How to Write Email Survey Subject Lines That Increase Your Open Rates

Customer experience (CX) surveys are foundational to soliciting the customer feedback you need to power your CX program, and many of these surveys are sent via email. However, the first step to receiving that survey feedback can be one of the most difficult: getting your customer to open your email. 

When it comes to open rates, your email’s subject line is more important than you might think it is. Two helpful email stats drive this point home:

  • 69% of recipients will look only at the subject line before flagging an email as spam.
  • 47% of recipients decide to open an email based only on the subject line.

If you’re trying to figure out all the possible reasons why your survey emails aren’t getting decent open rates, it makes sense to start with your subject lines.

5 Tips to Help You Write Engaging Email Survey Subject Lines

Tip #1: Establish the Right Tone

Effective customer interaction is super dependent on speaking your audience’s language. This doesn’t just refer to the words and terms you use in your emails, even though that is obviously also extremely important.

No, we’re referring to your “voice” here – where you pitch the subject line on the “familiarity” spectrum. On the one side of this spectrum is “ultra conversational,” and on the other side, “ultra professional.”

On the conversational side, you’ll use language that makes your recipients feel like they’re being asked a question by a friend or a trusted colleague. These subject lines should make the recipient feel comfortable because they have an approachable tone.

Here are some examples:

  • “A quick question for you”
  • “Leslie, got a sec? ”

On the professional side of the spectrum, you’re using language that builds trust in your brand’s ability to take your service seriously. You don’t have to come off pompous or like you’ve swallowed a thesaurus. Stick to the point, and treat the recipient like someone who appreciates professionalism in the workplace.

  • “We’d genuinely appreciate feedback on our performance.”
  • “Leslie, how can we make you more productive?”

There are quite a few things to consider when choosing the tone of your survey email subject lines. Your brand image is arguably the most important, but things like recipient demographics and the industry you’re playing in should also play a role.

Building buyer personas is a standard practice in digital marketing. Many successful businesses go through this process to understand exactly who they’re selling to. This data is invaluable when deciding on the tone of your survey email subject lines.

Tip #2: Go Beyond Basic Personalization

According to Campaign Monitor, recipients are 26% more likely to open an email if the subject line has been personalized.

What you use to customize the subject line will obviously depend on the data you have on the customer. Using their name is an obvious starting point. However, you can also reference their most recent purchase if your CRM has logged it. Or a virtual event they attended. A modern CX platform can grab this info and personalize the subject line. 

If you’re online mattress retailer Zoma and you’re sending out a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey email to find out how a support query was handled, if the shipping went well, or if the customer is satisfied with the quality of a recent purchase, you could take one of the following approaches:

  • “How did we do on your support query [#66456]?”
  • “James, how was the webinar with DocuSign?”
  • “How’s that Zoma mattress working out?”

Showing evidence that the email comes from a reputable origin (i.e., the actual company they interacted with) is critical if you want to maximize that open rate.

By using their name and referencing their purchase, you’re landing a one-two punch of credibility and massively increasing the chances of a response.

Tip #3: Talk About Benefits

Let’s be frank here. When you send out a net promoter score (NPS) survey email, you’re basically asking an established customer to take time out of their day to reveal their feelings about your brand despite there being no immediate reward in it for them.

But that shouldn’t stop you from letting your recipients know that their feedback will result in long-term benefits for you and them.

Good feedback — both positive and negative — means improved service for everyone. A large number of honest responses will help you get better at designing new product features. Let your recipients know! Make them feel like their voice is important and that it benefits them to be heard.

Here’s an example. If you’re an energy services company like Ecopreneurist, and you’re sending out an NPS survey, you may want to try subject lines like these:

  • “Help us get even better at saving you energy.”
  • “Leslie, your feedback helps us save you money.”

Even though the email content will ask them a typical NPS question like “How likely are you to recommend Ecopreneurist to a friend?” the subject line can illustrate the eventual reward customers will experience by responding.

There’s a genuine correlation between improved service and receiving this type of information from customers. There’s no reason you can’t creatively leverage this relationship to create highly engaging subject lines.

Tip #4: Ask Your Recipients a Question

A good subject line engages the recipient. You’ll want the subject line to make them think and feel something. Trigger their thoughts and their emotions.

A great way to do this is by asking a question. 

The right question can trigger introspection. It can make the recipient think about something they want to share with you.

A SaaS company like ShowMojo might employ a customer effort score (CES) survey to help them spot inefficiencies and/or improve in two areas:

  1. Onboarding. Good onboarding helps ensure “trial subscribers” see the product’s value and eventually become paying customers, and it’s a critical step in maximizing a subscriber’s lifetime value (LTV).
  2. Product features. A CES survey can gauge how easily customers are adopting a new product feature and help you optimize for improved adoption. 

In both cases, positioning the survey in question form is a great way to maximize open rates. For example:

  • “How hard was the migration to ShowMojo?”
  • “How easy was it to create a new rental dashboard?”

You can see in the above examples that the subject lines don’t even mention the survey. The two questions are directed at the customer and their experience. 

Tip #5: Keep It Simple and Short

You should keep your survey email subject lines to under 50 characters to be sure everyone sees it. The number of people opening emails using their mobile phones is increasing every year. And the limited amount of real estate on a mobile device means that subject lines are often truncated.

Yes, it’s hard to make a compelling case for someone to open an unsolicited email using so few words, so take your time writing. Constantly try whittling the number of characters and words down to an absolute minimum without compromising your core message.

