User feedback is one of the best ways to gauge how your customers feel, and improve your website or application. This is why website feedback tools have become so popular, as they provide a simple and consistent interface through which your users can provide feedback directly on your website.

However, simply adding a user feedback tool to your website isn’t necessarily enough. If you want to make the most of your shiny new feedback button, here’s a few things you can do to encourage its use:

Tell your users

This one is so simple, and yet often missed. Website feedback tools have to walk a fine line between being noticeable, and not being in the way or ugly. By walking this line, there will always a portion of users who will simply never notice the Feedback button on your website. And of course there will be a small number of users that see the button, but don’t fully understand its purpose, and will therefore just ignore it.

This is why it’s so important to tell your users that you have a website feedback tool, and let them know how they can use it.

If you send out regular emails to your users, add a simple paragraph to one of these emails letting your users know that you have a feedback tool, what the button looks like, and how they can use it. If you have an F.A.Q. on your site, add a question along the lines of “How can I give feedback or submit bug reports”, and then explain about your feedback tool in the answer.

Errors are opportunities

Any time a user encounters an error or page not found, your error page should encourage them to use your feedback tool to explain what happened, allowing you to recreate and fix the error. Most feedback tools automatically capture vital information for bug reports such as the user’s browser and operating system, Saber Feedback even captures Javacsript errors, and list of pages the user visited, which can be incredibly useful when trying to figure out why an error occurred.

Feedback is not a general enquiry

A common problem is that users will use your contact page to give feedback that would be better suited to your feedback tool. This can be a big problem, especially for larger websites, where feedback and general contact enquiries may go to different people, or even entirely different departments. Website feedback tools also tend to gather more relevant information than a simple contact form would.

This is why it’s a good idea to have a notice on your contact page making sure users understand when they should use the feedback button, and when they should use your contact form.

Keep it simple

Nothing stops people filling in forms quite like lots of fields, particularly when most of them are required. It’s a well known rule of user experience, more form fields means less people completing the form, and of course this applies to user feedback tools as well. Most feedback tools include some kind for form builder that allows you to chose what fields are on your feedback form, and which of them are required.

Try to keep to a maximum of 5 fields on your feedback forms, and don’t make them all required, particularly if you’re aiming to get feedback from your end users. Instead think about which fields are actually needed at the bare minimum, which for the majority of situations will simply be the message text field.

Be specific

Most website feedback tools simply have the word “Feedback” on the button by default, which is a great catch-all term. However, if you’re aiming to get a more specific type of feedback, and if your feedback tool allows it, you should definitely change the button text.

For example, if you’ve just launched a new version of your site, and you want to encourage your users to let you know if something isn’t working, you could change the text to “Report a problem”, or simply “How’s our new site?”

Feedback buttons have become so ubiquitous, that simply changing the text from the default “Feedback” is likely to make more users notice it, and therefore use it.

Respond quickly

And finally, the most important thing you can do is respond. Of course you can’t respond if the user doesn’t provide their email address, but when they do, aim to reply as soon as you see the feedback, even if it’s just to say you’ve received their feedback and you’re looking into it.

Most feedback tools allow you to integrate with third-party helpdesk and ticketing systems such as Zendesk and Jira. Integrating your feedback tool into your existing customer support work-flow is a great way to ensure feedback is seen and handled efficiently.

If users get prompt and satisfactory responses to their feedback, they are more likely to send more in the future. Replying to feedback also opens a dialogue with your user, which can lead to them providing additional feedback.

I hope you found this post useful. And if you’re still looking for a website feedback tool, be sure to checkout Saber Feedback.