It’s often frustrating for customer relationship teams to find feedback forms left blank. What many fail to appreciate is that customers are now interacting and feeding back in new ways. With the rise of voice interfaces, mobile queries and other digital innovations, consumers expect businesses to engage with them differently – especially when it comes to ways of inviting feedback. Here, we examine the most common reasons why customers ignore feedback requests and show how brands can mitigate this problem.

1. Your questions are poorly formed

When a customer has decided to give their attention to your feedback form, poor question choices can drive them away from your requests. Questions that are irrelevant or too difficult to answer will weaken the quality and quantity of your responses, thus being unhelpful to your business. For example, an irrelevant feedback request might look like this:

“You recently purchased a [product]. What did you think when you used your [product]?”

This question is assumptive since it presumes that the product buyer is the user. While it can be relevant to those who use the product they purchase, it potentially turns off a subset of users who makes the purchase as a gift and finds the question hard to answer.

Instead, consider asking questions that are short, targeted and directed to the right person to make sure you’re respecting your customers’ time and effort. When designing questions, keep in mind that you are looking for quality rather than quantity. “Light-touch” feedback requests that include one or two questions and at least one open question can encourage customers to provide more focused and detailed insights when they have something to add.

2. Your feedback form is not user-friendly

A study from the consulting group Stone Temple found that 58% of site visits in 2018 were from mobile devices. How often have you opened a feedback prompt on your phone, only to be annoyed because the form doesn’t fit your screen? This is the same for customers whose feedback forms don’t support smartphones. While desktop usability remains important, ensuring your feedback is compatible with mobile devices will increase the chance of customers responding to your requests. Remember to pay attention to site speed, as this is also a common factor that drives customers away from your feedback forms. If your loading speed is slow, it’s a good idea to see what design changes you can make to optimize it.

Don’t forget that many of your customers may be international. When designing your feedback form, make sure your language is simple and easy to understand for all. You can try sending out translated versions, or including universal symbols such as emoticons to aid understanding.

3. You haven’t replied to their previous feedback

A study from SurveyMonkey found that 99% of respondents are willing to provide feedback if the company listens and makes changes accordingly. When customers give feedback, they’re taking their time out to help improve your business. No matter whether the response is positive or negative, customers can feel underappreciated and discouraged if they don’t see any follow up responses from the company.

That being said, it can be incredibly difficult for you to respond to each and every piece of feedback, especially when they are anonymous. A solution to this is using feedback tools that allow identification immediately after the customer’s experience. When feedback is staggered, it makes it easier for teams to give prompt responses. When trying this approach, consider incorporating it with systems that funnel customer interactions into the hands of the staff members who are most empowered to act on the feedback.

Ultimately, brands that utilize feedback forms should consider how they can leverage the voice of customer more effectively. When done right, well-designed feedback forms that are integrated into an actionable feedback plan will result in strong response rates that will fuel higher customer satisfaction for your business.