Let’s take a look at some concise and effective customer survey subject line examples:

  • “Are we doing a good job, Leslie?”
  • “Where can we improve?”
  • “We’re always looking for honest feedback.”
  • “Give it to us straight; we can take it.”

A Quick Word on Open Rate Benchmarks

What kind of open rates should you expect from your survey emails? Having a sense of benchmarks is critical if you intend to measure how effective your new subject lines are. 

According to our customers’ results, an open rate over 20% is solid, with only a small number of emails achieving a 30% open rate. If you see this level of engagement, you’re probably doing multiple things right. If it’s below this figure, realize there’s room for improvement and review your subject line copy against our recommendations.

Some Final Thoughts

Regardless of what industry you’re operating in, certain best practices will always be relevant when crafting email subject lines.

Here’s a summary of the most important things to bear in mind (along with a fifth bonus tip):

  • Personalize as much as possible.
  • Tell recipients about the benefits of completing the survey.
  • Ask a question.
  • Keep it short and to the point.
  • Try to keep your subject lines under 50 characters.
  • Avoid spammy words like “opportunity,” “offer,” “cash,” “discount,” or “click here.”

There’s little point in rethinking your subject line strategy if you’re not backing up your efforts with data on the success or failure of a new approach.

You’ll want to A/B test your survey emails. A simple way to do this is:

  1. Split your email recipients into two groups (Group A and Group B). 
  2. Target Group A with subject line A. “Welcome! How was the sign-up process?
  3. Target Group B with subject line B. “Answer one question and help us improve.”
  4. Measure each email’s open rate. If Group A gets a higher open, a post-onboarding greeting works well for your new customers.

By A/B testing your email subject lines over time, you gain valuable knowledge about the subject lines that resonate with your customer base. Not only will that information help you with your specific survey, but it can also help other CX-focused teams optimize their customer communications as well.

Want to learn more about best practices for surveys? Check out this white paper from the experts! And if you want to learn more about how you can listen to your customers not only via surveys, but by leveraging data from social media, online reviews, and more, let’s chat!

ReThink Productivity Podcast: The Future of Customer Experience with InMoment’s Simon Fraser

As businesses strive to improve their customer experiences, asking for feedback has become a common practice. However, not all feedback is created equal, and simply collecting feedback for the sake of it may not lead to meaningful insights or improvements.

In a recent appearance on the ReThink Productivity Podcast, InMoment’s Vice President of CX Strategy, Simon Fraser, discussed the importance of understanding why you are asking for customer feedback in the first place.

Fraser emphasized the need for businesses to have clear objectives and a strategic approach to collecting and utilizing feedback. He explained that businesses should identify the specific outcomes they hope to achieve through feedback, whether it be to improve customer loyalty, identify areas for operational improvement, or measure the success of a new product or service.

Fraser also stressed the importance of tailoring feedback collection methods to the specific needs of the business and its customers. This could include using various channels such as surveys, social media listening, or customer interviews, as well as considering factors like timing, frequency, and the types of questions being asked.

By taking a more strategic and tailored approach to customer feedback, businesses can gain deeper insights into their customers’ experiences and make more informed decisions to drive business growth and success.

Listen to the full episode to hear ReThink’s Simon Hedaux talk with Simon about:

  • Asking for customer Feedback?
  • Chat GPT
  • Supervised Machine Learning & AI
  • Tailored Feedback Modeling

Where to Listen to ReThink Productivity’s Episode With Simon Fraser

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Podcasts. But, if you are eager to jump right in then you can click the play button below to start listening to this week’s episode!

XI Café Podcast, Episode 5: How New Zealand Automobile Association Uses Voice of the Customer to Optimize Engagement, Retention and Satisfaction

Welcome back to the XI Café Podcast! In order to continue Experience Improvement, the XI Café Podcast was created so that CX program owners around the world could join the conversation and learn from global businesses and industry experts about the latest experience improvement innovations in technology and research services, industry and market expertise, and customer (CX) and employee (EX) engagement best practices.

In the latest episode of the XI Café Podcast, we interviewed Marina Strbac, who leads the Membership Experience Team at the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA). Marina is a people-focused, data-informed professional with a passion for customer-centric marketing. 

Here are some of the questions and answers we covered:

Q: What is the structure of the membership experience team at NZAA?

A: Marina leads a small team of four diverse humans from vastly different backgrounds—UX/UI design, math, and marketing all combined together to create optimized experiences for NZAA members. When it came to pitching and embedding an insights-to-action VoC program, the whole team worked together to implement an experience improvement program that would eventually support 1 million+ New Zealanders! 

Q: How did you get the NZAA Voice of Customer Program off the ground and what were the bumps on the way?

A: The team leveraged all their skill sets and adapted as they progressed.

The initiative changed as business circumstances changed. Originally, the team aimed to set up a company-wide VoC program, and eventually, the team pivoted toward a membership-only, journey focused VoC program that was approved by the wider business. Three months later, the program went live! 

Q: You now have a VoC program in place with a large volume of data flowing in. Marketers are somewhat overwhelmed with the vast array of data points already available (website, emails,…) how do you integrate VoC data for marketing purposes?

A: From Marina’s perspective, there’s no need to be overwhelmed by data—instead, ask yourself a few questions. Which insights/data points matter the most? Why do they matter the most? Qualify both of these against your business strategy and business goals. Take your own perception out of it, and instead re-focus on the wider business strategy. 

