Whenever you talk about customer surveys, there are two hot topics that come up. The first is figuring out how to get an organization to use the results. Customer surveys have been around a while now, but companies continue to wrestle with this issue. How do we get our staff to act on the information? How do we use the information to better engage our customers? How do we use the survey as a one way to develop a meaningful dialog with customers?
Alas, the other topic is a lot less sexy. How do we get as many customers as possible to respond to our survey, so we have reliable information? In this environment of web surveys, when it is so easy to overlook/delete yet another e-mail, how do we make it a priority for a customer to notice, open, and complete our survey?
Here’s the double whammy – there is a solution that addresses both of these topics. This week I saw a report that showed that response rates were rising (a strange concept) for companies that had better customer engagement strategies. These companies did things like made sure they selected the right customers and had accurate e-mails … they used pre-notification so customers would know the purpose of the survey and how their feedback would be used to improve their customer experience … they thanked customers for participating … they let the customers know what had been learned and the actions taken due to customer feedback.
In short, they used the survey as just another way to engage customers in an ongoing dialog. Apparently the customers liked the idea, because more and more of them chose to open the e-mail and join in the dialog. And they scored a double whammy – customers are even more connected than before and that boring customer response rate issue took care of itself.