The HOTSAUCE agenda is live! Join us in NYC Nov. 2–3. Tickets 50% off using the code 2HOT

Learn / Blog / Article

Back to blog

How website feedback tools can improve UX and unlock growth in your business

If you really want to get inside your website visitors’ heads—to know what they actually think about your site, and how they think it could be better—you’re in the right place.

User research
UX design and analysis

Last updated

24 Feb 2023

But!, we’re not here to give you another list of feedback tools to choose from(even though you’ll find a list at the bottom of this page)..

There are plenty of website feedback tools out there to help you understand your customers, and software (like Hotjar!) that make them easy to use; but no matter which feedback tool(s) you choose for your site, the effectiveness of each comes down to one thing: how are you going to use it?

And we’re going to help you figure that out.

To get you into the right frame of mind so you can get the most out of website feedback, we’ll cover:

✍️ PS: if you did come here for a list of website feedback tools, don’t worry—we’ve got something for you.

Later we’ll cover three popular types of feedback tools:

  1. On-site website feedback survey tools

  2. Customer feedback forms and surveys

  3. Website feedback widgets

and we’ll share tips on how to use them to improve the user experience. But first we want to dig into some theory: namely, the importance of website feedback and how it can help your online business.

Note: if you want to skip this part and go straight to the tips, click on any of the feedback tool types mentioned in the list above. 👆

The importance of website feedback: how feedback tools help grow your business

If you own an ecommerce store, you probably understand how much user experience (UX) plays a role in the happiness of your online customers.

It comes down to this: you need people to have a good experience when they visit your site—because they expect nothing less. If they encounter blockers like broken or missing elements, website bugs, or a confusing design, they might get frustrated and leave (and visit a competitor’s site instead).

When it comes to measuring your website’s performance, traditional analytics tools like Google Analytics can give you clues about what might (or might not) be working for your users: you can find out how people arrive at your site, which web pages get the most traffic, and how long they stay before they exit your sales funnel (more on this later).

But most web analytics tools can’t tell you how your visitors are actually experiencing your site, or why they behave the way they do, and can’t test your website against factors like:

which also affect the user experience (UX).

And this is where website feedback tools come in.

How to use website feedback to improve UX and increase conversions

Website feedback gives you insight from real users in their own words, giving you a better understanding of the customer journey: depending on when (and how) you ask for feedback, you could gain insight about how users feel about your site from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave.

Feedback tools help you understand where your users are coming from (i.e. their likes and dislikes, their wants and needs, and why they feel a certain way about your site), and feedback can point to trends in user behavior so you can make decisions on how to improve the user experience and increase conversions.

For example:

What’s the difference between website analytics tools and website feedback tools?

Website analytics tools like Google Analytics test your site’s performance and give you quantitative data around metrics like:

Other web analytics tools and website optimization tools—like Ahrefs or HubSpot’s Website Grader—can measure your site against performance issues like::

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

  • Site speed

  • Competitive analysis, and

  • Mobile optimization

Website feedback tools give you qualitative data based on real customer feedback, which gives you a better understanding of the customer journey from their point of view, and lets you move beyond what users are doing on your site, to why they’re doing it.

Feedback tools can address questions such as:

  • Why does our new landing page have such a high exit rate?

  • Why are visitors abandoning their shopping carts?

  • What’s bringing people to my site in the first place?

But like we said, it’s not just about the tools you use—it’s how you use them. In the words of Hotjar’s Senior Editor:

“I really believe that you can have the best tool(s) in the world, but if you’re asking the wrong question you’re always going to get a useless answer. So regardless of the tool, what we need is a good mental framework first.”

Fio Dossetto
Senior Editor at Hotjar

So before we get into different types of feedback tools, let’s take a look at how you can prepare yourself and your team to get the most out of whichever tool(s) you use:

Customer feedback questions: what do you need to know?

To get the most out of website feedback, you have to get into the right mental framework and know exactly what you’re trying to achieve.

So before you set up a feedback tool on your site, identify what sort of answers you’re looking for:

  • Is there a problem you’re trying to solve?

    Maybe you have a landing page with a high bounce rate and you want to know what’s causing people to exit without taking the next step in your funnel.

  • Do you need to change something on your site to reach your goals?

    Maybe you’ve experienced a drop in conversion rates and you want to know what needs to be fixed to create a better user experience and increase conversions.

  • Do you want to understand user behavior?

