Q: “I have been running an internet marketing campaign for the last six months and have seen a huge rise in my site’s traffic, but with that increase in traffic I haven’t seen a proportional increase in sales.  Is there any way to get feedback from my visitors or site users and find out what’s wrong with my site?”

A: Of course there is!  There are several ways to get feedback from your site users.  Here are three of the most common and most successful options.

Usability Testing

Usability testing, simply explained, is the hiring of a focus group to perform a list of prescribed tasks on your website  and then answer a list of questions about their experience.  While they’re performing their tasks, we capture a video of their actions on the screen and record the audio of their commentary.  At the end of their test, you receive a video of their experience and their comments as well as their completed questionnaire.

Some example tasks they can perform are:

  • “You’re an incoming student.  Try to find information on your degree program of choice and then ask for more details.”
  • “You’re a business owner looking for a widget.  Find the blue widget on our site and purchase one.”
  • “You’re planning a vacation.  Find a hotel and car rental on our website that you like.”

Some sample questions you can ask are questions like:

  • “Do you think information was easy to locate  on the website ?”
  • “Was there anything about the website that you found difficult to use?”
  • “If you were looking for blue widgets, how likely would you be to buy them on this website?”

Usability testing is the best way to get feedback from site users and you can even define specific demographics for your testers.  You can use an agency like us to help you come up with your tasks and translate your results or we can simply run a test with your guidelines.

Even if you’re not having conversion problems, you can use usability testing before or after designing your website to find out what people like or dislike about your site.  The possibilities are endless and although it may sound complicated, it’s relatively easy, inexpensive and invaluable information to have.

Customer Feedback and Ratings

Another great way to get feedback on your website is to just ask your users!  I’m sure you’ve seen feedback and rating systems on several websites that you’ve used.  Some of the most common ways are:

  • “Was this information helpful?”  A simple yes or no rating on your pages will tell you if your website’s content is as good as you think it is.
  • “Tell us what you think”  You can allow your website users to comment on the pages of your website and even display those comments on the page for other users to read.  This is easiest if your website is using a Content Management System (CMS), but is possible to implement on any website.
  • Customer Rating – You’ve seen them before, the little five star rating system that allows a user to rate a page or product on a website.  Studies show that when customers give your products or services a rating on a scale like the “5 star system”, and especially when you use the ratings with comments, other site visitors are more likely to take your customers’ recommendations seriously.  They call this Social Recommendation and it can do wonders for site conversion!

Customer Surveys

Obviously your website is getting some kind of conversion.  Either you’re selling a product once in awhile, site users are filling out your contact form or people are signing up for your newsletter.  Ask them what they think!

  1. If you’re selling them a product, when you email them a receipt include a link to a customer satisfaction survey and ask them to answer a couple of questions about their experience.  You can even offer them $5 off of their next purchase with a coupon or some other incentive such as a free blue widget with their next order.
  2. When users are filling out your contact form you should be sending them a thank you email or at least having some communication with them in the future.  Again, give them a link to a satisfaction survey or when you talk to them on the phone or meet with them say, “Hey, what did you think of our website?  Was it easy to find what you were looking for?”
  3. If you’re collecting email addresses from your site users, use them for something other than selling them stuff!  Send them a quick, personal email.  Remember that people’s time is valuable to them.  “Dear Bob, I know that you use our website and I really value your opinion.  I was hoping that you could give me some feedback on how we can make it better or easier for you to use.  I really appreciate your help on this and I’m willing to give you 10% off of your next order for your help.  Thanks….”

So, it’s definitely possible and very easy to find out why your website isn’t converting.  Usually when a website isn’t converting it’s because the content sucks, there are bottlenecks in the order process or there are performance issues that you’re not even aware of.  Any of the above options will help you identify your issues and turn your traffic into sales.  And of course, we can help with any of them.

I hope you found this post helpful and that you all have a fun and safe holiday weekend!

One response to “True or False Friday – Getting Customer Feedback

Posted by Craig

Great article Dean. I think if website owners were to engage their users more often, they would be surprised at some of the answers and comments they would receive. If you own a website, I would highly recommend getting feedback from the people who use it…it can only help you!

Posted on July 2, 2010 at 10:23 am

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