A common topic of conversation in the customer experience world is the ideal customer satisfaction survey. How many questions should it include? What are the right channels? How do you increase survey return rates?
While these questions make sense, are they the right questions to ask? Rather than trying to find the perfect survey (minimal questions with insightful answers, and a high rate of return), companies should consider asking a different question—is the current method for delivering surveys generating the data needed to improve the business, as well as the overall customer experience?
A better use of time and resources is to reevaluate the strategy used to gather sentiment. Use these 6 tips as a starting point to help ensure that you continually receive useful data from the consumers that best represent your customer base.
1. Ask the right people.
The people answering your surveys are likely not the best representatives of your customer base. According to Gartner, the customers willing to complete a survey fall into the extremes of very happy and very upset. This creates a data set that omits the thoughts and opinions of the average customer, and leads to decisions that are not tailored to the majority of the company’s customers.1
To gather opinions from customers that will provide the useful insight businesses crave, it is essential to ask for feedback in channels where the majority of your customers operate, which leads to our next point.
2. Understand your customer’s preferences.
Traditional channels (email, chat, phone, SMS, web intercept) are all potential sources of survey fatigue. Research done by Survey Monkey suggests that shoppers are pushing back—72% of consumers said web intercept surveys interfere with their experience, while 66% of customers prefer to give feedback by opting in.2
Businesses who are focusing on how to best gather the sentiment of their consumer base need to understand the ways that they like to communicate, and tailor the channels utilized accordingly.
3. Ask the right questions.
Several companies fall into the trap of asking the standard experience/agent satisfaction questions. These general questions don’t always provide insightful feedback that can be used to improve a business.
Qualtrics, a leading research and experience software company, points out that Customer Experience (CX) excellence is unique to each organization. Identify what success looks like for your organization and make sure that you are asking questions that provide you with insight that will facilitate achieving that.3 Think about what you are trying to accomplish. Are you hoping to gain insight into how to improve agent performance, customer loyalty to your brand, or both? Answer these questions, and you will know the questions to ask.
4. Keep the survey relevant.
A recent study undertaken by Medallia, creator of SaaS customer experience management software, indicates that relevance and convenience are major factors in whether a customer even decides to take a survey. The decision to engage depends on how the request arrives.4
Traditional channels can be altered in ways to keep them relevant and convenient. An option to drive survey engagement is proximity marketing technology. Based on a case study by Tamoco, a data analytics company, a retailer was able to detect customers’ devices when they walked into the store and send notifications offering the chance to complete an online survey in return for vouchers while they were still shopping. Results revealed an astonishing 87% survey completion rate.5
Don’t be afraid to be bold when considering options!
5. Show the value.
Customers are more likely to tell you what they think if they have seen the impact of past feedback on a product or experience. Don’t just ask questions if the answers will disappear into a black hole. Show customers a direct correlation between feedback and improved service. This can come in the form of one-to-one feedback (i.e. a supervisor reaching out to an unsatisfied customer to rectify the situation), but can also be done effectively by trumpeting improvements made to products/services based on direct customer feedback.
6. Use the data available to you.
Most businesses already have a considerable amount of customer interaction data that they can use to understand sentiment. This data will likely provide more true insight than any survey could. Text and voice analytics solutions can be used to analyze interaction transcripts, providing companies with valuable insight into how their customers view several different aspects of their business—products, support service options and agent interactions to name a few.
This list doesn’t cover everything to consider for your customer feedback gathering strategy, but it is a starting point. What other items would you consider? For help getting started, or for a more in-depth review of customer experience best practices, contact Alorica today. Call 866-ALORICA or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1. “How to Alleviate Potential Future Survey Fatigue,” Davies, Jim (2017), Gartner.com.
- 2. “Retailers: Your Surveys Are Making Customers Suffer,” Lydia Dishman, Forbes (2014), https://www.forbes.com/sites/lydiadishman/2014/03/07/retailers-your-surveys-are-making-customers-suffer/#114a54552b4f.
- 3. “How to Pick a Winning Customer Feedback Channel,” Ryan Nelsen, Qualtrics, (2015), https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/how-to-pick-a-winning-customer-feedback-channel/.
- 4. “The Survey Is Dead-Long Live the Survey!,”Fred Reichheld and Dorian Stone, Medallia, https://blog.medallia.com/customer-experience/the-survey-is-dead-long-live-the-survey/.
- 5. “How retail brands are boosting customer survey success,” James Ewen, Tamoco (2017), https://www.tamoco.com/blog/proximity-surveys.