Once you have the answers, data and insights are pretty straightforward. Measure the baseline of the data points you’re interested in, set up a test and learn matrix, and keep going with reiteration— remove things that don’t work, and keep those that do. Remember that context is important, so do what you can to be data and insight INFORMED, not merely data driven.

In practice, NZAA identified that the “onboarding” member journey was important to track. The team knew engagement was dropping—and with membership retention as a key metric for the business, this was an important challenge to tackle. There were a lot of hypotheses from different people in the business, but ultimately the team needed to understand the “why” behind the onboarding challenge. With that in mind, the team pushed beyond open rates and click through rates, and set key metrics for customer intelligence. NPS, CSAT, and sentiment measures were set and with verbatims on top, understanding the WHY behind engagement drop became easier. Now, the team has the business data overlaid with VoC data, and they can see a fuller picture—they learned it’s a whole lot more complex than the original hypothesis. Through a test-and-learn approach, the membership team is driving optimisations based around justified prioritization.

Q: What was the “aha” moment that made you realise the potential of adding customer data to your marketing decision making process?

A: With 15+ years of experience, and over ten years in direct-to-customer, Marina has always integrated insights into communications and campaigns, and she acknowledges that customer data points at our disposal have evolved. You now need to overlay business data, operational data, and customer insights to get a full picture. The entire business capability needs to be lifted to enable customer centric marketing endeavors. Marketers need propensity models, a well-oiled marketing automation platform, and prioritized test-and-learn matrics just to name a few. As a marketer, you can’t build these alone. 

The aha moments happen when you’re working with other parts of the business, connecting the dots and asking questions like, “is it correlation or causation?” With a focus on customer actions and the passion for creating better experiences, you’ll constantly have those ‘aha’ moments. Curiosity tangents should be encouraged as that is usually where the magic happens.

Q: How are you planning to further grow your VoC program to improve the effectiveness of your marketing?

A: Next up for NZAA is strategic customer journey mapping! The business will identify key pain points and validate these with operational data. Of course, all different business units will have varying opinions, but NZAA will use business and VoC data to validate these. 

Where to Find the XI Café Podcast

You can listen to the podcast on SpotifyAmazon Music, and Apple Podcasts. But, if you are eager to jump right in then you can click the play button below to start listening to this week’s episode!

More of a visual person? No worries. You can also find the video recordings off the XI Café Podcast on our YouTube channel!

XI Café Podcast, Episode 4: Launching a VoC Program With State Revenue Office Victoria

Welcome back to the XI Café Podcast! In order to continue Experience Improvement, the XI Café Podcast was created so that CX program owners around the world could join the conversation and learn from global businesses and industry experts about the latest experience improvement innovations in technology and research services, industry and market expertise, and customer (CX) and employee (EX) engagement best practices.

In this episode of the XI Café Podcast, we’re talking to State Revenue Office Victoria (SRO) Customer Experience Manager, Desmond Strydom. Desmond has over a decade of experience in this field, and in his current role, he has spearheaded and launched the VoC program at SRO. Desmond will talk about the SRO journey of launching a new VoC program, gaining support from leadership, and some of the early success stories the team has seen.

Where to Find the XI Café Podcast

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Podcasts. But, if you are eager to jump right in then you can click the play button below to start listening to this week’s episode!

The Elements You Need for A Successful CX Program

We’ve evaluated the pros and cons of primary reporting locations for the customer experience (CX) function and ideal CX leader qualities in previous articles, “Where Should CX Live Within An Organization?” and “Does Who’s Driving the CX Bus Make a Difference?

It’s now time to discuss the organizational elements that are necessary for CX to thrive in an organization (regardless of the reporting structure your organization chooses or the characteristics of the person leading the CX function).

We utilize a continuous improvement framework with our clients that starts with the principle of “design with the end in mind.” This means achieving one or more of the four key economic pillars: acquiring more customers, keeping more customers (reducing churn), growing lifetime customer value (CLV), or reducing cost to serve.

The Five Stages of the Continuous Improvement Framework:

Stage #1: Design

Clearly design an experience strategy that aligns with overall company goals and brand promise, driving customer outcomes.

Stage #2: Listen

Thoughtfully deploy modern listening strategies and data integrations across the journey to expand and enhance an integrated view and holistic customer understanding.

Stage #3: Understand

Consolidate all data streams and leverage advanced analytics to identify where and how to act (and the anticipated impact on customer outcomes).

Stage #4: Transform

Create & implement dynamic action plans, training, and policies that facilitate organizational change (and promote activities that drive customer outcomes).

Stage #5: Realize

Evaluate and demonstrate results of experience initiatives including (but not limited to) organizational change, improved metrics, and financial impact.

Building the Foundation for A Successful CX Program: Moving Beyond the Continuous Improvement Framework

Beyond those five core stages, though, there are certain foundational and organizational elements that must be present for CX to thrive in your company.

What these additional elements suggest is that customer experience is a team sport that requires the participation, alignment, and coordination of the entire organization—and that your success will be limited if it is a grassroots effort and not a strategy led and supported by the executive leadership team. That alignment and shared understanding is vital to CX success, and by extension, the wider success of your entire organization.

