Do You Want To Take a Survey? (Nope)

Posted by Colleen Kowalski

July 31, 2017 | 2:30 PM

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Have you ever been to a retail store and been asked to "go to insert store name here's website to take a quick survey"? Who am I kidding, of COURSE you have.  

How many of these "quick" surveys have you actually filled out? My guess is not many. Maybe you filled out one survey because you were offered a gift card, the chance to win a prize, or because you had an absolutely terrible experience and could not pass up the offer to yell (through text) at the retailer.  

This is the problem many businesses face. We ask for feedback from customers only to be ignored. Customers don't like filling out surveys because they do not see the benefit of responding. What the customers don’t realize is: their responses really do help us improve their future experience working with our business.  

According to Forbes, 66% of customers prefer to give feedback to businesses by actively reaching out to the business itself. Of those who actually take the time to start a survey, 80% abandon the survey before completing it.  Of those who complete surveys, respondents tend to either skew to the really negative or the really positive. More often than not, people who are not satisfied with their customer experience are more likely to respond than those who are happy with their experience and don’t feel the need to tell the company.  Such survey bias may skew the results because it can appear that the majority of your customers are unsatisfied with their experience with you, when in reality, they represent the small population that had strong enough feelings to want to fill out your survey.  Nevertheless, the information gained can still provide a company valuable insights when it comes to reviewing business processes and customer services activities. 

In an effort to make it easier and perhaps more appealing for customers to respond to your survey, businesses are starting to steer away from the traditional what feels like a billion question surveys in favor of the Net Promotor Score (NPS). The NPS asks customers, "How likely they are to recommend us to a friend or colleague?" on a scale from zero to ten. With only one question, your customers will have to come up with really creative ways of saying they didn’t have time to fill it out.  While this question is helpful to gauge the general opinion of your customers, it lacks what traditional long surveys have: detail.  

This can be an area of conflict for some businesses who might ask themselves: "Do we want a large amount of broad data, or a little amount of extremely detailed data?". 

Given our most recent survey, we are stepping back to consider which approach we should follow in the future. We are not giving up on surveying our customers because to us there is value in what they have to say.  

Annual Customer Survey Results:  

This year, we sent out over 270 emails containing our Annual Customer Survey to our customers and only about 65 actually opened the email, even less clicked on the link to get to the survey. Once customers got to our survey, only 15 of those cutomers actually took it and  a few dropped out of the survey by the third question.  

You might be thinking, "Why? They were already in the survey, why not just suck it up and finish it?" Believe me, I asked myself the same thing. Based on a survey about surveys, 52% of customers said that they would not spend more than 3 minutes filling out a feedback form. (I wonder how long it took them to complete that survey...)  

Our survey took an average of 5.57 minutes to complete, meaning that unless our customers thought it was absolutely worth their time to respond, they would not even start.  

The responses from our Annual Customer Survey from 2016 helped us learn what our customers appreciated and what they believed we could improve upon. We took their feedback to heart and implemented some programs to address their concerns. As a result of our efforts, when comparing our responses from the past 3 years, our communication with customers continues to improve and is an area we believe can always be a focus for additional improvement. 

Here at Briteskies, we value our customers more than anything else. According to this year's survey results, 83.33% of our customers who responded feel that we have provided their business with value throughout the course of their project.

If any of you reading this were one of the 12 people who completed our survey, thank you. Honestly, thank you for filling out our survey. We know surveys are not fun, and looking back, our survey was especially long. You probably wanted to stop taking it, but something made you keep going. We would like to think it is because you have our best interest at heart. Your responses will help us provide you with a better customer experience in the future (even if survey taking isn't the best experience in the world).  

We will continue to improve and use your feedback to work even harder to make your business thrive. Thank you for taking our survey and if you didn’t, reach out to us with any feedback you might have (good or bad!) 

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Topics: Announcements, Culture

About Colleen Kowalski

Colleen is a marketing intern at Briteskies. She is studying Promotional Communications and Marketing at Cleveland State University and when she is not working she likes making baked goods and live tweeting reality shows.

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