04 September 2014 – Andrew Burns
Survey. It’s a word that often evokes a shrug and a “meh” from customers. Another company, another survey. What’s the point?
While businesses have accepted that the survey is one of the best ways to obtain feedback, customers often feel that nothing ever comes from their responses. A survey allows for a business to analyse and act on the data obtained from customer feedback. Creating a survey that is useful and relevant is no easy task.
Many organisations rely on free online tools that allow them to send out bulk mails with a link to a generic survey. The questions are vague or broad. Which begs to question, how much insight will be captured? It may give the organisation an overview of what its customers think but it doesn’t identify exact problems along the service transaction touchpoints.
Survey results could sit in the program’s report dashboard for weeks (or months) before any action is taken – if it is taken at all. And finally, a survey that requests feedback but does not lead to providing the customer with a response is as useful as a sending the feedback into a black hole. How many people would complete a survey if it was made clear that they’d get no response or reward attached to it?
Good CEM goes beyond sending out a survey, sitting back and saying, “Great, that’s done.” It involves designing a method to get customers talking to the business, and not everyone else. Why do customers use social media to complain? Because they see it has some form of impact – others will agree and spread the message, and businesses will react.
So, how do you change the customer’s mentality of hating a survey to finding value in it? The answer is simple: act on the feedback. The implementation of that answer is the part that requires some effort. Think about it at a grassroots level: if you have an annoying friend who doesn’t listen to what you say to him, you’ll eventually give up and find a new friend who will.
We’ve invested thousands of hours into developing surveys that actually work (for businesses and customers). Our Eyerys post call IVR software, for example, is a survey that delivers instant feedback to the business to take action or analyse trends. As soon as a customer finishes a call with a contact centre agent, he/she can be transferred to an automated survey system where a script provides questions and the customer responds by pushing the appropriate key on their phone. The feedback is immediately fed back to the organisation, providing them with a competitive edge to improve customer experience and resolve issues.
Individuals want their voices to be heard and felt. They don’t want to be a part of a smoke and mirrors game, where the survey is purely for their own placation and means nothing. If you’re asking people to complete a survey, ensure that it is valued and used.
With this in mind, here are seven tips for creating a proper survey:
- Use the survey to ask relevant questions. Ask your customer what he/she thought of the current interaction, not just a list of questions about other non-related elements of your business.
- Offer the survey directly after the interaction. If a survey is conducted immediately after an interaction, the experience will still be top of mind and more honesty can be extracted.
- Avoid lengthy surveys. Death by survey is a term we use when describing surveys that are long-winded and filled with far too many questions.
- Survey each customer via their preferred channel. If a customer contacts you via email, there’s no point sending them an SMS survey, for instance.
- Address the individual by name and refer to his/her specific interaction. The customer doesn’t want to feel like another number; he/she wants to feel like they matter to an organisation. Also, stick to the point and ask relevant questions about a specific episode.
- Don’t ask questions you should already know the answers to. For instance, if a customer interacted with you in your “accounts” call centre, don’t ask them which call centre they contacted. You should know the answer to this question, and it makes your company seem complacent if you ask customers to answer these questions.
- Follow up and act on the feedback. This is the opportunity for the organisation to shine. If you receive bad feedback, take the chance to fix it and provide excellent customer service.