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7 reasons why your customers hate your surveys

5th Oct 2017
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Ugh, another feedback request, another survey invitation. This time I could win 400 paper clips for just 10 minutes of my time. I am constantly being asked to review things. Amazon even asks me to review other people’s reviews. To be honest I just don’t like giving feedback anymore. Surveys just frustrate me and I don’t feel like it even really goes anywhere. I never hear back from these companies and the service doesn’t appear to change so why should I waste my precious time giving these companies my feedback.

Ok so that is a slightly negative start to this post but I don’t think that is a unique point of view. People are growing tired of the onslaught of feedback requests with research showing 70% of people said they have abandoned a survey before finishing it. (Source: Customer Thermometer)

I often have something to say and if I can help a company give me a better service next time then great. It is the survey delivery I don’t like. So why do I and so many others not enjoy this feedback experience?

7 reasons why your customers hate your surveys

  1. They are impersonal – Everyone wants to feel special. If a company sends me a feedback request that is just a generic link and a standard set of questions, then how is that supposed to make me feel? I want to feel like my feedback is important and if you want me to spend my time completing your survey then at least show me you have spent some time personalising the experience to me. Include my name and reference what I have ordered. I order lots of things so I might have forgotten exactly what it is I got from you.
  2. Bad timing – If I haven’t even received the item yet, or I ordered it 3 months ago, then I am not really in a position to provide good feedback. If you are looking to improve your response rate, then send your feedback request at a time when it makes sense to your customer.
  3. No resolution – Closing the loop is an important part of the feedback experience. If a customer has spent the time providing feedback, then they like to know it has at least been acknowledged. Even better they would like to see that some action has been taken. Far too often feedback is given and that is the end of it.
  4. Too long – If I land on a survey and I see page 1 of 15 or after navigating through the first page I see I am only on 3% then my heart sinks. The thought of carrying on completing the rest of this survey is nauseating – do companies really need to know all of this?
  5. Boring – If we were having a conversation right now then I would expect a little of interaction, maybe even a little bit of banter. If I have a list of 30 questions with no response, no reactions, no empathy then this becomes a little boring. Try injecting some personality and some engagement in to your survey. Who said feedback has to be boring?
  6. Too slow – If your survey has multiple pages then I do not want to have to wait every time the next page loads up. This is just giving me more and more reason to give up and walk away.
  7. Repetitive – Rate this out of 5. How about this? What about this? The same type of question repeatedly. I start to lose the will to live and end up just clicking anything to try and get through this ordeal. Variety is the spice of life so mix it up a bit. Try utilising a range of different question types to keep your respondents engaged.

How to amaze instead of annoy

So there are lots of reasons your customers might not be too fond of your feedback requests so let’s look at how you can put this right and actually provide an enjoyable experience for your customers.

Let’s imagine 2 scenarios here.

Scenario 1 –  Traditional Survey

  • Customer places an order with an online retailer
  • As soon as the order is placed they get an email requesting they leave feedback
  • The customer clicks the link and sees a page with 15 questions, a tab with page 1 of 5 on and a long list of scale rating questions
  • No matter what answers they select the survey questions remain the same and no acknowledgement is given regardless of positive or negative responses
  • Customer somehow perseveres through the long list of questions to get to a final page that simply states ‘Thanks for your feedback’

This is a fairly typical scenario and is not an enjoyable experience for a customer. This was not a fun or engaging interaction, the level of response the customer gave will probably be limited given the length and lack of personalisation and then they have been offered no kind of resolution to anything they might have brought up during the feedback process.

Scenario 2 – The Wizu Way

  • Customer places an order with an online retailer
  • A designated time shortly after the customer has received their item they receive an invitation to a short conversation about their experience
  • The customer clicks the link and sees a chatbot matching the brand they have purchased from welcome them with a personalised message and asking them if they have time for a quick chat to help the company improve their service
  • The customer responds and the chatbot starts a conversation asking about different aspects of their experience.
  • Whenever the customer responds the chatbot will acknowledge the response and reply in a suitable way. It may also ask different follow up questions depending on how the customer responded
  • If a customer leaves a low rating or provides a negative response the chatbot will ask further questions and give them the opportunity to raise a complaint
  • The chatbot can also provide instant feedback on specific areas that are known issues within the company to offer any explanations or improvements that are already being made
  • That chatbot will use a range of questions from open text, multiple choice, image selection, scale rating, emoji’s and more offering a more varied and engaging experience

Scenario 2 can take what has previously been a negative experience and actually make it into an enjoyable and rewarding one. Customers could potentially enjoy giving feedback which would lead to better response rates and an overall deeper level of insight.

Customer feedback is vital if you want to increase customer loyalty and improve your overall service. It needs to be given the respect it deserves and so do your customers. If you haven’t put the effort into making it a rewarding part of their customer journey, then how can you expect them to make it worthwhile for you. Scenario 1 is doing nothing for the customer or the company. No-one is winning. Make your feedback experience enjoyable and engaging and everyone wins.

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