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Survey Best Practices that Increase Customer Response Rates

MaritzCX “Survey on Surveys” Measures Increase Customer Feedback Requests

Survey Results Provide Valuable Customer Insight

Unbiased feedback is a precious gift from customers. After all, customers who share their feedback want their input to matter and to be valued by the company that serves them.

It is important to not only collect insight through surveys, but to also implement action that will reach customers in a meaningful way. Responding to customers individually shows that you care about their specific experience, and will increase their likelihood to do business with the company again.

However, many businesses find that sometimes getting customers to fill out the survey to begin with can be a tough job.

Letting Customers Know Their Feedback is Valued

Earlier this year, MaritzCX commissioned a study of 1,000 US citizens in order to better understand their experience with customer feedback surveys and their motivation for participating in such surveys.

The study found that consumers are seeing an increase in the number of requests for their feedback.

With 42% of those surveyed indicating and increase in feedback requests over the past three years, 50% indicated the number of feedback requests remained the same. Only 8% of respondents felt the number of feedback requests was down over the past three years.

Preferred Method of Survey Invitation:

Email was the most common form of survey invitation, with 87% of those surveyed having received an email survey over the past 12 months, followed by postal mail (20%), phone (18%) and text/SMS (13%).

When are Customers Motivated to Take Surveys?

The good news is, willingness to provide feedback is rising, with 30% of respondents indicating their willingness to complete surveys increased slightly or significantly over the past three years, while only 12% of respondents indicated their willingness to complete surveys had decreased slightly or significantly over the past three years.

The most motivating factor for responding to feedback requests was, “When companies value my input” as selected by 30% of respondents. To echo the point mentioned earlier in this article, it is very important and rewarding to let customers know their feedback is valuable!

The other popular responses for survey motivation were:

  • “When I had a very positive experience” (22%)
  • “When I receive a financial incentive” (20%)
  • “When it’s a product or service I enjoy” (16%)
  • “When I had a very negative experience” (8%)

Survey Incentives that Work Best

Financial Incentives:

When it comes to financial incentives, cash is king. Personal benefits outweigh charitable contributions, and guaranteed money (versus sweepstakes) is preferred.

The most popular financial incentive was a $5 monetary incentive, followed by a $5 gift certificate and physical item valued at $5. A $5 charitable donation and a $100 sweepstakes draw were the two least popular forms of financial incentive.

Non-Financial Incentives:

Actions speak louder than words when it comes to non-financial incentives.

The top non-financial motivation for providing feedback was: direct communication from the company sharing the actions were taken from that feedback, direct communication what actions will be taken from the feedback (second most popular choice) followed by personalized thank you messages and personalized written requests for feedback.

Sending the customer a summary of how the feedback provided compared to other survey responses, finished in last place and was the least popular form of non-financial incentive.

Thoughtful Survey Design Goes a Long Way

The results of this survey support MaritzCX’s belief that successful CX programs require thoughtful design and involve much more than blasting as many surveys as possible.

CX programs must be mindful of the customer and respectful of their time so as not to create a negative experience by over-burdening customers with unnecessary feedback requests.

Careful planning must go into designing programs that request feedback only when necessary, utilizing intelligent surveys that avoiding unnecessary questions and question design techniques that minimize the effort required to provide feedback. Acknowledging the importance of the feedback provided to customers is also important.

Thanking customers for their time, letting them know their feedback is valued and sharing how their comments are being used to improve their experience will keep customers happy and increase the likelihood that they will provide valuable feedback in the future.

The MaritzCX Survey on Surveys was fielded in March of 2019 with panel sample supplied by Dynata.