In part one of our series, we took you through the process of turning a HARO inquiry into content, testimonials, and reviews as a unique method of gaining feedback from your customers. In part two, we went to the experts to find out their unique ways of gathering feedback.

It’s no secret that user feedback is critical to be able to improvise, find common issues, increase conversions, understand your users and so much more! But how can you get more feedback from your users without relying on surveys, chat, or email? Our experts let us know the tried-and-true tactics that work for their brands, and could work for yours as well.

#1 – Test Alternate Channels:

“Create a Slack group where consumers can ask questions and interact with your team and one another. Giving people alternate ways to communicate with your brand allows you to get feedback you otherwise wouldn’t be able to get.”

Yam Regev, Co-founder, and CEO of the Tel Aviv-based ed-tech startup, Zest.is

#2 – Take a Note from Politicians:

“Go on a Listening Tour. Politicians do it all the time but it works for businesses too! Start with current customers and make a list of prospects and influencers then invite them to a meal or coffee, ask a  few open-ended questions and start taking notes. People love to be asked their opinions and they will share feedback and tell you where they have problems and need help. It has worked {wonders} for my business.

Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO of Mavens and Moguls

#3 – Don’t Forget Traditional Advertising:

“We are a small retail jewelry business with a store and online website. While we do request reviews from our customers through email, we have taken it a step further. We set up an automated system that sends out postcards to our customers two weeks after they place an order with us. We thank them for becoming a customer and have a short, easy to enter URL which takes them to a page to review us on Google. We do this because people these days are bombarded with emails and sending a postcard gets it right in front of them in a way no other retailers are doing. It has worked great for us, and at $0.79 per postcard, it is well worth it.”

Jeff Moriarty, CEO of Mothers Family Rings

#4 – Know When to Ask:

“One strategic way to garner feedback from a client is to listen for those opportune moments. Often, we are more willing to provide positive feedback in the form of a testimonial or review after we have already expressed positivity. So if you are speaking with a client and they verbally express their happiness or satisfaction with what you have provided, this is the perfect opportunity to follow up with an “ask” in the form of written feedback. ” I am so happy to hear that everything is going so well with (your product or service). Could I ask a favor? It really helps us when we can tell others about experiences like yours. If I send you over a link to our Google My Business listing would you be willing to leave us a review?” Asking in the moment, when a client is most appreciative,  makes the process much simpler and streamlined.”

Bernard May, CEO of National Positions

#5 – Utilize Partnerships:

“At HealthLabs.com our community outreach team looks for unique feedback any way we can get it. Generically, we offer influencers or bloggers a chance to try our services for free. It is our hope that they will let their followers (or us) know what they think.”

Laureli Litke, Marketing Manager at HealthLabs.com

#6 – Discounts & Influencers:

“My advice is to move beyond incentives like free products or discounts and more towards mutual promotion. Ask your customers to leave a review in exchange for you putting their name on your social media, in your newsletter, and on other promotional material that can be easily edited. Sure, this is more geared towards B2B but considering how interested everyone is these days in getting their name in the spotlight, it can easily work for B2C as well.”

Jack Sargent, CEO of Commusoft

#7 – Ignite Your Passion with a Cause:

“About 2 years ago, we began donating a portion of our ‘commission’ payments, to a Diabetes charity of our clients choice.  Once we began implementing this strategy, getting feedback, or reviews from our clients, has been a breeze! Clients love that we give back to their community, and asking for feedback from them is well received.”

Matt Schmidt, CEO of Diabetes Life Solutions

#8 – Learn from the Big Guys:

“Customer feedback is absolutely essential for a healthy business. As Steve Jobs put it, ‘you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology’. There are now many new feedback initiatives adopted by major businesses. Dell, the giant computer brand, once suffered a major backlash from a dissatisfied customer that went viral, but they came back stronger. Dell started to take customer feedback soo seriously that they created a separate website called IdeaStorm. On this website, customers leave reviews and complaints. Reviews or complaints with the most comments and votes from other customers on the forum are prioritized.

Many other juggernaut companies are using customer feedback techniques, such as feedback buttons, social media hashtags, and pop-up customer feedback forms to improve their service. However, personally, I would avoid the pop-ups because I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to interrupt a viewers focus (as it can cause annoyance); well-placed, visible feedback or ‘leave a review’ button will do the trick.”

Ryan Underwood, Digital Marketing Executive at YourParkingSpace.co.uk

#9 – Create a Unique Meeting Space:

“After 9 years of hard work to go from 0 to more than 21.5M users, We tried six different ways to generate feedback, but only one generated superb results: a unique meeting space!

To achieve this, once a week we invite three of our top users to dinner with us. In this unique meeting space, we share with them how our company was born, why we do what we do and what the long-term mission is.

Then each client tells their experience with our tool as well as any recommendations. It is IMPOSSIBLE to achieve this level of detail and depth with a survey by email or telephone, which is why this personal meeting is so important. It generates a space of time for the client to reflect and share their needs. But the MOST important thing is the brainstorming that is generated among the clients themselves.

Being able to listen/see/ analyze how they interact and discover their future needs is essential to continue growing. They define our roadmap in this way for the following months of work.

Since we implemented this strategy to get feedback is that we managed to develop improvements that helped us grow 41.1% (which is amazing!)”

Cristian Rennella CEO & CoFounder of oMelhorTrato.com.

#10 – Develop a Visual Guide:

“My unconventional way to gather user feedback would be a visual guide to add to a website. We’ve recently applied it to Bid4Papers, and it kills two birds with one stone:

– It covers the “give before ask” principle to help customers learn more about the service before joining it, which captures the interest and builds trust.

– It also allows ut to find out what people think of this kind of services for us to understand their gaps and decide what steps we can take to fill those gaps and handle with objections for better marketing.

It also helps us to get feedback by seeing how visitors interact with it. When teaming up with Hojar (https://www.hotjar.com/), it allows us to track the gaps in their knowledge about the kind of services we provide (whether it’s okay to use it, misconceptions about the prices, our locations, etc.)

Lesley J Vos, Content Manager, Bid4papers

#11 – Ask & Get Creative:

“1) Everyone that tries out ContentKing and doesn’t sign up is asked for their reason. It’s a short form that only takes you 10 seconds to fill out. So that way we get lots and lots of feedback that we feedback to our product and marketing teams.

2) In 2015, as we were working our asses off building ContentKing, we wanted to get Rand Fishkin’s feedback on it. He’s a busy guy, so we had to get creative to catch his attention. We noticed he’d be speaking at Learn Inbound in Dublin (which is a cool SEO conference anyway) so we went over there with a custom t-shirt that had a caricature of himself on it. It worked, he was so surprised and we scheduled a Skype call shortly after so we could demo ContentKing.

Sometimes you have to get creative, and invest into something.”

Steven van Vessum, Marketing Manager at ContentKing

#12 – Paid Ads:

“We send out surveys on different platforms and channels like HARO, social media profiles like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter asking people who have used our products to rate us and write honest reviews for us. We push such posts hugely on different channels via paid ads or else the posts are accompanied with prizes or vouchers for filling the form out. We collect a lot of reviews in this way which we use for testimonials on our page.”

Shakun Bansal, Head of Marketing at Mettl.

The experts are using everything from political tactics to postcards. How do you go about getting brand feedback?