Our hope is that this three-part series has given you much to consider about your organization’s customer experience efforts. Based on what we see in the marketplace, too many programs are still stuck in the Listen and Understand stages and have not figured out how to get organized to break down silos in order to drive effective improvement efforts or don’t have the executive leadership and buy-in to facilitate this. Breaking down these silos, both in terms of the organizational design as well as internal data structures, requires executive leadership engagement and strategies to enable a single view of the customer.

Driving ROI from your customer experience efforts continues to be the biggest conversation in the CX community and the greatest challenge for most companies. And your C-Level executives, board and shareholders expect this.

Being organized properly, having the right people with the skill sets that we discussed in place, migrating your culture to one of customer-centricity and getting organizational alignment on what customers need and how to best, and most efficiently, meet these desires is really tough work. But it is critical to have all of these elements in place in order to drive the best CX outcomes. And the companies that can do this are the ones that stand to reap the greatest benefits in terms of future revenue and market share growth and long-term profitability.

Does Who’s Driving the CX Bus Make A Difference?

The success of your CX effort is determined not only by where it lives within your organization, but also by who’s heading up the program and driving its goals, actions, and direction within your company.

This job isn’t easy and not for the faint-of-heart; frankly, CX leaders often end up working against what is natural for an organization. Most businesses are organized into silos: marketing, sales, operations, customer care, HR, IT, finance, etc. These silos all have their own priorities, goals, and KPIs. But customer experience is a ribbon that cuts across these silos, and an effective CX program ensures that hand-offs between silos are clean and that no facet of the customer experience falls into the cracks.

More specifically, marketing drives awareness of your products and solutions, and sets the expectations for how they work and what to expect. Sales sells the vision and aligns the products and services against customer needs. Product development and operations have to deliver against those expectations. IT and the digital team have to provide the tools to keep employees and customers informed and educated, while HR has to get the right people in the right roles to deliver the customer experience.

What to Look for in a CX Bus Driver

A CX leader needs to drive cross-functional alignment, build relationships that elicit cooperation, and break down organizational silos to create coordination across the entire customer journey. They must accomplish this task despite not owning most, if not all, of the departments that ultimately deliver that desired experience.

Again; not for the faint-of-heart.

After decades of leading and guiding CX at multiple companies across multiple industries—and learning our fair share of hard-knock lessons along the way—we’ve landed on eight requirements for successful CX leaders:

  • Willingness to be a change agent
  • Executive presence and sensibility
  • Ability to build cross-functional relationships
  • Lead by influence and persuasion
  • Strong communication skills
  • Analytical and data-driven
  • Financial acumen
  • Results-oriented problem solver

Clearly, these skills are all heavily intertwined, as a CX leader must have strong communication skills to build relationships and influence executive leaders. They must be data-driven with strong financial instinct to convince leadership to change behaviors or to take new actions (building a strong relationship with the CFO and their team is a smart early move).

Looking At The Road Ahead

The success or failure of a CX program depends on many factors: the strategy and goals defined at the onset, the internal commitment to improvements, the executives, the employees, and the foundational and organizational elements that are in place. CX success also hinges upon appointing a leader who is an effective communicator and can sell a vision, create alignment based
on shared business goals, and curate a shared understanding of customer needs, expectations, and journeys.

CX leaders must have the will and influence to drive demonstrable culture change, improvement, and ROI no matter where they report within the company.

Customer experience is a team sport that requires the participation, alignment, and coordination of the entire organization. But the skills and personality of the CX leader and their ability to sell a vision, as well as use data and storytelling to persuade others to change is critical as well. It’s not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

Look for the next article on the other organizational elements that need to be present beyond the CX leader and core team. We’ll come full circle on what all you need to ensure Experience Improvement (XI) for your customers, your employees, and your greater marketplace presence.

XI Café Podcast, Episode 3: A Deep Dive Into The Maturity of Voice of Customer Programs in New Zealand

Welcome back to the XI Café Podcast! The XI Café Podcast was created so that CX program owners around the world could join the conversation and learn from global businesses and industry experts about the latest experience improvement innovations in technology and research services, industry and market expertise, and customer (CX) and employee (EX) engagement best practices.

In this episode, Melanie Disse from Auckland-based CX firm—Melanie Disse Consulting answers questions such as:

  • How mature are Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs in New Zealand compared to other countries?
  • How does your organisation’s VoC program compare?
  • What can you do to elevate the level of VoC program maturity at your organisation?

Melanie is an experienced Voice of Customer strategist with over a decade of experience in CX, insights, research, and data-driven intelligence for some of the world’s leading brands. Melanie explains what drives VoC program maturity and how leaders can increase the reach and effectiveness of their programs to improve customer experience and drive better business results.

Where to Find the XI Café Podcast

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify and Amazon Music, but if you are eager to jump right in then you can click the play button below to start listening to this week’s episode!

More of a visual person? No worries. You can also find the video recordings off the XI Café Podcast on our YouTube channel!

XI Café Podcast, Episode 2: How CSC Re-Launched its CX Program to Achieve Higher Customer Engagement and Positive Business Outcomes

Welcome back to the XI Café Podcast! The XI Café Podcast was created so that CX program owners around the world could join the conversation and learn from global businesses and industry experts about the latest experience improvement innovations in technology and research services, industry and market expertise, and customer (CX) and employee (EX) engagement best practices.

