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Feedback forms are the unsung heroes of word of mouth. They’re one of the best ways your customers can tell you how to make your business better, yet they’re often neglected.

Here are four easy ways to get the most out of your feedback forms:

1. Make it easy
2. Make it anonymous
3. Make it free-form
4. Make it meaningful

1. Make it easy

Have you ever found yourself ready to give a company a glowing review only to find you have to create an account and login first? No one wants to do that. Imagine how many great reviews and how much useful feedback are lost because your customers can’t tell their story right away. Don’t make feedback difficult. It’s your job to make it easy to leave a review the moment they have something to say. Skype, for example, immediately asks for a review of your call every time you hang up.

2. Make it anonymous

Your customers need a way to tell you what they really think — even the bad stuff. You can make that possible by letting them tell you anonymously. Do your review forms require too much personal information? Remember that the easier it is for your customers to give you their negative feedback, the less likely they are to rant to everyone else about it instead.

3. Make it free-form

Leave plenty of room for your customers to put things in their own words. You might get feedback you didn’t expect on something less obvious than “How was your server?” or “Rate your experience with the product.” Who knows, they might have a suggestion that changes how you do business. But if you don’t give them the freedom to share ideas, you’ll never get them.

4. Make it meaningful

If your customers take the time to give you their feedback, you should make it worth it. Be direct and ask meaningful questions that will actually impact your business. Some great questions to ask: What was the best part? How can we make it better next time? Would you recommend us to a friend? Then, don’t forget a checkbox asking permission to use their testimonial in your marketing.

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