Customer feedback – the key to improving your website.

All websites are designed to communicate an idea or provide a service. And we all want to do it well. Being able to receive feedback regarding your WordPress site and act on it can open doors and remove obstacles that you didn’t even know existed. Here is a simple list of steps you can take to solicit and receive feedback.

Knowing basic statistics about your website.

Every website owner should have an idea of how many people visit their site on a daily basis, what pages are the most popular and what brings them to the site (Direct url entry, referral from a different site, specific keywords in the search engine, etc.). Collecting this type of feedback from the visitors does not require any effort on your part and gives you a basic understanding of the site usage. How would you apply this information? Let’s say you sell a product for dog owners and realize that your website is listed under search results for cats. You will need to review the wording on your pages to include more dog content, get more referrals from other dog related sites etc. Another example – you would like people to make donations to your not for profit organization but you realize that most people just visit your contact page – the solution: place a prominent “Donate Now” button on your contact page.

Listen to your customers

Trade shows, professional conferences, customer appreciation gatherings or just casual encounters in your store or office are great opportunities to talk. And the most valuable feedback for your site will come directly from your customers. When you have a chance to chat with any of them do not hesitate to ask, “did you use my website? Was it easy? Did you like it?”. Be ready to hear the criticism. “I do not use your site, it is too slow”, or “I could not get it to work”. We are often quick to discard the critics thinking it was just user error or isolated problems. The truth is that with modern technology there is no such thing as user error. If your customer cannot figure out how to use your website it is very likely you need to rethink the user experience. And if one person noticed something, others must have noticed it too. The customers that take the time to share their feedback with you, positive or negative, are your greatest asset in trying to improve your product.

Offer a feedback path

Provide the customer with a way to write feedback, reviews or notes for you. It can be in the form of Google Reviews or just a simple customer satisfaction survey after a purchase. You can’t expect every customer to participate but those few that do will give you valuable information about the site experience from their perspective. Be sure to read them all and respond accordingly.

Openly solicit feedback

Another great way to solicit feedback is a dedicated session with someone who is willing to play a role of your potential customer. You can schedule a 30 min meeting where you would watch someone try to navigate your site and comment on what they are doing, and seeing. You might hear things like “This text is hard to read”, or “I cannot find the right button”, or “I do not know where to go next”. This gives you a unique perspective on your site and ideas of how to improve the customer experience and close sales. If you are having trouble finding a good candidate for the session you can reach out to a website developer who has great experience with navigating sites and can easily spot common problems.

Photo by Helena Lopes:

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