In this episode of the XI Café Podcast we’re talking to Commonwealth Super Corporation‘s (CSC) Katie Bogg. Katie shares how CSC relaunched its CX program to transform the business from the inside out—this includes growing the CX team and launching a series of external and internal initiatives to increase member engagement, leading to a tangible uplift for the entire organisation and its members.

Where to Find the XI Café Podcast

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify and Amazon Music, but if you are eager to jump right in then you can click the play button below to start listening to this week’s episode!

More of a visual person? No worries. You can also find the video recordings off the XI Café Podcast on our YouTube channel!

How to Become an Expert Survey Builder with InMoment

What do expert survey builders know that makes them so successful? Well, they’re always designing with the end in mind. From the very beginning, they’re thinking about outcomes such as: 

  • Why does this matter to my customers? 
  • How will I act on this feedback? 
  • What will my business gain? 

Strong and insightful surveys help businesses understand what they are getting right and where they need improvement. However, if your survey isn’t set up to ask the right questions at the right time, the data becomes irrelevant. 

Meaningful Experiences Start With Meaningful Data

To understand your customers and to get the most out of what they’re telling you, your survey design strategy needs to be spot on. Customers are often put off by long survey forms with irrelevant questions, which hinders their overall experience and can contribute to:

  • Declining Response Rates: Respondents fail to complete the survey and others may refuse to participate based on previous unpleasant experiences. 
  • Poor Quality Data: Respondents rush to get through surveys filled with questions that are irrelevant to them, or are forced into selecting answers which do not represent their true or complete feelings.
  • Missing Information: Respondents don’t have the opportunity to leave feedback in their own words on what went well and what could be improved.

Customers who decide to leave feedback through a survey which is built without consideration are becoming disengaged with the very feedback process designed to improve their experiences. But don’t worry, we will walk you through how to be the type of survey builder that takes into account the feedback experience, so that you can understand what actions need to be taken to improve customer experiences and even address your customers future needs!

Build Better Surveys to Improve Customer Experience 

A well designed survey gives your business access to a fountain of knowledge directly from your customers, detailing how you can better improve your product and service offerings to entice customers to do business with you time and time again. And who wouldn’t want access to that information?!

Better surveys means better customer information for your organization to act on, but it also means giving the customer a more consistent, relevant feedback experience. One that doesn’t interrupt, but is a mere continuation of their experience with your brand. 

If the survey questions are sent to the customer two months after their experience and the questions aren’t allowing that customer to express what they want to say, then it’s completely pointless. You will be receiving irrelevant, outdated information and the customer will also be frustrated and put off from leaving feedback. 

To get the most out of your surveys you should:

  1. Listen to your customers in real-time, when the experience is still fresh in their minds so you can capture the most information.
  2. Ask the right questions about the main touchpoints of their journey, not just the start and end. 
  3. Follow up on negative feedback to resolve issues before the customer churns and spreads the word. Negative experiences can often turn into positive ones if resolved in the right way. 
  4. Show the customer you are listening to them by following up with actions you have taken based on the feedback they have taken the time to leave. 

Design Your Survey to Gather Feedback at Every Touchpoint

Customer journeys can change on a dime and the only guarantee is that today’s journey looks nothing like yesterday’s—and tomorrow’s will certainly be something new. That’s why survey builders need to consider how to gather feedback at every touchpoint in real time.

Journey mapping workshops help you predict and plan for changes in customer behavior, so while your competitors are scrambling to adapt, you’re prepared to meet the evolving needs of the market. This approach has strong grounding in behavioral science and promotes a focus on the memorable moments within an experience that drive perception and behaviors.

InMoment’s Touchpoint Impact Mapping is an innovative way of understanding the moments that matter to customers. It is unique because it is based entirely on comment data drawn from customer feedback, ensuring a more accurate view of the customer’s memory of their experience. This creates an emotional picture of the journey that highlights what is most important to customers and also allows our clients to prioritize those moments that matter most to their customers.

Watch the video below to learn how banking giant Virgin Money leverages Touchpoint Impact Mapping to optimize the customer journey at key points:

How InMoment’s Active Listening Studio Can Help You Become an Expert Survey Builder

InMoment’s Active Listening Studio is a one of a kind listening suite that gives survey builders the control to gather feedback at every touchpoint, allowing customers to tell you what matters most to them without bombarding them with survey after survey. Active Listening Studio includes:

  • DIY Survey Creation
  • Our AI-powered Engagement Engine™
  • The Rapid Resolution Engine™
  • Our Eligibility Engine™
  • Social Monitoring
  • Multimedia Feedback

Leveraging these tools allows you to create a more effective targeted survey, optimize your listening strategy, and ultimately prove that you’ve improved experiences and your business. One of our global retail clients was even able to increase survey response rates by 37% and response length by 38%!

With an intuitive interface, InMoment’s DIY Survey Creation allows you to actively listen to what your customers, employees, markets, and users are saying. Paired with InMoment’s patented, AI-powered Engagement Engine™, rich conversations are encouraged by listening and responding to customers in real time, eliciting not only more, but more valuable responses.

DIY Surveys are a great way for brands to create and design unique surveys that engage targeted audiences through a multichannel approach. With InMoment’s survey builder tools, you are able to choose from best practice templates or create your own custom survey to match your particular brand standard needs. Plus, you can leverage in-app reporting where you can analyze response and completion rates and review survey performance seamlessly and with ease. 

