We read an interesting article on Forbes.com titled Retailers: Your Surveys are Making Customers Suffer by Lydia Dishman, a Forbes contributor who covers fashion, retail and e-commerce. Although the article astutely covers the pitfalls of customer surveys, one prominent pitfall is overlooked: the widespread use of primitive online surveys that frustrate customers rather than engage them.We have observed many business owners and customers alike experiencing survey fatigue and frustration. We then discover that the software they have been using is unchanged from a decade ago, dogging the entire survey process.
Our own recent customer survey (February, 2014) revealed that a solid 68% of Sogolytics’s new and satisfied customers come to us from other online survey tools with the majority switching over from Survey Monkey (50%).
From Dishman’s article: “Gone are long surveys full of silly and redundant questions. The new era is all about focus instead of fatigue.”
We agree. Though there will always be room for market research, customer surveys should be about individuals — listening and responding to each and every customer using smart features that are built right into the survey software. And that’s where technology makes a huge difference.
These survey features include:
- Advanced design for surveys that are aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate,
- Intelligent skip logic for short, crisp surveys,
- Surveys that can be accessed smoothly PCs, phones or tablets,
- Touch Rules, the anti-survey fatigue feature that tells you how many times you’ve sent surveys to an individual, and
- A mandatory feature whereby a company representative can be alerted and given the chance to follow-up on negative feedback, before the unhappy customer turns elsewhere.
Business owners can now look at every survey as a conversation and opportunity to build customer loyalty instead of a dull exercise in useless data. That’s the focus, and in this respect, we’re on board with Dishman.
By Natasha Peterson, content producer and member of the Sogolytics blog team.