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. Keep customers from saying, ‘No way, survey!’
Surveys with too many questions or poorly constructed answer options will likely result in your user quitting the survey part way through, and they will be less inclined to answer future surveys.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.
Survey Monkey suggests that companies define clear and attainable goals. Identifying what success looks like for your organization—and making sure that you are asking the questions that provide you with insights—is what will help you reach your goals.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.
Gainsight Go indicates that sending a survey devoid of personality and lacking any incentive are two major factors in whether a customer even decides to complete it. 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. In a consumer study by beacon platform Swirl,* over 70% of shoppers who received beacon-triggered content and offers said it made them more likely to make a purchase during a store visit.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.
- “How to Alleviate Potential Future Survey Fatigue,” Davies, Jim (2017), Gartner.com