Engage your audience at the right time to gain critical insights that will help you move your organization from experience monitoring to experience transformation. Whether you’re deploying your survey through multiple channels of distribution (like URL links, QR Codes or email), using our Invitation Management tool ensures the right surveys reach your desired target audience to collect feedback that drives Experience Improvement efforts in the moments that matter.

Want to learn more about how InMoment can help you conduct a better targeted survey—and improve your customer experiences, employee experiences, and beyond? Contact our team today and we’d be happy to explore the right options for your business!

A New Take on ROI: Reduce Failure Demand to Save on Business Cost

My name is Ton Luijten, Customer Success Director + Data Science Lead in APAC—and in this post I’ll help you unlock a new take on ROI—through failure demand.

When we manage client programs at InMoment, return on investment (ROI) is always top of mind. We strongly believe this should be a top priority for any team trying to improve customer or employee experiences to show that they are positively contributing to the financial outcomes of their business. 

Most people will instinctively believe that by improving experiences we will improve retention, reduce customer churn, and lower business costs, but proving this is the hardest and most important part of proving your experience program is actually moving the needle at your organization. 

Let’s take a look at how considering failure demand can help you prove ROI.

First Up, What Is Failure Demand?

Failure demand is when an organization falls short of servicing customers on the channels they are seeking, which then causes demand for services in other channels. 

A classic example is a customer that wants to find information on a brand’s website, but they fail to find the information they need—this usually ends up with a call to the call center. 

Why Is Failure Demand Such a Fail? 

Failure demand is problematic for brands as it means the customer experience is not optimized and the customer cannot get the service where and when they want it—not to mention, there’s a cost to the organization to service this additional demand. 

By reducing failure demand, brands have an opportunity to both improve the customer experience, but also create positive financial outcomes for the organization. 

Where Do We Start When Reducing Failure Demand? 

To reduce failure demand, we first need to measure it. Ideally you would be able to use operational data for this, but there are a few problems with this method. If we revisit the earlier example—how does the organization measure that the customer visited the website before they called into the call center? If the customer mentioned this on the call, the agent could take a note of this for their file, but we know these notes are typically inconsistent and hard to analyze at scale. 

When I work with clients at InMoment, we’ve built custom text analytics sets to analyze call center notes—all with the hopes of understanding what customers are calling about. Then, brands can identify topics that attract large call volumes and work out which ones have the potential to be moved to cheaper channels (most likely online). While this is really exciting work, it does take an investment of time and money.

Another option for monitoring failure demand is to use web intercept technology with session recording to understand which journeys across the website cause the most dissatisfaction. 

However, with this option we’re already going into the space of asking customers for their feedback and not just relying on operational data. It also doesn’t allow us to find out what customers did after the failed journey, so limits our visibility on the impact on other channels.

So, What Can We Do To Reduce Failure Demand? 

I’m proposing an alternative option that’s simpler and leverages a solution that most organizations already have in place—post interaction surveys. These four questions will give you the information you need to measure failure demand and prioritize areas for improvement. 

Here are the questions to ask in your post-interaction survey: 

Question #1: Was Your Issue Resolved?

Most CX professionals won’t be surprised by this question as post interaction surveys typically include something of this nature. It’s particularly important for measuring failure demand because you don’t want to cause repeat calls. Of course, it’s also a poor experience for the customer.

Question #2: How Many Times Have You Contacted Us to Resolve That Issue?

It’s important to ask this when measuring failure demand because we want to avoid repeat calls and try to close out issues as quickly as we can.

Question #3:  What Channels Did You Use to Resolve This Issue?

This is a multiple choice question, so customers can select all the channels they have used. This is really important as it allows us to understand which channels they used and how many they used. The latter is critical for failure demand.

Question #4: What Is Your Preferred Channel to Resolve This Issue?

The list of answer options is dependent on the selection made at the previous question. By combining this question with the previous one, you can figure out which channels the customer has actually used and which one they would have preferred to use. This insight allows you to prioritise which improvements you need to implement for the different channels and reduce failure demand, as you will be able to resolve customers’ issues via their preferred channel, which means they no longer need to use multiple channels.

Wrapping Up

Of course, these four questions are contingent on the organization understanding what the original issue is. If we don’t have that information, we should also work that question into the post-interaction survey.

By combining all this information, your brand will have the magic formula—you’ll be able to understand the current state of failure demand, identify key areas for improvement to take action, and measure progress over time. 

What Is Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)?

After you do a study or research, you will probably want to know if the results you got mean anything. More specifically, you want to know if there are statistically significant differences between the groups you studied. After all, statistically significant results help you know that what you studied—the variables you chose—are having an impact on the results. 

For example, let’s say you did research on your customer base, and you wanted to determine if certain age groups bought your product more than others. Once you have your data, you need to determine if there’s any statistically significant difference between the age groups. How do you do that? 

One way to determine if there are statistical differences between groups is to do an analysis of variance also called ANOVA. What is analysis of variance? Read on to learn more about ANOVA tests and how to use them for your own analyses. 

What Is Analysis of Variance? 

Analysis of variance or ANOVA is a statistical test developed by Ronald Fisher in 1918, and it’s been used by statisticians and researchers ever since. The analysis of variance test is a way to compare means from different groups and determine if the differences in those means are statistically significant. If they’re statistically significant, that means the variable for that group is having an impact on what you’re researching. If they’re not statistically significant, then your variables aren’t affecting what you’re studying. 

