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4 ways to collect real-time feedback from your customers
Collecting real-time customer feedback is a quick and affordable way to understand what customers love (and hate) in the moment, enabling you to identify and fix issues before they escalate and double down on what’s working well.
Last updated31 May 2023
Reading time4 min
In this post, we give you four different ways to collect real-time customer feedback on your website (and beyond) so you can improve your customer experience (CX), satisfaction, retention, and, ultimately, your bottom line.
1. Add a feedback button to your website
A feedback button gives visitors navigating your website the opportunity to leave quantitative feedback (like 1-to-5 satisfaction stars or angry-to-happy emojis) and qualitative comments about what they like (or don’t) in real time.
Website feedback buttons help you:
Collect continuous feedback without interrupting the customer journey (visitors can use the button without needing to navigate away from the page)
Give customers a way to self-report issues, like broken web design elements or unclear content, so your team can quickly intervene
Get a quantitative baseline to measure the overall user experience (UX), which you can also monitor for drops
How to do it: use a website feedback tool like Hotjar Feedback to add a feedback button to your website. From your account, click the speech bubble icon to go to the Feedback tool and select ‘Set up Feedback’ or ‘New widget’.
You can also customize your feedback button or widget to:
Change colors and emoji styles
Pick where it shows up on the page
Edit the follow-up question
Choose if you want it to display sitewide or only for specific pages, actions, or users
💡Pro tip: website feedback isn’t always clear—an angry comment or a happy emoji, in isolation, might not tell you exactly what your website visitor was experiencing.
The solution: combine responses with other behavior insights data to understand the big picture. If you use Hotjar Feedback, you can click straight through from a feedback response to view companion session recordings.
Click the play icon to watch the corresponding recordings from Feedback responses
2. Trigger website surveys based on user actions
Not all real-time customer feedback is equally important to your business; triggering a website survey on key pages or after users take a certain action—like abandoning checkout or scrolling to the bottom of a product page—allows you to focus on the most impactful feedback first.
For example, at the bottom of each Hotjar help doc, we ask visitors “Was this article helpful?” If they click ‘No’, a Hotjar Survey is triggered, which asks, “Sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for! How can we make this article more useful?” The real-time responses help us update our content so more users can easily get answers to their questions without having to contact a support agent.
Targeted surveys help you:
Identify (and fix) tangible causes of drop-offs in your conversion funnel—for example, why people abandon the checkout process
Reveal why users are angry or frustrated, particularly when triggered after a rage click
Make data-driven decisions with a wealth of qualitative data, so you know where to focus your efforts and what optimizations to prioritize
You can customize your survey questions and appearance, and target certain devices, pages, and user segments. You can also specify which user action(s) or event(s) should trigger a survey, just like in the example from our help docs we showed you above.
To take advantage of the real-time nature of this tool, set up response forwarding so responses are sent to your team’s communication tool of choice—including Slack, Microsoft Teams, or email—as soon as a visitor fills in a survey.
💡Pro tip: if you’re A/B testing designs with a tool like Optimizely, Hotjar Surveys lets you trigger a survey on a specific page variant. Collecting real-time qualitative feedback alongside quantitative test results helps you understand why winning designs perform better and gives you ideas to iterate on in future tests.
3. Set up a live chat app
Live chat gives your website visitors the opportunity to leave instant feedback and receive a real-time response from an automated chatbot or customer support agent.
Live chatbots help you:
Troubleshoot and solve user problems straight away
Create support tickets and follow up on issues at a later date if required
Collect information about the most common topics or website features your customers struggle with, so you can turn their negative experience into a positive one. For example, if users repeatedly miss a specific piece of information, consider making it more prominent or providing more guidance on how to find it.
💡Pro tip: if you’re using Hotjar, you can filter recordings by users who clicked on your live chat button to see how they browsed and what they struggled with before they asked for help.
You can also connect Hotjar with Zendesk and other live chat tools to view session recordings relating to individual support tickets. This helps customer success agents better solve issues in real time, and gives web design and UX designers the insights they need to improve website design and aid conversions.
Integrate Hotjar with Zendesk and other live chat tools using Zapier
4. Run in-depth user interviews
Running user interviews, either remotely or in person, gives you the chance to collect detailed real-time feedback face-to-face.
User interviews help you:
Collect real-time qualitative feedback on any project, even if it’s still in development
Validate website designs straight away without waiting for issues to occur
Get a richer understanding of how your UX works as a whole by asking follow-up questions
How to do it: use a user interview tool like Hotjar Engage to run remote user interviews. You can recruit participants from your existing audience or find people who match your target audience from our testing pool of 175,000+ participants. All interviews are automatically recorded and transcribed so you can highlight and share notes with other team members.
💡Pro tip: the best way to get valuable real-time feedback from your user interviews is to ask open-ended questions (i.e. nothing that can be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’).
If people are struggling to give you longer answers, encourage them to elaborate by asking follow-ups like, “Can you tell me more about that?” or “What specifically did you find interesting/challenging about that?”
For more tips, see our guide to mastering user interviews.
Turn real-time feedback into long-term growth
Real-time feedback gives you instant insight into what’s happening on your website, which makes it very tempting to just jump in and start making changes!
But you first need to take a step back and look at feedback in the context of insights from heatmaps, session recordings, and other digital experience insights tools. By understanding the bigger picture, you’ll confidently prioritize high-impact fixes that satisfy users and drive business growth.
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