    Maybe the data you’re getting from web analytics tools isn’t enough, and you want to find out why users behave the way they do when they visit your site.

  • Do you have a specific question for your customers?

    Then ask! Unless you can read minds, the best way to find out what your customers really need from your site is to ask them.

Once you’ve settled on your goals and have identified the questions you need to have answered, you’re ready to take the next step:

3 types of website feedback tools [and how to use them to improve the user experience]

Depending on the kind of feedback questions you want to ask, where and how you want to ask them, and what you’re trying to achieve, you can use different tools to gather the insight you need.

Here are three popular website feedback tools and tips on how to use them to improve the user experience (and ultimately increase conversions):

1. On-site website feedback survey tools

On-site survey tools help you understand who your visitors are and what brought them to your website. You can use on-site surveys (also known as on-page surveys, online surveys, or polls) to get feedback from real website visitors in their own words, to measure customer satisfaction, and to find out what (if any) issues users experience on your site.

On-site surveys are best for:

On-site surveys aren’t ideal for:

  • Asking a long series of questions

  • Collecting in-depth answers that require more than 1 minute of your visitor’s time

If you’re using Hotjar on-site surveys: you can place an on-site survey across your entire site, or trigger it to only popup on specific pages or after specific actions.

For example, you can use on-site surveys on high-exit pages to find out what causes visitors to leave your site, or you can set up an NPS survey to measure customer satisfaction after they convert.

💡 On-site survey tip: the way you ask your survey questions will determine the kind of answers you get. One of the first decisions to make is: are you going to ask an open-ended or a closed-ended question?

To learn how to ask better questions and get better, more actionable answers, check out these examples of open- and closed-ended questions.

2. Customer feedback forms and surveys

Some of the best customer feedback tools are forms and surveys, which are voice of the customer (VoC) tools that let you ask a series of questions to gather detailed insight about users’ impressions of and experience on your site.

Because of the nature of this type of survey—you’re able to ask a list of questions that may require more time and space to respond thoughtfully—the survey can sit permanently on a separate page of your website (commonly known as a feedback page), or you can share an off-site survey link with your users.

Off-site surveys are best for:

  • Reaching targeted customer segments to investigate their experience in detail

  • Asking a long series of survey questions

  • Measuring customer satisfaction with an NPS survey

  • Asking questions that go beyond the website experience alone and extend to the whole customer journey

Off-site surveys aren’t ideal for:

  • Getting quick website feedback with one or two questions

If you’re using Hotjar Surveys: surveys make it easy to learn what’s important to your users by letting you ask detailed, specific questions (so you get detailed, specific answers).

For example, you can email an off-site NPS survey to your customers and ask detailed follow-up questions, giving them a smooth, user-friendly experience—and giving you the opportunity to dig deeper into what they loved (or didn’t love) about their journey through your site.

💡 Pro-tip for off-site surveys: “if your list of questions is getting longer it’s a good idea to invite your users to an off-site survey. Hotjar surveys let you trigger a minimalist invite anywhere on your site in your users’ journey, and it’ll take them to a separate link. This way you can source user feedback on your site, and get their responses on a new screen where more questions and more detailed replies work much better. Perfect for market research.”

— Alex Jost, Product Marketer at Hotjar

3. Website feedback widgets

Feedback widgets are another easy way to hear from your customers: we like to think of them as the ultimate empathy tool. These widgets appear on websites as an interactive feedback button that lets people rate their experience and give in-the-moment feedback on specific page elements.

Website feedback widgets are best for:

  • Getting targeted visual feedback in the voice of the customer

  • Identifying UX design problems with elements or features on pages of your website

  • Narrowing down UX issues and prioritizing what needs to be worked on next

  • Measuring and comparing trends in what customers like/don’t like

Feedback widgets aren’t ideal for:

  • Asking customers a series of questions about your website

  • Measuring customer satisfaction with an NPS survey

If you’re using Hotjar's visual Feedback widget: the widget appears as a button that sits at the edge of a page. When users click on it, they can rate their experience and give additional context. Users can also attach a screenshot of the page element they loved (or hated), so you know exactly what works (or doesn’t), and what needs to be changed to improve UX.

For example, you could put a Feedback widget on high-exit pages to find out what’s causing people to leave without continuing through your sales funnel. Their feedback might alert you to a broken or missing element, or a confusing design that’s tripping them up and causing them to give up on your site.

