5 types of tools for a more customer-centred website and brand
Web analytics tools such as Google Analytics are used by nearly every company since they provide valuable quantitative data on site visitor behaviour. No surprise there.
But web analytics systems don't give direct qualitative feedback from site visitors and customers and the surprise to me, is that relatively few companies use these, although their popularity is increasing rapidly.
We believe that qualitative website feedback tools are also essential to take the pulse of your website, but surprisingly they are less widely used despite paid services such as Opinion Labs being available for many years and some incredible free tools such as the much lauded 4Q Survey.
5th March 2012 update
Thanks for your suggestions in the comments - I have included UserSnap and GetResponse as more cost-effective alternatives to existing tools and also recommend taking a look at Vaninas social comparison feedback tool on feedback tools. Other comments of what you've used and recommend/don't recommend always appreciated.
So, this is our recommendation on the different types of online customer feedback tools and web services:
- 1. Website Feedback Tools
- 2. Crowdsourcing product opinion software
- 3. Simple page or concept feedback tools
- 4. Site Exit Survey Tools
- 5. General Online Survey Tools
These tools are based on our review over the last year or so. If there are more feedback tools which you think would be helpful or you have positive opinions on these - please let us know.
1. Voice of Customer Website Feedback Tools and Software
These provide a permanent facility for customers to feedback by prompts on every page.
They are run continuously to enable continuous feedback including ratings on page content, products and services:
- Kampyle A tool popular with bloggers and smaller sites for which it's free (single form and 50 comments). Paid service for higher volumes. Integrates with Google Analytics well for Feedback Analytics.
- UserSnap - a simple feedback tool for visual feedback - thanks for the comment Noah
- OpinionLab Higher-level tool which tends to be used on large-scale, corporate sites.
- CS Site Manager CS stands for customer satisfaction and this is one of the main benefits of this tool - the capability to continuously research customer satisfaction and benchmark against others using the ACSI methodology.
- PollDaddy Enables surveys to be added as widgets, so good for blogs and custom surveys - includes API
- Bugmuncher - a feedback tab for websites that allows users to easily send highlighted screenshots of webpages along with their feedback. Useful immediately post launch or for testing, but can be deployed continuously
- KissInsights Asks specific questions about a site or individual page types - e.g. product pages or checkout - this is an interesting case study of how it's used to set pricing in a software service product.
2. Crowdsourcing feedback tools and Software
- Uservoice A different form of feedback tool from the others since it focuses on innovation, for example product and site suggestions. It positions itself as a crowdsourcing tool. The free version allows for simple votes on ideas and sharing ideas within a forum.
- IdeaScale Offers structured feedback within customer communities also.
- Google Moderator Google Moderator can be used for a similar purpose and can be embedded within a site or intranet. Here is a simple crowdsourcing example for practical tips.
Some customers will also feedback on the website experience or customer experience offsite in a forum of which GetSatisfaction is the best known. So feedback on relevant third-party sites should also be monitored. Thanks for your suggestions in the comments - have added UseResponse - which seems to be a lower cost version of GetSatisfaction.
3. Simple page or concept feedback tools
- Five second test Email or Tweet link to get instant feedback on a page
- Ask500People Gain feedback from 500 people targeted on their demographics within less than 12 hours.
- Userlytics Target a particular profile of customer to get mystery shopper / focus group type feedback on a web site or prototype
- WhatUsersDo - Recruit a small panel of testers to complete a task and they feedback through video (UK-based). UserTesting.com is a US-based version.
4. Site Exit Survey Tools - Visit Intent vs Satisfaction Tools
- 4Q Survey survey from iPerceptions - Free exit survey tool rating intent (reason to visit site) and satisfaction. Some companies use for redesign, others as permanent tracking
- Foreseeresults - A similar service to iPerceptions. Again a US business but used often in UK too.
- eDigitalResearch - A UK-based business with a range of customer benchmarking and research services
5. General Online Survey Tools
Of course many companies use generic low-cost or free survey tools to research audience opinions.
The three most popular are: