Some business owners have a bad habit of hiding from customer feedback. They see an email in their inbox and assume the worst! This is, of course, not a particularly positive sign! But more than that, it’s also a very bad and short-sighted strategy. After all, if you avoid ever reading negative comments, how can you respond to them and thus make the experience better to prevent yourself from receiving them in the future.
How Customer Feedback Can Improve Your E-Commerce Business
In short, the best way to improve the customer experience is to respond to and react to feedback. To do that, you need to actually READ that feedback.
This is especially important for an eCommerce business. Why? Because an eCommerce business has no face-to-face contact with the customer. Therefore, reading feedback in the form of emails and questionnaires is the only way that those companies can learn about their customers and what they felt about the experience. Likewise, it’s one of the few ways that an eCommerce store can actually differentiate itself. This is especially true if you are a reseller. If your business model is built around buying products in bulk and then selling them for a profit, you are competing with companies that are likely selling the precise same things as you.
In other words, the only real differentiator between you and the competition is the way you provide your customer service! To clarify, you should welcome customer feedback and consider it to be a crucial aspect of your business model. Let’s take a look at how this can work.
How to Collect Customer Feedback
There are a number of different ways you can actively seek out more customer feedback. The first and most obvious is to welcome reviews and scores. Of course, that doesn’t just mean positive ones! This means genuinely seeking out honest feedback. That can come at the expense of a negative review in a public forum. However, this actually helps you to manage your customer’s expectations. The customers who shop with you in spite of that review will be almost certain to experience a satisfactory product, and to be your true “buyer persona.”
Moreover, this is your chance to publically address concerns and issues that existed previously, and then to set to work actually fixing those issues so they don’t exist in the future.
Other options include offering your customers to fill out feedback forms (incentivized or otherwise) or conducting surveys.
How to Use Customer Feedback
The aim of customer feedback is primarily to improve your products and your customer experience so you can see where issues are arising and where there are areas for improvement.
This is not just about the products you are selling, but the experience as a whole. A customer who finds that the checkout process is clunky and was almost deterred from buying can help you to avoid losing future customers by explaining the nature of their gripe.
Likewise, positive feedback about your marketing and what it was that drew a person to your products and store can be a fantastic tool for learning what to do more of. Armed with this information, you can begin to bring in products that are custom-built for the audience you already have coming to the site. This is a formula for almost guaranteed success, as you are literally building the precise offering that your audience has requested!
You can even be extremely brazen about this: by literally asking customers what they would like to buy from your store in the future, or even if they would have been willing to have paid more for your items!
The best part of all this is that there is an added benefit to this kind of feedback: by communicating with your audience and opening a dialogue, you actually create a sense of ownership in them, and a sense of knowing you. These customers will appreciate that you value their opinion, and if they see their suggestions reflected in your plans going forward, that can be an immensely rewarding experience.
In other words, they go from being customers to being loyal fans – which is what can truly take an e-commerce store to new heights.
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