Relationship Goals: Using Surveys to Capture Complete Brand Experiences

If I asked you to picture a survey, you’d probably think of that email you receive after buying something online or having worked your way through a call center phone tree. These transactional surveys, as they’re called, are ubiquitous in today’s customer experience landscape and are effective for learning how customers feel about short-term brand experiences.

But what about long-term brand experiences, though? What kind of survey do organizations use if they want to know how customers feel about every facet of their brand experience from top to bottom? This is where the relationship survey comes into play.

The Impression That I Get

While transactional surveys are designed to evaluate purchases, website feedback processes, and other specific interactions, relationship surveys ask customers to reflect on their entire experience with a brand—not just their most recent. 

Effective relationship surveys ask customers how well a brand is delivering against its principles, as well as for their impressions of recent changes or news. These surveys may also ask for customers’ impressions of a brand’s messaging on key topics, such as the environment.

Take the Good With the Bad

Relationship surveys ask customers about their entire brand experience, so there’s a chance that those individuals will throw some improvement suggestions in with the praise. I’ve never seen a brand score a perfect 10 with its customers all the time, so some disapproval is to be expected with this type of survey. No matter the score, though, getting a survey back means that a brand can begin improving how customers perceive it over time.

It’s important to remember, though, that relationship surveys connect directly to customers’ thoughts and opinions about an entire brand experience. This means that these surveys are an ideal means of identifying problem areas and room for improvement that transactional surveys may not identify. From what I’ve seen over the years, the more of this feedback an organization can gather, the better positioned it will be to achieve meaningful change and close intelligence gaps. 

Being Tactical

What specifically might companies keep an eye out for as they solicit this kind of feedback? Well, for a start, many relationship surveys ask customers to compare their current impression of a brand with the one they may have had previously. In addition, these surveys are an excellent means of asking customers for their opinions on an organization’s values, ethics, and the direction it’s taking.

Survey Synthesis

Relationship surveys are comprehensive, high-speed tools that can deliver a high volume of feedback in a short span of time. Brands that use them can understand what their audience thinks about a variety of different interactions, and create a cumulative sense of how their relationships with customers are changing over time. 

As previously commented, there are other types of surveys that are better for, say, gauging how customers feel about specific transactions and other short-term brand experiences. Organizations that employ multiple types of surveys can gain all of this context and be better positioned for success because of that. 

No matter how many kinds of surveys an organization may use, though, they’re all only as relevant as the action that companies take with them. Proactivity and a willingness to act on feedback are the keys to a successful survey strategy. This is no less true for relationship surveys than for any other kind of questionnaire.

If you would like to learn more about relationship surveys—and how you can pair them with transactional surveys—check out “Uniting Transactional and Relationship Surveys to Capture the Entire Experience” today!

About Author

Simon Fraser Vice President, XI Strategy

Simon has designed groundbreaking customer experience strategies at InMoment for nearly 10 years. Prior to joining the company, Simon worked at GFK/NOP and Nielsen for over a decade, helping brands make sense of their customers and how to drive ROI on products and services. Simon’s decades of experience and consequent Experience Improvement mastery make him a key strategist at InMoment.

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