If you want to know what your customers are thinking, the only way is to ask them because you're probably not a mind reader, right? If you are, please let us know the future of the stock market!
Online feedback forms help you do just that. You can connect with your customers at the right time and place to gather meaningful feedback to improve your business.
In this post, our goal is to give you the information that you need to create your own online feedback forms and start generating those types of insights from your customers.
We'll start by sharing some examples of different ways that you can implement online feedback forms. Then, we'll give you some tips for implementing those forms in the most effective way possible.
Six Types of Online Feedback Forms You Can Use
There are a lot of different ways that you can get feedback from your customers, and the method(s) that you should choose depends on what type of information you're looking to collect.
Some methods - like popups - are more aggressive, while others - like an after-chat feedback form - are much less obtrusive. As we go through the examples, we'll share some pros and cons of each approach, as well as how you can implement it on your site.
1. Survey and feedback popups
If you want to be aggressive and get feedback from as many visitors as possible, a popup might be the best option for you.
There are a lot of ways to use popups to gather feedback. However, for the most effective approach, you'll want to pay special attention to timing and targeting.
For example, if you're using a tool that lets you use an exit-intent trigger, like the GetSiteControl survey forms, you can create a website exit survey that displays right before visitors leave. This can let you ask questions to understand what's causing people to abandon your site:
Or, rather than displaying your feedback popup on every page, you could use targeting rules to target your feedback to specific content at your site.
For example, if you have an eCommerce store, you could display a popup on the order confirmation page that asks visitors about their shopping experience.
Basically, popups don't have to be something "in your face" that you display to every single visitor. Instead, you can use trigger and targeting rules to target only the specific users you'd like to gather feedback from.
2. Inline/Embedded forms
If you want something a little less aggressive, you can consider adding an inline feedback form instead of a popup. By "inline", we mean that it appears as part of your actual content, much like a contact form.
Inline forms make a great option if you're looking to engage with people who visit a specific page, rather than gather sitewide feedback.
For example, it would also work well for the eCommerce example above, where you ask people for feedback about their purchase after they've completed the checkout process. Instead of showing a popup, you could just include an embedded feedback form on your order confirmation page.
3. Email messages
For the previous two methods, we focused on ways to gather feedback on your website. But that's not the only way to connect with visitors online - you can also connect with them in their email inboxes.
This approach is great for:
- Surveying all of your customers, because you can guarantee that everyone at least receives the message.
- Surveying specific segments, either based on user profile information or user activity, like whether someone recently made a purchase.
For example, Airbnb sends out this feedback form to customers via email:
4. Live chat embedded feedback forms
If you use a live chat on your website, you get a great chance to gather feedback from people who engage with you.
There are a couple of ways that you can go about this.
First, you can wait until after a visitor engages with live chat to show them the feedback survey. Essentially, it's like an "after chat" survey. This makes a good option if you're specifically looking to gather feedback on the helpfulness of your live chat team.
Second, you can use that same chat box to proactively gather feedback from your visitors in a conversational manner using a chatbot. For example, Haptik's Feedback Bot can help you chat with visitors to collect feedback, and even transfer visitors to live support staff based on the feedback that they provide:
5. Side button
If you want to create a visible feedback form for all of your visitors but don't want to go as aggressive as a popup, a side tab or a floating contact button can be a great middle ground.
With this approach, you create a static button that "sticks" to the side of your site and prompts visitors to give feedback. Because it's off to the side, it doesn't get in the way of a visitor's browsing experience like a popup would.
Here's an example from Qualtrics:
Visitors need to specifically interact with the side tab in order to leave feedback.
While it's good to avoid annoying your visitors, it's important to understand that using unobtrusive forms like this can bias the feedback that you receive towards the extremes (either positive or negative).
Basically, by making the feedback form unobtrusive, you're also making it so that only motivated customers seek out the feedback form. Typically, people are only motivated when they've had an extreme experience - either very good or very bad.
On the other hand, a more aggressive popup, for example, lets you proactively reach all visitors, including people who just had a "normal" experience and otherwise wouldn't be motivated to share their opinion.
There's no right or wrong here - it's just important to keep in mind when you create your online feedback forms.
6. Social media
Your own website or email newsletter isn't the only spot where you can gather feedback from users - most social media sites now include built-in polling/survey functionality to help you gather information from your audience.
For example, here are instructions for creating polls on:
Now, because of the public nature of these polls and the fact that you can only ask a single question, you probably won't want to rely on social media for in-depth customer feedback.
But for a one-off question about something general, it can be a great option.
For example, if you have a blog or a YouTube channel, you could ask your fans what piece of content they'd like to see next. That way, you can "pre-test" your content ideas before investing in them.
Look how the Oakland Raiders, an American football team, polled their fans about what type of video content fans want to see:
Three Quick Tips for Properly Implementing Online Feedback Forms
No matter which type of feedback form you want to implement, these tips will help you do it successfully...
1. Know why you're asking for feedback
Getting "feedback" is not a goal in itself. Instead, you need to think about what specifically you're hoping to gain from your feedback forms.
Are you looking to improve your customer service? Create a better checkout process? Gauge customer satisfaction? Shape your content strategy?
There's no single right answer here - but you need to put some time into figuring out what the end goal is for the feedback that you collect.
2. Pay attention to the questions that you ask
The actual questions that you ask are going to play a big role in the responses that you get. Survey Monkey has a great post on how the way you phrase your questions can skew your data, either positively or negatively.
If you're not sure what types of questions you should ask, you can turn to a premade feedback form, depending on what type of information you're trying to collect.
For example, if you're trying to gauge general customer satisfaction, you can use premade customer feedback surveys instead of trying to create your own from scratch. Some common options here are:
You can find more website survey question ideas on our blog.
3. Tell people how long it will take (and ease them in for long surveys)
If you're just running a simple survey or poll, you can skip this one. But if you're creating more in-depth feedback forms, you'll want to let people know how long they can expect to spend on filling them out.
By properly setting expectations, you increase the chance that people will be willing to take precious time out of their days to share their thoughts and suggestions.
For example, if you go back to that Airbnb email feedback message from before, you can see how Airbnb specifically tells recipients that it will only take around three minutes:
Additionally, for longer surveys, start with some easy, simple questions. As Giuseppe Larossi recommends in his book, The Power of Survey Design, you should start simple to “build up confidence in the survey’s objective”.
Get started with online feedback forms today
While the exact form tool that you'll need depends on what type of feedback survey you're looking to implement, the GetSiteControl Survey form builder offers an accessible way to get started with gathering feedback from your customers in a few different ways.
You'll be able to create popups, side buttons, slide-ins, and more, along with targeting and trigger rules to make sure you're surveying the right customers.
Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer with a background in SEO and affiliate marketing. He helps clients grow their web visibility by writing primarily about WordPress and digital marketing.