the comments below. I read every comment 🙂