Do you want to get deep inside the heads of your website’s visitors? What do they think about you? What objections do they have when they are on your website?
Are you asking them to take action at the right time? Or even the right action in the first place?
You should know the answers to these questions and when I say ‘know’ I mean know, not guess.
Guessing is easier but far less effective. This is hardcore intelligence that is dynamite waiting to be ignited under the bonnet of your conversion rate.
Think about what you’d do offline
If you had a shop in the real-world and 99 out of every 100 people who came in through the door took a quick look around and walked straight out again what would you do? Ignore them? Of course you wouldn’t.
You’d grab them by the arm on the way out, hold them at gunpoint and ask them for feedback wouldn’t you?
What can I do to earn your business punk?
Or something like that.
And they’d tell you. You would only need to ask a couple of dozen and a pattern would emerge. Are your prices too expensive? Is your returns policy seen as too risky? Are you stocking the wrong products? Or not enough of them?
So why aren’t you doing this with your online store?
You should be and in this post I’m going to show you how. It’s much easier than you think.
But first, a story of how not to do it
It drives me completely round the bend when I see this. Nuts I tell you. Even companies that are supposed experts in conversion make this mistake.
Facebook made it with me the other day for example. I logged on to their iPhone app and was asked if I’d like to take a quick customer survey. Excitedly I jumped right in. I had to see what questions they asked and how they asked them. A learning opportunity in the offing.
Alas there were three pages of multiple choice questions with gems like:
On a scale of 1 to 5 how fast is our app to use?
On a scale of 1 to 5 how easy is our app is to use?
On a scale of 1 to 5 how much would you recommend our app to others?
What results are they going to get from that? Where are the actionable insights going to come from? What about all my ideas? Don’t you want to hear them?
At best they might be able to get something like:
26.23% think our iPhone app is fast (answered 4 or 5)
43.89% think we have an app that’s easy to use
Are those numbers good?
Might be. Might not be. What was the sentiment behind those answers? What can they do to improve the app from here?
If I were in the dev team I’d be hopping mad. What a wasted opportunity and typical of a large organisation who over thinks problems. All they needed was one free text question to rule them all:
What do you think of our iPhone App?
The responses back from that simple question would tell a million different stories.
They would see emotions. They would get new ideas. They would see what problems people are facing. They might have even got praise.
They would certainly have got really good steers on their users’ intentions. They would also have even been able to get a nice statistic out at the end. Perfect result all round.
Sure they would need to spend a bit of time quantifying the qualitative data but the pay back would have been huge.
Ignore how Facebook does customer feedback and do this instead
Do not fall into the same mistake that 98.783% of companies out there do. Do not do what Facebook did.
Instead you should gather qualitative data using open questions and then spend time quantifying it.
That’s what you would do offline wouldn’t you? You’d ask questions and listen to the responses. Can you imagine walking out of a shop and being stopped with a question like
On a scale of 1 to 5 how easy was it to find the product you were looking for?
Here’s how you should do it instead.
Step 1 – Find out where visitors are leaving from
How I find out which page(s) to ask the question is the subject of another post but using Google Analytics and delving deep into the Content > All Pages report to look at exit rates gives a great view of where people are leaving from.
Step 2 – Pick the right tool for the job
My tool of choice for gathering feedback from non-customers on websites is Qualaroo. It allows me to target a precise question to a precise moment in my website where I know I have a large drop off of users.
If you need some help getting Qualaroo setup then have a read of this. Their customer support is excellent too so don’t be shy about reaching out.
Personally I tend not to use most of Qualaroo’s features. These days it’s possible to use it to increase conversions itself with conditional questions, messaging and prompts but it started out back in the KISSinsights days as a pure feedback tool. That’s what I still mostly use it for.
Step 3 – Ask the right question
I’m going to save you a whole world of pain in this step. Let’s assume you know where visitors are dropping off, you have a Qualaroo account setup, and you now want to setup your survey. What question do you ask?
Well it kinda depends on what the goal of the page is but the general rule is:
Whatever the goal of the page is, ask them a direct question why they didn’t do that today, self deprecate and ask for honesty.
Here’s an example. If the goal of the page is for a visitor to buy a toilet brush then you won’t go far wrong by asking:
Can you please tell me why you didn’t buy our toilet brush today? (We know this page isn’t very good so please be brutally honest with us as we love feedback)
The self deprecation gets you lots of responses and the open question encourages quality answers telling you straight what the objections are at the precise moment in time when your visitors are experiencing them. And this is why I love Qualaroo.
Visitors to your site don’t know what their objections are until they experience them in the moment. It’s no good asking your existing customers for feedback on your site (well it is but not AS good) and it’s no good setting up some fake user testing scenarios either 1-to-1 or in focus group style because they are … well … fake. You need the real thing from the horses mouth and Qualaroo gets you that at exactly the right moment.
Step 4 – Tweak the settings in Qualaroo
Once you’ve got your question setup there are a few settings you need to get right in Qualaroo. Here they are:
Now you’ve got Qualaroo setup and the answers are starting to flood in you need to know what to do with them because on first inspection they can look like a bit of a mess. Don’t be afraid as it’s easy. You need this process.
Step 5 – Export and codify (this is the wizardry part)
Qualaroo lets you export into Excel so once you have at least 100 (preferably 200) do the export and get all your data formatted into one long column.
Give the column a quick skim read to get a general feel as to what your objections are likely to be.
Are people saying your prices are too high?
Are they saying they’re not sure you’re a reputable company?
Are they worried about your returns policy?
Or your shipping charges?
Or whatever …
Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dig in. Start at the top and put a codified objection into column 2 for each statement. If one statement has multiple objections in it then copy the row and insert it in below and add a second objection. Keep going until you’ve finished the list.
You should have something like this.
Step 6 – Run a Pivot Table over your codified data
Nice work. That’s the boring stuff out the way. Time to pivot. Select the two columns, hit pivot table and copy these settings in your Pivot Table Builder so you get a count of how many times each objection appears in your raw data.
Step 7 – Pie Chart = Qualitative Data to Quantitative
Select your pivot table and create a pie chart in the same way you would normally.
Hey presto! Now that you have your top user objections all nicely codified you need to know what to do about them.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts where I’ll look at some proven ways (with examples) to counter objections like ‘you’re too expensive’ or ‘I don’t trust you’ or ‘I’m just researching right now’ to help explode your conversion rate beyond the stratosphere.
And no. Changing your button colour from red to green is not going to make those that think your prices are too high buy from you. Sorry.