How to Ditch Surveys and Capture Real Insights from your Customers

Posted by Sam Roberts

May 9, 2017

How-to-Ditch-Surveys-and-Capture-Real-Insights-from-your-Customers.jpgSurvey tools are predominately used to capture feedback and whilst these tools provide answers into what your customers are thinking, they're often built with flawed questioning, fail to capture how a customer 'feels' and have very weak response rates. 

And it doesn't end there. Did you know that less than 2% of customers will actually bother to complete a questionnaire?

This means all of the hard work you put into brainstorming the questions, creating the survey itself and sending it out en-masse is mostly wasted - 98% of people simply won’t bother filling in the questionnaire

If the above feels unnervingly familiar, we’ve got some good news: it’s time to throw away your survey because there are far better ways to improve response rates and capture meaningful customer insight. 

Putting an end to “somewhat satisfied”

Traditional surveys often include an option for respondents labelled “somewhat satisfied” (or similar). Unfortunately, this method of surveying doesn't help a customer tell you about their experience, instead, a vague answer like this offers zero value to both the customer and the business.

No one is ever ‘somewhat satisfied’, and a modern approach to CX demands that businesses extract true insight into how their customers feel during the various stages of their buying journey.

The same is true for the people who tick the ‘happy’ or ‘unhappy’ boxes; what does ‘happy’ mean, exactly? And, if someone is unhappy enough to tell you so, why are they unhappy? At which point were they unhappy? Was the unhappiness caused by a particular process?

This creates something of a challenge and is a common conundrum in the CX space. Without a survey, how do you gain insight that is representative of the customer base as a whole?

Taking a different approach to customer insight

If surveys aren’t working, we need to understand why, and that’s why it’s important to break apart the survey itself and investigate the individual questions. You can do this by printing off a survey, cutting out every single question and plotting them out against the related touch points in the customer journey.

Immediately, you’ll have created a different approach to gaining customer insight, because rather than one, long questionnaire, sent out after the sale has completed, you can engage your customers in the moments that matter by using the questions you’ve mapped out.

This method of customer interaction ensures you ask the right questions at the right time and considerably increases the chances of receiving a response that is both relevant and heartfelt.

The answers you receive along the way will enable your CX team to pinpoint where things are going right (or wrong) as the customer transitions through each stage of interaction with your business. A customer who has had a bad experience with you is unlikely to engage with you at all, let alone through a survey down the line.

How will this improve our response rates?

By breaking down customer surveys into bite-sized chunks, sent at relevant times during the buying journey, you’re likely to see an impressive increase in response rates - our own experience working with a huge variety of brands shows that real-time response rates are capable of achieving benchmark rates of 30% and higher.

If your customer surveys are feeling like nothing more than a chore that has to be undertaken a few times a year, something is clearly wrong. Capturing real customer insight should enable the business to make meaningful and strategic changes so they can delight their customers.

Capturing customer feedback isn’t always easy, but if you ask for it at the right time you’re far more likely to not only receive an answer but receive one that tells you exactly how the customer is feeling. Industry experts, Forrester, Gartner and Temkin have echoed that understanding how your customers feel is key to knowing how they will spend money with you in the future. So join us and ditch the surveys, capture real insight and use emotion to predict future behaviour!

Looking to prove the return on investment for a Voice of the Customer programme? Explore our guide which demonstrates the impact a VoC programme can have on the bottom line...

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Topics: Real-Time Feedback, Customer Feedback Survey

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