One of the most crucial parts of maintaining any relationship is listening, and customer relationships are no different. To stick with you for the long haul, customers need to know that you’re attentive to their problems and desires. What’s more, they need to understand that you’re willing to take action to make their priorities a reality.

Customer feedback may be free, but it’s invaluable for any ecommerce business’s bottom line—that is, when it’s collected and acted upon effectively. In this post, we’ll equip you with advanced tactics to collect and implement customer feedback to improve your retention and increase revenue.

Key takeaways

  • With today’s high customer acquisition costs, retaining customers is crucial to maximize revenue.
  • Gathering customer feedback can unlock numerous retention-building opportunities for ecommerce businesses.
  • Businesses can use customer feedback to improve retention by offering more personalized product recommendations, honing their approach to product development, and creating informed churn mitigation strategies.

Best practices for collecting customer feedback

In order to improve your customer retention, it’s crucial to ensure you’re collecting customer feedback strategically and effectively. Follow these best practices to gather feedback that improves your bottom line.

Make it timely

When it comes to collecting feedback, timing is everything. One key way to capture customer insights is through simple post-purchase surveys, which you can customize to ask a variety of different questions. From the information your customers provide, you can then gain valuable insights that can inform your approach to product development, marketing, and more.

Depending on the areas you’re most curious about, you can send a similar survey or simple feedback form to gather more information immediately after other customer milestones or actions take place, such as:

  • After a customer abandons their cart
  • After a customer receives a delivery
  • After a customer finishes chatting with your customer service representative 

Get clear & specific

The clearer you are in your request for feedback, the more likely your customers will be to provide it. Open-ended questions can be daunting, and may be confusing for customers to fill out or result in unfocused results. 

By getting as specific as possible about the information you want to gain, being concise with your wording, and making surveys or feedback boxes as simple to fill out as possible, you increase the chances that customers will respond.

For example, once a purchase is delivered, you could ask customers to give it a rating out of 5 stars. If they provide a rating of 3 stars or below, you can then prompt them for more specific information with a strategically-chosen follow-up question.

Diversify your feedback types & channels

The ecommerce customer experience can’t be measured with just one type of feedback or through one particular channel. To gain a holistic understanding of how your customers feel, it’s key to collect a variety of types of feedback from a variety of different channels.

For example, you can:

  • Conduct surveys to measure customer satisfaction score, customer effort score, and net promoter score over time
  • Track feedback in non-traditional channels, such as via social media comments and direct messages
  • Collect feedback that is not easily measurable but equally valuable to metrics or ratings, such as information gleaned by your CX team over chats, phone calls, and emails

Incentivize customers to leave feedback

For certain issues or high-priority areas, it may be worthwhile to incentivize your customers to leave feedback so you can gather a deeper understanding of what’s working and what isn’t. It’s important to be selective here to direct the incentive towards the areas that matter most to your business.

One way to incentivize a broad group of customers is through free loyalty programs or rewards programs. For example, you can give customers points that they can spend on future purchases after they leave a review for a recent purchase.  

Consider paid membership programs

Unlike free loyalty programs, membership programs require customers to pay to receive access to exclusive, more premium benefits. These programs can serve as highly valuable ways to more deeply engage with a smaller subset of your customer base: your most loyal customers, who may be more likely to provide you with feedback.

Strategies for using customer feedback to improve retention

Feedback is only useful if it’s put to use. So—how do you leverage your hard-earned customer feedback in the right ways to improve your retention? 

Once you’ve collected customer feedback, use the tactics below to improve your products and services, streamline your customer experience, and keep your customers coming back again and again.

Level-up your personalization

In today’s ecommerce landscape, personalization is critical for retaining customers. Based on the feedback you gain from customers, you can improve your personalization efforts in the following areas:

  • Targeted product recommendations (cross-selling and upselling)
  • Efforts to surprise and delight your existing customers with gifts and rewards
  • Special offers tailored to specific customer segments
  • Choosing the benefits for your membership program that matter most to your customers

Display reviews on your site

Before making a purchase from a new brand, many consumers turn to online reviews to gain confidence in their decision. To increase trust in your products and attract highly viable new customers who are more likely to purchase from you again, consider displaying your customer reviews and testimonials on your site, and make them easy for prospective customers to find.

For example, you could include an average product rating on each of your individual product detail pages, or you could have an entire landing page dedicated to customer reviews that is easily accessible from your main website navigation.

Channel learnings into churn mitigation strategies

When you collect feedback at certain churn risk milestones, you can then use those insights to directly improve your strategies for churn reduction. 

For example, after cart abandonment, you could send shoppers a simple, multiple-choice survey asking them for more information about their decision. By tracking this over time and identifying any patterns in feedback, you can make changes that have a positive impact on your churn.

Hone your product development opportunities

Customer feedback can be an excellent tool for honing your approach to product development. One popular way to solicit this type of feedback is through product recommendation quizzes.

By guiding customers through a short quiz asking them about their preferences, you not only help them choose which of current products will best suit their needs. You also gain valuable information about what types of new products you can launch, as well as the improvements you can make to your existing items.

Types of customer feedback tools & technologies

To effectively collect and analyze customer feedback, it’s key for ecommerce brands to have the right tools and technologies in place. 

The types of tools below are just a starting point—visit our Tech Partner Directory for the full list of commerce applications that integrate with Recharge.

Survey tools

Certain customer marketing platforms, such as Okendo, allow you to easily send surveys that help you gain valuable insights from your customers. You can use these surveys to learn more about your customers’ preferences for new products, gain information about your referral sources, identify your customers’ biggest goals, and more.  

Product recommendation quizzes 

Providers such as Octane AI can allow you to enable product recommendation quizzes on your site for both one-time purchases and subscription offerings. These tools allow you to gain access to valuable zero-party data, which you can then use to personalize your recommendations and improve the customer experience. 

Free loyalty programs

Leverage platforms such as LoyaltyLion to launch loyalty programs that reward your customers with points for their purchases and other actions. These tools can allow you to incentivize customers to leave a review or rate your products, allowing you greater access to customer feedback. 

Improve customer loyalty & retention with feedback

By providing a variety of opportunities to leave feedback throughout the entire customer journey, monitoring patterns in feedback over time, and acting on that feedback, you can improve the customer experience and create loyal customers for your ecommerce business. 

This direct line to your shoppers is what makes customer feedback important. By encouraging them to provide you with feedback in key areas, you can foster a loyal customer base that continues to purchase with you over time.