Surveys have been around for a long time, and while they aren’t the sexiest in the set of tools that marketers have at their disposal in the 21st Century, that doesn’t mean they should be overlooked.
The ability to ask your customers questions of varying types, in random order with dynamic logic is good (and frankly table stakes for survey delivery in 2016), but the ability to deliver relevant surveys, in real-time based on event triggers is better.
How many times have you answered that you were unsatisfied on a company’s survey without receiving any follow-up outreach or improvement to your experience? My guess is almost every time, and it likely made you feel even more frustrated that they even bothered asking if they never intended to do anything about the responses. A recent Forrester blog post on the top CRM trends for 2016 stresses the need for brands to focus on customer success processes and technologies: “Companies must double down on their feedback programs to capture feedback via surveys…” Brands are missing out on an important opportunity here, but for the most part, it isn’t from a lack of desire to tie it all together; it’s from an inability to.
Most marketers lack the right technological resources to easily feed survey data (and data from other sources) back into a customer’s profile, or organize it in such a way to determine the next best message or offer. And those that do rarely have a cohesive strategy or communication plan around how to use it.
Surveys are an inherently great tool to learn more about your customers. Many brands try to gather as much information as possible about a customer during the account creation process. It makes sense why brands would want to know who they’re dealing with right out of the gate; however, this approach causes the process of creating an account to take longer and resultingly, lowers conversion.
Alternatively, brands should try using short surveys, spread out over time to streamline the process and increase the likelihood customers will respond. Offering a small point value to answer a question every month or quarter as part of your loyalty program can provide an additional (and effective!) incentive.
When executed in the right way, surveys can be an easy consumer engagement win for brands. Collecting customers’ responses and not using them to improve future experience is like taking the ball all the way down the field and just standing at the end zone without crossing the line–that’s ludicrous! You’re in the perfect position; now go for the touchdown.