Jacob Borgeson is the Product Marketing Director at Khoros where he helps brands understand how communities can help their businesses. He shares the challenges and limitations of using surveys to gather feedback about customer experience. Surveys will always be a critical component of a brand’s customer engagement strategy. Not only are they essential for businesses […]
Jacob Borgeson is the Product Marketing Director at Khoros where he helps brands understand how communities can help their businesses. He shares the challenges and limitations of using surveys to gather feedback about customer experience.
Surveys will always be a critical component of a brand’s customer engagement strategy. Not only are they essential for businesses to improve, but they provide an outlet for customers to share meaningful brand feedback.
Customers are often more than happy to provide brand feedback, as data suggests 81% of people are willing to participate in a survey regarding a recent customer service interaction. However, surveys are not the end all be all of improving your customer experience. While surveys can provide insight into the customer sentiment, it’s vital to understand their capabilities and limitations.
Most customers want to provide feedback to your brand, as 64% of consumers appreciate when a brand seeks out their feedback or opinion in a survey.
Surveys give consumers the opportunity to voice their opinions and to interact with the brand. Research shows that customer intent, when completing a survey, is usually either extremely positive or extremely negative. These types of results often paint a skewed picture of your brand, with results on both ends of the spectrum providing little insight of actionable areas for improvement.
While brands can and should utilize surveys, it shouldn’t be the only way you obtain feedback. In fact, many companies are unaware of the plethora of unsolicited feedback that exists in more organic channels. Your customers are talking to you about your brand, and now is the time to listen.
Consumers are willing to give brands feedback, the challenge is finding the right way to gather these insights so all customer experiences can be shared and heard.
While surveys provide valuable feedback, there may be better ways to obtain customer feedback. A few issues with surveys include low response rates, skewed results, and incomplete data.
Response rates for surveys tend to be low, as Customer Thermometer notes that only 5-30% of customers will fill out the survey. Receiving feedback from one-third or less of your customers does not provide you a statistically significant amount of data to base decisions on — especially when the people sufficiently motivated to complete a survey are either the happiest or most upset few!
One of the most popular ways to address low response rates is by offering compensation to complete a survey, but this can result in consumers providing low-quality feedback. In a survey by Khoros, 23% of participants admitted they sometimes take feedback surveys to get a reward, but don’t provide honest feedback. Survey results could also be skewed by employees, who may encourage customers to give positive feedback. In fact, the same survey above found that 37% of customers are hesitant to provide negative feedback if they think it will affect an employee’s job. Negative results are particularly important in highlighting areas in need of improvement. In many executives’ minds, the negative feedback is what they need to understand business problems and fix them! All this must be considered when determining the best method to gather CX data.
Finally, surveys can also be challenging to analyze because they may have incomplete data. In some cases, brands may receive partially completed surveys that provide limited information. Furthermore, a lot of surveys typically only ask about a single interaction with a brand because consumers are more likely to respond to short surveys. However, getting feedback about a single interaction doesn’t give a full perspective about the customer experience as a whole.
A majority (76%) of consumers think a brand should care about their overall experience. If you are not collecting data about your overall customer experience, you are missing out on opportunities to improve. If you cannot get reliable data from your surveys, it may be time to look at different avenues.
While surveys will always be a vital component of a brand’s CX strategy, it’s crucial to accompany these efforts with unsolicited, unfiltered feedback to encapsulate the full customer experience. Luckily, your customers are already providing this feedback through alternative channels.
Feedback in the form of online reviews, social media interactions, community forums, support interactions via chat, email, or phone, and other methods is more likely to reflect genuine opinions and opportunities for customer service improvements. Capturing this feedback can help your brand evaluate what areas you’re doing well in, and where you can improve as well.
Furthermore, brands can see how other users respond to this feedback to see how the conversation changes in real time, and they may be able to get ahead of issues before they have a chance to progress.
Gathering customer feedback is essential to tweak and improve your brand’s CX strategy and provide the best experience possible. Surveys are a tried and true method for gathering feedback, but the results of this solicited feedback come with some challenges and limitations. To address the areas where surveys fall short, brands must utilize alternative methods to capture customer opinions. Getting feedback through your everyday customer interactions in support, online reviews, social media, and community forums will help fine-tune your brand’s customer experience and unlock long-term brand loyalty. It’s not easy, but the value you uncover, and the speed with which you gather these insights will help you compete and win in our more dynamic, digital-first world.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Forrester Research Uncovers Big Changes In Customer Experience For 2022
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