To sum up: it’s clear that website feedback is an important part of creating a better user experience and boosting conversion rates. But if you’re not using feedback tools strategically—if you’re not asking the right types of questions, at the right time, in the right way—you’re missing a huge opportunity to understand what’s really important to your customers, which is key to understanding how to give them what they need.

6 website feedback tools to improve customer experience on your site

Website feedback tools give you a deeper understanding of what users love about your site—and what they’d like you to improve. These quality insights help you create better experiences for your customers and empathize with their frustration and needs.

Here are six website feedback tools and how to use them, so you can find the perfect fit for your business and the people who matter most: your users.

1. Hotjar: for the complete package of website feedback tools

Hotjar (hi there! 👋) is a digital experience insights platform that helps you empathize with your users, understand their behavior, and bring the voice of the customer (VoC) into your decision-making.

You know what users do on your site. But do you know why? With the combined power of Hotjar's intuitive tools and features you can find out. 

Our suite of website feedback tools is a user-friendly, visual approach to discover, consolidate, and communicate user needs. Using them together is the ideal way to collect feedback with context and use it to make data-based decisions for website updates, designs, and A/B testing.

The best part about Hotjar is that you can start with a single product, or create a custom package for a complete view of your user’s needs:

Hotjar Ask 

The easiest way to know what your users need is to ask them directly. Ask tools are an easy way to listen to and stay in touch with your customers—you can think of them as the ultimate empathy toolset. 

Use them alongside Observe tools to get website feedback with even more context, and let users express frustration or delight about individual parts of your site, right down to the page, form, or image they're looking at.

👉 Hotjar Surveys: when you want to learn about your website users

If you have specific questions for your users about their interactions with your site, there’s no easier way to collect website feedback than a survey. This tool takes the guesswork out of your website decisions, by helping you narrow down your hypotheses about user behavior.

Use Surveys to:

  • Understand who your visitors are and what drove them to your site

  • Measure customer satisfaction

  • See how easy/difficult it was for them to complete an action

#An example of a Hotjar exit intent survey
An example of a Hotjar exit intent survey

 👉 ​​Hotjar Feedback: when you need in-the-moment feedback

A website feedback widget acts like a real-time suggestion box on your site: when people click it, they can rate their experience and give additional context. With the Hotjar Feedback tool, users can even attach a screenshot of the page element they loved or hated.

Use Feedback to:

  • Collect insights while customers use your website, instead of days or weeks later

  • Have users rate their experience and get additional feedback about a particular page

  • Allow users to share their thoughts and opinions and attach screenshots

#The Hotjar Feedback widget in action
The Hotjar Feedback widget in action

Pro tip: customize website feedback tools to your brand style for seamless experience.

Hotjar Feedback and Survey tools let you hear firsthand how customers are experiencing their journey on your website—giving you valuable insights to improve the user experience (UX).

For an even smoother experience, you can personalize Feedback and Surveys from the Hotjar dashboard to match the style and personality of your brand. You can even customize emoticon styles or use a five-star rating scale.

Hotjar Observe

These tools help you visualize and better understand how visitors really use your website. Observe tools are a powerful toolset to collect user insights that help you boost conversion rates, find and fix issues fast, and discover opportunities for growth. 

👉 Heatmaps: when you need a visualization of user behavior

Heatmaps visually represent where users click, move, and scroll on your site. With this context on website feedback, you'll learn how users really behave and identify the ‘why’ behind customers’ comments and interactions.

Use Heatmaps to:

  • Learn exactly where users stop scrolling and leave your website

  • Identify product features that customers are missing or choosing to ignore 

  • Find the issues that QA misses, whether it’s buttons that can’t be clicked or content that won't load

#An example of Hotjar scroll and click heatmaps
An example of Hotjar scroll and click heatmaps

👉 Recordings: when you want to see what your users see

Session recordings are playbacks of users on your site. This type of website feedback helps you improve your site on-the-fly by watching each visit in full on video, and reliably mapping the user’s full website experience, from entry to exit.

Use Recordings to:

  • Analyze user behavior together with your design team

  • Learn how behavior changes depending on the device your user is on

  • Filter down to sessions with errors, rage clicks, or u-turns, so you can troubleshoot, fast

#An example of a Hotjar Recording
An example of a Hotjar Recording

Pro tip: combine Observe and Ask tools for more insight into the website user experience. 

To get an even clearer understanding of website feedback, use Hotjar Observe and Ask tools together to see how people are experiencing your site—and what you can do to improve it.

