In a suburban outpost, a woman shopping with two kids must decide which grocery store will get her business. Option A is a fully stocked, clean store. Option B is a fully stocked, clean store that gives her children free snacks and sends an employee with her to the parking lot to load her groceries. Her decision is an easy one. One retailer demonstrates an understanding of her needs far better than the other. Similarly, e-tailers can win customer loyalty and boost conversions by demonstrating better understanding of their website visitors. Doing so hinges on inviting customers to open dialogues with businesses and responding promptly to visitor feedback.
Marketing managers often invest significant resources into pay-per-click and other website campaigns that attract traffic. However, the average online conversion rate, despite these investments, remains a measly 3 percent, according to Shop.org. That leaves 97 out of 100 website visitors clicking away without taking any action at all. Do those 97 visitors have something to say about their experiences on the site? Do they have a way to say it and be heard?
When website owners offer visitors the opportunity to provide feedback, two things happen. First, more of those visitors engage, delivering valuable insight into their experiences. Second, they self-identify as people who feel a connection to the site. That information provides the means for e-businesses to demonstrate their understanding of customer needs and close more sales, faster.
Here are three ways to listen smarter:
- Demonstrate that your business wants to listen. Offer feedback options on every important process on your site. Let visitors leave feedback on all your main processes including: landing pages, shopping cart, search and registration process to capture the user feedback where it matters.
- Categorize feedback easily. Present visitors with a quick-pick menu and sub-menus for the topic of feedback they wish to leave.
- Let visitors steer the conversation. Avoid survey-style questions with multiple-choice answers or voting mechanisms. Provide open-ended feedback forms in which visitors can write what they like. For those who prefer less time-consuming options, offer a quick ratings scale.
Respond Quickly, Raise Conversion Rates
Studies show that of those website visitors who submit feedback forms, 65 percent also leave their contact information. That is an invitation to expand a relationship, and businesses should jump on it. Surprisingly, few do. Consumers are conditioned to expect silence from the e-businesses they patronize, so the rare company that actually responds has a chance to make a strong impression that could lead to long-term loyalty and multiple future sales.
Merely by using visitor feedback to initiate conversations with website visitors, companies realize increased conversion rates of up to 45 percent. This success rate comes from a mixture of auto-response e-mails, personal contact, and informed sales pitches.
Here are three ways to respond quickly and raise conversion rates:
- Incorporate feedback into current workflows. Funnel low-end product feedback to telesales teams. Deliver forms related to high-value products to enterprise-level staff. Make sure all feedback categories are assigned to specific departments and set a standard for fast response times.
- Soft sell qualified leads. By leaving feedback and contact information, visitors have already demonstrated their interest in your brand. They don’t need an aggressive pitch to close a sale. Instead, you might thank them for their feedback with a discount on a future purchase.
- Continue the relationship. Ask visitors to opt-in to a company newsletter, or follow up with them later about current promotions on products and services that might be of interest.
For a customer shopping online or in person, the need is similar: “Listen to me, and demonstrate that you can meet my needs.” For e-businesses who adhere, sales quickly follow.
Author: Ariel Finkelstein, co-founder and CEO of Kampyle. Kampyle is a provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that collects, analyzes and measures online visitor feedback, then delivers that data to sales and marketing teams via a lead generation dashboard.