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Do your customers love your product and service? What exactly do they think about your brand, your staff, and your call center?

The more you know about what your customers think, the better, and yet it can be difficult for many companies to hear directly from their customers about what they want, what they dislike, and why. That’s why customer feedback surveys are so valuable. Surveys provide your company with an opportunity to directly communicate with your customer and ask them everything from “How did we do?” to “What could we do better?”

The problem is that many customers have survey fatigue and don’t want to spend their time and energy helping you out. So how do you overcome survey fatigue while still getting valuable customer feedback?

What is Survey Fatigue?

First, we need to discuss what survey fatigue is. There are two types:

  • Survey Response Fatigue: This type of fatigue happens the moment you ask a customer to take a survey. They’ve already received dozens of survey invitations, and as such, are disinclined to deal with yet another survey.
  • Survey Taking Fatigue: This fatigue happens in the middle of taking a survey: maybe the survey is taking too long, it’s too complex, or the questions aren’t relevant. This fatigue results in customers who either won’t complete the full survey or who will be upset by the end.

In either case, customer survey fatigue results in low-quality data, unhappy customers, and poor results for you. And that’s a major problem.

Why Customer Surveys Are Important

We know that customer surveys are important. Customer feedback provides:

  • A benchmark or status update on customer sentiment. Service insight and knowledge are key to a good experience, according to 62% of consumers.
  • Insight into issues and successes: brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue.
  • A gauge for the effectiveness of your customer experience. Asking a single satisfaction question after a customer finishes a call with your agent can help you gauge how effective you were at meeting the customer’s need.

But since everyone asks for customer feedback today, how do you avoid survey fatigue and still get the results you want? It’s about being smart and garnering customer feedback wherever you can.

7 Tips to Avoid Survey Fatigue & Still Get Customer Feedback

The following seven tips deal with both types of survey fatigue and provide you with some actions you can take today to increase survey responses and gain more valuable feedback.

1. Keep Surveys Simple and Focused

Don’t waste your customers’ time and energy on unnecessary questions, complicated objectives, or wordy polls. Keep your surveys simple and focused on the goal.

  • Create one objective/goal for your survey and ask all questions based on achieving this objective.
  • Keep questions short and direct. The longer and more complicated the question, the more likely your customer will become fatigued.
  • Modify questions based on responses so that there are no unnecessary questions. For example, if one question is “Why did you call us today?” The next question should connect to their response for a more personalized survey result.

2. Shorter is Better: Use Micro-Polling

Few customers have the time or inclination to spend more than a minute or two filling out a survey. Keep the survey short and to the point.

Sometimes even just one question like with CSAT surveys that ask customers to answer, “How satisfied were you with your experience on a scale of 1 to 10?” is enough. This is called micro-polling and allows you to get to the bottom line of the customer feedback you need most in every instance. The key is immediately polling customers right after their experience while the memory is fresh and they are already giving your business time out of their busy schedule.

3. Only Use Surveys When Necessary

It can be tempting to send out a customer survey every time you need feedback on something: a new product release, a change in your call center, or the CEO wants to know what customers think about X, Y, and Z. The problem is that the more surveys you send out—the more you flood your customers’ inboxes and phone lines—the less likely they are to respond.

Instead, save your surveys for situations when the results really matter. Choose how and when to send out a customer survey. And if you need feedback on a variety of topics at once, divide your surveys up amongst your customers so each customer only has to answer one survey, but you get answers to all.

4. Keep Questions Relevant but Impersonal

Customers want to feel like the surveys they take are relevant to their needs. For example, if they just called your call center, they’ll be more willing to answer a survey about their experience compared to a survey about the launch of your new product. Always make sure your survey targets the right audience at the right time.

And as part of relevancy, make sure your survey focuses on your company and not the person. Many customers are uncomfortable revealing personal information about their demographics, buying patterns, or purchase history. Keep personal boundaries in mind and only ask personal questions as they relate to your survey objective.

5. Use Text Analytics for Accurate Customer Feedback

If you track help tickets, read social media comments, record live chats, and receive emails, you have thousands of pieces of customer feedback. In fact, often the best and most accurate feedback comes from customers when they don’t realize they’re giving feedback. The key is the ability to read, analyze, and understand this customer feedback through text analytics.

With text analytics, you can automatically review any and all unstructured text and pull out valuable insight into customer sentiment/emotion and keywords associated with complaints, satisfaction, and questions. You’ll better understand:

  • how, why, and when customers contact you,
  • trends in customer needs and wants,
  • how customers feel about your products and services,
  • and potential new customer service opportunities.

6. Take Advantage of NPS

Your Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the gold standard for measuring customer experience and assessing customer loyalty. All customers have to do is rate your brand on a scale of 0-10—with 0 representing extremely unlikely to recommend and 10 representing extremely likely to recommend.

From here, you can divide your customers into three buckets: Detractors (scores of 0-6), Passives (scores of 7-8), and Promoters (scores of 9-10). Then, using that insight, reach out directly to each different customer bucket with the questions, enthusiasm, and empathy necessary to evoke the right survey response.

And remember, a customer experience promoter has a lifetime value to a company that’s 600-1,400% that of a detractor.

7. Utilize Customer Service Scorecards

Customer feedback is customer feedback. It doesn’t have to come directly from a survey to be valuable. That’s why we also recommend taking advantage of customer service scorecards as a valuable source of feedback.

Your contact center agents have a very good idea about how their interactions have gone. A customer service scorecard is an evaluation system to measure how well they’ve met expectations and achieved desired outcomes. These scorecards are completely customizable and can be as detailed as you want to identify contact center trends, customer experience areas that are lacking, and overall customer satisfaction.

Using Customer Feedback to Improve the Experience

Just remember, at the end of the day, customer feedback is only valuable if you use what you learn—52% of people around the globe believe that companies need to take action on feedback provided by their customers. So, after you implement our seven tips for gaining feedback without survey fatigue, make sure you take the time to implement the changes suggested. It’s only through this implementation that you’ll build customer loyalty, increase profitability, and improve the entire customer experience.

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Tags: Customer Experience & Service, Quality Monitoring Scorecard, Call Center Metrics & KPIs