3 Secrets to Collecting Customer Feedback (And Why They’ll Love You Before They’ve Even Responded)

Working with feedback day in and day out gives us a pretty good reason to dig into the motivations, benefits, and consequences associated with businesses surveying their customers. Sometimes it’s an exact science, sometimes it’s just educated guessing. Today we’re engaging in a bit of both.

Specifically, we’ll look at three reasons why simply reaching out to a customer, or a potential customer, and asking for their feedback can build a favorable impression of your business and increase brand loyalty… even before they’ve actually answered any question you’ve given them.

#1) The Foot In The Door Theory

If you have a copywriting background you’ll likely recognize this one as a fairly basic lesson in writing for direct action, but it also has applicability for customer relationship building.

The foot in the door theory goes like this: By getting someone to agree to a small action requiring little investment, you can condition them to be more open to taking a larger action further down the road.

That thinking alone is one of the forefathers of the “free trial” movement.

Think about it like this: If someone knocks on your door and asks you to make a donation to a local political candidate, even one you happen to agree with on several issues, you’ll probably turn them down; you have no relationship with the person at your door, and the minimum suggested amount to donate is $50 of YOUR hard earned money! Fat chance!

But let’s flip the scenario.

Instead, this time the campaigner knocks on your door and asks if you’ll consider putting a small sticker in your window supporting the candidate. A small sticker is much less commitment than a $50 donation, so you agree.

A couple of weeks later, the campaigner comes back and asks if you’d consider placing a lawn sign in your yard in support of the candidate. You aren’t one for yard signs, but your sticker prompted you to do some more research on the candidate and you’re feeling supportive, so you agree to the sign.

Now, finally, after another week, the campaigner returns and asks if you’d consider making a donation. At this point, you’re invested, you feel a connection, you’ve led yourself down this logical progression through previous decisions, so you write the $50 check, and you feel good about it.

Reaching out to potential customers and asking them for feedback can have a similar effect: Not only are you collecting valuable information, you’re fostering basic, easy brand engagement.

#2) Repeated Contact Fosters Familiarity & Trust (When Done Properly)

Think about how we make decisions to trust people in our lives. We consider our past interactions with them and make a decision based upon these experiences. The more positive interactions we have with a person or company, the more confident we feel in making the decision to trust them and continue our engagement.

This is the basis for email marketing (in which marketers keep in touch over a period of time by sending out email newsletters or other communications). This is referred to as Effective Frequency in the advertising world (I can hear my 10th grade teacher yelling at me now that “Wikipedia is not a source!” but just give me this one).

Depending on the study cited, advertisers will often reference anywhere between 7 and 12 times as the necessary amount of exposure to a message before someone will make a decision to buy your product.

Whatever the exact number, it’s clear that repeated exposure to a brand is beneficial to your bottom line. Furthermore, the level of engagement is important. For example,a TV commercial on in the background at someone’s home during dinner is less likely to result in a sale than a face-to-face pitch from a human salesman.

Using a website or store visitor survey strikes a nice balance because it requires active engagement from the customer to answer your questions (increasing its value as a tool for putting your brand in a prospect’s mind), but is hands-off for your business.

#3) Show That You Give A Damn

This one is a given. We’ll level with you, we’re partial to surveying as a customer engagement tool, but it’s only one of a million ways you can show a genuine interest in your customers.

In any event, people respond well to having their opinion valued. Picture this:

You’ve moved cities for a new job and are trying out two sandwich shops near your office. They both make great ham and cheese sandwiches, but your favorite is pepperoni. Shop A has a suggestion box, and you jot down your love of pepperoni sandwiches and drop it into the box on your way out one day. Shop B does not.

Next week, Shop A has pepperoni sandwiches in their window. When you question the cashier, she says that they decided to try pepperoni sandwiches out as a menu item due to a customer suggestion. Now, which store probably just won your lunch business every day for the foreseeable future?

Key Takeaways:

  • Repeated exposure to a brand or message, provided it’s positive, is a proven way to increase the odds of a prospect taking a desired action.
  • Asking for a small, lower-investment action early on can help increase the chances of a larger action (like a sale) happening down the road.
  • People will elevate your brand head and shoulders above the rest if you simply show that you care about their opinions more than anyone else does.

Of course, we happen to have a solution for creating cross platform, versatile surveys. It also has dashboard analytics that allow you to organize and act on customer feedback.

It also has a 14 day free trial.

Give it a try, and most importantly, let us know what you think of it.

All the best,

Brandon & the Responster Team