Through Walker's annual Usage Assessment, we've learned that the common barrier sales and account management professionals face when using customer feedback is getting enough of the right people to take the survey. This barrier has two parts:
1 - Getting the right people on the contact list (see related blog on Five tips for creating a great customer contact list).
2- Creating a call to action that will prompt customer participation.
To help with the second part, listed are four response rate related blogs from Walker and one tip we shouldn't ignore.
Response Rate - What is it and what should it be used for? - Basic overview of calculating response rates and how response rates don't necessarily indicate the quality of the study.
Response rates - What about survey format? The reasons why survey recipients don't take or complete surveys.
Increasing Response Rate by How You Contact the Potential Respondents. Three important things to consider when asking customers to take a survey.
You're ready to listen - are they there to respond? Four tips for improving response rates.
The one tip. Through Walker's own customer feedback programs we've tested many different approaches for increasing response rates, including video messages, various survey designs, the length of the notification letter, etc. Among all of the tactics we've tried, there is one that continues to stand out.
Specifically, we've found that a personal request asking for customer participation has a significant impact on driving higher response rates. The Walker test included a voice mail from Walker's Chairman and CEO, Steve Walker, expressing the importance of customer feedback. The result - an 11% higher response rate compared to those that did not get the voice mail.
Increasing customer participation by 11% is something we simply cannot ignore, especially if it will break down the barrier our account and sales management professionals face when using customer feedback data.
Oh, and by the way, I failed to mention that the process of leaving voice mails was automated (at least in North America where response rates tend to be lower).
Note: This post was originally published in Customer Connection on 7/8/2009.