10 Reasons You Should Ask For User Feedback
Ecommerce | Digital Marketing

10 Reasons You Should Ask For User Feedback

on / by Roel Jansen

We all know that optimizing the user and customer experience is vital for long-term business success, especially in the ecommerce industry. With this in mind, we’ve complied a list of 10 examples of why and how ecommerce players benefit from listening to their customers. 

You Forget to Test Everything

…or you simply don’t have enough time to test everything. That’s exactly what happened when a large Dutch health insurance company launched its new website a while ago. Everything seemed to work perfectly, but there was one big thing missing: for a couple of days there were no new online subscribers. Luckily, they found out quickly what was causing this by looking at the collected customer feedback: the ‘subscribe now’ button did not work.

“Visitors reported technical issues they ran into and it turned out that they had issues finding or understanding the information about insurance plans – critical information that should be easily accessible. Therefore, user feedback helps us to quickly act on negative user experiences and optimize our newly launched website to match our customers’ needs and expectations”, Navajo Broere – Content Manager at Menzis.

Customer Acquisition Cost > Customer Satisfaction Costs

10 Reasons You Should Ask For User Feedback by Usabilla

While you are undoubtedly focusing on optimizing your online sales funnel, you shouldn’t forget about your customers. It’s vital to keep them happy, especially in their ‘log-in environment’. If that part of your site after log-in is clearly structured, the information is well organized and accessible, your customer is more likely to be satisfied and stay with you. T-Mobile Netherlands is constantly reviewing feedback from their customers submitted on ‘My T-Mobile’. With suggestions for better communication regarding contract renewals and bundle rates, requests for intuitive bundle usage overviews and a voiced customer demand for special offers for existing customers, T-mobile collects constructive, actionable feedback that helps to improve the customer experience. Besides that, the online team also gets appraisals on a regular basis for their work and how they listen to their customers; ‘kudos’ come in for design changes as well as for creative customer loyalty programs that help them stand out from competition.

“T-mobile experiences increased customer satisfaction due to streamlined handling of feedback”, according to Margot van Pelt, Web Analyst & Optimization Specialist at T-Mobile.

Why try to reinvent the wheel yourself?

10 Reasons You Should Ask For User Feedback by Usabilla

So you are constantly trying to optimize your website and make it better. In order to do so, you base your improvements on industry standards, recommendations from UX specialists, blogs, your own experience and the problematic ‘gut-feeling’. Why not listen to what your own users actually want to see on your site? Make your life easier by listening to them and making decisions based on the feedback they give. That’s exactly what car auction website Autotrack.nl does! Users give concrete suggestions for additions to Autotrack’s search engine (specific selection criteria such as transmission or energy label) or for general website improvements.

“Feedback is not scarce, we have plenty ideas to keep us busy for the coming years”, says Pim Hutjens, Product Manager at AutoTrack.nl.

What to A/B-test? What is your ‘A’ and what should be your ‘B’?

Usability and conversion optimization go hand-in-hand. The better the user experience is of your landing page or check-out page, the more likely users are to convert. While this isn’t new information at all, it remains crucially important. With A/B-testing solutions such as Optimizely, you can easily run multiple tests to find out which version performs better. A (design) variant of that CTA-button in a different color or landing page with simple signup form, can be set up in a couple of minutes. The statistical results will provide you with the evidence for which variant to continue with ‘in real life’. So why is user feedback such a good ‘marriage’ with A/B-testing?

  1. Your customers provide you with the ideas and suggestions (in the free-form text fields of the feedback form) that you can test out. So you don’t need to be that incredibly creative person any more who needs to come up with new ideas all the time! Let your customers do it for you ;)
  2. Feedback collected can easily be attributed to the different A and B versions. In that way, not only the statistical evidence tells you that one of both is the better strategy, but also ‘why’ that is the case!


The Dutch landline and mobile telecommunications company
KPN makes use of this great synergy. “For KPN it is crucial to get customer feedback with a qualitative nature. I’m not really looking at the behavior, but what the reasons are for that behavior and why they are doing the things that they are doing on our websites or in our applications.” – Desmond Dekker, Senior Consultant Simplification & Innovation Digital at KPN. 

Create Tailored Content Based on Visitors’ Motivation/Needs

Obviously, as a website owner you have a certain vision about what you want to communicate via your website. You have a team of marketers and product owners at your disposal, but is your website visitor really looking for all that one-sided communication? Or are they simply visiting to find quick store locations, opening hours or just checking company return policies? For a large international bank like Rabobank, it is important to find that out as well. That’s why Rabobank asks its visitors in different ways what their background is, what the reason is for their visit and whether they found what they were looking for. Based on the survey outcomes, content is adjusted in a continuous flow.

“At Rabobank we are always looking for better customer engagement. This starts by knowing how our clients are experiencing the products that we deliver. We are constantly looking to improve that interaction”, says Fatih Agirman – Business Analyst, Rabobank.

“Why are visitors abandoning my shopping cart?”

This question is what keeps every ecommerce director awake at night. With your analytics software platforms such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, you see those drop-off rates on a daily basis. Dozens of visitors make it to the shopping cart, but when they need to simply pay with their credit card or other online payment solution, analytic reports show that instead of ordering, they leave your site.

Get insights into why your customers are abandoning their shopping cart by simply asking them! Wolters Kluwer is proactively asking its website visitors upon exiting the shopping cart why they are about to leave. In this way, they find out how they can improve the payment methods they offer and the checkout-flow itself. 

