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Maintaining Survey Integrity with Digital Fingerprinting

Surveys are a great way for customers to candidly share the story of their experiences. When used correctly, surveys can provide insight on where certain improvements can be made in order to promote retention and loyalty. But what happens when these surveys are hijacked?

Just as Batman and Robin must continually update their weapons arsenal to fight the bad guys on the mean streets of Gotham, market researchers must continue to develop new weapons to catch the bad guys who try to fraudulently complete online surveys.

When Survey Results are Manipulated, Everyone Loses

Although it’s not a problem for all dealerships or businesses, survey manipulation is a widespread concern that’s damaging to brand perceptions. Not only does it mask performance issues, but it also suffocates the Voice of the Customer, which in turn distorts the results.

To allow a survey to serve its purpose and improve the customer experience, businesses must be in-tune with what their customers are actually saying.

Why do Surveys get Compromised?

Fraudulent survey activity most often occurs when survey results tie into some form of compensation, which entices individuals to inflate their survey score by accessing the same survey multiple times. Perhaps there is a certain consequence, or a reward for certain scores achieved.

Regardless, the survey results coming in are not from real customers, but from those who want to bend the results and create false positives.

Digital Fingerprinting to the Rescue

 With the goal of arming businesses with the ability to improve survey integrity, MaritzCX routinely applies digital fingerprinting technology to studies where there is a concern of survey manipulation. The approach begins with:

  • Establishing a survey manipulation policy for businesses to enforce
  • Designing systems that make manipulation difficult
  • Setting up systems to identify survey manipulation attempts
  • Working with businesses to implement acceptable practices that work for them
  • Designing compensation programs to minimize motivation to manipulate

How Does it Work?

MaritzCX has a manipulation detection system that is designed to identify respondents who attempt to intercept survey invitations and complete surveys and can identify computers based on information passed across in their browser string.

Digital fingerprinting provides a much stronger form of computer identification than IP address checking, processing up to 100 information points from a respondent’s web browser through an algorithm that assigns a unique ID or “fingerprint” for the respondent’s computer.

The technology also reports unique computer IDs to survey data and, in some cases, mobile phone numbers to aid researchers in fraud detection. Respondents are blocked from entering a survey if their unique ID has already accessed the survey.

Better than Typical IP Address Checks

When it comes to a typical IP address check, there’s usually only a “single information point” can be easily misinterpreted. In some cases, the large ISPs have more than one IP address, meaning it’s relatively easy to mask IP addresses through proxy servers.

In comparison, Digital Fingerprinting allows for multiple information points to be processed through a proprietary algorithm, creating a much stronger identification point, using digital watermarks as an added identification measure. Essentially, it covers way more bases.

What About Respondent Privacy?

The data points that are captured from the computer web browser do not personally identify the user of the computer, allowing for respondent privacy that is fully compliant with the laws associated.

Take Action with Your Program

By implementing Digital Fingerprinting technology into your CX program, your organization will be able to easily identify survey manipulators, and reap lasting benefits, such as:

  • Protection of future customer loyalty
  • Positive, secured brand image
  • Appropriate compensation distribution
  • Organization focused on the right improvement priorities

It is important for every business to take the time to consider the integrity of its organization’s surveys, and whether or not they could be affected by manipulators.

MaritzCX is ready to help you move confidently toward a more effective CX program that’s designed for the digital age, by building a smart customer experience program for your business. To learn more about how you can use digital fingerprinting to improve your team’s crime fighting skills, click here to read more, and begin the innovative transformation today.