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Why don’t companies respond to surveys like they do social media?

I recently watched a demo of CoTweet, an application that helps companies manage the work flow of listening and responding to online conversations.

Since the demo, I’ve been thinking about the difference in how companies are embracing the communication with their customers on social platforms versus how they embrace the communication with their customers from survey platforms. 

Over the past several years, there has been increased involvement from companies (both B2B and B2C) on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, online communities, forums, and crowdsourcing tools.

This involvement is centered around having an online presence for purposes of managing their reputation, supporting customers, creating customer value, and driving customer-focused innovation.

For years, these same companies have been asking customers to share feedback via other channels, like surveys.

Based on my experience in customer listening, I haven’t seen the same level of excitement in responding to individual feedback received from a survey as I’m seeing in responding to individual feedback received through social media channels. (To be clear, I’m not saying that companies are not responding to feedback from surveys, but I do see a difference in how they are embracing the need to respond.) 

Why is this?

I suspect this is largely because online conversations are conducted in a public forum. But, is this the right justification? Regardless of the platform, a customer is communicating to a company and in most cases, they want some assurance that they are being heard regardless of the platform they use to communicate.

I think another aspect is time. Sifting through thousands of surveys to identify which ones need a response and which ones don’t takes time. What if there was a tool, like CoTweet, to help manage that communication work flow from surveys? Would that eliminate the time barrier?

What do you think? Do you think there is a difference in how companies are embracing the need to communicate on social platforms versus surveys?

About the Author

Leslie Pagel

Leslie Pagel

As vice president of customer experience, Leslie is responsible for incorporating the voice of Walker’s customers into the solutions development process. To do this, Leslie spends the majority of her time interacting with Walker account teams, clients, and prospective clients to understand their business challenges. She coordinates several listening posts that are used to drive strong client relationships and enhance our consulting and technology capabilities.

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