Customer feedback is an essential tool for website and app designers. Utilizing it properly can actually mean less work for designers.
Customers look at your product from an entirely different viewpoint and many will be quick to point out simple tweaks like a content formatting problem to bigger errors such as a failure to process orders or payments.
Why it’s important to get feedback
As mentioned above, customers are very quick to point out mistakes and failures. Each problem that is sent to you is one that you don’t have to spend time tracking down. That doesn’t mean publish a bad website or put a faulty app up for sale of course.
Any designer that gets into the habit of letting customers beta-test his product is soon going to find himself out of work and having a hard time getting new assignments.
What customer feedback should do is let you figure out what the customer needs to make his or her experience better and easier. Any app or website that can bring in a customer and make their time go quickly and result in purchasing an item or whatever the end goal is will increase their traffic.
Word of mouth is still a fantastic advertising tool and social media has made it more important than ever. Even if you don’t have any investment in the product after the job is over, positive feedback about customer experience means that a website owner will come back to you when it’s time to redesign his site or when he decides to start a new one.
How to get feedback
Although providing an email link to customers is important, it’s not enough anymore to just get a response. Everybody loves reading “I loved my experience!” and hates to see “This app sucks!”.
Each response gets the point across, but neither one does anything to help you improve their experience. It’s necessary to help direct the customer into providing something useful and not just give them a place to praise or vent. That’s what Yelp is for.
Using a feedback box
Most customers won’t contact Technical Support for even minor issues. They will just exit out of your website or close the app and go back to their search engine for the next result. It’s only for major issues (usually when their money is involved) will they go to that much trouble.
To get those customers, make use of a feedback box. This link can exist on either the left or right side of a screen and follow the customer as they scroll up or down.
Another option is to pin it into a corner of the screen so it’s always in the same place. Make it easy to use and draw the customer in. For example, “Was Your Experience With Company Xxxx Good Today?”. The custom clicks yes or no and is immediately taken to a survey find out why.
From here, you can get into specific details about their experience. Once customers have invested some personal time into it, they are much more likely to provide detailed feedback.
This is where you will find out that they didn’t like how their credit card information was openly displayed at final checkout or that clicking on four different links led them to the same page.
With today’s technology, you can ask or pay someone to perform a specific task on your website or app. Once completed, you have a click-by-click record of everything they did to get to the goal.
It’s like having a research firm that doesn’t wipe out your annual advertising and research budgets in a month. These records are especially important for companies that are launching a new product or have redesigned their sign-up procedures for new and returning clients.
Errors that result in failure to get to the end goal will be discovered immediately and can save days or even weeks when it comes to putting the correct procedures in place.
Analytics. Yes, analytics
Yes, those analysis charts can be intimidating, but there is good information if you know how to use it. If you have pages of content that receive roughly the same amount of time (30 seconds), then it’s a mark that the customer is looking carefully at what you have to offer.
However, if there are pages that receive a significantly lower amount of time than the rest (say 10 to 12 seconds for example), then whatever is on those pages is not pulling the customer into that part of your website and keeping them there. It can be compared to flipping through TV channels and never finding anything interesting.
Getting a different view is like putting on glasses with different prescriptions. What is seen and experienced is going to change. Designers look at their products from a creation viewpoint. Customers look at the website or app from a “What can I get out of this?” viewpoint.
Both are important to creating a good product, but it is the customer who makes the final determination if it will be successful. Getting that final, positive feedback should always be in the back of a good designer’s mind as they work.