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5 Ways to Collect User Feedback and Improve Your Website

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Do you collect user or customer feedback? If so, how are you using it to improve your website or online business? Reaching out to your visitors and asking them how they like your site and areas for improvement is one of the best ways to better your product or business.

“We make it a point to talk to users every week. These sessions can help us get feedback on new features or check in with new users. And we think everyone can benefit from meeting users – designers, marketers and engineers. Sometimes we miss the mark, and that can be humbling. But we keep on listening and learning about how to help website owners.”
— Dave Jeyes, Director of Product at AddThis

By collecting user feedback you gain access to direct critiques, suggestions and ideas for your business. Perhaps equally valuable, by giving users and customers a voice, it can serve to drive customer loyalty, adding another layer of two-way communication between you and those who use your services or buy your products.

Website analytics and data are great for understanding what is happening on your site, but to understand why users convert or not, it’s better to get input right from users and customers.

Here are five ways we collect feedback from our customers at AddThis:

1. One-on-one interviews with current users.

We do informal calls with users almost monthly, and we never fail to glean what people really want and how their needs have changed. We also email users directly and ask a specific question or two. We always keep everything short and simple.

2. Using online services to collect feedback

Usertesting.com is a popular user research platform that works for websites, mobile sites, landing pages and social media. With it, you can actually watch people navigate your site, which can provide useful insights for your product or marketing team.

3. Benchmarking competitors.

Best practices come from everywhere, and we certainly don’t have a monopoly on good ideas. We study our competitors to help define our Unique Selling Proposition for sales and marketing efforts.

4. Survey existing users.

These are easy to set up, send out, analyze and scale to any size audience. One popular soup-to-nuts tool is SurveyMonkey, but you can certainly design your own and use email to send and receive. Again, keep it simple and short. We never ask more than 5 questions at a time.

5. Encouraging direct comments.

We often ask direct questions at the end of our blog posts. Many people also put a Feedback Box at the bottom of their pages. Not only do these tactics collect visitor reactions, they also gather secondary data like the account name, URL and browser version of the commenter so that you can learn more about their company, website and specific experience on different platforms.

We also encourage our AddThis marketing and customer service teams to gather feedback as well as it helps to dictate how and when we should be communicating them and additional support issues they might be having.

These are just a few of the many ways you can get direct feedback from users to help you make more informed decisions and a stronger product. For instance, our recent Audience Targeting geo-targeting feature was built as a result of multiple users suggestions and requests. In addition, we’ve realized a few ill-received features from collecting user feedback.

So if you aren’t already collecting user feedback, you could miss out on your next great product enhancement.

How do you get feedback from website visitors, users and customers?