When to ask customers to rate you
Surveys and reviews are a great way to learn more about how your customers feel about you, your products, your company and your shopping experience if you have one. But timing is everything in life right? You need to catch your customers at the right time for them to tell you how they really feel about what you're asking.
Here are a few examples of bad timing and good timing.
I shopped at a great site to buy home products. I was looking for a specific product which I knew would take a long time to get to me. A survey was presented to me right after I purchased asking me if I would ever shop here again. One of the questions was related to the shipping experience. Not being done with the entire experience I declined the survey.
A few days went by and I received an email telling me this product would take 4-6 weeks and they needed a deposit, so I emailed them back approving the deposit. But only a few days later I got another email with a survey link asking how the experience went. I still hadn't received the product so I couldn't really answer. They did mention that if I didn't get the product yet, to save the email for when I did. I'm probably not going to remember to do that though.
Point learned: If you are going to ask your customers about their experience with your process and purchase, let them experience it first.
On another note, if you're going to ask about the user experience or their shopping experience that's a different story. You can ask right after they've made their purchase while it's still fresh in their minds.
Some good examples I've encountered:
DogFunk is a site that sells ski and snowboard gear. After I purchased sunglasses and received them, about two days later they sent me an email asking me to rate the product and to post reviews about the product on their site. It was extremely timely.
If you make a restaurant reservation at OpenTable, after you dine at the restaurant you've booked, you'll likely get an email from them asking you to rate your experience with the restaurant; and it's the day after you went. It's fresh in your mind, and you might not think to proactively write a review on your own.
So make sure that when you're sending your email marketing campaigns to your customers requesting them to fill out a survey or post a review make sure they've had the full experience you want them to rate.
By the way, check out VerticalResponse Surveys, you get 25 responses free in your trial.
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