You know that it's important to get feedback from your customers when you offer a service, or just to check in to see how your brand is performing. So you figured a set and forget automated survey after they hang up, place an order online, or having your customer rep ask if they could fill it out would do the trick, right? Wrong.
Not sure about you, but I get absolutely pounded with these surveys. I'm busy. I barely had time to interact with your business, but now you assume I'm going to take extra minutes to fill out a questionnaire for YOU?
Surveys are a great tool. But as a tactic, businesses need to be both realistic about expectations around them, and strategic when implementing them. Here are some things to consider if you want to start a survey, or you aren't getting the incredibly high volume of survey results that you have been dreaming of:
1) What's in it for THEM? For the reasons of limited time explained above, your customers are not going to take additional time to fill out one of your surveys out of the goodness of their hearts. (The exception to this is usually that the customer was unsatisfied and needs a place to vent about it)
So, what can you do to incentivize your customers to help you out a little bit? Usually finding out what motivates them can be something minor, like a promo code on their next order for a certain % off, or a complimentary services of some kind. If you are serious about investing in understanding your customer's point of view, you should be willing to set aside some budget to find out. Your ROI will be measured by valued insights to how you can improve, and can ultimately lead to time or overall cost savings in the future.
2) Timing. Time your survey request appropriately - typically as soon after you've provided a service as possible. I can't tell you how many times I've hung up with a rep, then three days letter get a survey request on the performance of the company. I can barely remember what I ate for lunch today, you really expect me to recall details of a phone conversation and, again, take my time to answer your questions on it?
If you are asking about eCommerce service, perhaps automate your survey on the product to correspond with their package receipt day. There's lots of ways you can optimize your requests around your customer's schedule to help you get optimal results. And if going along with an offer on point #1, give a deadline (i.e., fill out this survey in the next 24 hours to get free shipping on your next order)
3) Length of survey. We've discussed my time. I'm just not going to sit through a ridiculous amount of detailed questions, scour through a million options in your dropdown menu to complete your survey - especially if there's nothing in it for me.
Consider making a single goal of each survey, so you can be concise with the information you are trying to collect. This would make your survey very basic - so possibly with demographic information (see if you can automate their location by their IP address) and a question or two about what you want to know.. Then, consider tiered surveys for a different after each transaction. Develop a survey communications strategy where you collect different information each time a customer interacts with you to get a full picture of what you are looking to improve upon. Fast, easy, the customer gets a little something - everybody wins.
4) Sophisticated technology. Lastly, nothing kills a survey like bad tech. There are plenty to terrible survey platforms out there. Don't be the company that employs one of them.. All it takes during a customer filling out a survey is a glitch with a form or a button and consider your precious data abandoned. Make sure you are making this experience as seamless as possible for your customer to up your chances for a completed survey.
The Bottom Line: Survey Optimization
Your surveys are just another form of customer experience. Like your marketing, every interaction you have with your customer is an interaction with your brand - so make sure you are taking the time to make sure your feedback request initiatives are reflecting that to your customer. By making the process worth it, easy, timely, fast, and seamless to execute, you will see a dramatic increase in your customer feedback loop.
If you need help developing a plan around gathering company feedback, or would like an objective look with some strategic tips on how you can improve, I can help - ask me how.
I'm a motivated, self-starting marketer and working mom looking to make a difference in the world - one story at a time.
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