Let’s revisit the example from earlier. You wanted to determine whether 18–24 years old, 25–35 years old, or 36–45 years old buy your products more. You gather all of your data about how much people are buying based on a random sampling. You determine the mean for each age group on product purchases. ANOVA is then how you can determine if there’s a statistically significant difference between those means. 

An analysis of variance test will take into account the sample size and differences between means to give you an F value. The F value can then be analyzed to give you a probability or P value—or the probability that there’s a statistically significant difference. Let’s say you get a P value of 0.03. That would mean your results are statistically significant, and you can reject the null hypothesis. Most likely, that would mean you can determine that age is a significant variable in who buys your product, and you could consider making marketing decisions based on that. That’s the power of ANOVA. 

How Does ANOVA Help? 

At the core of it all, ANOVA helps you determine what variables have statistical differences and what variables are important to look at in more depth. Even more importantly, ANOVA can give you a glimpse into the motivation behind behavior. What’s driving customers to click on a link? ANOVA might help you determine that. Essentially, ANOVA helps by giving meaning to numbers, direction to actions. 

Types of ANOVA

ANOVA is a broad category for several types of tests. The big two to discuss are one-way and two-way ANOVA tests. A one-way ANOVA test is the simplest form of ANOVA. For this test, you’ll need one independent variable and two or more levels. For example, you could use the months of the year as levels but still only test one variable. Two-way ANOVA or full factorial ANOVA is when you have two or more independent variables to test. Two-way ANOVA measures independent variables against each other and if independent variables affect each other. 

There are a couple of other types of ANOVA to consider: 

  • Welch’s F Test ANOVA. The Welch’s F Test doesn’t assume the variances between groups are equal, which can be beneficial for some data sets.  This type of unranked ANOVA test works when there are two assumptions that are true about the data: 
    • The sample size is 10 times greater than the calculation group (satisfying the Central Limit Theorem)
    • There are few or not outliers in the data distribution
  • Ranked ANOVA. If these assumptions above don’t hold, you can instead use a ranked ANOVA test. Ranked ANOVA tests can hold up against outliers and non-normal distributions because the values are replaced with a rank ordering. 
  • Games-Howell Pairwise Test. This ANOVA test doesn’t work with the assumption that variations between distributions are equal, and it’s a test when there’s a higher likelihood of finding statistically significant results. 

ANOVA Terms to Know

There are some important terms to be familiar with to work with an analysis of variance test. Here’s ANOVA terminology that may be important for you: 

  • Independent variable. This is the variable that you choose to change, and you’re studying how it will affect the dependent variable. 
  • Dependent variable. Variables that don’t change and are instead affected by the independent variable. 
  • The null hypothesis. When you do an analysis of variance, you will have a pair of hypotheses. The null hypothesis will be the one that says there is no difference between the groups you’re looking at. If your p value is less than 0.05, you can reject the null. If not, you fail to reject the null hypothesis. 
  • The alternative hypothesis. Your other hypothesis is that there is a difference between the groups. 

The Formula for Analysis of Variance

The formula for ANOVA is F = MST/MSE. That may look simple, but it involves a few more numbers. The MST is your total sum of squares (all of your means put through a formula) divided by the population total minus one. That gives you the top value for the ANOVA formula. MSE is your sum of squares with error divided by the number of observations minus one. Once you have both variables, you divide the MST by the MSE, and that gives you the F value. With your F value, you can use an ANOVA chart to determine the p value, which will tell you if you can reject the null hypothesis or if you fail to reject the null hypothesis. 

How to Run an ANOVA

That formula can get tricky when a lot of numbers are involved, so not every statistician, researcher, or analyst does ANOVA by hand—though it can be calculated by hand, thanks to creation before computer programs. Instead, most researchers use computer software and programming to perform the test. R, Stata, SPSS, and Minitab are great choices for running an ANOVA test accurately and quickly. 

Drawbacks to an Analysis of Variance Test

An ANOVA test will tell you that there is a difference between means and if that’s statistically significant. But ANOVA won’t tell you where that difference lies. For example, let’s return to our earlier example. You’re testing three age groups for your product purchases. The ANOVA test will tell you that age is statistically significant, but it won’t tell you which group is the one with the biggest difference. You’ll need to do additional statistical tests to determine which age group is most interested in your product. 

Analysis Is Easy with InMoment

Statistical tests can be overwhelming, including ANOVA. While it’s always possible to do an analysis of variance on your own, it’s usually easier and more accurate with some support. InMoment is here to help. Whether you’re conducting a survey, research, or analysis of variance, the process just got a lot easier with InMoment. Book your demo today and see how you can simplify your processes.

Experience Improvement 101: What You Need to Know About InMoment’s Mission & What People Are Saying About It

Just discovered InMoment? Curious to know a little more about us and our differentiated Experience Improvement (XI)? Well allow us to introduce ourselves! 

Own the Moments That Matter

At InMoment, we have this saying: “Own the Moments That Matter.” This is fundamental to our mission, because those moments—packed full of emotions, judgements, learnings, and more—shape the world we live in. And with every moment, there is an opportunity to make a positive impact; to leave a mark.

But when it comes to your business, there are simply some moments that matter more, to your customer, employees, and beyond. 

Our goal is to empower you with the data, technology, and human expertise necessary to identify the moments that matter, understand what’s working (and what might need improvement), take informed action to solve business problems, and ultimately provide a truly differentiated experience for your business. 

