I hear a lot of interesting and thought-provoking questions from fellow customer advocates. I’ll start with one of the most basic of them all… What should I expect in terms of response rate for my customer study, and how can we improve it so I have more data and results to work with?
Walker was a pioneer in the arena of web-enabled customer research, and we have a lot of tips and tactics up our sleeves by now… at last count, we have identified more than 70 potential tactics or factors.
Here are a few factors that I often come back to:
- Creating a Value Proposition for the customer – it should be no surprise: if you ask your customers for input time and time again and they don’t perceive any change or improvements, they will re-consider the next time you ask.
- Investing in Communications planning – are customer-facing staff aware that the customer invitation was on its way, and being coached to help to reinforce the value of customer feedback? Were less utilized methods, like video, considered as a way to help grab customers’ attention?
- “Friendly” sender – are we using a “friendly” alias that clearly conveys who is asking for their feedback? What about more advanced options like relay servers to help get the invitation noticed? Or, perhaps better yet – is there a good, open line of communication (such as a personalized online portal) that customers already know and trust that we could tap into?
And, here is one more relatively new consideration:
- Response levels could actually be impacted by the recession. The simple reason is list attrition. As customer contacts churn and change, contact lists become a little less accurate, and we can expect to see a higher number of bouncebacks.
Krista Roseberry, Project Group Manager
In my role at Walker, I coach our Project Management group, participate on several improvement teams, and serve as a relationship manager.