Reinventing Online Customer Surveys to Capture Richer Insights
Conducting online customer surveys is a popular mode of collecting the Voice of Customer (VOC). To optimize customer experience, organizations need to not only collect the VOC, but also analyze it to capture insights on customers’ expectations, product or service issues, likes and dislikes.
After collecting the VOC, customer interaction analytics can help detect customers’ issues around products and services. By providing early warnings and ways to overcome them, it can enable organizations take their business growth to the next level.
Despite being faster, simpler and lesser expensive method of collecting the VOC, the major concern with online customer surveys is low response rates. Whether sent through email links or provided as a website feedback form, online customer surveys face the challenges of customers’ lack of interest or refusal to participate, early or in the process termination, partial or non-response to certain questions, amongst others.
Exploring the reasons of low response rates
Finding the reasons of customers’ low response rates is needed to optimize the online customer surveys. Based on studies, following are some key aspects of traditional online surveys that lead to poor or no response from customers:
Due to the aforementioned reasons, customers may stop responding or respond without any attention, providing irrelevant information. Sometimes lack of trust and engagement make customers skeptical about providing their details. Besides, seeing the excessive length of the survey, they may find it a time-consuming job. Also, doubting whether the company will act upon their feedback, customers may prefer to express their opinions on social sites instead of filling up the company survey form.
Making online surveys more customer-centric for better response rates
While restructuring the online customer surveys, the focus should on improving email clicks, drawing the attention of customers to fill up the web form, and reducing the survey dropouts or in the process termination.
By implementing the following suggested changes, organizations can improve customers’ participation, while extracting greater details around their experience:
1. Refining the Survey Design: Stimulating the customer’s response to online surveys depends much upon the survey design. By using bigger fonts, attractive and well-carved out buttons, and engaging graphics to the extent necessary, both survey response rate and respondent attention can be increased.
Besides, creating a branded survey experience is important to build trust and connectedness with survey respondents. This can be achieved by using the company’s brand elements like logo, tagline, and other brand hallmarks. Addressing the privacy concerns of respondents is also important for their motivation to participate. Also, depending upon the context, survey experience can be personalized for every respondent by incorporating the images of the bought object, such as TV, care, etc., as well as writing messages to every person by name (e.g., "Dear John”).
2. Modifying the Survey Questionnaire: Apart from the graphics, text, and colour elements in the survey, questionnaire should be properly designed and categorized to engage respondents, while making everything easy for them to understand and reply.
It’s been found in research, customers feel like telling their own stories instead of replying to the defined questions. Allowing customers to express their feelings in their own words through the initial open-ended questions will be instrumental in sustaining their interest.
Using Customer Interaction Analytics, verbatim feedback can be converted into actionable insights.
3. Sending Invitations to Online Survey Respondents: Inviting respondents through phone calls or emails to participate to online surveys can not only improve the response rate, but also help overcome the likelihood sampling issues.
4. Providing the feature for track follow-up activities: By allowing customers track their requests made through feedback surveys, organizations can build higher levels of engagement and trust with their customers. This will make customers feel valued and encourage them to optimally respond to the survey.
5. Giving customers a certain degree of control over the survey process: When given a certain degree of freedom to respondents over the survey process, the response rates improve. The control can be given over the amount of information customers provide. Surveys also to state why information is being collected and how it will be used.
6. Repeating Contacts: By also sending repeat reminder emails to non-respondents, online survey response rates can be increased. Apart from repeat contacts to non-respondents, introductory emails can be also sent to potential respondents for the upcoming surveys.
By optimizing the online surveys, organizations can boost customer response rates. With greater details around customers’ opinions, Customer Interaction Analytics can provide richer insights on organizations' products and services. Leveraging these insights, organizations can take informed decisions to improve customer satisfaction, brand advocacy, customer retention, operational effectiveness and overall business outcomes.
About Sheetal Kumari
Sheetal is an MBA with 6.5 years of experience in the publishing and the IT industry. She is currently working as an Assistant Manager in the RSI Marcom department.

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