3 minute read
By Nancy Porte
Posted in Customer Engagement
Survey fatigue may be a symptom of a larger condition—feedback fatigue. While surveys are the foundation of most Voice of the Customer programs, other methods for gathering customer feedback include online product reviews, IVR surveys, focus groups, and customer advisory councils.
Customers are asked for feedback at every turn, and a lack of cross channel coordination is impacting the healthy flow of customer feedback.
According to a 2010 study conducted by Vovici, Americans are delivered over 7 billion surveys per year. Of these, 2.6 billion actually get completed— and if you listen to recent expert opinions, that number decreases every year.
The irony can’t be ignored. In an era where the organizational appetite for customer feedback is exceeded only by the ease of deploying online surveys, customers have become increasingly irritated by a constant onslaught of survey invitations. As a result, surveys don’t get started—or worse, respondents randomly click through a survey and submit inaccurate data. This downward trend in usable data has been labeled “survey fatigue syndrome,” and everyone is looking for a cure.
The prescription is usually a combination of customized invitations, shorter surveys, and better formed questions. While this is great advice, it is a bit like prescribing pain medication for a broken arm— it may relieve some of the symptoms but it won’t solve the root cause.
So. If writing better surveys alleviates one of the symptoms, what is the cure for broad-reaching feedback fatigue?
Some departments ask for feedback too frequently, and others don’t request feedback at all. For departments requesting feedback there may be overlapping questions and/or different methodologies and scales for measuring satisfaction. To make matters worse, feedback often lives in departmental siloes—unshared across the organization.
To maximize customer feedback, efforts must be coordinated across the enterprise. Timing of feedback requests, data gathered and inclusion of a consistent measure of customer satisfaction are good places to start. As a result, the customer senses respect regarding his time and effort and is more willing to give feedback when asked!
As customer feedback is coordinated and integrated, deeper business insights will be developed. These insights should drive action and create positive change for the business. As you embark on a journey to become more customer-centric, take the customer with you. On a quarterly basis, send a newsletter or update your Website with an update regarding your efforts. Involving the customer on your journey will help develop the type of relationship that encourages continued feedback.
To truly engage customers and promote feedback, it is best to choose the channel preferred by your customers. Some customers may be averse to IVR surveys and prefer online surveys. Others only like to post reviews on social media. Once you understand customer preferences, feedback requests can be customized to suit that channel. Again, the right feedback request at the right time—and via the right channel—encourages higher response rates.
Survey fatigue is a worrisome issue. However, by curing the larger issue of cross channel feedback fatigue, customers will provide feedback more willingly, more frequently, and more accurately in all channels—including surveys.
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