Measure the Power of Loyalty Using NPS

10 Reasons You Should Ask For User Feedback by Usabilla

As we nowadays all know, research shows that in most industries there is a strong correlation between a company’s growth rate and the percentage of its customers that are ‘promoters’ – that is, those who say they are extremely likely to recommend the company to a friend or colleague.

So why wouldn’t you also measure your website’s NPS by simply asking your website visitors? That is what Consumer Electronics producer Philips does on its corporate website and web shop. By targeting specific sets of website visitors, the Philips Digital Analytics team is able measure and analyze the NPS of different target audiences in different stages of the customer experience. 

“At Philips we have 55 language market combinations globally, across 27 different languages. Managing customer feedback can easily become lengthy and cumbersome. Therefore it is of key importance to quickly identify the root cause of what needs to be fixed or changed. At Philips we start that process with measuring the web NPS” – Peter Ciepela, Digital Optimization Lead at Philips. 

Streamline the Redesign Process

Where do you start improving your website when you have around 7 million unique visitors per month? Involve them in the redesign process! French railway company Voyages SNCF allowed its website visitors to test the new prototype website and leave their comments on the design, navigation, personal booking pages, etc. In 3 months, they collected around 18 thousand feedback items that were analyzed and used for improvement, making the new experience more connected to the way customers actually want to book their train travel online.

See the invite from Pascal Lannoo, Head of Digital Customer Experience at Voyages SNCF here and read about the results here on Ecommerce Magazine.

Prioritize Improvement Backlog

We all have this issue: the list of improvements and UX issues seems to be never ending. The IT department created its own priority list and your requests for changes are postponed again and again until the next release. How can you overcome this issue and turn the development roadmap to your hand? Let your customers speak, and come with an evidence-based list of priorities for development. Based on user feedback you can – and should – give certain issues priority. A thorough analysis of user feedback will help you fight for your cause with your IT colleagues.

German Airline Lufthansa is taking customer feedback handling to this next level. Within Lufthansa’s team, feedback is channeled and handled by the relevant department. Labels filter feedback for the dedicated team members, whilst automated emails alert them that new feedback has come in. This synergy ensures that teams resolve issues quickly – keeping customer satisfaction high.

“We have a truly ‘customer-first’ approach” – Corinna Birkhofer, Online Sales & Analysis at Lufthansa.

Being friendly helps. Optimize for happiness!

Customer service, customer satisfaction, customer-centric approach…these are all phrases that we can’t escape at the moment and most annual reports of large corporations start with them. So what better way to improve that customer satisfaction, than to ask for feedback from your customers i.e. the actual users of your service or product? Just like in real life, it takes courage to request feedback and the impact of asking is greater than you likely expect. A common false assumption is that once you start collecting feedback, it will ‘only result in a shout-box of negative feedback’.

This however, is very untrue; the only way to discover your strengths is through feedback analysis. Feedback is too often viewed through a frame of evaluation and judgment: good/bad, right/wrong, top ten-percent etc. These frames raise resistance. But when you frame feedback as an essential part of learning, it becomes less about your deficiencies and more about your opportunities. Asking for feedback shows that you actually care about your customers. Being friendly helps!

“We want to deliver the highest service possible and we can only do that if we know exactly what the customer needs, wants and expects from a premium brand like Nespresso. And we want to offer that!”, says Lot Mulder – Digital Operations Specialist, Nespresso.

Which of these would be most important to your business? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or tweet us @usabilla!


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Article by

Roel Jansen

Roel is the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Usabilla and he helps major brands in Europe and USA listen better to their customers. Roel is currently leading the Usabilla office in New York, after having contributed to the company’s triple digit growth in Amsterdam.

Share your thoughts

  • Anton Bies

    Interesting article, useful tips.
    Your explanation of NPS is intriguing and in my opinion an argument NOT to use it (although I see some use for NPS, especially to build a service culture within a company).
    As you mention NPS correlates with growth rate, so NPS can tell you that you’re growing when you’re growing at best (in Reichheld’s original article he reported higher NPS scores for companies that had previously been growing). That you could simply see by measuring market share. As we nowadays all should know, NPS has no predictive power.

    https://byronsharp.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/net-promoter-score-nps-does-not-predict-growth-its-fake-science/

    For further reading I highly recommend Byron Sharp’s book How Brands Grow (and How Brands Grow 2).

    • Roel Jansen

      Thank you for reviewing the article Anton. With a description of 10 reasons why companies should ask for user feedback, there was no intention to question the validity of the metric NPS as such. Multiple scholars have written essays about whether NPS is the right KPI for companies and websites to measure and improve upon; other alternatives could be Customer Effort Score, Customer Satisfaction Index, Net Value Score etc. When using NPS, one should take cultural differences into account (American respondents will answer the question different from Dutch or Japanese respondents, while they might be equally satisfied: cultural skewing). Furthermore, you could question if NPS measures motivation. The idea that someone ‘would recommend the service’ is not necessarily equal to his/hers ‘motivation’ to actually do so.
      Having said the above, it was not meant to be a reasoning in favor of NPS. However, if NPS is a performance indicator for a company or website, asking for user feedback is the right way of collecting it. To go even further: measuring only NPS is a waste, every NPS question should be followed by an (open) question on how to improve on this score. Just a rating will not help you any further, but simply asking your users will.

  • We agree! User experience is a very important factor in creating websites, but it’s important to remember that its subjective. What one user might find easy to use another might find confusing. The only way to really measure your website’s impact to the visitors is to ask for their feedback. Your blog has said it all. Great job!

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