You probably have a ton of ideas on how to grow your website, but instead of trying a bunch of things that may not work, why not go straight to the source? After all, the best people to ask about your membership site are the ones who spend time interacting with your content: your members.
Collecting member feedback is a great way to find out what’s working, what’s not, and what people would like more of. It’s also a huge time saver, as you can find out what members think about new ideas before you spend time implementing them. You can also identify and eliminate problems and focus your resources on the things people actually want.
Before asking for your member’s opinions, first, figure out what part of the member journey you can approve through feedback. Then, look for trends within the responses. By acting on the feedback you get, you’ll not only improve your site and increase your business, but you’ll increase member loyalty by showing that you’re listening.
Here are six ways to get feedback from your members that you can then use to grow your site.
Send a survey asking for feedback
Surveys show your customers that you care what they think and that you’re committed to improving. They’re also probably the easiest way to solicit feedback from your members because they’re simple to create, send out, and analyze.
There are a couple of ways to set up a survey so that your members see it: you can use a plugin to embed it in a popup on your website or use a survey site like SurveyMonkey that you send out via email and social media.
Kelly Perry, one-half of the married-couple duo behind Team Flower, a worldwide floral community and education platform for professional florists, recommends sending customer surveys early and often. “Definitely [conducting] deep surveys, the sooner the better. Maybe as part of your funnel when people subscribe and asking them questions and then periodically asking what their biggest problem is. The sooner you can get to know them, the better.”
Keep in mind that you’ll get more responses if you keep the survey short and let people know how many minutes of their time it will take. In addition, you may want to offer an incentive, like a chance to win a gift card or access to password protected content.
Before you write your survey questions, ask yourself what information you’re trying to find out from your members. Be sure to keep the questions short and concise, and avoid asking leading or loaded questions. Keep in mind that asking “closed” questions (multiple choice, yes/no, rankings, etc.) will get you higher response rates and data that is easier to analyze while asking “open” questions where members respond with a written answer will yield a lower response rate, but more insightful data.
Host an in-person event
Events are a meaningful way to interact with your members and build brand loyalty, and for Kelly, they’re one of the most important parts of what Team Flower does. Sure you can communicate via email, social media, and over the phone, but there’s nothing quite like a face-to-face conversation over lunch or cocktails. “If you just have online, people’s connection with you as a business only goes so far. Anytime we have an in-person event that’s when the connection to our business for the customer even goes deeper.”
Obviously, your budget will dictate what kind of event you can host, but keep it small enough that you can spend one-on-one time with each person and hear what they have to say. Go in with a clear goal about not only what you want to learn, but what the benefit will be for the people attending. The draw could be the location you choose or that they’ll be the first to learn about something new you’re doing. Take lots of notes and follow-up with a thank you email.
Add a forum to your website
Member forums are a great way to grow your community and facilitate conversation, as long as they have a clear purpose and value. They’re easy to add using Discourse or bbPress, and are a great place for you to engage with your members and ask them questions, as well as answer theirs. Just keep in mind that it is a time commitment, albeit it a fun one where you’ll be able to learn a lot about the people who have joined your site and what they would like to see.
Place a feedback form prominently on your site
A feedback form gives your members an easy way to share their thoughts and feelings, which you can then use to improve your site. Just like a survey, you want to clearly define the types of insights you’d like to collect before you write any questions and keep them short and simple.
Add the form to a widget on every page, or, if you want to ask for feedback more actively, trigger the form to appear when members reach a specific destination where it makes sense to ask them questions.
Monitor your social media mentions
Use a social media management tool, like Hootsuite, to monitor what your members are saying about your website. It’s a great way to learn what people like and don’t like, respond to any issues or feedback, and show your members that you’re listening and you care.
Do your best to respond to mentions and questions as quickly as possible and stay positive. In addition, keep track of positive and negative feedback in a document, especially things multiple people are saying so that you can make intelligent changes based on actual user data.
Web analytics are a great tool to find out where people are spending time on your site, which pages they’re not interested in, and what is driving them away. You can also find out what is driving traffic to your site and who your audience is, all key data that will allow you to understand the bigger picture, and use that information to your advantage to get more members and keep them on your website longer.
As you continue to make changes to improve your site based on feedback from your members remember this is not a one time thing. Keep communication channels open and remember this is an ongoing process, one that’s beneficial to not only you but your members as well.