Instead of burying a Web-based comment form or e-mail address among your pages, direct the shopper to the feedback page immediately after they complete a transaction. They will be better equipped to comment after successfully finding and ordering merchandise.
Inspire feedback with contests and giveaways. If customers have opportunities to win something, they may be more inclined to give constructive criticism or praise. Monitor the replies to ensure that the same people aren't commenting just to increase their chances of winning.
Accompany shipped orders with stamped comment cards. Customers will have had a chance to inspect and use the merchandise, allowing for candid replies. You can also follow-up orders with an inquiring e-mail that asks for feedback on the overall shopping experience and any problems that were encountered.
During down time at the call center, ask customer service agents to telephone customers and inquire about their most recent order. Prepare a script with simple questions about site navigation, pricing, product quality, and delivery. You'll be surprised to find that many customers take the time to state their opinions.
Once you have implemented creative methods for soliciting customer feedback, you still have some work ahead of you. Addressing the comments and making the changes that have been dictated by a majority of customers could possibly lead to a total site overhaul.
Reprinted from ECommerce Guide.