Study the most interacted-with portions of your website using heatmaps and recordings for optimizing the positions of crucial elements like CTAs. After you observe interesting or unusual behaviors, you can ask your visitors and customers for direct feedback and learn why they behave the way they do—for example, why they are about to abandon your site—and design streamlined user flows.

Hotjar Engage 

Hotjar Engage sits alongside Ask and Observe tools, giving you access to an extra serving of empathy for your website users through 1:1 user interviews. Use this website feedback tool to easily schedule, run, record, and share interviews, and focus on what matters the most—connecting with users.

👉 Interviews: when you need to connect with individual users

Hotjar Engage makes it easy to find users to test your website, so they can answer questions about their experience. It also helps you empathize with users on why they behave the way they do on your site—and gives you ideas on how to improve your UX and PX.

Use Interviews to:

  • Quickly recruit the right users and get interviews scheduled with minimum fuss

  • Host moderated user interviews with your product or design team

  • Focus on spotting key insights while Engage seamlessly hosts, records, and transcribes your calls

#Hotjar Engage in action
Hotjar Engage in action

Connect the dots between website feedback and action

It only takes a few minutes to start collecting website feedback with Hotjar, to see how real users experience and engage with your site.

2. Typeform: for inquisitive feedback surveys

Typeform is a survey tool that uses a small feedback widget to help you uncover opportunities and figure out what’s working—or not working—on your website.

#The Typeform survey dashboard
The Typeform survey dashboard

With Typeform, you can create, integrate, and share text forms into surveys, quizzes, or even polls. The platform uses a conversational tone that adds to the user experience and helps you collect feedback easily. Some of its best features include data analysis, third party integrations, question branching, skip logic, and mobile surveys.

Use Typeform to:

  • Design conversational surveys to ask new users one question at a time

  • Easily identify purchase behavior by collecting the demographics of your customers

  • Filter out irrelevant questions and build personalized user flows for better onboarding

3. Userback: for revealing visual feedback

Userback is a visual feedback tool that uses a browser extension to make collecting website feedback quick and easy.

#Userback visual feedback example
Userback visual feedback example

Visitors can report bugs with annotated screenshots, pinned comments, screen recordings, and even by drawing on the screen. This is a great tool for product managers, software developers, and customer support reps.

Leverage Userback to:

  • Report visual feedback on your website with a website browser extension

  • Capture complex feedback from interested and engaged users

  • Push feedback into your favorite tools like Trello, Jira, and more

4. CrazyEgg: for clever heatmaps and analytics

Crazy Egg is a well-established website analytics platform, with powerful tools for collecting, managing, and analyzing heatmaps and recordings.

#An example of a CrazyEgg heatmap
An example of a CrazyEgg heatmap

Both Hotjar and CrazyEgg serve as complements to Google Analytics and help better investigate what traditional analytics alone won’t tell you about your users, but there are differences between Hotjar vs Crazy Egg.

Use CrazyEgg to:

  • Identify your best features and the effectiveness of your navigation

  • Generate data-intensive maps and reports for a treasure trove of customer insights

  • Track specific users and how long they spend on certain page elements

5. UserEcho: for generous community feedback

UserEcho provides customer support solutions to help you communicate effectively and resolve customer needs.

#UserEcho dashboard
UserEcho dashboard

As a website feedback tool, its efficacy lies in grabbing direct customer feedback and reviews for quality maintenance and upgrades by letting customers participate in ongoing forum discussions, review products and services via educational posts, and instantly contact your support team via live chat.

Engage UserEcho to:

  • Let users post and upvote new ideas, feedback, suggestions, and features on the feedback portal

  • Manage customer tickets and feedback from apps, social media, websites, and emails

  • Send customer satisfaction surveys after the issues are resolved

6. TrustPilot: for insightful customer reviews

TrustPilot is a direct feedback tool that also offers solutions for companies to collect feedback and showcase it on their website—increasing user trust and boosting sales.

#The TrustPilot dashboard
The TrustPilot dashboard

This type of website feedback tool allows you to collect authentic customer reviews and make the most out of them. By reading customer reviews, you can understand their expectations and align your strategy to help improve conversion rates. 

Use TrustPilot to:

  • Automatically invite customers to review your product, service, or business

  • Collect feedback in the form of customer reviews and showcase it as social proof

  • Integrate and collect feedback from third party sources like Zendesk, Shopify, and WooCommerce