As a professional marketer, you know how important it is to gather customer feedback on your website. Website analytics suites give you an overview of what your visitors do, but customer feedback tools can deliver answers to ‘the why’ and ‘the who’ behind numbers.

Now, there are several ways to learn more about your website visitors, but today I want to focus on the voice of customers tools – surveys to be specific – and two approaches towards the process.

The old-fashioned way

You must have seen it hundreds of time. Chances are you use it on your website as we speak. The old-fashioned way of collecting feedback means it must be initiated by the visitor or is totally out of context. It usually comes in two forms:

  • There is a button placed on the side or in the corner of the website suggesting your visitors should share feedback or rate website / visit experience. Upon click they are asked several questions with text, scale and smiley answers packed on one page popping up in a new window.
  • The visitor is being asked at the very beginning of his session to fill out a survey at the end of the visit. Again, a new window pops up and hides underneath the browser. When the session is over, the pop-up appears again and show a series of questions about different aspects of the visit and the website.

That approach (usuelly referred as website intercept surveys) was good enough back in the days when the Internet was a new thing, far from being a commodity. Having a pretty website was sufficient, you didn’t rely on data big time, and speed of running tests and implementing new ideas wasn’t a key to success. Well, those days are over.

Let me point out a few facts on what’s wrong with collecting feedback in the way mentioned above.

  • Low response rate

Your voice of customer survey response rate is crucial. The higher the response rate the more ideas you can come up with in a short period of time or the faster you can withdraw from a bad decision. A typical response rate with old way approach is between 0.1% and 2% – and this is what you can find officially on such tool providers’ websites. In reality, it comes way under 1% most of the times. It means with a traffic of 50K unique users monthly you will get roughly 50-500 responses in total. So you need months to gather feedback of any significance. Got that much time?

  • Out of context

How asking a ton of questions at the end of one’s visit will help you come up with improvement ideas – I mean specific ones, like your pricing table, cart or your landing pages improvements? It will not! You will uncover a general experience of your website – if it’s ‘generally’ easy to navigate, pleasant and fun to click around. What does that even mean that on average your respondents rate your website at 7.4 on a scale from 0 to 10 – how is that actionable? Is it good or bad? Where should you improve?

  • Polarization

Ok, let’s be honest – in what situation this button for leaving feedback will be clicked? That’s right – either someone is having a great time on your website and is about to write a poem about that. Or he just had the worst experience ever – the website froze during payment processing or couldn’t find the information even though he has seen all pages already. Twice. And just want to send you a message – ‘you d*ckheads’. Yes – the old way tools – they do tend to gather polarized feedback.

  • Disturbing website experience

I’m going to be brief about that. Really, the very first thing you want your visitors to do when they come to your website is to decide whether they want to fill out a short (yeah right….) survey when they are done with their goals? Good luck with that.

The right way

If you agree with any of the points above, read on, there is a way to make things better. The solution is a proactive approach with targeted insights surveys that work in the context and require minimal effort from your visitors to participate.

Such surveys appear as a small widget in one of the corners of your website – similar to live chat. It can be precisely targeted so you can survey different groups of your website visitors, on different pages in the very critical moment for asking the right question.

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The best part is it takes literally second and no effort from users to share their thoughts, problems, goals, and needs. Here are some key benefits of such proactive, targeted approach:

  • Super high response rate

Survicate typical response rate varies depending on the industry, brand, type of questions and targeting options – from 4% up to 58% – but most of our Customers manage to go over 10%. This means over 20 times shorter time to gather the same amount of data.

  • Contextual

You gathercontext-specific feedback – about a particular page, section, piece of content, path, process or a particular segment of your website users.

  • Unbiased

Since you initiate the process and it’s easy to participate in the survey, you get all sort of feedback – positive, negative and neutral. A full spectrum of data you need and can actually work on.

  • UX-neutral

No more disturbing popups with invitations, no new windows. Survicate surveys are easy to reply to in seconds and easy to close when someone doesn’t want to share his thoughts. You can uncover insights while keeping your customers happy.

  • Actionable

As a bonus to collecting feedback, with Survicate you can act upon in the moment with calls to action. Based on responses received you can engage visitors with special offers, redirect them to the right content or collect contact data with a lead form.

  • Worth injecting to integrated systems

Survicate is integrated with major analytics, CRM and marketing automation platforms, so you can push data collected to add context to your reports or enrich contact profiles for improving sales process or marketing campaigns. Example: Survicate is integrated with tools like Intercom or Pardot.

So if you wonder – how disturbing website visitors with surveys in 2016 is still a thing – create your free account now and do it the right way.