A cloud on the industry horizon – survey fatigue

 Voice of customer solutions are a brilliant tool for creating self-correcting organisations but there is a significant threat to this resource that we need to address collectively before it’s too late; survey fatigue.

A big percentage of the population don’t vote at general elections because they don’t think it will make a difference, and it’s the same with answering surveys. Customers also feel increasingly pestered with too many, too long or too irrelevant requests for feedback. This can be addressed in a number of very simple ways (yet so many companies fail at one or several of these). Turning attitudes around is going to take a long time so we have to start immediately.

Show the customers that you are taking feedback on board.

Be transparent, for example on your website and in e-mailings why not add things like “In our surveys you told us your top 10 wishes for improvement were… and this is what we’re doing about it”.

Survey sparingly at the right time, in the right place and in the right way.

Most VOC solutions today can track if you’ve surveyed a customer before (based on e-mail address or phone number etc.) making sure you don’t survey them again in the same 6-month period. They may have more interactions with you during that time but in the interest of driving down survey fatigue, resist surveying them again. We are all in the same leaking boat on this. Bright recommends 20 surveys per contact centre advisor and month, anything above that is overkill.

The best channel to survey the customer in is the one they used to contact you and if it is by phone, call them back within 10 seconds. This will have a positive impact on take-up rates as the customer finds it less intrusive and they are unlikely to have started doing something else like cooking, driving, shopping etc.

Keep it short, and be more proactive!

Bright recommend using a maximum of 5 questions and then asking the customer to leave a free text comment or voice message about their experience. If you are using automated IVR surveys also make sure that you mention it will take no longer than 2 minutes or they will fear the worst and will be resistant to taking part.

We are all busy these days and typically don’t bother with long questionnaires anymore. You can still get as much out of the verbatim as you would from asking lots of questions, by using text analytics software. Especially if you are brave with your phrasing.

waiter

The invitation process is key, bland invites to leave comment will only get the very satisfied and very dissatisfied leaving constructive feedback.

If you ask a simple question like “was there anything we could have done better?” people will feel less embarrassed to give you tips on how to improve.

Picture yourself in a restaurant, you are far more likely to give feedback about the overcooked steak or loud music after that question compared to the standard “was everything ok?”

Food for thought!

Mats Rennstam
Managing Director
Bright UK