Our CEO John Lewis said it best: “InMoment’s unique combination of world-class technology and expert service enables clients to integrate growing and disparate customer signals and separate predictive understanding from the noise.” 

What Is Experience Improvement (XI)?

Despite increased investment, experience management programs have plateaued. Why? 

Because experiences don’t need to be managed or measured, they need to be improved.

The truth is that monitoring services and D.I.Y. approaches aren’t enough for today’s businesses; they cause program stagnation and make meaningful return on investment (ROI) impossible. Instead, what’s required for success is a new approach: an Experience Improvement (XI) initiative that solves the biggest business challenges, like retention, growth, and cost savings

The Moments That Matter

Improving experiences begins with sifting out the noise from experience data and identifying the moments that matter: where customer, employee, and business needs meet. This allows businesses to prioritize their focus on high-emotion, high-impact areas and connect with their most valued customers. Additionally, businesses can empower their employees to recognize and take action in these moments, ultimately culminating in organization-wide transformation from the boardroom to the break room. 

Data, Technology, and Human Expertise

Experience Improvement is made possible through our industry-leading Experience Intelligence XI technology and our in-house Experience Improvement (XI) services teams. With our ability to collect and gather data from anywhere and in any form with our Integrated CX approach, industry-leading technology, and decades of experience in key industries, InMoment can help you craft an experience initiative that truly meets the unique needs of your business. We are dedicated to being more than just a vendor to our clients—instead we take the role of a dedicated partner committed to a businesses’ short- and long-term success.

The Intersection of Value

Our mission is to help our clients improve experiences at the intersection of value—where customer, employee, and business needs come together.  Ultimately, our clients are able to move the needle and go beyond managing their experience to actually improving it. With the right intelligence, businesses can empower the right people to take transformative, informed action in the most effective ways and drive value across four key areas: acquisition, retention, cross-sell & upsell, and cost reduction. In other words, better results for the business and better experiences for their customers and employees.

The Continuous Improvement Framework

The key to taking an experience program beyond metrics is to move beyond monitoring customer feedback and stories and focus on the formation of actionable plans for changes informed by them. Customer narratives contain meaning that companies can use to diagnose both superficial and deep-seated problems, define remedies to those problems, positively impact the bottom line, and create more meaningful experiences. We help our clients  achieve all of this by sticking to a simple, five-step framework that we call the Continuous Improvement Framework: define, listen, understand, transform, realize. (You can read all about it here!)

What Third Party Analysts & Customers Say About InMoment

And don’t just take it from us—InMoment has received third-party validation from multiple third-party research firms. We have been named Leaders in the Forrester Text Analytics Wave, Forrester Customer Feedback Wave, the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Voice of the Customer, and more! 

Forrester Text Analytics Wave

InMoment received the highest possible score and was named Leader in the Text Analytics Wave report. The Forrester Wave says, “InMoment XI is a solid choice for customers who want a platform with a well-balanced mix of knowledge and ML-based AI, the ability to deploy OOTB solutions quickly, and deep custom application development capabilities.” As mentioned in the report, “InMoment’s people-oriented text analytics capabilities…enable it to address all relevant use cases beyond just VOC or CX analytics.” 

Forrester Customer Feedback Wave

InMoment was also named a Leader in Forrester’s Customer Feedback Wave Report. The Forrester Wave  says, “InMoment is a good fit for organizations looking for a ROI-focused technology and services partner.” As mentioned in the report, “reference customers say they selected InMoment for its technology capabilities and value citing the vendor’s pricing as reasonable and transparent. They also praise the vendor’s partnership and focus on delivering outcomes. References appreciate that not everything is “tool driven;” instead, the vendor  provides strategic guidance, helping them innovate their approach to surveys or embrace new forms of feedback. 

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Voice of the Customer

Furthermore, InMoment was named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Voice of the Customer. The report says,  “InMoment is a Leader in this Magic Quadrant. The company’s Experience Improvement (XI) Platform combines a broad set of VoC technologies as part of an  integrated offering that focuses on blending services and  software to help fulfill its clients’ evolving CX ambitions.  The company has established operations around the world,  with a notable presence in Asia/Pacific.” Continuously, the report mentions,”InMoment is investing in intelligent self-service and workflow automation to help simplify the user experience (UX), while  furthering its vision to support four tailored XI clouds for  CX, employee experience (EX), product product experience  (PX) and market experience (MX).”  

“InMoment has an impressive ability to deliver business value through its consulting-led methods and programs.” – Gartner Magic Quadrant for Voice of the Customer

Industry Dominance

Not only have we been recognized by multiple market research firms, but our success is also shown in our reach across multiple industries. InMoment is currently improving experiences with: 

  • 90% of the world’s leading automotive brands
  • 8/10 of leading banks
  • 4/5 of the top insurers

And one more thing. 100% of our clients would recommend us. 

Recognized as a leader and innovator in our sector, we collaborate with the world’s leading brands to attract, engage and retain their customers. We are fiercely proud that our clients continually tell us they love the experience of working with our company, as we constantly stretch to exceed their expectations. 

Our Experience Improvement (not management) approach provides context to feedback at the intersection of value—identifying what’s important to customers, employees, and the business. Our expertise enables brands to align their CX and EX programs with business goals, prioritize actions, determine and monitor impact of change, address issues, and celebrate successes—all leading to true Experience Improvement.

Does this Experience Improvement (XI) mission align with your vision? You can learn more here!

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