Three Steps You Should Take Before You Send a Customer Experience Survey

Customer experience surveys have served us well when it comes to collecting customer feedback data. When we have questions about the experience, there’s no better way to get answers than asking our customers directly, right? Before you answer this question, let us present you with a few facts.

First, let’s consider survey fatigue. Because if you’re reaching out to your customers every time you have a question, there’s a serious possibility that they’ll get tired of your questions and stop participating. This leads to lower response rates, which can affect the quality of the results you receive. Even worse, it can even cause over-surveyed customers to have a negative perception of your brand. 

Second, research shows that today’s customers are less likely to leave feedback via a traditional long form survey. In recent research done by InMoment’s Strategic Insights Team, we found that only 21% of US consumers were willing to fill out a traditional survey, a significant decrease when compared to results three years prior.

These customers much preferred methods like Microsurveys, as well as social media and review sites. Branded chatbots are also growing in popularity.

Getting Outside of the “Customer Experience Survey” Box

When you consider these two elements, it becomes clear that today’s brands need to start thinking outside of the survey box and start utilizing alternative feedback methods. However, that doesn’t mean we need to abandon surveys all together! It just means we need to send them at the right time and for the right reasons.

Today, we’ll talk through three expert-advised steps you should take before you send that customer experience survey. Shall we dive in?

Step #1: Ask, “What Am I Trying to Achieve?”

This first step may seem a little rudimental, but we find that it is often the most vital, yet overlooked element of a successful customer experience survey strategy. We often tell our clients to “design with the end in mind,” meaning to think about not just what you want to accomplish tomorrow or even a few months from now, but when you think about your ideal future state of your customer experience, what does it look like? Only then will you be able to accurately identify how to get from point A to point B. 

Failure to pinpoint your goals when it comes to survey strategy often looks like sending too many surveys with too many questions, leading to too much data—and therefore, too little intelligence. 

That’s why we suggest getting your team together (and maybe including some expert consultants like our Strategic Insights Team) to decide what problem you’re trying to solve or what you’re trying to improve. 

For example, are you striving to increase market share? Retain existing customers? Knowing the answers and setting goals right off the bat will help you narrow down the areas to listen (because if you listen everywhere, you end up with a lot of data and no answers).

Step #2: Take a Look at Your Current Data

Wondering what questions will surely cause survey fatigue? The ones that you should have the answers to already. That’s why it’s so important to take a look at your existing customer data. This can be inferred data (such as customer relationship management data) or internal data (from emails, slack, and the like).

Today, there is no shortage of data. So, why would you want to add even more to your pile when your existing data might already hold the answers you seek? 

Using the same example from step one, if you are looking to increase retention, you may be able to use inferred/internal data to identify that 30% of your churn is driven by a lack of personalized experiences. That gives you an area in which to take action, all without sending a single survey!

Step #3: Consider Existing External Data

So you’ve decided what you’re trying to achieve and sorted through your existing inferred and internal data. Now what? Next comes the data that already exists, but maybe you don’t have access to it yet.

We are of course referring to indirect data, such as comments and ratings from Glassdoor or other review sites as well as social media comments, credit card and IP targeting data, and the like. The right Experience Improvement partner should be able to help you access this data and the insights it holds.

 By leveraging indirect data, you are gaining additional insights from existing customers and employees, but also non-buyers and non-employees. For instance, if you examine Glassdoor data from competitors, you can identify why their job postings are attracting candidates. You can then leverage that data to improve your own postings.

Now You Can Send That Survey!

Still have questions? Great! These are the perfect candidates for sending a quick survey. By following the three preceding steps, you can rest assured that you have exhausted all of your considerable data resources, and can send out a strategic, minimal survey without risking survey fatigue.

Want to learn more about how you can start thinking outside the “customer experience survey” box? Talk to our expert team here to learn about the customer feedback collection methods that will work best for your brand! You can reach out to us here, or talk to one of our team members instantly by selecting the chat icon in the bottom right hand corner of this page!

Surveys Are Boring, It’s What You Do with Them That’s Exciting: Three Ideas for Beating Survey Fatigue

In the world of customer experience, surveys have been a reliable feedback-collecting source for decades. As we make our way forward with new CX technologies and approaches, survey fatigue remains a key operational concern. CX professionals are finding it more challenging than ever to keep program momentum alive. Today, I’m going to share some tips for reviewing your survey program for better response rates, higher program engagement, and better representative results. Use these tips to deliver excellent experiences for your customers while demonstrating that their voice is being heard!

#1. Make Surveys Shorter. A LOT Shorter.

How many times have you called a customer service rep and thought, “I am your customer—you should already know all these details about me.” Well, people are potentially thinking this about your surveys, too. Ideally, experience surveys should take 2-4 minutes to complete, which can be easily achieved by cutting out the questions to which you already know the answers. Shorten surveys further by removing surplus demographic or operational data that could be sourced from your CRM or data lake (e.g. age, products held, customer tenure), and ultimately improved response rates.

Another technique that is successful for many brands is to leverage microsurveys for mobile and other digital environments. A survey can be setup at each key digital touchpoint (like on a mobile app or website) to send a one or two question microsurvey with an open text box to capture immediate, in-the-moment responses from customers.

#2. Ask Survey Questions That Drive Action.

Whilst “good” survey questions vary from industry to industry, there are some overarching considerations needed to drive action from the customer’s voice:

  • Make sure each survey question has an owner within your organisation;
  • Consider the type of action that can be taken within your organisation from this question
  • Minimise words used in your questions. If the idea is clear without excess words, trim down wherever possible
  • Confirm each survey question is either aligned to customer experience goals and / or targets (e.g. expected front line behaviour or a KPI).

By keeping each of these principles in mind, you’ll ensure that each question can drive action within your organisation, which could in turn be used in comms to demonstrate you’ve: 

  • listened to customer’s feedback; and 
  • taken action to drive an improved experience.

#3. Make Your Surveys Count: Pull Transactional and Journey Surveys Into Your Case Management Program

Surveys can be seen as the starting point of a customer conversation. Case management programs—also known as closed loop feedback (CLF) programs—enable trained staff to connect with customers one on one. Frontline staff call back customers to understand why an experience was either great or has room for improvement, and provide a chance to really connect with customers and hear their stories first hand. This can help drive continuous improvement initiatives, or provide  customer-driven evidence to support larger initiatives that may require a business-case. Further, and if conducted with a treatment / control approach (e.g. 50% of CLF qualifying customers receive a call), you can track how customers’ behaviour has changed after you close the loop. 

Don’t underestimate the potential positive brand impact you’ll see when customers receive a call from a representative after clicking “submit” on their survey. By optimising case management, it will give your program the opportunity to evolve outside of analytics, and start directly contributing more to other operational areas of the business.

In this world where we can reach customers in so many different ways, asking customers “how would you rate XYZ”, “why did you rate XYZ”, and “thinking over these elements, how would you rate…” can be boring, let’s be honest, especially if it is a long survey. Instead, we encourage you to make your surveys shorter to fight survey fatigue and look beyond the questions to discover how the customer’s voice can influence your organisation’s operational performance through CLF and actionable insights. 

To learn more about what makes a great survey and how to combat survey fatigue, we’ve put together a framework in this new paper, Transactional Customer Experience Survey Best Practices. Download for free today!

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