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Product & Innovation

3 reasons to use multiple feedback methods for your digital research

by Philippe Aussant, on May 8, 2014


Nowadays, there are numerous ways in which you can gather information and feedback from your website visitors, all with their own respective advantages.

If you have a survey running on your website, you likely already appreciate the immense value you can get from engaging with your website visitors and gathering their feedback. These surveys can prove to be very valuable in gathering a strategic perspective on your website as they collect a representative sample of your visitors.    

On the other end of the spectrum, you can also gather customer feedback from your website visitors by using comment cards or feedback forms. These feedback methods instead use a passive invitation methodology where visitors can provide feedback whenever they want during their visit. Based on the nature of their invitation method, using comment cards as a standalone solution can be very helpful in identifying potential quick fixes (among many other useful types of information), though it may not provide you with the full picture of your website.

For more information about the differences types of feedback, check out this great article in Destination CRM – All Customer Feedback Is Not Created Equal.

Based on this, here are 3 reasons for why you should consider a multi-solution feedback approach for your website:

1. Collect strategic and tactical feedback at the same time

Based on the feedback methods employed by invitation-based surveys and comment cards, each can provide you with a different viewpoint of your website. 

Invitation-based surveys

Invitation-based surveys often invite visitors very early during their session, asking them to provide their feedback at the end of their visit. Using this pre-post methodology ensures that visitors are prompted with an invitation before they have had a chance to fully develop an opinion on their overall experience, and in turn helps to ensure that the feedback you collect is more representative of how your website is being evaluated by your website visitors.

Comment cards

Comment cards use a passive invitation methodology, where visitors would need to initiate some action of their own accord to start providing their feedback.  Since visitors choose when they want to provide their feedback, this often leads to feedback that skews towards the negative, but in turn comes in handy when trying to identify items which can require your immediate attention.

The tactical feedback collected from comment cards can help you identify and address potential issues before it leads to a negative experience for a much larger proportion of your audience.  However, since this type of feedback may be more biased towards those who experienced a negative experience, this type of feedback may not be entirely reliable to provide the more trended, representative look at your website otherwise provided by invitation-based surveys. 

Using both feedback methods simultaneously would allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of your website over the long-term (surveys), while ensuring that you can obtain feedback on which you can action in the short-term (comment cards). 

2. Website visitors can provide their feedback whenever they want

As invitation-based surveys use a random sampling methodology, not all website visitors will have a chance to provide their feedback during their visit.  Understandably, sometimes you might not want to prompt all of your website visitors with an invitation, both for practical purposes (needing to analyze a very high volume of data) and for aesthetic purposes (potentially prompting visitors with an invitation in the middle of a process they have started). 

However, you would still want to ensure that all visitors can still provide feedback, even if they have not been invited to participate in your survey.  Plus, some visitors may have declined to participate in your survey in the first place because they had a very quick visit planned, and did not feel that filling out a survey would be applicable to them (regardless of how short the survey may be). 

This is where implementing a comment card in conjunction with your survey can become useful, as all visitors would be provided the opportunity to give you a sense of what they liked or disliked about their experience, while also providing them with a forum to mention some potential improvements to your website that you may not have even thought of in the first place.

Allowing your website visitors to provide feedback whenever they want is a great segue into the 3rd reason for why you should use multiple feedback solutions for your digital research:

3. Show that you care about your visitors’ experience

Overall, and perhaps most importantly, you are showing your website visitors that you do care about their experience, always providing them an easy outlet for them to let you know what they think. Whether your visitors happened to receive a survey invitation, or whether they can see a “Feedback” button throughout your website, showing that you are always willing to listen to what your visitors have to say goes a long way towards building stronger relationships with not only frequent visitors and customers, but also with first-time and potential ones. 

Also, without this outlet, some visitors may become so frustrated that they could choose not to return to your website for any of their future needs, or worse, go to one of your competitors’ websites.  Or, they could even choose to voice their displeasure via social media, at which point it could potentially become very difficult to manage their complaint.

Overall, using these feedback methods in tandem can prove to be a win-win competitive advantage for both yourself (gather strategic and actionable feedback) and for your visitors (opportunity to let their voice be heard). 

Of course, we do put this philosophy into practice ourselves by having implemented a survey and comment cards throughout both our website and portal.  We continuously monitor their data for numerous reasons, such as determining potential improvements we could apply to our website, as well as for day-to-day support purposes.  A combination of these methods helps us ensure that we can keep a finger on the pulse of our website and portal, and in turn prevents us from keeping our website and portal within the status quo.

Philippe Aussant
Philippe Aussant

Philippe Aussant is a marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in content marketing, data analysis, account management and product support. As Content Manager, Philippe is responsible for generating and managing iperceptions marketing content assets, including the iperceptions blog.

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